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Monday 8 July 2013

Speed limits

I was on facebook a few minutes ago when a member asked why don't we abolish speed limits on motorways? Of course straight away comments were the usual. We need them to prevent accidents. I disagree.

Apart from the fact that the 70 mph speed limit was set when cars were fitted with drum brakes, no ABS, crossply tires, and dubious  suspension, this figure was just chosen at seemingly random.

My premise is that speed alone is not the killer. The killers are "Innapropriate speed and lack of spacial awareness. You shouldn't drive at 70 in thick fog, but why can't you drive at 100 mph on the M25 at 0300 in the morning in good conditions? How many drivers use all their mirrors? I must spend 30% of my time using my mirrors in order to build a mental picture of the vehicles around me.

One sign of a good motorway driver is that they use their brakes sparingly. This driver evaluates relative velocities in good time and eases of on the throttle  as required to cease closing with the vehicle ahead.

Personally I feel safer driving around the M25 in the rush hour than on a weekend when the Rover 45 owners club are out in force visiting relations.