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Speed kills - or inappropriate speed does.
Speed Cameras and Speed Limits
Member Name: littlem91
Speed Cameras and Speed Limits
Advantages: Money makers
Disadvantages: At worst, cause accidents
Speed cameras and speeding - the largest argument since drink driving.
So to jump straight in, here's my problem - speed by itself doesn't kill. Inappropriate speed for the road or conditions, does. If I'm going past a school at letting out time, even the 20MPH isn't always safe - because often children have very little road sense, plus they're excited just after school. Somebody could be legally doing 18 and still injure or even kill a child.
Likewise on most of the country lanes in Cornwall, doing the theoretical 60MPH speed limit would really just be a dangerous suicide attempt.
So that's where the point of speed limits being a limit, not a target, come in.
Currently the way you're taught to drive is you should be going as fast as is reasonably able to be considered safe for the road - ie you should be able to stop in the distance you can see to be safe. If you go at 20 in a 60 when it's safe to be doing 60, you may well fail your test for impeding or annoying or whatever the phrase is, other road users - ie by going too slow you could cause an accident with somebody getting annoyed. Technically their fault, but you're expected to not impede the progress of other road users.
For villages and such, I think the speed limits are fine.
For country roads and other places that are a default NSL, I think that's where people really need to be taught the ability to understand a safe speed - and for a single track lane, remember if both you and the person the other way are working to stop in the space you see clear, you'll be crashing as you only have in theory half that space to stop.
But then, we go to the other end - motorways, duel carriageways and some other A roads. Countries with higher speeds limits (admittedly not many) don't have any worse accident statistics. If you crash at 70 you're not going to be much better off than crashing at 90.
The fact is, plenty of studies have shown that a lot of people do and still would drive at 80 on a motorway - the police don't want to stop it generally, some forces you have to be doing in excess of 90MPH for them to bother you (which, for the record, follows the 10% + 2 on 80MPH)...
But, back to speed cameras instead of speeding. And at this point I apologise for my hap hazard presentation.
There's now multiple previously safe places where speed cameras were installed, that have become accident hotspots. It doesn't take a genius to know why - we've all seen the people breaking down to the limit for the camera, then speeding happily back up. This is especially on non built up roads - the roads that are 50s for reasons nobody quite knows, or dual carriageways.
There's also simply no evidence that speed cameras significantly improve the safety of blackspots. So what use are they in these areas, asides from a few nice £60s going to the local police station to be sorted between whoever it is?
According to ROSPA, Britain now has some of the safest roads in Europe.
40% of road accidents are people "failing to look properly". There's no statistics on how many of those are because they were on phones/playing with sat navs/adjusting their CD player/reading a newspaper.
Each year there's 430 deaths from excessive OR inappropriate speed - in my opinion only the latter is relevant. Sometimes 5MPH may be perfectly safe, other times 15MPH under is needed to be safe. It's just a number.
Around the same number die due to careless or aggressive driving, 250 due to drunk driving and around 300 a year who would have survived accidents had they been wearing their seatbelt (I assume some of these overlap with others).
Ultimately, nearly all accidents are the result of preventable driver error - and for me, this means rather than worry if somebody is 5MPH over a limit, we need to look at if they were driving safely.
Speed cameras are just a way governments pretend to be doing something, when in reality, that money would be better spent on police officers who can see if some idiot thinks a game of monopoly is a good idea than a machine that can just give a number.
I think that concludes my thoughts. I'm now wondering if Dave has argumental on because they're way better at arguing their cases than me, sometimes anyway.
Have fun people and drive safely!
Summary: Speed is just a number.