80MPH Motorway Speed Limit Trial to Go Ahead?
Whilst its not been announced for sure, it seems the government are to press ahead with trials of the proposed 80mph motorway speed limit.
The government intends to roll out a trial in areas where variable speed cameras operate to monitor driver’s behaviour, before deciding if it should go ahead with plans to up the national limit from 70mph to 80mph.
Needless to say, not everyone’s happy with this, or the prospect of an increased limit, claiming its going to be gambling with people’s lives as critics have claimed. The road safety charity “Brake” say that all the evidence points to higher speeds resulting in more crashes and more casualties. They say they can’t understand the logic behind the proposed increase and say that on congested motorways, the increase in limit is unlikely to shorten journey times and in fact, could lengthen them by creating an un-even flow of traffic between cars and trucks. Brake, not wanting to miss a trick, says that 80mph would see our cars use more fuel and chuck out more by way of emissions.
Needless to say, Brake is calling on the government to ditch its plans for both the trial and the proposed increase to 80mph.
The government says that the plans to increase the limit to 80mph, which were first, announced in October 2011, would speed up journey times and help boost the economy. Furthermore, the government points out that research has shown that half of drivers already exceed the speed limit and this new initiative would merely decriminalise this activity.
So what do we all think? If you travel anywhere by car, you will know that what ever the speed limit, that people ignore it. We’ve all been driving at bang on the limit at some time, yet still been overtaken and clearly, that’s either because the other driver is in a big hurry, or that they simply don’t respect the speed limit, because in their opinion, its too low, or maybe they are just crazy? who knows. Fact is that no one speed limit seems to satisfy everyone
As a casual observer, and really not wanting to stir things up, it seems that the mental attitude of a particular driver at any particular moment is what controls the speed they will travel at and one of the worst thing to wind a driver up is to sit for mile after mile behind two trucks, blocking both lanes whilst the one on the inside lane who can only do 56mph, is overtaken by the truck on the outside lane who is perhaps a bit lighter and can do 56.5mph. It’s maddening and you can see drivers just nailing it as they eventually get past, irrespective of what the limit might be.
Brake talk about un-even traffic flow, but this matter of trucks, really is a serious issue that should be attended to with all urgency and we suggest that the good guys and gal’s at Brake spend a week driving up and down the A14 and telling us how to rectify this problem which actually exists, before trying to put the block on something we don’t yet know the impact of.