The Curse of the Lead Right Foot
According to "government figures" 67% of all road accident fatalities happen on A and B roads in Britain, so, in an attempt to eradicate this "epidemic", the speed limit on these roads is to be lowered from 60 to 50 miles per hour. Now, if you take these hopeless statistics at face value as the Government does, then dropping the speed limit to 50 mph on such roads would seem to be a prudent move; but remember, that back in the glorious days of The Empire there was a word for such easily influenced people, and that word was A*HOLES!
Anyone with half a brain would be able to point out three or four fundamental flaws in this logic. Firstly, the reason that 67% of such accidents occur on such roads is that (a) there are a hell of a lot more A & B roads than there are motorways, dirt tracks, paths wide enough for a very irresponsible drive, and (b) therefore a greatly higher percentage of traffic uses these roads as a result. Ergo: the more traffic, the more accidents.
Lowering the speed limit is a knee jerk reaction to a problem that is, on the whole, no worse than it was 10 years ago. Let's not forget that sitting in a motorised steel box and then propelling it down any road in the world at 60 mph is a dangerous and unnatural state for a human being. Cars are dangerous, very dangerous; we accept that as read every single day of our lives so why is the Government getting its knickers in such a twist?
Apparently 267 people died on British roads last year (will check this figure later and amend if necessary), 365 days in a year, hundreds of miles of roads in a country of close to 60 million people. Am I the only person who thinks that that figure's not too bad? I am obviously the only person who realises that death on the roads will never be eradicated in just the same way that death's in say, hospitals will always happen; it's the nature of the beast. Lowering the speed limit won't do a damn thing. Accidents happen all too often because people make mistakes at the most inopportune moments.
Speed doesn't necessarily kill; inappropriate speed kills. My father once gave me th most insightful piece of advice about driving:
1. Drive like everyone else onteh road is either drunk, blind or mad
2. Never exceed you abilities or the abilities of your car.
If everyone on the road could actually take heed of just how dangerous cars are, they could be sensible and realise that they are not God's gift behind the wheel, then the problem of death on the roads would irradicate itself. There would be no need for any kind of speed limit anywhere.
Unfortunately, most people have been driving for so long that they have become apathetic to just how much damage their car can do. They no longer look at road situations as carefully as they did when they were a driving novice; remember what MTV said about pollution 15-20 years ago. "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem".
Government know they can't legislate to prevent this so they think that making us all drive a bit slower wil be the next best thing. This thinking is, for want of a better word, retarded. The least you could say would be extremely over optimistic.
That said, the reduction of the speed limit isn't my main beef with what the Government are planning to do. To enforce the new regulations, they plan to use "passive speed cameras" which, in pairs, calculate the average speed by noting how long any given vehicle takes to cover the distance between them. This would undoubtedly involve noting, by a digital photograph, every single vehicle that passes them. This, I think, is extremely wrong. It's one more step towards the Big Brother society. (By Big Brother I am, of course, referring to the book 1984 and not the incredibly shtie Channel 4 programme).
The Government obviously now thinks that none of us can be trusted to adher to any traffic laws so must come up with ever more invasive ways of keeping an eye on all those motoring scumbags and who's to say that such technology won't be used to check every detail of every car that passes by 'cause if someone got away with taxing their car a week late, then the sky would fall in, wouldn't it.
Which leads me to my final point on this matter. At a time where everyone in the country is feeling the pinch, when even banks have to be saved from financial ruin, the health service is more under funded than it has ever been, and mass un-employment means more taxes lost and more benefits paid out. How much is this whole speed limit thing going to cost and who's going to end up paying for it.
This whole idea is so flawed taht it truly beggars belief. We are being governed by idiots. No, actually that's an insult to idiots everywhere. Our Government is truly plumbing the depths of moronic behaviour and it truly is time for us, the motoring public to say enough is enough, our country is disappearing up its own a****hole and it's our own Government who is leading the way.
So for God's sake, protest!
It's truly overdue.