The subject today is speeding on our roads, and the wish to introduce zero tolerance, so that even if you only go one mile above the limit, you will be fined.
I saw a sign similar to this in NZ, and agree wholeheartedly that just because it says 60, you don’t have to hit it!
We have speed cameras in the UK, most of which don’t actually work unless they’re on the motorway. They are being replaced by roadside gadgets that flash at you if you’re going too fast and thank you if you’re within the limit.
Currently, there is a 10% buffer of the speed limit before a fine is imposed.
I can actually understand that as we have often been trundling along at 30 mph to approach a flashy sign that thanks us for doing 28. Speedos therefore fluctuate to the official line, and we are lucky that ours show us to be going slightly faster than we actually are, but that is still no excuse.
I’ve been driving for 40 years, and try to be considerate on the roads. I admit there have been a few times when I have got a little carried away and the right foot has been heavier on the accelerator than it should. More than anything else, I frightened myself and slowed down immediately. I’m not a speed freak, but then I don’t like to be kept hanging around either.
Speeding kills. But then again so does going too slow as you test the patience of those behind you, who then take unnecessary chances.
In bad weather, you can understand extra caution, but when the roads are clear and conditions are good, most people get frustrated behind the Sunday Driver (as my Dad used to call them) out to admire the view or tractors/shed pullers/ horse boxes on narrow roads which can’t be passed unless they pull over.
Zero tolerance though?
This is partly to address the popularity (and cost) of speed awareness courses which are sometimes offered in lieu of a speeding fine. Having not been in that position (and hopefully won’t), I don’t know if the offender pays for said speed awareness course. If not, perhaps the onus of cost should be on them rather than the tax payer, as if they have been caught breaking the limit, even slightly, then there should be a penalty.
The only thing in my opinion that should ALWAYS be zero tolerance regarding driving is alcohol. If you are going to be behind the wheel of a car, you should not drink any.
I totally agree on the Zero Alcohol tolerance. Drinking and driving kill so many.
What annoys me about speed traps is that they seem to miss those going double the speed limit but catch the one going just over it. Here we don’t have fixed speed traps like I saw in the UK, but portable ones that can be set up Anywhere – so you Always have to stay under the limit or risk being fined.
We have variable limits on our motorways and cameras set accordingly. It’s amusing to see vehicles racing past us only to see the camera and hit the brakes. That’s how accidents can happen too. The irony is they can still be fined as the machine calculates how long it should take at the set speed between cameras!
Yes, I remember those Average Speed traps on motorways, but you need the hidden cameras to catch these speeders when they least expect it! 🙂
I don’t think that “zero tolerance” is any more than a political stance perhaps? As far as I am aware, a driver can only be held responsible for the speed displayed by the vehicle’s instrumentation and, even with electronic technology, there are apparently variables… at least as long as wheel rotation is part of the measuring formula. Wheel/tire circumference is a variable based on tire surface temperature. Even in the future, with satellite positioning, I don’t know how a “zero tolerance” could be enforced due to “dead spots”. Over here, the general belief is that 10% over is accepted; 15% over the limit and you are gambling; 20% is just plain stupid! 🙂
That was indeed the argument Colin, and how they could implement it accurately. Years ago, they made a big thing about fining mobile phone users behind the wheel whilst in motion but you still see countless people doing it.
“Distracted driving” is big thing here now. Too many people being killed in traffic accidents. Even pedestrians are getting heavy fines now for texting while walking across a road. Too many of those being killed as well. Perhaps there are lemmings in our genetic background? I don’t think people will get the message until they are hit with horrendous fines.
I think you’re right there Colin, either that or confiscate their vehicle/phones or whatever apparatus they’re using when the incident occurs.
Yup! That could work! 🙂
This is a really good argument for self-government. Laws, no matter how beneficial, will never have 100% compliance. Better to be self-aware, other-aware, and use good judgment.
As an Über driver who just drove about 100 hrs during the Super Bowl, I agree that sometimes the best wisdom is just flow with traffic. A cop will not likely ticket you for speeding during rush hour, they also see the need for relieving congestion. Gotta keep using that noodle-thinker!