Monday, 21 December 2009

What would J S Mill say?

I am all for freedom for individuals. If you want a fancy car that can accelerate really quickly then that is up to you. However there should be some restraints on freedom. John Stuart Mill wrote a book about this subject called 'On Liberty'. If an action only affects the individual then they should be free to carry out that action but if others are affected then regulation is needed. In the case of any motor vehicle then we have plenty of regulations, one of which is the speed limit.

There are so many factors about one person's car that affects others. There is the obvious use of the earth's resources, the carbon footprint, the accidents caused and road rage. I am sure that the list could go on for a long time but I will concentrate on speed limits which are generally used for safety. They also have a use in fuel economy. Check out how much fuel is used at 56mph and then at 70mph and 56mph easily wins. As well as this my physics A level tells me that stopping and starting is not good if you don't like buying fuel - something to do with inertia.

The reason I am writing this blog is because so many people think it is alright to break the speed limit. Everyone is safe and it is their fuel. Well I was walking my dog in the centre of Lancaster. I was thinking of walking across the Carlisle bridge which happens to be 40mph. It was late at night and one of the few times when there is no traffic jam and I reckon that the vehicles were travelling at 50mph at least. I didn't feel safe walking there so I turned back after a few steps. J S Mill would say that all the dog walkers should be considered when setting speed limits.

Change the world

1 comment:

  1. Back to second bridge over the Lune...and basic consideration for others.
    So many people these days have the "I'm alright,Jack! pull the ladder up! " mentality.
    As I approach traffic lights..I take note of what they are doing, and adjust my speed acordingly
    I only ever walk my dogs locally in the evening....and with my mobile in a pocket......asthma..recently diagnosed has made me very cautious
    A few years back...taking a walk...even with dogs...where I live...would be unthought thanks to "regeneration" the area is better to walk around after dark