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Should the speed limit be changed?

(19 Posts)
popsiclegran Mon 07-Nov-11 11:25:14

Following the awful and distressing crash over the weekend, should the government look again at the decision to raise the speed limit?

absentgrana Mon 07-Nov-11 11:37:48

More to the point, should it be doing something to make drivers more aware of thinking about the right speed for the conditions in which they are driving. Whatever the initial cause of this awful crash in Somerset, people were driving too fast and too close, couldn't stop in time and the terrible pile-up ensued.

MrsJamJam Mon 07-Nov-11 11:41:24

Why can't we have a system like some of the continent with a lower limit for fog/rain/spray and a fairly high limit for good visibility and dry roads.

And why are some drivers apparently incapable of realising how much space they need to leave between them and the car in front?

jingle Mon 07-Nov-11 11:53:35

It is totally ridiculous that the government is even thinking of raising the speed limit.

This is the motorway that my son uses when he comes home to visit. Is it awful to feel some relief that the police think it was caused by the firework display? If it was normal weather conditions that caused it, surely the overhead temporary signs would have been slowing traffic down.

Not sure what else the government can do to educate people. Those light-up signs should be enough.

jingle Mon 07-Nov-11 11:55:35

*Mrs Jam-Jam, we already do have variable speed limits. Those overhead signs are legally enforceable. They are not just suggestions of speed.

Mishap Mon 07-Nov-11 13:30:26

Ridiculous indeed - when there was a petrol shortage and the limit went down to 50 mph there was a huge reduction in accidents/injuries/fatalaities.
We simply do not NEED to travel so fast - why do people want to do this? We sacrifice so much in the name of speed - of getting somewhere 10 minutes sooner - WHY?
There needs to be a change of perception so that a speeding conviction is regarded with the same horror as if someone had been brandishing a loaded gun in public - it really is no different, as cars are lethal weapons.
Programmes that treat the car as a toy do not help - like Top Gear.
And the whole antipathy to speed cameras is so bizarre - they are regarded as an offence to civil liberties - but the liberty to exceed the speed limit is one that we should not be allowed. Why fear speed cameras if you are not breaking teh law?
Politicians are too cowardly to take brave steps to reduce the accident toll as they know they would be unpopular.

Taptap Tue 03-Jan-12 19:00:14

Now retired from the Ministry of Transport (they have changed the name nowadays) for more than 30 years, I investigated many, many fatal accidents.
I soon found out that I could switch off from the initial reaction that people had died. One of the details that I came across, not widly known, was the monetary cost to everyone for each fatality. The current average update cost is approx. 1.4 million pounds per fatality. The current speed limit on a single two lane road (referred to as the NSL (National Speed Limit)) is 60 mph. The total impact speed is 120 mph, so no guessing what happens here. As far as expecting someone to follow you at a safe stopping distance, dream on. If you actually see a motorcycle travelling at 30 mph please don't react you are definitely dreaming.

JessM Tue 03-Jan-12 19:07:45

Hi there taptap that is an astounding figure. But if you add up all the hours of work by all those people... that would come to a lot for starters.
The motorways here in the middle of the uk are pretty scary. I think they would work better if either there was an attempt to get everyone moving at the same speed as they do on stretches of the M25, or restrict lorries to the inside lane (during peak flow hours at least). This would spread traffic more evenly rather than getting the scary bunching in the outside lane of those who want to go faster than 60. What do your reckon?

goldengirl Tue 03-Jan-12 21:36:13

It seems that whatever speed is set - or suggested as per 'Twenty is Plenty' in some areas - there will always be idiots who think they know better, and they don't seem to get caught. It seems to be the person just doing over the 30mph limit that gets the ticket [or perhaps that's just my imagination]. I was driving my granddaughter home tonight up the motorway and the weather today as you know was pretty frightful and there was a lot of spray. Up the 'fast' lane comes a black fancy car at break neck speed - madness! I had to smile though when he came off the same sliproad as I did and had to screech to a halt at the traffic lights. What did he achieve, I wonder? Perhaps its something to do with compensating for small appendages confused

Greatnan Wed 04-Jan-12 06:20:55

It is so annoying when you are sticking to the speed limit and some idiot drives right up your back bumper, trying to get you to go faster.

JessM Wed 04-Jan-12 07:16:41

It is interesting though that on the M25 and elsewhere, where the max speed is put up on the gantrys for all lanes e.g. 50, pretty much everyone complies and of course the traffic flows much more smoothly. Maybe you just have to have a big enough sign.
It is 20mph in our estate and the road skirts a park, but some days you would never guess, they treat the traffic calming bumps as a challenge.

Greatnan Wed 04-Jan-12 08:50:38

My village has permanent traffic calming with chicanes made of cones - it really works.

Annobel Wed 04-Jan-12 09:17:51

I had to go on a speed awareness course (yes, I did get caught) where we were told that there were no speed cameras on motorways except in areas where a speed limit was specified, for example, in roadworks. There may, however, be radar traps on flyovers, I think.

Carol Wed 04-Jan-12 09:24:33

Hahaha Annobel now I have to confess, too! I have to go a a traffic light awareness course. Only you know so if it gets out, I know where it's come from! A couple of months ago I was driving to my sister's house in Bury, where cameras abound, worrying about my daughter and her tiny babies in SCBU, and before I knew it I had gone through a red light. How embarrassing to have to go on this flippin' course. Did you go to Carrington?

Annobel Wed 04-Jan-12 10:32:06

It was the Thames Valley cameras that got me. Twice in about 7 minutes, on a Bank Holiday Sunday on a quiet road with hardly any traffic about. I was fined for the 42mph and sent on a course for the 35mph. The DSs made me buy a satnav that warns me if I exceed the speed limit. One DS has been on two speed awareness courses so no cause for him to be self-righteous!

Elegran Wed 04-Jan-12 11:34:15

Greatnan i heard somewhere of someone who was so annoyed at being tailgated that he waited until he was on a narrow country road and then stopped (gently) so that the other car had to stop behind him. He went round to the back of the car, opened the boot and then stood waiting. After a while the driver wound down the window and asked what he was waiting for. "I thought that if you wanted to climb into my boot I would make it easier for you ...."

Dangerous thing to do though - he could have had his face punched in.

Carol Wed 04-Jan-12 12:02:39

I have a feisty friend who was being tailgated by a boy racer as she was driving home with her shopping. At red traffic lights, she got out, taking a tub of margarine with her, and proceeded to smear his windscreen with it, then calmly wiped her hands on her sleeves, got back in her car and drove off. She didn't dare look back to see what was happening at the junction.

Greatnan Wed 04-Jan-12 12:03:49

In France, the vehicle following is usually a huge lorry, so I don't think I will risk it!
I have only once been booked for speeding. I was approaching Seville on a long, straight road and playing Ravel's Bolero on my CD player. As the music gained speed, so did I! The Spanish police were very nice but I still had to pay an on the spot fine of €145. I should have stuck to The Dance of the Swans.

Greatnan Wed 04-Jan-12 12:05:44

My daughter was stopped by the police in New Zealand for driving too slowly! If you drop much below the limit, your are deemed to be causing an obstruction - there are many roads where over-taking is impossible.
She thinks the policeman was just peeved because she noticed him ahead and slowed down, so that all the cars behind her had to slow, and he didn't get anyone to book.