Surl gives a sur­pris­ing re­sponse on speed

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION -

✒ MARTIN Surl, Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner, ex­presses a very sur­pris­ing re­sponse to the dan­ger­ous prac­tice of tail­gat­ing (Echo, May 9): “I should con­fess I am com­ing around to the view that it is time to think about rais­ing the limit on mo­tor­ways to 80 mph.”

Does he think that the tail­gater who in­tim­i­dated him by his dan­ger­ous driv­ing will mod­er­ate his be­hav­iour if the speed limit is raised?

Such a driver prob­a­bly re­gards the 70 mph limit as a guide for his tar­get min­i­mum speed and would view an 80 mph limit in the same way.

Mr Surl should con­sult the road safety char­ity BRAKE on this is­sue. There is no way that such a char­ity would sup­port rais­ing the mo­tor­way speed limit to 80 mph.

Happily one sel­dom en­coun­ters any longer the fake claim that speed is not a ma­jor fac­tor in most “ac­ci­dents”.

But I fear that this be­lief is still lurk­ing amongst tail­gaters and speed­ing knights of the road. They should con­sult their copies of the high­way code about brak­ing dis­tances and re­search the data on sur­vival rates in col­li­sions

up to 80mph. Per­haps Mr Surl might also like to do some re­search along these lines.

There are tested means of au­to­mat­i­cally pre­vent­ing ve­hi­cles from ex­ceed­ing speed lim­its and the EU is co­or­di­nat­ing ac­tion on this, with the ul­ti­mate aim of mak­ing it a tam­per-proof safety fea­ture of all new cars.

If ever this is al­lowed to hap­pen, we would not need to em­ploy the ex­pen­sive speed aware­ness cour­ses, of which Mr Surl is so proud (20,094 driv­ers hav­ing gone through this process lo­cally in the last year) - they and their ve­hi­cles would have au­to­mat­i­cally be­come speed-aware and speed-limit-com­pli­ant. What does Mr Surl think of this prospect?

David Slinger High­nam

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