Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Why is enforcing the 70 mph limit such a non-starter idea?!

Am I missing the point?

The way it was being talked about it was as if we were suggesting that people have to drive at the speed of milk floats.

HolyHosesRob (as opposed to EineKleineRob - I now to distinguish them) sent in this letter to the Guardian:

Before the whiners of the road lobby come out of the woodwork to complain about a more rigourous enforcement of the 70 mph speed limit, let me say that this is a really good idea that will have numerous other benefits.

I've timed my own 80-mile journey to work both sticking to and exceeding the speed limit. The maximum difference in journey time was about four minutes. This is because speeding vehicles always meet slower vehicles ahead of them, which causes congestion, over-braking, tail-gating, the concertina effect, and accidents. I'm all for faster journey times and fewer hold-ups. We will all benefit if everybody slows down.
Rob McMinn



bot37363838 said...

Whoever wrote that is a genius. I can't believe you managed to find it on the web site.

As I often say to the reps who visit our office: You drive at 90 mph everywhere, and yet you never arrive on time. Why is that, do you think?

Admin said...

I don't think it is a basic human right to travel at 80mph - although you can bet the human rights act would be dragged out if any serious attempt was made at enforcement. (Our local Tories spend half their time saying the HRA is rubbish and the other half quoting it as a reason to call in executive decisions in the council)

Go for it, but lets not tie up all the police and the courts chasing speeders - why not make it mandatory for all new cars to have a 70mph speed limiter?

Initially that would reduce the demand for new cars (environmental benefit there!) but eventually the majority of cars would not be capable of breaking the national speed limit. At the same time, introduce a new offence of tampering with the limiter, with very stiff penalties so it is a real disincentive.

On second thoughts... the country would be full of new cars bought and registered in France but driven entirely over here...

I didn't think that through did I?

Reidski said...

Fuck cars and fuck lorries - the solution is simple: invest in public transport, take the railway companies back into public ownershiop and put freight on the rails rather on the roads!
Sorry for my bad language, by the way.

Gordon said...

public transport is a nonstarter, let's not start that one again! (rural areas, etc etc).

What I really want to know is WHY the limit is still 70mph?

Anyway, I like the idea of every car having a limiter (presumably it'd still let you accelerate upwards in case of emergency?), but can every car also have cruise control.

The last three cars I own all gave me cramp if I tried to keep it at 70... anywhere between 75 and 80 was more comfortable. A BIG concern if you do a lot of mileage (I was driving up and down from Aylesbury to Glasgow).

Anyway, to a point it's not the SPEED people drive at, it's the lack of attention and proper motorway training that is the root of current problems.

Rob said...

EineKleineRob - I like it!

I'm not so sure it's people exceeding the 70 mph limit on motorways (or even dual carriageways) that's the problem so much as people exceeding the other ones (the general 60 mph on single carriageways and the various urban and suburban limits. OK, bampots doing 150 mph on motorways are a danger, but the same bampots doing 70 mph in a 30 mph limit are a bigger one. (And in case you think I'm one of those who "Compound for sins they are inclin'd to/By damning those they have no mind to", my only speeding tickets have come in 60 mph limits, once years ago because I failed to notice a temporary 40 mph limit, and once this spring when I took ill-advised advantage of a very long deserted straight section of road just north of Meikleour in Perthshire to do 70 mph. More fool me.)

Admin said...

Speeding on the motorway is not a big safety issue, true, but the latest look at the limits is to do with fuel consumption/greenhouse gases.

As for accelerating out of danger... I am sure that danger is accelerated into in most cases.

It could all be a bit of a red herring though. Maybe someone should look at why there are so many journeys in the first place? Is it because nobody seems to want to live near where they work or is it just that it is impossible to do that? Our company is trying to increase the use of videoconferencing and telephone conference calls to reduce travel. That sounds like something worth pursuing?