Share the concerns

A recent letter gave me food for thought. I refer to the comparative newcomer with grounds for complaint over the Golden Square pelican crossing, (Berwick Advertiser, June 22).

Friday, 14th July 2017, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 7:46 am

Most decidedly, no one should be subjected to abuse or offensive gesticulations whilst on, or indeed driving over, such ill-sited ‘safe’ crossing points.

Perhaps had it been sited some 50 yards south, towards Tweedmouth, it might have helped alleviate traffic congestion in the area of dispute whilst relieving the people directing abuse. In all probability, they too are somewhat frustrated.

At Castlegate, I can personally testify to the fact that the same appears to apply.

In fact, on a number of occasions, cars have sped over the lights, whilst the red light against road traffic was clearly showing and the ‘green man’, with the ‘safe to cross’ sign, was displayed.

Sadly, the once audible ‘pip-tones’ had to be reduced in volume as, allegedly, a nearby resident claimed they were being deprived of sleep. Perhaps moving to a rear bedroom may have borne fruit.

Fortunately, a great many drivers are courteous and considerate. Many slow down and beckon you to cross the road. I make a point in saying thank you by way of a thumbs-up sign or raise my hand as a similar expression of gratitude. Not all drivers are bad.

Social media, too, was the subject of a letter to your columns by another reader, somewhat supportive of this much abused mode of communication.

Sadly, by far it is under-policed, not by HM Constabulary or the Crown Prosecution Service, but by OFCOM, whose remit such misuse and abuse falls.

Unless it has been rescinded, such matters constitute an offence under Section 47 of The Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1988, which states: ‘It is an offence to send messages, in whatever form, which is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.’

At that time (1988) a level 3 fine of £400 could be imposed. In common with inflation, it is more than twice that sum, and computers and mobiles, along with ‘gizmos’ of such ilk, are not exempt.

Whilst some OFCOM investigators are aware of such instances to help reduce the frequent SISO virus, which affects services including airports, banks and the NHS, further prosecution may soon be mentioned in the recognised media, both in print and on the small screen.

Eric Allen

Tweed Street

Berwick-upon-Tweed