Friday, 8 January 2010

Breaking the Ice


dnas2 pointed me to a blog entry on advice from the Law Society: don't clear the pavement in front of your house because you can get sued if somebody slips.

So, instead of clearing away the ice to make it less likely for people to slip and break their hips/ankles/whatever, you're supposed to keep it as is, and watch people fall, laughing at them and their misfortune, safe in the knowledge that it's not your fault?

As soon as I heard of that, I decided to clear our pavement. Much better now, and I am sure it is safer for everybody. Took me two hours, but a good workout.

I consider it a civic duty to do this kind of thing. Even if it might be the council's responsibility (unlike countries such as Germany, where you have to clear your bits of pavement or else), this doesn't help people like a friend's daughter, who spent Christmas in hospital because she slipped and broke her ankle. If everybody did the same and cleared snow and ice away, life would be much easier and safer for all.

But it isn't. From the photo you can see that nobody else in our road has cleared their pavement, presumably because it is hard work and you don't have to do it (and shouldn't do it, according to the Law Society advice). When people (usually Conservatives with a capital 'C') talk about 'Broken Britain', they don't mean that, but they should. This is the real bit where our society is 'broken' (if you want to use that word), that (pretty much) nobody cares about other people, it's everybody for themselves. Of course, that's a crass overstatement, and there are a lot of people who do, but they are presumably not members of the Law Society.

If you have an accident, your first thought should not be 'whom do I sue?' But if it isn't, then you are apparently stupid, losing out on a great opportunity to extract cash from a fellow citizen for yourself and your solicitor.


UPDATE: Just came across an article on the BBC website discussing the same issue.

1 comment:

  1. I'm off past your house later. I'm taking my video camera.