The speed trap

If the law is an ass, nowhere is it more asinine than in the traffic arena. “Speed kills,” we are told. No. It’s speed in the wrong hands, or inappropriate speed that can kill.

Who is the better judge of what speed to go – you and me at the time and the place, or limits fixed by absent regulators?

The grown-up approach to authentic road safety is learning to drive by context, not numbers. If pedestrians, especially children are near, let us proceed at walking pace. On busy streets, even 20 is too fast, yet limits license speed at that limit, absolving drivers of guilt in the event of an “accident”. Would you want to be hit by a bus doing 20mph? Six year-old Ben Alston was.

As a sensible trade-off, on the open road, let us, within reason, choose our own speed.

Brake! would claim that driving by context is a licence to drive without due care and attention. No. It’s a blueprint for driving with true care and attention.

Lilliputian laws bind us into knots over the extortion racket otherwise known as “speeding”.

The crucifying lengths to which MPs have gone to escape the racket have landed some of them in jail, LibDem Chris Huhne and Labour’s Fiona Onasanya among them.

Boris Johnson shot himself in the foot over Partygate with his rigid lockdown rules. Had he used guidelines instead, he would have been free to congregate carefully with colleagues without it ultimately costing his job.

It’s likely that Braverman was causing no danger or inconvenience, and driving sensibly for the conditions. But she was caught by rigid rules that allow no discretion or leeway.

It’s understandable that she would want to avoid attending a public “speeding” course. But instead of bending over backwards to engineer a private course for herself – a course which only parrots the asinine tropes of current traffic law – she could be introducing reform of the puerile rules of the road.

Those rules entrap and criminalise the otherwise innocent citizen on his/her simple quest to go about his/her lawful business with the minimum fuss, unmolested by vexatious rules that override commonsense and seek to make simpering subjects of us all.

About Martin Cassini

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