Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Limits on speed, Limits on common sense?

A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain's Roads the Safest in the World - Ends today.

What will transpire?

Andrew MacKay (Senior Parliamentary & Political Advisor To David Cameron; Bracknell, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on proposed changes to speed limits; and if he will make a statement.

Jim Fitzpatrick (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport; Poplar & Canning Town, Labour)

Our consultation "A Safer Way" on road safety published on 21 April, aims to reduce road deaths by a third by 2020. We make a range of proposals and there are two carefully targeted to reduce speeds:

(1) That local authorities reduce limits to 20 mph on roads of a primarily residential nature and around schools; and

(2) That highway authorities reduce limits on the more dangerous rural single carriageways from 60 mph, where the evidence supports it.

Every day the government seems to find a new way to make the motorist's life a misery. They will probably now decree a blanket reduction in the National Speed Limit from 60MPH to 50MPH, all of which will be enforced by a massive network of interlinked intelligent cameras.

Unlike traditional speed cameras, average speed cameras work by measuring how fast a car travels over a stretch of road.

The lower limit would apply automatically unless the local authority could prove that it was safe for the road to remain at 60mph.

Road safety and motoring groups said that a lower limit would make little difference to safety unless it was accompanied by greater enforcement and changes to the layout of rural roads, such as improving visibility at junctions.

The change may have no impact on average speed, which DfT surveys show is only 48mph in free-flowing conditions on rural 60mph roads.

On many stretches of rural road without bends or small junctions, the responsible driver can drive safely at 60mph. If the limit is reduced, more drivers will be tempted to try potentially dangerous overtaking manoeuvres to get past a car doing 48mph.

We need a proportionate approach to road safety that targets problems such as poor road design and problem-makers such as reckless drivers. Why should all drivers be inconvenienced for the sake of a reckless minority? We should improve driver education, increase the number of traffic police, improve road design and target the reckless minority rather than introduce more restrictions.

Many local authorities are already in the position to take key decisions on whether reduced speed limits are the best option.
Rather than have across-the-board reductions in the speed limit that hit everyone, why not create a situation where local authorities/local people are empowered to make our roads safer, and given the powers to target problem drivers?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news....d-cameras. html



Protest the reduction in the National Speed Limit from 60 to 50?


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