Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why does the government hate motorists?

Over the last few years I've noticed a considerable number of roads which I am very familiar with have had their speed limits reduced. I've no doubt that the reasons given for these reductions will be concerns over "safety", but I've known those years for decades and most - if not all - are not and never have been accident black spots. Now it seems that what was a covert operation to reduce speed limits is coming into the open.

The speed limit on A-roads will be reduced to 50mph in an attempt cut the number of road deaths by a third.

Everyone knows that in most cases where excessive speed is involved in accidents the drivers were ignoring the speed limits. It doesn't matter if you set the limit at 60 or 50 mph - a speeding driver will still go faster than they are permitted so it won't make any difference.

What I find so annoying about this is that the government are effectively punishing everyone for the sins of the few. I'm not bothered by speed cameras simply because I don't speed. Having said that I'd still abolish them if I had my way, but that's another issue.

Reducing speed limits - like sleeping policemen - impacts the law abiding driver far more than it will impact the speeder. A stretch of winding country road near me has recently been reduced from a 60 mph limit to a 30 mph limit. It makes no sense. There aren't lots of houses nearby - just a few very large homes and farms - and as long as you keep to sixty the road isn't the least bit dangerous, but the road is what would be considered a "fun" and challenging stretch of road for anyone who fancies a spot of hard driving.

I've been overtaken on that road while doing sixty by cars which must have been approaching 100 mph. Reducing the speed limit will not stop them doing that, but what it will do is make the likelihood of a collision more likely as a speeder rounds a bend at 90 mph to find themselves behind someone obeying the 30 mph speed limit.

As I've said, this impacts the law-abiding driver more than the speeder. So why do the government treat drivers this way? Incidentally, that stretch of road was changed without any warning or notification - and this has been the case for most of the roads which have seen their speed limit reduced. A short stretch of the A4 between Slough and Maidenhead had been a 50 mph limit for as long as I can remember it - recently it was reduced to 40 for no apparent reason and with no warning about the change. Are they deliberately trying to catch law-abiding motorists out?

Oh, one last thing. For God's sake get rid of these stupid yellow backgrounds they are putting on signs. The shape of the sign is important - it is round, triangular or rectangular for a reason (or octagonal in one case) - so if you put a stupid square yellow background behind it it changes the nature of that sign - especially if the view is restricted for some reason. If your eyesight is so bad that you can't see the signs without the yellow background you probably shouldn't be driving in the first place!

I'm really fed up with this war on drivers. If the government were really serious about reducing road deaths they'd address the real issue - illegal (often foreign) drivers in unroadworthy vehicles and young drivers who are able to pass their test and gain access to cars capable of 100 mph + which accelerate faster than an E-Type Jaguar.

Stop punishing us all collectively and instead concentrate on and punish the law breaker and wrong doer.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good point about drivers rounding a corner at 90 and ploughing into the law-abiding soul doing 30 just ahead - I, for one, will be keeping a close eye on my rear-view mirror.

I suspect a hidden agenda on behalf of the cycle mafia; how many times on that winding road have you found yourself stuck behind the lycra-clad rear of a cyclist going uphill at 5.3mh?

A 30mph limit will encourage more of them to use these roads; laudable in theory but arguably a major hazard on bends and hills.

TheFatBigot said...

I wonder whether reducing speed limits is an indication that maintaining roads will be a target for spending cuts.

The saddest effect of the war on motorists is the absence of your Sunday Drives.

Anonymous said...

"What I find so annoying about this is that the government are effectively punishing everyone for the sins of the few."

That's what annoys me about this government. Whether you're talking about motoring, guns, knives, or child abuse - if it happens just once, there's got to be this knee-jerk reaction, more often than not an extended investigation (which costs a fortune) and often a complete overhaul of the law in whatever area you're talking about.

Fast-driving doesn't cause accidents, bad driving does.

By the way, you're comment on illegal drivers being bad drivers was extremely offensive and racist. There shall be an ofcom investigation on you and a subsequent ban on blogging about how inadequate our government is.

-Lawrence

Anonymous said...

"What I find so annoying about this is that the government are effectively punishing everyone for the sins of the few."

That's what annoys me about this government. Whether you're talking about motoring, guns, knives, or child abuse - if it happens just once, there's got to be this knee-jerk reaction, more often than not an extended investigation (which costs a fortune) and often a complete overhaul of the law in whatever area you're talking about.

Fast-driving doesn't cause accidents, bad driving does.

By the way, you're comment on illegal drivers being bad drivers was extremely offensive and racist. There shall be an ofcom investigation on you and a subsequent ban on blogging about how inadequate our government is.

-Lawrence

David Vance said...

Stan,

It's the freedom we have that they hate, I believe. The fascists in power want to control everything we do and the fact that our cars give is independence of movement annoys them, Hence the taxes, the curtailments, the prosecution. This government will not fight a war against Islamic terrorists but it gladly will take on the motorist.

Henry Crun said...

It's just wearing us down for the day when electirc cars become compulsory.