50 mph limit is wrong tactic

Because of our geographical location, road users in the North East tend to drive longer miles. We also have precious few dual carriageways and no motorways.

That means – if some politicians get their way – that we will be limited to 50 mph on most of our roads.

The plan is that all single-carriageway roads would be limited to 50 mph, unless the local authority bothered to make a case to increase the limit to 60 mph.

This smacks of yet another easy option route for politicians who “want to be seen to be doing something”.

Government statistics show that, in only 5% of accidents, is exceeding the speed limit a factor. It follows, therefore that 19 out 20 road accidents have no link to exceeding speed limits.

So, you would think, that any politician on a crusade to improve road safety on what are already some of the safest roads in the world, would focus on factors that could potentially make the most improvement, wouldn’t you?

If they were they would start with the largest cause of accidents on our roads.

What is the most significant cause? Nothing more technical than a “failure to look properly”. That is a factor in around a third of all road accidents.

It’s ironic, then, that our politicians are proposing to make us take our eyes off the road more often to develop a fixed stare on our speedometers, not the road!

Do not misunderstand. I am not proposing speed anarchy. But, I do think we need to get our priorities right and take a measured approach that focuses on the real issues, not the easy, headline-grabbing options.
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