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OCTOBER 2012-TRANSPORT.docx
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Class 3 driving

Before you read:

  1. Do you drive? If not? Do you intend to take a driving test at some time?

  2. What sort of car do you have? What sort of car would you like if you had a choice?

  3. Do you think a person’s car says something about him? If so, what?

  4. Do you think you are a good driver? Why/Why not? What makes a good/bad driver?

  5. Have you ever had an accident? What happened?

  1. Read the text. Answer the questions.

Answer the title question.

Give a brief talk on how you see the solution to the problem raised in the text.

Is your car really necessary?

(From “Modern English” by J.Bentley)

All over Britain vast areas of land are being covered with cement for bigger motorways, car parks and garages. That land used to give us fresh air, oxygen from grass and trees; fruit and vegetables; a rest and beauty for weary eyes; a relaxation; an escape. Today that land gives lead-poisoned and polluted air; noise; more nervous tension; and injury; damage and death. No one anywhere is safe now. In country lanes which were quite, isolated and peaceful, children and old people are knocked down and murdered by holiday cars tearing elegantly along to get back to the nearest motorway. We are told to expect more cars every year, more and more acres of land under deadening cement. What are all these cars used for? For urgent and important purposes, essential to our modern life? No, of course not. The majority of cars are mostly used to take Mr Smith to tobacconist for a packet of cigarettes or to the pub; to take Mrs Smith to the supermarket for a packet of cornflakes or to the hairdresser; to take Mr and Mrs Smith and the two little Smiths and the dog for an aimless drive anywhere at all.

I do not accept the proposition that we must have more cars. We do not really need all the cars we have now. I propose that no more new cars whether British or foreign, should be sold in Britain for a period of ten years. There are already plenty of cars to last us for ten years. Look at all the thousands of unsold second-hand cars in dense rows around the garages all over Britain. Some people take pride in driving “old crocks”. Those “old crocks” and today’s new and second-hand cars can last for another ten years. If some cars fall irreparably to pieces from old age or are totally smashed in road accidents during the ten years, all the better. And we may at last regain a little fresh air and relaxation and sanity. What do you think?

Answer the questions:

  1. What is happening to vast areas of land in Britain today?

  2. What does the author say pollutes the air with lead poison, increases noise to dangerous levels, brings injury and death to people?

  3. Why doesn’t the author believe the car to be in any way essential to modern living/

  4. What does the author suggest by way of improving the situation?

  5. Are the author’s arguments against the car convincing enough?

  6. Do you agree, or disagree with the author on the matter?

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