How do you view speed limits? A necessary evil, a welcome reminder, or an intrusion of your civil liberties?
Speed limits are often difficult to adhere to. A thirty mph restriction at one o’clock in the morning, an empty downhill stretch of road entering a town. Not easy. When at the head of a line of traffic in a restricted area, with the following car right on your tail, it’s tempting to speed up. Travelling at the legal limit in the fast lane of a motorway is pretty nigh impossible without bringing on road rage in drivers keen to get past.
UK drivers are now used to seeing Gatso speed cameras at the roadside. Thousands of them, netting the government millions of pounds in fixed penalty speeding fines. They are never concealed, and painted bright yellow, but it’s still too easy to go past one at four mph over the limit and see a double flash in your mirror followed a few days later by a £60 fine demand landing on your doormat!
We are told that speed restrictions are put in place for a purpose – to make our roads a safer place to travel. Yet there is a school of thought that says if they were to be removed completely, the roads might become safer still.
So these are my questions.
1. Assuming you obey the speed limit, do you do so in order to avoid causing an accident, or because you don’t want a fine or a driving ban?
2. Are they simply a nuisance, or a valuable reminder of the speed at which it’s safest to drive?
3. In the case of UK drivers, do we slow down for Gatso cameras, then speed up again in the certain knowledge that there won’t be another one for quite some considerable distance?
PS. A similar question could be asked about not drinking and driving. Fear of causing an accident, or frightened of losing your driver’s licence? But that’s another subject for another day!
debate #1 - God
debate #2 - Ghosts