Saturday, September 24, 2011

A long time coming

It really is about time this happened … but don't get all excited that the Cleggerons have suddenly seen the light. The 80mph limit just happens to coincide with the most common motorway limit on the continent – 130kph – which means that we are just being brought into line with EU practice.

And I wish The Mail would climb down and join the real world. Motorists are quite often prosecuted for driving 80 on a motorway – but not during the day in free-flow conditions. You can do 90mph and above without interference from the plod, as it is too dangerous for them to cut in and carve out speeders.

What happens is you get done late at night and in the wee small hours, on empty stretches of motorway, where the plods lie in wait for easy marks to ramp up their monthly quotas. South Yorks Police are particularly predatory on this – I got pulled for 82mph just south of Barnsley, at around 1am on the M1. I was almost embarrassed to be going that slow, but they still nicked me.

Anyhow, it is good to see a pretence being made that the economic case applies. What these "speed kills" cretins rather fail to understand is that the purpose of speed is to get you from point A to point B as quickly as possible, so that you can then spend your life on more productive things.

Hence, we actually drive fast for a purpose. Artificial and unnecessary restraints on speed – especially on motorways – cost time and amount to an unwarranted restriction on freedom. And that's something the Kermits (Ker-plod?) have got right … on the motorways, even at a ton plus, they don't tend to bother you as long as you're not acting daft.

This might be a bit of EU harmonisation I don't mind at all.