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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:58 
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The Government's proposals to raise the speed limit on motorways to 80mph have angered former Formula One world champion Damon Hill.

Hill said that he rarely drives above 70mph because "it's too stressful", even though he won 22 Grand Prix during a glittering career that ended in 1999.

Consultations are taking place between the Government and motoring organisations regarding raising the speed limit on English and Welsh motorways from 70mph to 80mph. Motorway driving puts stress on a car and it is advisable to have adequate breakdown cover to guard against mechanical failure.

Hill said to the Radio Times: "Most people aren't safe to drive over 55. Honestly, the speed limit going up to 80mph makes me shudder...

"Because people drive too fast on the motorway. Mostly they drive too fast, too close to the car in front, and they think they know what they're doing. And they don't.

"I used to drive like that and I had a few near misses. My kids have learnt to drive and they're out on the roads and it's dangerous.

"You don't want to spoil people's fun. It's a fantastic day when you get your driving licence, but it is also for some people the worst day of their life. I escaped by the skin of my teeth when I was younger because I was a good driver, but that didn't make it OK."

Hill concluded by saying that today's drivers had "learnt to behave", and added "that's got to be better than a load of spoilt kids throwing tantrums in racing cars".

Copyright Press Association 2012

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Sky News /Press Association
Sky News wrote:
Damon Hill Speaks Out Against 80mph Limit
Former F1 champ says lack of concentration at high speeds for ordinary drivers means it is safer to drive slower.
6:58am UK, Tuesday 03 July 2012
Damon Hill

Damon Hill: 'Most people aren't safe to drive over 55 (mph)'
UKFrance(68 whenwet)Germany(notbinding)US(easternstates)US(westernstates)AbuDhabiCar Motorway Speed Limits By Country (In Miles Per Hour)
Graph: Speed Limits Around The World

Former world champion racing driver Damon Hill has spoken out against Government proposals to increase the motorway speed limit to 80mph.

Hill, who won 22 Grand Prix and a Formula One world championship, said he hardly ever drives above 70mph because "it's too stressful".

The Government is consulting on raising the speed limit from 70mph to 80mph on English and Welsh motorways.

The F1 champ, who retired in 1999, told the Radio Times: "Most people aren't safe to drive over 55.

"Honestly, the speed limit going up to 80mph makes me shudder...

"Because people drive too fast on the motorway. Mostly they drive too fast, too close to the car in front, and they think they know what they're doing. And they don't."

Hill added: "I used to drive like that and I had a few near misses. My kids have learned to drive and they're out on the roads and it's dangerous.
"You don't want to spoil people's fun. It's a fantastic day when you get your driving licence, but it is also for some people the worst day of their life.
"I escaped by the skin of my teeth when I was younger because I was a good driver, but that didn't make it okay."
Hill said driving at 200mph on a racetrack does not compare to driving at high speed on a motorway.
"The concentration level you are at in a race situation, you're in a totally different state of mind," he said.
"What happens when people drive on the roads is that they don't concentrate, they just think about something else.
"So they're relying on their unconscious to respond to things. That's why it's better to drive at a sensible pace."

Hill said that today's drivers had "learned to behave", adding "that's got to be better than a load of spoilt kids throwing tantrums in racing cars".
Oh dear. I do like Damon Hill but I cannot agree with this.
Improving people's ability, knowledge & skill is better than reducing everyone down to the lowest common denominator.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 13:45 
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Damon Hill is basically saying that a lot of people are incompetent to drive properly. Some certainly aren't.

Quote:
What happens when people drive on the roads is that they don't concentrate, they just think about something else.


This is why, as you all know, I am against using mobile phones at all while driving.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 13:50 
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malcolmw wrote:
This is why, as you all know, I am against using mobile phones at all while driving.
:clap: :bow:


Re: 80mph. This is something I may look like I’m doing a U-turn on but, as Damien says in so many words, we’re a bunch of crap drivers.

There’s not a single time I go on a motorway when I don’t see idiots tailgating, and nothing gets up my nose quite like a tailgater, (except a tailgater on a mob). :roll:

I’m all in favour of 80mph being the norm and have it fit in with the rest of Europe, but I shudder at the thought of drivers going even faster stuck up my arris. In Germany, by contrast, they enforce keeping a proper distance and the standard of driving over there in all honesty was the best I’ve ever seen anywhere on the planet!

I’m not sure you will ever educate ‘us lot’ in these good ways though. So my thinking is make it 80 by all means but not until, and unless, you have some means of curtailing tailgaters. (Preferably Traf Police :bluelight: ). I’ve never once read, seen or heard of this offence being enforced over here, yet it is amongst the most abhorrent traits of bad driving IMO. :x

I really believe blindly just raising the limit without doing anything else will play right into the hands of BRAKE, who would smugly say “I told you so" the very first time there’s a high speed accident with many KSI.

Sorry, but I think it’s one hec of a big gamble which I don’t think this country is ready for; not with the current attitude and apathy towards tailgating I don’t..

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 20:31 
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I only don't agree with Damon Hill over the 80mph.
We need to ensure that Motorways are set as the free travelling speed of 85% of motorists. The actions of the competent and responsible motorists ought to be deemed legal. We know that the 85th %ile is the best speed limit setting for each road.
The consultation on this will help to show the pluses and minuses provided it is unbiased and honest.

I do totally agree with Damon over the concentration and ability and knowledge. It is through motorists who implement these three attributes well will make their travel extremely safe at all times.
Lets not forget the alteration to driver behaviour from the prolonged use of speed cameras has badly changed the way people think about road safety and their contribution to it. Altering people's perception to the way they view their environment is seriously flawed too. All these and more have hanged driver behaviour and the phrases like 'slow is safe' and so on and the implication that if you drive at a certain speed you will be safe all adds up to removing the responsibility away from the driver/rider than instill in him/her to do better and to do the right thing always.

Stats have shown that when a road is increased or decreased in the posted limit the driver behaviour only changes by 1mph. People do not 'just' then drive at 90mph as many have tried to suggest, including in the radio interview today with Neil Greig (IAM) somewhat a surprise as he seems ignorant of this fact.

We need motorists to think about the task at hand.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 21:10 
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Big Tone wrote:
but I shudder at the thought of drivers going even faster stuck up my arris.

Isn't that what your windscreen washer is supposed to deter (or better still, headlamp washers, because you don't need to use your own wipers)?

A quick squirt and the moron behind usually gets the message and drops back (and for some strange reason has to wipe their own windscreen ;) ). Even the most determines morons work out what is happening eventually :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 23:15 
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In my experience when traffic is free flowing the majority of drivers keep a good distance, yes of course there is always the idiot that likes to be in the boot of the car in front, but more often than not, it is the slower cars on the inside lane that are too close to one another. I find the most potentially dangerous time on motorways is when you have all lanes travelling at the same speed and everything is bunched up.

I would suggest that lack of concentration is more likely to occur when driving slow than at high speed. This is one of my main objections to speed limits being set too low. If the brain has not enough stimulation from a given task the brain will start thinking of other things. This to my mind is one of the biggest problems we have today, by trying to control everything, the thought process used in driving is being reduced and consequently we are breeding drivers that are semi brain dead a lot of the time, with no planning, their driving being purely reactive, not proactive which is needed for safe driving.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 23:39 
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:clap: :clap: :clap:

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 23:41 
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Has anyone noticed, that the really slow drivers rarely use indicators, have bad road positioning and never seem to be aware of what is going on outside a 20foot radius of there car?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 17:23 
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Well I have driven long distances on European motorways at their speed limit of 130 kph, and found this speed no more dangerous in my perception than ours, except in Italy, where as we all know, their drivers are complete headbangers. German autobahns were best for driver behaviour with very few really tramping it. ANyway, most of the autobahns I went on had a 130 limit, with lower limits in places where there are busy junctions, or high viaducts.

Damon Hill is getting to be a bit of an old woman, IMHO

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 19:20 
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Quote:
The F1 champ, who retired in 1999, told the Radio Times: "Most people aren't safe to drive over 55.



Exactly who's fault is this? -Q1. The test system is a conveyor belt system,that takes a rookie from someone that don't know how to drive ,to some one with a licence, but no real appreciation of how to handle a car . I should know. I got my licence this way. Then my dad ,and my uncle taught me how to drive . How to look out for trucks on bends. I must admit that my driving school was good, way above things taught today . But lacking the teachings of an expert with many years on the road. When my sister passed her test, I got the job of getting her to loose the teachings for the test.
Then a lot of years down the line , my daughter got her licence the same way. Another job ,to get rid of the archaic practises of the test centre,and get her to learn to drive. When she passed her test. I was scared sh1tless in car, but she had a good grip of road safety. Nowadays, she's also got CBT, and a hubby that's had a lot of years as a biker-second set of eyes . These days, she's a decent driver with nine years on the road.
I'd say the system is failing the new drivers. Over 55- is that 55MPH- OR OVER 55 YEARS OF AGE. Something, the F1 champ has not addressed is the fact that on Top Gear, some years ago , a lot of F1 drivers failed to control saloon cars on a test track. The cream of the cream went off on most bends, in a simple car.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 21:38 
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As it happened, today was the first time in 12 years I went on a motorway in work traffic. (I usually go to my work base on A roads and set off to see people after 9:30).

Because I was due to see someone in Worcester very early today with a clinician, it made more sense for her to pick me up en-route at 8:30 otherwise I'd be going into work only to get in her car to come back past my house. Anyway, that's the woffle...

So we're heading south on the M5 at 8:45 for about 20 minutes. I swear this is what I saw.. All three lanes moving nicely. She's decided to stay on the middle lane for most of it and I can see she's doing about 60-65mph with the outside going faster at, I guess, 70ish.

But this is the point I made earlier; five cars were in the outside lane looking like they are on tow ffs!!! This theme was common, so I found :x

Do you really want an 80mph legal limit when no-one, and I do mean NO-ONE, does anything whatsoever about that?

IMHO we can't just adopt a Germanic-like speed with an English-like contempt for tailgating. Guess I'm on my own again with this one.. :(

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 22:02 
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No, I agree with you, Tone there are a lot of people , even on ordinary rural roads, who drive too close and they aren't people who are in a hurry and wanting to overtake, these are often mums with a car full of kids...people just don't realise what a safe distance is.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


Last edited by graball on Thu Jul 12, 2012 22:11, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 22:09 
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Thanks Grabs :) I'd rather they were doing 100mph keeping a good safe distance than 50mph stuck up someone's buttocks.

It goes against the whole ethos of a safe speed for the blah blah... said it all before a million times....

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 03:24 
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I can't recall the precise report and I am up to my eyes at the minute but when a speed limit changes driver behaviour only changes by 1mph.
The vast majority of motorists will not all rush up to the new limit, nor suddenly go a massive amount more quickly. It is likely from this report that it may go up a bit for the majority but not much. There will still be those who travel substantially faster and those who will travel legally doing what they were before i.e. 80 -85 anyway only now they will be legal.

No one is forcing people to go 'up to' the speed limit.

I agree that tail-gating is a problem that must be addressed with a multi-prolonged campaign, to remind motorists what is good behaviour and best practice, along with a host of other good motoring habits too !

You becoming a bit despondent BT ? :(

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:55 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
You becoming a bit despondent BT ? :(
Good grief no. Sorry if I freaked you out then :oops: As I mentioned though Claire, you can bet your bottom dollar the first time there’s a high speed pileup Brake and the like will be ready and waiting to jump on it even if it’s completely unrelated to the higher speed. If I seem on a downer about this it’s because I really am concerned about tailgaters; I see it as a far more dangerous activity than just speed itself.

I could be wrong, wouldn’t be the first time, but if it means drivers will start doing the same at 80mph I can foresee a catastrophe waiting to happen because I think we are all in agreement that traf pols are a better solution to a whole gamut of problems. But the crunch, no pun intended, is a stark fact which is that there aren’t the police to arrest this type behaviour. I wish I could have taken a photo of the situation I saw yesterday; they seriously looked like they were on tow. :x

I think I mentioned it a few years ago about someone at work, a certain alpha-male wannabe. :roll: He’s one of these magnetic morons and when I was in the car with him the once coming down the M6 from Stoke I would have jumped out if I could. He was doing an indicated 85mph in the outside lane with four or five cars in front stuck right up the back of them, who were all doing the same. :furious:

From my view, as the passenger, I saw up ahead on the left brake lights coming on and contact was made between the two at the front. I shouted to him “brake brake!” as debris came off into the inside lane past us. He was blissfully unaware, because he’s an egotistical tw :censored: t.

I swore I would never get in a car with him again after that; and I haven’t. But you know the type of person he is (nudge nudge). The manners of a pig you might say...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 20:22 
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Just a quick addendum.. I am in favour of the proposed new limit, I'm just concerned, big time, about introducing it without doing something, anything, about tailgating.

Soz if I looked like a brake member or crazy person there for a minute..

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 21:29 
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I have a feeling that the very act of introducing it will "do something about tailgating"! That could be uncharacteristically optimistic for me, but I think it's likely to relieve some of the frustration that the tailgaters feel if they can make a bit better progress in between. I notice it on the A66 and similar roads where you get reasonably frequent stretches of dual carriageway. I think there's less tailgating on there than on (say) the A595 (which is pretty much all single carriageway).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 16:31 
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Big Tone wrote:
Just a quick addendum.. I am in favour of the proposed new limit, I'm just concerned, big time, about introducing it without doing something, anything, about tailgating.

Soz if I looked like a brake member or crazy person there for a minute..



Agree with you on that one. Problem is the road safety "experts" are convinced that only ?cam can produce a solution. We haven't yet got one for tailgating, and we're now short of trafpols. There's the additional problem of the middle lane menace, and the effect it has on a three lane motorway, mainly forcing more traffic than is necessary into L3 .

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