LETTERS
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Pedestrian crossing lights are a waste of money

Thank you for the Bird Watching diary

Pedestrian crossing lights are a waste of money

Editor;
Whilst one could discuss and argue about the locations of Chiang Mai City’s latest purchase, the traffic lights, I wish to address a different issue - the ignorance and arrogance of 99% of the vehicle drivers in Chiang Mai. Beyond any doubt, I believe that any reader, on any given day and location, has personally seen and witnessed cars just continuing to drive over a red light. How do these drivers justify what they are doing? If a brave driver of a motorcar stops at a red light, the cars behind you are going nuts, honk, and start risky overtaking maneuvers. How can one, and who is to, protect the safety of pedestrians trying to cross the street? In case you have forgotten, or never learned - if it shows “red” to the car, it shows “green” to the pedestrian, meaning, in theory, that the person can cross the road safely.

Not so in Chiang Mai. Traffic lights here do not make a bit of difference, and the city could have easily saved a few million baht. Where is the traffic police, or any other police department in charge, to ascertain the safety of the, admittedly few, pedestrians? Worse still, it all happens under, or better, behind the so-called watchful eyes of the gendarmerie, busy catching motorbike riders without helmets (which indeed is a commendable undertaking, needless to say without any real effect).

To top it all, I tell you who stops at a red light - every ambulance! Why? Because they are not given any chance to cross a major intersection in order to rush to a nearby hospital, or to the scene of an accident. As seen at numerous junctions such as the Rincome, not one single car which is enjoying its green phase halts and lets the Ambulance through. Not one!

Thinking about it, you are screwed twice - first, they drive you over at a pedestrian crossing, after which the ambulance collects you, and second, the ambulance can’t get you to the hospital in time. If it wouldn’t be so serious, it would be funny!

James Cross,
Chiang Mai


Thank you for the Bird Watching diary

Dear Editor;
I want to thank you (and Tony Ball!) for his lovely bird watching diary that features the artwork of his late wife, Yurie. Tony’s column was run in one of the local magazines when we first came to Chiang Mai over six years ago, and we have missed it since he discontinued it. We were delighted to see it reappear in the Chiangmai Mail. If your readers haven’t had the experience of going on a nature walk with Tony, they have missed a rare treat. We spent a morning with him on Doi Suthep, and it put the pollution and noise of city life right out of our thoughts. Thank you, and thank Tony, for reminding us that the beauty of nature is right around our corner.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Lomax