It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Slow down

Posted by chrisrick13 on April 2, 2018

It is obvious: I don’t like a lot of the laws of this country

There are roads near where I live that I won’t drive along any more. Most of the roads around my house now have a 20 mph limit.  I was going to say it was a recent change but it isn’t.  Some of the roads should have a speed limit of 40 mph – 30 mph did not seem right and now they are 20 mph. If I drive at the speed limit long convoys build behind me. Many drivers make risky maneuvers to get past me. Many drivers are angry at me…for obeying the speed limit. I can’t handle it. I take different routes just to avoid certain roads.

Last week I was talking to a friend who had just been on a speed awareness course (caught speeding). He reported from the course that the reason there were no speed cameras in 20 mph areas was because the current generation of cameras cannot accurately record speeds that low. However the new generation do!  There will be a big payday coming soon.

Another friend argued with me about ‘making money’ out of speed cameras. I maintained my well advertised stance that if you wanted to give extra to society by breaking the law that was your choice. The cameras would not make money if the cars passing them were travelling at the speed limit or less.

The argument back was that it was different for traffic offenses such as speeding as it was often very difficult not to speed in some places where the cameras were (deliberately) placed. Peer pressure is very difficult to stand up against – I can’t.  I have found that driving my car at 20 mph is very difficult. 6 gears and 3rd is too high for 30 mph almost but certainly for 20 mph. I have to drive around in 2nd and that feels very odd.  There should be some pressure on car manufacturers to make cars comfortable to drive at 20 mph.

Somehow though it is unfair to make money out of a speed camera. Why is it there? To encourage people to obey the law. Why 20 mph? Because fewer accidents happen and fewer people die when they do happen.

There is a similar argument for illegal parking. Bah! So I started on the prostitute’s question. Is it reasonable to have speed cameras and speeding fines? No it is not. Is it reasonable to have life in prison (25 years actually) for premeditated murder. Yes it is. So somewhere between those two there are laws that it is ok to ignore and those that it is not. Please tell me where the line is? Rape? Manslaughter? Robbery? Mugging?  Fraud? And why should your ‘line’ be the one. Thought we had parliament and the judiciary to handle that?

The short answer is that the law is the law. If you choose which bits apply to you then you are breaking the law when you ignore the bits that don’t. Expect it to cost you in some fashion.

It is obvious: I don’t like a lot of the laws of this country which is not a good enough reason to ignore them


2 Responses to “Slow down”

  1. Lord Warden said

    Why not make the speed limit 5 MPH, on all roads? That would save thousands of lives every year. It would make cars cheaper too because you wouldn’t need a gearbox. Ah, sorry, that wouldn’t be acceptable to society. Some deaths are acceptable. Where is your line?

    Digressing a little, why isn’t every car with type-approval for use on British roads speed-limited at manufacture to 70 MPH?

    It’s all a temporary thing. In a decade or two, no vehicle will be under human control, and traffic and parking violations will be history.

    To address your point, to me 20 MPH feels over-restrictive. That’s partly because of a lifetime of habituation to 30 MPH.
    Remember that a 30 limit doesn’t mean you have to drive at 30; you are expected to drive at a safe speed which is not greater than the speed limit.
    Being obliged to drive at 20 along a clear, wide road with good visibility seems senseless. So it’s a bad law in many instances. But impossible to repeal as supporters can deploy the untrumpable Think of the Children line.

    If it’s school chucking-out time, or at any time I’m driving along a narrow road with parked cars, I, like most people, reduce my speed accordingly.
    I think you can be done for dangerous driving even under the speed limit, so laws already exist.

    Stating the bleedin’ obvious, hostility to speeding and parking fines exists because they are well-oiled money-making machines, in addition to enforcing the law.

    A flash of a camera (many don’t flash) and you are tried, convicted and the fine drops through your letterbox in a few days. Surprised you can’t set up a Direct Debit linked to your registration to make the process even easier.

    If you set the speed limit below what ‘feels right’, such that the average joe will exceed it, you have a magic money tree.

    What are your thoughts on self-driving cars? Logically they should be permitted, and then mandatory, as soon as they have a better driving record than humans. But it makes world-wide headline news when 1 self-driving car kills 1 person, even though over 100 people are killed every day on USA roads by human drivers (I don’t have the per-mile stats).

  2. I am not happy with the 20mph limit or the way it has been done, or not done.

    I have found that spending a lot of time driving around at 20mph, that driving at 30mph no longer feels odd or slow. I think that when I’m in a 30mph limit I am now a lot safer and probably better driver. Certainly you have more control of your car and longer reaction times when it is going slower.

    My opinions on 20mph limits are irrelevant: it is the law and I should obey it.

    Speeding fines are a tax on stupidity. Perhaps a tax on agression, arrogance and testosterone. I have yet to make a volountary contribution to the treasury. Working at the end of a long motorway commute one of my co-workers was doing the same and over 4 days took himslef over 12 points and out of his car. That road was safer without him though only for a couple of months. Drink driving has become socially unacceptable with huge penalties. With a little social engineering speeding could be taken to the same place.

    Self-driving cars are a lot closer than most of us think. It is a good enough argument that more people will be alive as a result. However there are many times that number with serious phyisical injuries and mental damage who will not have that. A huge cost in money and human misery avoided. Our energy consumption as a nation will be much more efficient as these cars will drive slower and in an efficient manner. So many times have I been overtaken by someone who then has to stand on their brakes a hundred yards down the road for lights or other traffic when I have just drifted up to the blockage only needing a slight dab on the brakes. The optimal throughput on a road is not achieved at the maximum speed. Soon enough the public will become inured to driverless car deaths! Now that there are 2 deaths the deaths per million passenger miles can be compared and I read (sorry no reference) that humans are 18 times worse than computers.

    Driving slow at school in or out times is not a ‘most people’ event. It is only slow because of parked cars on each side turning the road into a single carriageway. The school nearest to me has turned the road into an assault course in its attempts to get the speed of cars down.

    I had quite forgotten (in my anger) that 20mph or 30mph is a maximum. Imagine if I drove around at 10mph. In poor conditions I still see a lot of drivers who do not adjust their speed.

    There is an element of trust here that I just do not have: obey the law and all will be well, at least as far as speed is concerned. General Semantics has a lot to say on this subject.


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