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Motoring along quite happily at 30mph I decided to take my foot off the brake, I was burning out the brake pads, and cruise down the hill giving my feet a well-deserved rest. That was when it happened, at the other side of the road was a speed camera, well the lines weren’t on my side of the road so obviously I couldn’t get caught a little over the limit on the other side of the road. Wrong! Flash, looking around I realised there was no traffic at the other side of the road, it had got me.
This was nearly a month ago now and I have still not had the letter trough the door demanding the fine, I am not sure how much it is nowadays, and the three points for my license. Every time I hear the sound of the letterbox I cringe, is today the day it comes? My mother got flashed 4/5 months ago and she still has not received the dreaded letter, I know it is supposed to take a long time but that is just plain stupid. Me thinks she is not going to get it and that a lot of the cameras don’t have film in them, they just flash at you, or so I am hoping.
We all know what the speed limits are, it’s one of the first things the lovely driving instructor tells us. 30mph with street lamps, unless otherwise sign posted etc. Now although we all hate them the speed limits are there for a reason. It is for the protection of the pedestrians, you and other drivers.
Pedestrians… Imagine a road, quiet and with only a few cars, the speed limit is 30mph but you are in a rush. You decided that to cut a few seconds off your journey you’d go that little bit faster down the road. Then out of nowhere comes a young lad, only about 12 years old, on a bike. You fail to break in time and run into him. This little boy is then in hospital for nearly 6 months and when he comes out of the hospital his life has changed. He was an intelligent lad, but on his return to school he cannot concentrate or talk properly. And did I mention that he is now in a wheel chair? Think that’s going a little too far, well that happened to a friend of mine. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, he just stepped off the curb, if the car had been doing the 30mph it should have been then the accident would have been no where near as bad. You are more likely to kill someone at 35mph than at 30mph.
Other drivers… Ok well a collision will obviously be worse if one, or both, of the drivers are speeding. You have more control over the car when going at a slower speed and are in a lower gear, fact. How many off us actually obey that ‘2 second rule’, you know where you don’t tailgate. It’s easier said than done and we can all easily get that little bit too close. At a high speed image the car in front stopping quickly. Would you rather have a collision with another driver doing 30 or 60mph? I can tell you which I’d prefer. It’s not fair to the other drivers for you to be driving over the speed limit, they have to respond to you as well as the road.
You… Well you need to be in control of your car, isn’t that easier to do at a slower speed. Yes on the motorway you have a clearer view, more road to manoeuvre on and no people wandering about (in theory). Yet on the normal 30mph road what is there? Houses, schools, children, parked cars, all sorts of obstacles. Icy roads, slipping everywhere and running into a tree, at 40mph you’d be messed up a lot, at the speed limit, well a little less, I’m sure you can agree on that one!
Speed limits are set for a reason, they are due to the condition of the roads and the likely hood of obstacles. They are there for the protection of everyone and although you may think you can handle your car at 40mph on a 30 road, but could you really cope with the surprises that the road throws at you? Agree with them or not we should stick to the speed limits and be good little drivers.
Now then speed cameras, don’t you just hate them? I don’t have anything against the police trying to deter people from speeding, on the contrary I think more should be done, but speed cameras are not doing the job. There are numerous traps around where I live, but they are posted and then the white lines in the road give away where you’ll get caught. So what does the average motorist do? Slam the breaks on when it comes to tat little section of road, then speed up when they get past. Surely that’s not good driving, erratic I would call it. Even when they do happen to catch people out there doesn’t ever seem to e any film in them. I know numerous people who have been caught out and not received a letter about it is ridiculous. What is the point of having them if they don’t even work? Yes it is a deterrent but if people know they will not get fined if the flash them will we bother to even slow down for that little bit?
We can also look at the fact that the speed camera doesn’t show who was driving the car at the time of the incident. The letter goes to the owner and asks who was driving the car, surely this can cause a few problems. What if you are the owner of the car, and your spouse was driving, you have a clean license and they will lose theirs if caught for speeding. What do you do? Let your spouse lose their license or take the blame for him? The owner of the car should say if they was the driver, or if not who it was, but is it that straight forward?
What about the other ways of the police catching speeders, those little hand held radar guns. These are strategically positioned so that they get a lot of people. My aunt got caught doing 55mph on a 30mph road, they were stood right outside her house, where she couldn’t see them, and she was only slowing down to turn into the driveway! It’s a good idea for them to be placed where you cannot see them but when they blatantly hide the fact that they are there surely they must have something to hide.
The fact is that more often than not the positioning of speed cameras or radar guns is in a stupid place, like where you are going to be speeding up, as the speed limit changes or going down hill etc.
The new speed cameras they are introducing seem a lot better than the ones already in use but costing a lot more money more motorists will need to e caught to pay for them. These new cameras monitor drivers for a set stretch of road, mainly a whole road, and are not disclosed, so it’s a little more difficult to avoid them and slow down for that little bit of road.
The sad fact is that a lot of drivers are unable to regulate their speed themselves, it is so easy to let your speed creep up and go out of control. A new approach to regulating speeds is needed to ensure we do keep in the limits, they are there for a reason and we should stick to them. As for the ‘boy racers’ they should have some form of electronic chip implanted in them to make them stick to the speed limit, they annoy me so much, it’s not big and it’s not ‘cool’ to do 30mph over the limit and speed round corners. It will cause accidents, no matter how good of a driver you are.
If the speed limits didn’t protect us would they be there? Society has rules for our protection, on and off the roads. You are not only endangering your life but that of others, think about people other than yourself. What will it take? A knocked down child, a life threatening crash or a banged up car on the side of the road? Be aware of other people and the fact that if you have a fatal accident how will your family react? Stick to the speed limits, even if you don’t agree with them, we all have to do it, so be sensible!
A fantastic opinion; I'm 17 and lots of my "freinds" pass their driving test and then whizz all over the place at twice the speed limit. I personally am against this, imagine how bad it would be to kill someone? I do feel like I am in the minority though, so here's to more ops like this. Cheers, Timmy.