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YOUR VIEWS; Brakes must be put on thoughtless drivers.

There appears to be an alarming increase in the inconsiderate practice of driving with front fog lights on during clear and dry conditions both at night and even on occasions during the day.

It appears to be a major problem for Peugeot cars. Do they have a Volvo-type mechanism which switches on the front fog lights at the same time as the ignition is turned on, or are the fog lights installed at the expense of a de-mister?

I am informed that it is an offence to drive with front fog lights on during clear conditions.

If this is the case perhaps an on-the-spot fine would help deter the trend.

The proceeds could be donated to the funds for the new super hospital, which would be able to carry out eyesight treatment - or brain surgery - on the offenders.

Tony Flower, Halford Lane, Keresley.

. . . It is good to know the police have a new piece of equipment to help deal with speeding motorists (Evening Telegraph, January 23 - Speeding drivers get stern warning).

While they are at it, perhaps they could also target the ever increasing number of motorists who are using (illegally) front fog lights as driving lights.

With a [pound]1,000 fine available as punishment, and a few well publicised prosecutions, drivers would soon start to be more considerate about vehicle lighting.

The results could be far more profitable than the measly [pound]40 fines for speeding offences.

D Reed-Aspley, Brinklow Road, Coventry.

Date mistake

I am writing in response to Mrs D G Bradbury's letter (Your Views, January 23) and her complaint that ``the most important date in the Christian calendar can be manipulated by a bunch of politicians.''

It's worth putting a few things into perspective.

The Christians were unable to fix the year - let alone the exact date - of Jesus' birth with any accuracy, a fact which the monks who were instructed to work it out admitted at the time. No attempts were made to fix the date until the Catholic Church had become a strong religious institution several centuries after the birth of Jesus, by which time the lack of written records forced them to make what was, simply, a best guess at the year, and they were unable to fix the date within that year at all.

More recent evidence indicates the monks were several decades off the mark and the start of the second millennium probably passed us by unnoticed sometime during the 1960s or 1970s!

So how did the early Christians decide on December 25 for the date? The date fitted in with an older, Pagan festival to celebrate the rebirth of the sun god after the shortest day - the early Christian church adopted many pagan festivals and turned them to Christian meanings, reasoning that people would be used to celebrating on those dates anyway, and that allowing them to enjoy the usual parties while altering the meaning of what they were celebrating made the process of converting heathens easier.

Also, when a country adopts its official state religion, it becomes a matter of politics as much as anything else handled by that country, so why shouldn't politicians meddle with it?

If Christians couldn't get the date right in the first place, what is a year more or less at the whims of politicians going to matter? The answer is, not at all - just enjoy the party!

Mr David F Straker, Watersmeet Road, Wyken.

What was wrong with chestnut tree?

Your photographs of the horse chestnut tree at Shorncliffe Road and Rosslyn Avenue junction shows what appears to be a very healthy tree following its normal development.

This entails the centre of the tree dying away to be eaten by fungi leaving the outer ring much stronger.

What was supposed to be wrong with the tree?

M T Hancock, Sewall Highway, Wyken.

Caxton is rightly named an influential Brit of the millennium

I cannot agree that the Telegraph is guilty of a serious error as claimed by Robert Sinclair (Your Views, January 20), since Gutenberg is German and therefore unlikely to qualify as a candidate as influential Briton of the millennium.

William Caxton is accredited with introducing printing into this country in 1476 when he set up his press in Westminster, having learnt his craft in Europe. On this basis I believe he is worthy of consideration for the title.

The earliest dated piece of printing from gothic type known is the Letters of Indulgence, issued in Mainz, Germany in 1454. The characters used appear to be like those used in the 42-line Bible commonly ascribed to Gutenberg, but printed perhaps by Fust and Schoeffer at Mainz about 1455. It is on this basis that Gutenberg is accredited with having invented movable type.

With regard to other points raised by Mr Sinclair, the movable type was either founders type or monotype, the latter being cast on a monotype caster which produced individual characters on its own, not the alphabet since the alphabet are the letters used in writing a language.

``Slugs'' were exclusively a newspaper term referring to a line of type produced on a linotype typesetting machine or intertype.

Finally it was ``with 26 soldiers of lead I will conquer the world,'' implying that the printed word is mightier than the sword.

J Thompson, Grangemouth Road, Radford.

Ring road chaos

Coventry's inner ring road is a brilliant design, and would still be functioning well, were it not for the unjustified ``tinkering''.

This was effected a few years ago, when many streets within the ring were made one-way or limited access and myriad arbitary right/left turn restrictions were imposed.

It is these that have rendered the ring road somewhat less effective, not increased traffic volumes, as seems to be suggested.

These restrictions concentrate incoming traffic flows into one or two city centre access points (one of them being between your office and the Belgrade), and fails to permit such flows to be fairly equally distributed between all access points, as was previously the case.

Graham Sibley, Swan Lane Wharf, Stoke Heath.

How will we cope with store closure?

With regard to Coventry Co-op's chief executive Richard Samson's letter saying residents of this estate knew the shop was closing (Your Views, January 19). This is not true.

My friend was told by an employee not to say anything, in case the residents of the estate put a petition together to keep the Co-op open, which we did once before.

Mr Samson may be privileged in either having his groceries delivered, or as I assume he has a car to collect his shopping, but has he considered the effect of closing the Co-op has on OAP's and mothers with young children?

He says Willenhall Co-op is only one mile away. But we do not have a bus service to take us to Willenhall, and can he imagine what it would be like carrying heavy bags, maybe in pouring rain? I bet (if he has a wife) he wouldn't want her to walk a mile to a shop and a mile back with the shopping.

If he is worried about risks why not just sell groceries, and at a reasonable price, because whatever he says Co-op prices are quite high.

Maybe that is why he doesn't get the custom he would like.

Mrs J Naughton, The Vale, Stoke Aldermoor.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 29, 1999
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