Monday, 31 August 2009

When is it safe to break the speed limit?

I had a Sunday wedding this week which means that Sunday and Monday have both been busy days. It is now 10pm and I have just finished working on the photos and they are now ready to go for printing, so apologies for the late posting.

The topic for this blog is not from a Sunday newspaper as I have not had time to read one but the wedding was in Clapham and I have driven along roads where I am not used to driving. I can't remember exactly where this was but one roadsign gave me alternate smiley faces and then my speed. Well that's nice and I presume it reminds others who are speeding with a face that frowns. I wonder if the frown increases as speed increases!

Another sign told me to slow down but I was one mile per hour under the speed limit. I found this really irritating. A piece of machinery is telling me that I am driving too fast but not telling me how much below the speed limit my speed should be. Another sign tells me that I am entering a village (Halton) and then an electronic sign next to me tells me my speed if I am ove 30mph. This is not speeding as I am slowing to 30mph. Again this is irritating although it makes sure that drivers get to 30mph when they reach the sign.

The problem with this is that the people who drive badly will not be affected. It's the same with speed cameras. Just spend a few minutes near one and you will see the worst drivers brake going into them and then accelerate away. I even saw two motorbike riders pass me at what may have been double the speed limit. Almost immediately I saw perhaps 30 parked riders (it is a popular route for bikers) and there was one police motor bike rider. I didn't see him rushing to his bike or to a phone. Speed may be thrilling (I have just heard one engine outside my house that sounded like 60mph - the limit is 4omph) but have a look at the local papers. Many bikers get killed. They will say that they are safe and any errors are the fault of the car drivers, but try saying that to the funeral director.

Change the world.


  1. try drivng through Coniston Cold!...from west to east!
    MPH 30...then nice lovely sign flashes at you 20 MPH,...nbo street signs,,,and the flowers entering Coniston Cold distract!

  2. Since you refer to driving through a village I take it you drove from somewhere else in the country into London (Streetmap shows several places called Halton)

    Writing as a rural resident - there are major problems with speeding in villages. From local meetings I have attended it seems that all too often the offenders are locals who need repeated reminding about the speed limit. The signs which show a smiley or a grimace depending on your speed relative to the limit seem to me to be a less confrontational way of trying to address the problem than using speed cameras.

    Are you implying that speeding in villages should be ignored? If not then what do you think should be done?

    I do share your concerns about bikers - all too many of them demonstrate their view that the rules of the road don't apply to them e.g. overtaking crossing a continuous double line approaching a bend.

  3. Apologies if I have upgraded or downgraded Halton between Morecambe and Clapham to a village.

    I want people to drive within the speed limit. It seems to me that the measures in place catch out the drivers who just go over the speed limit. My answer to speeding is to use technology and then enforce the law. The details would fill a couple of blogs but we should be aiming to stop the boy racers.