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Safe Speed
Proposals Page - DRAFT

In this area of the Safe Speed web site we set out the key changes we would make and evidence to support our beliefs. You can click the paragraph number to see "the comments page" for each claim. If you want to add to the comments page, click the mail link relating the the claim you wish to comment upon. We will post all suitable original comments, including those that we disagree with.

How to use this page

Column 1: Column 2: Column 3: Column 4:
Paragraph Number. Click to see comments, details, links and further reading relating to the particular claim. Claim Source, Justification, and links. (short) Click to send us email regarding the specific claim. Suitable emails from real addresses will be posted to the comments page for the particular claim. 


5.01 We believe it would be strongly in the interests of road safety if we could direct the law at drivers causing actual danger rather than those exceeding an arbitrary numerical speed limit. Police discretion, a power they already have, can do this. There is no need and no benefit to catching good safe drivers with enforcement action intended to make the roads safer. Dumb speed enforcement catches all drivers, and fails to make the required distinction.

new This would take the form of "standing instructions" to prosecute "moving traffic offences" only where danger has been caused. (we say "moving traffic offences" so that the Police can continue to prosecute important offences like driving without insurance) 

5.02 We should consider raising the motorway speed limit. Everyone seems to exceed the motorway speed limit without danger. The law should catch up with the reality. mail
5.03 We don't advocate removal of speed limits, but we do not wish to see them enforced when there is no danger caused. Speed cameras cannot make this sort of  judgement, so in general they will have to go.  Speed limits provide useful guidance for the inexperienced. mail
5.04 We would like to see aggressive policing of dangerous speeds. Where excessive speed causes a danger it should be punished. mail
5.05 We would like to see aggressive policing of tailgating. Tailgating is a real cause of danger. We simply don't understand why tailgating isn't prosecuted. See our guide to tailgating We would make a new specific driving offence of tailgating thereby ensuring that a) everyone knew what was expected of them, b) the courts could easilly determine guilt and c) to raise awareness of the issue.  mail
5.06 We advocate much more demanding driver education as an alternative to dumb speed enforcement. We believe it would be far more effective. Even those accidents attributed to excessive speed have their roots in a poor decision made by a driver. If we can improve standards in these key areas we will see a real road safety improvement: hazard perception, observation, anticipation and planning. mail
5.07 We would strongly agree with a proposed law which limited the class or performance of the car until "certain experience and qualifications" had been attained. Such a plan would incentivize advanced driver training and also reduce those horrible 17 year old in a Porsche high speed accidents. mail
5.08 Eventually any woodentops who just couldn't make the grade (and this might be 20% or more of the driving population) would be subject to restrictions, possibly lower speed limits, no powerful cars, no night driving or no motorway driving for example. We could argue that this was fair because they had not achieved the required standards. By restricting the poorest drivers we improve safety for everyone. mail
5.09 Even the fools could be improved to some extent by training. Skid pan training especially is of massive benefit (even to the stupid), and we don't understand why we don't do much more of it. It's said that 95% of accidents involve skidding. Skid pan training should be available to all drivers. We should work towards compulsory skid pan training for all new drivers, to be taken within one of passing their DSA test. mail
5.10 We would make driving skill something to be measured and something to be proud of. There would be social pressures to actually improve, not simply to survive. Drivers who achieved certain standards would earn privilege points on their licences, these points would help to promote pride in driving achievements. You might say; "Advanced licences for advanced drivers."  The present driving culture in the UK is all about fast cars, speed and enforcement. Genuinely skilled driving barely gets a mention. If legislation provided privileges for well trained drivers that would provide a message and a basis for cultural change. mail
5.11 We should not continue to reduce rural speed limits on the basis of whim or revenue collection.  Speed limits should only be set by skilled traffic engineers with safety and traffic efficiency in mind. Speed limits created by unqualified councils, and encouraged by pressure groups, tend to reduce road safety and inconvenience road users. mail
5.12 If valuable new evidence arrives we will adapt our proposals to take advantage of it.  Montana's apparent accident reduction without speed limits comes to mind, but it's early days. click here mail
5.13 Drivers who share responsibility for accidents or who are caught otherwise causing a danger should be sent for compulsory training. This is a positive way to help them avoid repeating mistakes. This item might be the true key to fast and effective road accident reduction. We suspect that 20% of the drivers cause 80% of the accidents. We need to find these people. See the comments page for much more information. (click the paragraph number) new The police would be given the power to send for training with a lower standard of proof of offence than we use at present. mail
5.14 Where speed limits are required they should be set properly using the well known 85th percentile rule. Read about the 85th percentile rulehere mail
5.15 We should have a large publicity campaign to explain to drivers that incidents and mistakes forwarn of accidents, and that repeats of mistakes can be prevented with training. Drivers in general do not know this and would be open to improving their own safety. This is an important idea that can make a real difference. It also helps to promote pride in driving; we can well imagine pub conversations about what has been learned on the courses. mail
5.16 All accidents are to be reported and considered by the police. This will enable compulsory training as per claim 5.13. Training bad drivers is the key. Having each accident reported will enable the police to identify bad drivers. mail
5.17 new Create a new offence of "obstruction of traffic" which has the effect of requiring the lane 2 and lane 3 hogs to move over. This should reduce accidents by spacing vehicles out better and should coniderably improve traffic flow. Alternative new offences about "keeping left" would outlaw some excellent driving practices on clear or lightly traffficked roads. mail
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We do not condone or recommend law breaking.
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