商务英语考试中级阅读材料(7)

来源:中大网校发布时间:2013-01-21

    管管伦敦的骑车族吧!

    不久前,有一篇报道说,自行车车座会对生殖器官造成损伤性影响,经常骑车的男性可能因此患上不育症。这让我太高兴了。在我看来,任何阻止骑车人繁衍后代的事都是好事,应该加以欢迎。

    Some while ago I read a newspaper story saying male cyclists who rode a lot risked impotence because of the damaging effect of the saddle on their reproductive organs. It quite made my day. In my opinion, anything that stops cyclists breeding is to be welcomed as an unmitigated good.

    骑自行车的人真讨厌。至少,我每天在伦敦见到的那些骑车人真让人讨厌。表面上,他们看起来像是和蔼可亲、值得尊敬、遵纪守法的中产阶级人士。通常情况下,也许确实如此。但这帮人蹬起自行车的那一刻,就不是那么回事儿了。

    I hate cyclists. At least, I hate the ones I see in London every day. Outwardly, they may appear to be nice, respectable, law-abiding, middle-class people, and perhaps they normally are. But the moment they straddle their bikes, something snaps.

    让骑车族变坏的不仅是自以为是,而是一种根深蒂固的不公平感。一方面,他们感到自鸣得意,高人一等。另一方面,他们容易出车祸,这一点很伤自尊。如此不公平让骑车族怒火满腔,把他们变成了十足的疯子。他们被一种复仇的欲望攫住,要报复这个残酷、如此错待他们的社会。

    It is not just the self-righteousness that gets to them. It is a deep-seated sense of injustice. On the one hand, they feel smug and superior, yet on the other, they are constantly humiliated by the knowledge of their acute vulnerability. The unfairness of it all fills them with such outrage that they turn into complete nutters, gripped by a desire for vengeance on a world that has wronged them so cruelly.

    骑车族对法律的蔑视令人吃惊。他们一向无视红灯,让本应该安全无虞的过街行人险象环生。这帮人沿着单行线逆行,每天早晨竟在我们当地小学门外跟家长和孩子玩“闪人”游戏。只要他们觉得方便,这帮人就会骑过人行交叉路口,骑上人行道。他们当中比较好斗的,还会朝挡路人破口大喊大叫。至于那些一时误入自行车道的汽车司机或行人,但愿老天保佑所有的人吧。

    Their contempt for the law is breathtaking. They routinely ignore red traffic lights, menacing pedestrians crossing the road when it ought to be safe. They cycle the wrong way along one-way streets, notably outside our local primary school where they play dodge ‘em with the parents and children every morning. They race over pedestrian crossings and along the pavements whenever it suits them, the more aggressive of them screaming abuse at anyone who gets in their way. Yet heaven help anyone, car driver or pedestrian, who strays even momentarily into a cycle lane.

    这要紧吗?当然要紧。显然,骑车族公然藐视法律,对公众安全是一种威胁。另外,这也影响了伦敦的生活质量。骑车族不仅把步行变成一种极不愉快、有时甚至吓人的经历,还给人一种无法无天、混乱无序的感觉。

    Does it matter? Yes, very much. Obviously, cyclists‘ flagrant disrespect for the law is a threat to public safety. It also affects the quality of life in London, not just by making walking unpleasant and sometimes even frightening, but by contributing to a sense of lawlessness and disorder.

    更重要的是,如果某个特定的马路使用群体认为自己可以凌驾于法律之上,那可是件非常糟糕的事儿。而更糟糕的是,政府和警察默许这种行为。为什么骑车族可以随意做出违反交通法规的危险举动?而大批警察、交通管理员和私人承包商却要借助监视摄像头和其它技术,随时准备扑向开汽车的人?并因为最微不足道的违规行为,罚他们的钱,没收他们的车、甚至加以更重的惩罚?

    More important, it is bad enough that a particular group of road users should regard themselves as above the law; it is much worse that the government and police should connive in it. Why should cyclists be allowed to commit dangerous traffic offences at will while vast numbers of police, traffic wardens and private sector contractors, assisted by spy cameras and other technology, are ready to pounce on car drivers for even the most trivial violations and punish them with heavy fines, the confiscation of their vehicles or worse?

    伦敦早该整治一下骑车族的行为了。我无意阻止人们骑车,可我确实希望骑车族能够认识到,头盔上环绕的绿色光环,并不能让他们成为不用遵守交通法规的特殊群体,就像不能因为骑自行车去超市就有权偷东西而不受罚一样。

    It is time London cracked down on cyclists‘ behaviour. I do not want to stop people cycling but I do want them to realise that the green halo hovering over their helmets does not put them in a special category of road users to whom no laws apply, any more than cycling to the supermarket gives them the right to shoplift with impunity.

    我知道,这么做有困难。目前,很难惩罚违规的骑车人。警察拦下一个骑车闯红灯的人,骑车人留下个假名、假地址就走了,依旧在单行路上逆行,谁也没办法。

    I realise the difficulty. At present, it is difficult to punish cyclists for breaking the law. The police stop a cyclist for jumping a red light, she gives them a false name and address and off she goes, the wrong way up a one way street. There is nothing much anyone can do.

    其实,还是有办法的。现在,应该对自行车颁发牌照。所有16岁以上使用公共道路的骑车人,都应该持有牌照。他们并不用通过考试获得牌照,但这个制度必须自负盈亏,让申请者出钱。如果不出钱的话,骑车族就是在马路基建上揩油的人。目前,马路使用费主要是由汽车使用者交纳的。如果你想到这点,就知道我这个要求并不过分。

    Except, there is. It is time to introduce cyclist licensing. All cyclists over the age of 16 using public roads should be required to hold a licence. They would not need to pass a test to obtain one but the system would have to be self-financing, requiring applicants to pay a fee. This is not asking much when you consider that cyclists are otherwise freeloaders on road infrastructure that is overwhelmingly paid for by motorists.

    发放牌照可以改变执法,骑自行车的人要随身携带牌照,以此提供身份证明。如果违规人不能出示牌照,那么就在当事人出示牌照之前,把其自行车没收。与开汽车的人一样,如果骑车族危及行人或其它道路使用者安全,就要在其牌照上做个记录,违规三次就要加以取缔。

    Licensing would transform enforcement. Cyclists would be required to carry their licences with them at all times, providing proof of their identity. Those stopped for an offence who failed to produce one would have their cycles confiscated until they did so. As with motorists, cyclists endangering pedestrians or other road users would have their licences endorsed, with three offences leading to a ban.

    如今,骑车族上人行道要罚款30英镑。这种微不足道的罚款也应大幅提高。只有这样,执法才能在财政上自给自足。与开汽车的人一样,伦敦各个区政府可以雇用一些交通管理员,对骑自行车违规者加以追究和罚款,也可以把这项工作外包给私人承包商。

    Today‘s piffling fines – £30 for riding on the pavement – should also be drastically raised. Then, enforcement could become self-financing. As with motorists, local authorities could employ teams of wardens to hunt down and penalise errant cyclists, or else turn the job over to private contractors.

    我知道,不是所有的骑车人都不好。就在几个月前,我还看见一位骑车人在红灯处停了下来。不过,如果我们对骑车族的厌恶少一些,那些好的骑车人也可以从上述措施中受益。这就是我要改变的事情。我主张,现在就对自行车实施牌照制度,以塑造一个更安全,更公平,总而言之,更文明的社会。

    I realise not all cyclists are bad; just a few months ago, I saw one stop at a red light. But the good ones will benefit from these measures if the rest of us hate cyclists less. So that is what I would change. I would introduce cyclist licensing now, for a safer, fairer and altogether more civil society.

纠错

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