Numbers v context

On the Today Programme the other day, a road safety spokesman (I missed his name) said the only way to reduce accidents is to reduce speed limits. He wants 20mph in all urban areas. As I’ve written elsewhere, would you want to be hit by a bus doing 20? Nor would I. The Today Programme can be relied upon to air conventional arguments at the expense of provocative ones. The point, surely, is to drive according to context, not by numbers. If pedestrians are around, especially children, ket us proceed at walking pace so we can deal with the unexpected. In an equitable trade-off, if the road is clear, let’s drive at our own chosen speed rather than in fear of reprisal for not matching a number decided by an absent regulator. No sane person wants to hurt another, and that, combined with our instinct for self-preservation, will see to it that the chosen speed is the one that fits the circumstances. You can’t legislate for the insane, so why straitjacket the sane?

About Martin Cassini

Campaign founder and video producer, pursuing traffic system reform to make roads safe, civilised and efficient
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