Thin end of the wedge?

While I dont have a problem with the 20mph limit in residential areas, I feel that government should be focusing on driving standards rather than the rather blunt instrument of just cutting speed. No doubt they will enforce the 50mph with average speed cameras. Obviously cagers can still use their mobile, fiddle with their sat nav, stereos, heated seats etc, tailgate, lane swap etc etc with much fear of being caught. Cynical, me???

I cant see why they dont spend a bit of time & money on educating people not to step in the road as its dangerous! :smiley:

If people wander in to the road when a cars coming, how is that the motorists fault - Dont these people watch eastenders? Wasnt Janeen’s fault! :stuck_out_tongue:

Driving standards IMHO have got worse in the last five years - cagers seem more distracted and impatient than ever - which usually leads to us getting clobbered when they turn into/pull out of junctions enter roundabouts too quickly because they are not paying attention.I’d wager that people’s attention spans have become shorter due to technological and cultural shifts which include television channel surfing while viewing the internet and taking a mobile phone call simaltaneously - this multi - tasking attitude is carried over into driving where people will be listening to music, talking to their passengers and sending a text/making a phone call and driving all at the same time.

Motorcyclists need to be on their guard and riding defensively as never before - I’ve got the metal in my leg to prove it.

p.s. And yet I will get clobbered with points for slightly straying over the speed limit and not endangering anyone.

I agree, driving standards have gone through the floor.

There appears to be little or no regard for the law. How many years has the mobile phone law been in, yet I see so many people doing it. Speeding is a quick and easy headline grabber. Putting more rozzers on the streets would help - but that costs money.

I think this isn’t at the thin end any more, we’ve already had several years of enforcing that which is easy to enforce, rather than that which ensures safety.

As gets repeatedly said in these discussions, most of the worst driving I see happens well below the speed limit, and is essentially legal - I’ve seen police stand by and watch all sorts of bad driving, moreso than I’ve seen them sitting with a speedgun. In fact, it’s rare I see them in any other situation. And the big issue is that this is (probably) not because of the individual officers themselves - certainly none that I’ve spoken to - it’s just that they’re told to basically focus on the easy enforcement of measuring speed.

Its all about revenue. A 20mph speed limit will not eradicate idiocy but allows for someone to be seen to be doing something.

and for the police to fine people that arent doing 20mph - its pathetic.

Just looked at this story on electronic Telegraph, and ther’s an accompanying article describing how one parish council has decided not to repair pothholes as they’re a ‘natural’ traffic calming method.

Almost unbeleviable that deranged people like this make decisions concerning othe road users safety by leaving f’in great holes in the road!

Like most of you I found myself shouting various expletives at the TV yesterday over this, given that as a biker commuting into Central London without fail every single day I avoid a ‘nearly’, or ‘very nearly’ collision with someone - SINGLE HANDEDLY - ‘having a go’ at driving a car or van while doing lots of other stuff. I know, there’s lots of terribly interesting things to play with in cars and bored cagers in their boxes like to take the moral highground, but honestly, when it happens, and it probably will, at least they’ll have their fookin iphone in their hands ready to call the ambulance and film the carnage ready for YouTube and their insurance claim.

Speed is really not the issue - it’s the fookin morons who simply can’t drive with any reasonable level of awareness and pigheadedly don’t recognise that as being the problem. Can we not simply avoid shitness on our roads instead of giving the speed-haters a boner?

[…gets down from his rant-box]. I’m having a cruddy day at work so thought I’d cheer myself up.:wink:

A T-shirt of mine. got it from

I could rant about this too as I don’t think speed is the issue. It would be nice to see their facts about speed and accidents and a reasonable educated response from one of the biking/motoring bodies.

Let’s hope it’s all huffy puffy hot air!

One thing nobody seems to have picked up on is that this is all due to pressure on the Govt to meet an EU requirement (to halve road deaths between 2000 and 2010) that it has signed up to.
[wrote the thread then found this]:

These measures are being chosen as they are cheap and more effective measures (eg. better road design, repair road surfaces) are being ignored as they cost money. Poor Alistair is getting desperate for money to keep his Govt/the country afloat.

Once we had the safest roads in Europe, but over the past few years we have fallen increasingly behind.

The main reasons for our comparative fall are that other countries have taken action - a mixture of what we have done and new measures - and that our falling rates has been arrested.

Having driven extensively on the continent - just about all the European countries - what strikes me as blindingly obvious is that the quality of our roads has deteriorated well below the average European standard.

It infuriates me that the Govt concentrates on speed enforcement whilst letting roads deteriorate as they milk vehicle owners for more and more money and spending a fraction of the tax take on roads.

The latest figure I saw for the maximum amount of money councils were allowed to spend to save a life by road redesign/rework was £100,000. This is a joke.

Until we do what Sweden has done - rework roads to remove dangers - we will always struggle to reduce the accident rate. IMO, blanket reductions in speed limits will not save lives, as any improvement due to lower speeds that occur will be more than offset by worsening due to people’s watching for Mr Plod & speed cameras and not paying attention to what is going on.

It’s so bad here in Surrey/Sussex/Kent that I think my biggest danger on a bike is the state of the roads not cagers doing silly things. My road taxes are being stolen…call the Police.

Be careful out there!


I do believe that reducing speed limits from 30 to 20 will save lives. Apart from changing the signs where necessary and changing the cameras it’s an easy thing to do.

It will also be a good revenue raiser. Yes there will be people killed because drivers who are frustrated at going 20 and hence not concentrating as much.

However once the death figures go down there will be pressure to reduce deaths even more.

So maybe motorways will go down to 60 and other speeds limits that are 50 will go to 40 etc etc.

Within 15 years we’ll all be crawling along in our electric cars and bikes. I think the EU will eventually go down the speed limiter route.

What the government should do is give one year bans to those caught using mobile whilst driving. Second offence lose your license for good.

I was picking my eldest boy up from school a few months ago and whilst parked up I saw 5 people driving whilst on their mobiles. There were school kids crossing roads - madness.

I have a good idea, we could have people walk in front of the cars with flags! thereby reducing accidents as they would be able to spot a possible accident in advance and warn the pedestrian not to step out in front of the car. Sorted! :smiley:

Other than where there are clear reasons for doing so there will be no reduction in speed limits on motorways as no matter which way you measure it they are by far the safest roads there are. The countries that have had the greatest increases in safety in europe are those which have but the most new motorways, therebye taking traffic away from smaller roads which is where most of the deaths occur.

Do you not think the temptation would be there though?

Let’s say there are 400 deaths on average per year on the motorways.

It is an easy target to say well if we reduce the limit to 65 we think that, the figures will drop to 300 deaths.

This is not being done for road safety, it is being done to increase revenues from Fixed Penalty Notices.

If this government was serious about road safety there are other measures that are far more effective. Introduce driver assessment every ten years. Actual enforcement of the existing traffic laws.

In the last ten years the number of traffic officers patrolling our roads has dropped dramatically, and the result is an increase of appalling driving.

Also the number of immigrants who have not taken the driving test and yet are on the roads.

No the only reason to drop the speed limit is to raise money for government coffers. And sadly I’m not being cynical.


This is just box ticking. Why invest time, hard work and money to teach people to be safe when you can just lower the limit and install ‘safety’ cameras?About 40% of accidents are on rural A roads but they account for more than half the KSI’s - perverted logic seems to be that you’ll cut the figure dramatically if you tackle this 40%. The <6% of accidents on motorways aren’t worth bothering about: why do the peelers turn a blind away to the 90+mph speeds most motorists do on motorways?

My logic suggest that the 60% of urban accidents are easiest to tackle - a drop in speed from 40 to 30 increases survival chances dramatically. Isn’t this easier to enforce and more effective? What speed would you have to drop from a rural 60 to dramtically improve survivability? You’ll die at 50 if you fluff that right hander up as easily as you’ll die at 60.

Which brings me to the stats. Most of those rural KSI’s are on right hand bends. They don’t focus on that. So going 50 on a straight A road is no less risk to those dying on a right hand bend at 40mph. What are they going to do about THAT?

Last time I was in the States, I read about their ‘road straightening’ programme - ironing out the bends in “lethal” rural roads (speed limit usually 55mph on such roads)…

Sorry - what’s KSI?