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#311828 - 22nd Apr 2009 10:10pm Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues!
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
The Big Question: Is lowering speed limits the answer to saving lives on Britain's roads?

By Michael Savage
Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Britain's roads have become much safer over the last 30 years, but in recent times our record has been slipping behind some of our European neighbours. While there are now 5,000 fewer deaths each year on the highways compared to the 1960s, progress has slowed down considerably. That has prompted the Government to come up with a plan to cut road deaths by a third by 2020. But it will not be popular with many drivers, as the central plank of the plan is a reduction of speed limits on notoriously risky roads, while drivers will be forced to crawl along at 20mph in residential areas.

So what is the plan?

The speed limit on some A-roads in rural areas will be lowered to 50mph. The Road minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, also said that a new 20mph limit should be applied "in all streets which are primarily residential in nature". That will have wide implications for city dwellers. Any final decision about the reduction of speed limits will be left in the hands of local authorities, but such strong direction from the Government will not be ignored.

Any other measures in there?

For the first time, the Department for Transport (DfT) is proposing to introduce a target for reducing road deaths. It wants to reduce the number of deaths by a third over the next decade. The target is a significant step forward, according to safety campaigners, because it will be impossible for the Government to manipulate the figures. Previous targets focused on reducing deaths and "serious injuries", which were open to interpretation.

Anything else?

A shake-up of the driving test is also on the cards. A fifth of new drivers have a crash within a year of getting their licence. Ministers hope that toughening up the test will stop poor drivers hitting the roads. The revamp is likely to result in the test being sliced into four pieces. It will mean it will take much longer to pass, which should improve driving ability. But it is also likely to raise the cost of learning to drive, which will not be welcomed by a cash-strapped public.


Why are speed limits being targeted?

The problem for the Government is that many of the measures that are guaranteed to have an impact on road safety have already been introduced. Seat belts are compulsory, speed cameras are a regular site on our roads and the penalties for drink-driving are severe. While the Government is expected to tighten up those measures further – for instance by doubling the fine handed out for not wearing a seat-belt to £60 – reducing speed limits is one of the few levers it has left to pull.

Is there any evidence that reduced speeds lead to fewer deaths?

Reducing speed limits will have an impact, but the raw statistics suggest it needs to be accompanied by a change in driving culture to achieve the target for reducing road deaths. In 2007, a total of 342 people died in accidents involving a driver breaking the speed limit, while a further 417 people were killed when a driver was travelling too fast for the weather conditions. If the DfT wants to hit its target of cutting annual deaths by a thousand over the next 10 years, it will need their drive to improve the road awareness of new drivers to have an effect, too.


Any dissenting voices?

Unsurprisingly, driving groups have not been too happy about the plans. Many drivers already think they are unfairly targeted by the Government in relation to tax, fuel prices and speed cameras. They argue that accidents happen because of poor driving rather than speed. Edmund King, president of the AA, said it was important that local authorities consider the circumstances of individual roads before applying a blanket speed limit reduction.

"Reducing the speed limit in a blanket manner is the wrong approach as this does not address the specific road safety problems," he said. "Currently local highway authorities can and indeed do reduce the limit to 50mph on stretches of road deemed appropriate. Whatever the limit, drivers should never drive to the limit but should drive at a speed appropriate to the road design and conditions."


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#311846 - 22nd Apr 2009 10:31pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: Wench]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9767
Loc: Birkenhead
Reducing number of deaths on the roads is one issue.

Reducing number of accidents/collisions is a different issue.

However the lobbyists and government join the two subjects together to muddy the water and produce conflicting arguements.

Reducing speed is bound to reduce deaths just from reduction in physical damage.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#312064 - 23rd Apr 2009 2:34pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: diggingdeeper]
Beemertastic Offline
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Registered: 16th Oct 2007
Posts: 1113
Loc: wirral
speed doesn't kill....its the sudden stop at the end that gets you!
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#312097 - 23rd Apr 2009 3:06pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: Beemertastic]
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
And the *thud* when you land!

What are you doing up so early raftl
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

It’s hard to be fit as a fiddle when you’re shaped like a cello!

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#346533 - 2nd Sep 2009 10:32am Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: Wench]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5349
Loc: Birkenhead
It would be reasonable if people went past other peoples houses at the same speed they would expect you to go past theirs i.e. as safe as is required so as not to hit anyone. It's all down to respect for other users, pedestrian and drivers. This is the same with filtering when it is like a madhouse, not blocking exits/entrances from roads when in traffic queues etc. If everyone drove keeping others in mind it would be a lot less stressful.
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#346538 - 2nd Sep 2009 11:33am Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: BandyCoot]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Speed kills is an unsustainable argument; it just rolls easily off the tongue. The inappropriate use of speed is unsafe & sometimes results in a fatality.
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Carpe diem.

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#346546 - 2nd Sep 2009 12:12pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: chriskay]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7852
Loc: tranmere
One day all cars will be fitted with a censor linked to a big brother computer. That computer will know exactly what road your on and what speed your doing. Break the speed limit for that road and the computer will send out a ticket automatically with no human intervention.
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Don't send Jesus,
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Bertieone.

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#431558 - 16th Sep 2010 11:26am Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: bert1]
gohunter Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 14th Aug 2010
Posts: 23
Loc: Upton
Originally Posted By: bert1
One day all cars will be fitted with a censor linked to a big brother computer. That computer will know exactly what road your on and what speed your doing. Break the speed limit for that road and the computer will send out a ticket automatically with no human intervention.


Or the big brother computer will PREVENT you from exceeding the speed limit for that road by limiting your car's speed to the speed limit.

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#431566 - 16th Sep 2010 11:44am Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: gohunter]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9767
Loc: Birkenhead
One of the solutions to congestion is the "car trains" where the cars automatically drive close to each other and at higher speeds, as long as reasonable safeguards are built in I don't have a problem with that.

Public Highways are a means of transportation, not race/test tracks ..... to quote a friend of mine "but I admit I'm a hypocrite" seeyu
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#431591 - 16th Sep 2010 2:08pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: diggingdeeper]
davew3 Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 16th Jun 2009
Posts: 1024
Loc: Wirral
Big brother computer prevents you exceeding speed limit,big brother computer and EUSSR and their totally over the budget Euro gps satellite will also charge you for using the road,road pricing whether it's a good idea or not ,Rumpy Pumpy and his unelected cabal are bringing it to a road near you,the greens and the left wing fruit and nut jobs are forcing it to be made law for heavy wagons in Sweden and charge about £1.50p or equiv per kilometre for the privledge.


Edited by davew3 (16th Sep 2010 2:09pm)

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#431607 - 16th Sep 2010 2:55pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: davew3]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7852
Loc: tranmere
Ridiculous isn't it, another tax arriving at the stores and supermarkets, how else do they expect goods to be transported, put a rail line through every street. Has common sense gone from life's curriculum.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#431613 - 16th Sep 2010 3:44pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: bert1]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9767
Loc: Birkenhead
If they hadn't destroyed the rail system I am sure we would have a much better transport system by now. Near enough every other country in the World relies much more heavily on rail than we do. Seeing a freight train here is almost a novelty.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#431629 - 16th Sep 2010 6:57pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: diggingdeeper]
CVCVCV Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1452
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
Reducing speed limits will not reduce road deaths because the people who cause fatal crashes (through fault of their own) are invariably doing something very stupid (such as driving so fast as to lose control, overtaking when there is someone coming the other way, driving whilst blotto, etc etc). They will do this regardless of how may signs we put up at the side of the road - regrettable though it may be.

As the saying goes, "you can't fix stupid".

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#431667 - 16th Sep 2010 9:44pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: CVCVCV]
Softy_Southerner Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 2nd May 2008
Posts: 4090
Loc: Back in Devon
I've driven over 800 miles in the last 3 days and it made me realise that the huge numbers of lorries on our roads is not just on M6!
Thinking about it - if all the lorries were to be taken off the road and goods put onto rail - how long do you think this country would keep solvent? I'd love to know how much revenue (road tax and fuel tax) these lorries bring to the treasury - I doubt the government can afford for them to come off the road

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#431675 - 16th Sep 2010 10:01pm Re: Lowering the speed limit - the debate continues! [Re: Softy_Southerner]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19082
Loc: Bob Land
I walk from Seacombe to Tranmere 3x a week (and back again) and witness atrocious driving on every journey. Red light runners, speeding, box blockers, disallowing emergency services, no signalling etc. Cant believe the amount of shit drivers that i witness!!!
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