When you said
"We will end the war on motorists. Motoring has got to get greener but the car is not going to go away."
…is this what you had in mind?
Ministers are proposing a 20mph speed limit on urban roads to reduce deaths and reclaim the streets for cyclists and pedestrians.
The reduction from 30mph would apply to all town centre and residential streets except busy through roads, which will remain at the existing limit.
Is it any wonder we already treat posted speed-limits as advisory?
Edmund King, president of the AA, warned that motorists could ignore the new limits.
He said: “In our view it is more effective to target 20mph zones where they are really needed and are almost self-enforcing.
“If it becomes the default, you will get a lot of 20mph limits that aren’t warranted and are just ignored. The deterrent effect will wear off, like the 70mph speed limit on motorways.”
Quite so. Over the years, the reductions of various speed limits coupled with draconian and arbitrary enforcement has persuaded me to slow down and drive more sedately.
I could never have predicted the consequences. Instead of focussing my full attention on the road, I am now so unencumbered by the task of driving itself that I have spare capacity to drink coffee, roll a cigarette, program my sat-nav and check twitter on my phone.
If you give me the opportunity to drive at the pace I want to drive at, all of those dangerous and superfluous activities go straight out of the window, in favour of focussing on the engaging task at hand.
If the government wants to improve safety in the world of motoring, instead of salami slicing speed limits and blood alcohol limits, they should focus on raising standards. If that means every license holder being re-tested (at their own expense) every five years, then so be it.
If that means 10% of the motoring population are removed from the roads every five years, so be it.
If it means finding a way to persuade insurers, and judges, that an advanced motoring qualification is worthy of significantly favourable treatment, so be it.
Of ALL accidents in the reported 12 month period (right hand column):
- 5% were caused by impairment by alcohol.
- 1% were caused by drugs (illicit or medicinal)
- 2% were caused by a distraction inside the vehicle (kids, phones etc?)
So far so good. Now to the point.
- 14% were caused by performing a poor turn or manoeuvre.
- 37% were caused by a failure to look properly.
- 19% were caused by a failure to judge other person’s path or speed.
Well there we are then. Right there are a load of causes we could do something about, under the heading Poor or incompetent driving.
Or shall we continue with the old socialist politics of punishing the many for the sins of the few?