Tuesday, March 15, 2011

80MPH limit 'rigorously enforced' ?

As I've reported before, 'Killer' Hammond's latest wheeze is to raise the motorway speed limit to 80 MPH. This will increase casualties as well as CO2 emissions, at a time when Spain is cutting its motorway limit to reduce oil dependency. Hammond has apparently now suggested (reported in The Mail) that he would "expect enforcement [of the 80 MPH limit to be more rigorous". This is at a time when police numbers are going down and the Government has set its face against speed camera enforcement. Can you see Hammond increasing the penalties for speeding? Without increased penalties or an increased chance of getting caught, the lawbreakers will carry on breaking the law and people will continue to die.

Not only does a car (or van or 4x4) travelling at 80MPH (or more likely 90MPH+) have considerably more kinetic energy that will be dissipated in a crash, increasing the severity of damage and casualties, the substantial difference in speed between such a vehicle and a an HGV cruising at 60MPH makes collisions more likely. One reason UK motorways are relatively safe is that all the traffic is moving in the same direction at more or less the same speed. Increase the speed differential and you increase crashes. Which leads to the perverse outcome that delays due to crashes may increase, offsetting any improvement in journey time gained by driving faster.

None of this will bother Hammond, I suspect, who is if nothing else consistent in his cynical pursuit of quick political wins, regardless of the environmental and human damage they may cause.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps any increase in the speed limit will come with blanket average speed cameras?

    I can at least hope.