The trouble with any drink-driving alcohol limit is that it suggests both that any level above it is dangerous and that any below it is safe: in fact it’s impossible to prove either to be the case. It’s also extremely difficult to prove that alcohol – whatever the level – is a contributory factor in accidents.
That is why the offence of exceeding the limit is irrelevant to whether or not any damage has been caused; the drunk driver’s car might be stationary and run into by another sober driver, but he is still in default of the law.
As usual when the Government wants to introduce new restrictions, it presents vague evidence of the “all evidence shows” type.
Lowering the present level, currently considered safe, should be allowed only following scientific evidence that it is not – and also that the new level is.
Suitable statistics for consideration would be numbers of drivers considered to have caused accidents while registering blood alcohol levels between the present 80gm and the proposed 50gm.
Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent
I AM grateful to Norman Bonney (Letters, May 30) for recognising the fresh perspective that the six Green councillors bring to the work of the council.
I am sure he will find plenty of evidence of that over the next five years.
I did pause briefly, though, at Mr Bonney’s description of Greens as “supporting separatism”. I make no secret of the Greens’ support for far greater powers to be bestowed on Scotland, consistent with those of a nation state.
However, by contrast with the SNP, for whom independence is a totemic step, our stance is pragmatic, based on the powers needed for a greener and fairer country – over energy, transport, finance and welfare, to name only a few examples.
The Scottish Greens also enjoy a very close relationship with our sister green parties in the UK and throughout Europe.
I’d venture that, in our own relationships, we Greens are an example of how greater autonomy can go hand in hand with greater co- operation.
Steve Burgess, convenor of the Green Group of Councillors, City Chambers
I WOULD agree our roads are a disgrace (Roads to ruin, News, June 4), but would say they have been for a very long time.
It would appear the council does not maintain our roads or pavements –they seem to think that once something is in place it does not require to be maintained.
For instance, they put into place speed bumps (or lumps and mounds of tar) on the majority of roads and side roads all over the city, painted white triangle warnings on them, but lo and behold never repainted the white markings, therefore in many places they have worn away and in the dark you cannot see them until it is too late.
They should be ashamed of themselves – yes we have a beautiful city, but do visitors ever get the chance to see it properly as every road seems to have roadworks going on and it has been that way for far too long.
J Martin, Edinburgh
As the secretary of the Hutchison Vale under-12s, please permit me to respond to your article of June 5 (“Under-12s side signs up psychologist).
Attendance at Tracy’s course was optional, cost the parents £2 per session, and the take-up was 100 per cent.
We do not have “a win at all costs mentality”, on the contrary, the mantra impressed on the boys is that “the result doesn’t matter, the performance does”.
Our excellent coaches prefer to see the boys perform well and lose, than win by humping long balls to the front-runners, sadly the tactic employed by so many teams in Scotland at all levels.
We want to see our boys play the “Hutchie way”, by keeping the ball on the ground, and passing, passing, and passing the ball some more.
The whole point about utilising Tracy’s skills was to impress on the boys that winning isn’t everything, to keep their heads high when losing and not to allow mistakes to affect their performance.
After the eight-week course all the parents received a report from Tracy and I heard no complaints or criticisms.
Edwin Lilley, secretary, Hutchison Vale