Stupid letter of the week

From The Resident, November 4th –

Barbara Duggan writes –

With reference to the campaign to stop speeding traffic in Southwater, why should the responsibility always be put on the motorist to slow down below the official speed limit?

How true. What a crazy, mixed-up world we live in, when motorists have to be expected to obey speed limits, or even travel below them.

The war on the motorist continues!


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8 Responses to Stupid letter of the week

  1. Downfader says:

    And in one fell swoop she destroys her own argument for safer pedestrians.

  2. Kim says:

    Oh that would save the 80 pedestrians killed on the pavements by motorist ever year wouldn’t it… Not!

  3. Don says:

    Perhaps the piece should have been titled “Putting foot straight into the mouth” 😮

  4. #facepalm Isn’t the clue in the wording: speed LIMIT? That would imply an upper boundary that shouldn’t (by law, but who cares about small details like that….) be exceeded.
    I was taught to drive to the conditions, just because a narrow and twisty country road permits me to travel at the national speed limit it doesn’t mean I have to drive around blind corners at 60mph.
    Unfortunately most drivers treat speed limits as a minimum target.

  5. She does have a point, albeit badly made. Some non motorised road users do not take appropriate care or make adequate observation when using a road or it’s peripheries. I remember two young boys I spoke to (perhaps seven or eight years old) who were playing on a residential street just near its start. There were parked cars on both sides of the street and they thought it was fun to lay on a skateboard and shoot out from between parked cars into the path of vehicles as they entered the street. Unfortunately, thier father also felt it was OK for them to “…play in the street” as well.

    However, the letter writers suggestion responsibility be taken away from the motorist and, by implication that speeding is not a factor in collisions, is just absurd. I also agree with bassjunkieuk – speed limits really are not targets that have to be reached/breached but the maximum permissble speed if conditions are suitable. Twenty really is plenty on residential streets and even that can be too much sometimes.

    I think your post about ‘Assenizing’ a street can provide a remedy for both these issues. It gives streets back to local residents to use without fear and a vastly reduced chance of becoming a casualty and also stops drivers from becoming unwilling victims of their need to to move from A to B as quickly as they possibly can.

    It’s got to come down to planning really. Individual road users need safer and better infrastructure which forces improved interaction – be they pedestrians, cyclists or motorists.

    • Well put.

      The lady does indeed have a point, of sorts, about some irresponsible behaviour from pedestrians or cyclists. But to suggest that pedestrians or cyclists should be equally responsible (or even more responsible, as her letter seems to suggest) as/than motorists is deeply flawed. The source of the danger should be addressed, not mitigated against, and as you say, planning is a very large part of the answer.

      • Hmm…. what if the pedestrian was drunk, or mentally retarded, or young and inexperienced, or a dog, or running away from a terrorist threat, or somehow unaware of the danger the motorist was causing?

        The responsibility SHOULD lie ENTIRELY with the person causing the danger. Most European countries think this is the case, and motorists are deemed liable for crashing into non-motorised road users unless the motorist can prove otherwise in court.

  6. The motorist, as usual, considers that they are a perfect driver who can reliably and accurately read the future and thus can avoid ever crashing!

    The motorist, in reality, could well benefit from driving more slowly, both financially (in avoiding crash damage to their vehicle or themselves) and mentally (in lower stress while driving, and in avoiding the potential to have the guilt of killing or seriously injuring someone else).

    Crashes always happen when the motorist is least expecting a crash, and incidents that cause crashes can happen to any driver, however skilled.

    Yes, motorists MUST drive within the legal MAXIMUM speed limit. We have legal speed limits for very good reasons!

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