Poor old Med Hughes. To be the head of Roads Policing and be disqualified from driving for speeding must be awfully embarrassing. It’s sort of like devoting your life to being a self-righteous Green Peace volunteer only to end up being jailed for secretly dipping baby seals in oil. I didn’t laugh at all when I heard about his troubles on the radio earlier today, honest.
Apparently the anti-speed-camera people are delighted, because this guy is almost religious about safe driving, so driving at 90mph in a 60 zone must therefore be completely safe. I don’t disagree – I don’t think fast driving is necessarily the same thing as dangerous driving. I’ve seen drivers doing 20mph who’ve posed a much greater danger to the public than someone speeding along a clear stretch of road. I do try to stick to the speed limit, but only because it’s the law and I don’t want to get into trouble. You do feel a bit stupid trundling along at 30mph in some of the inappropriately-designated 30 zones. And nothing is worse than driving home along the motorway at 1am, dying to get to your bed, not another car in sight, and yet being restricted to 70mph for no good reason. It’s difficult to stick to it, and even the most law-abiding citizen is bound to exceed the speed limit sometimes.
However. Law is law. Let’s say I think it’s safe (and I do) to travel at 90mph on the motorway, for example, and so I just drive at that speed even though 70 is the limit. Then let’s say they change the limit to 90. Would it not be likely that I’d then increase my speed to the same margin over the speed limit? We’d all be flying around at 110mph without a care in the world. No matter what the boundaries are, we always want to push them a bit.
The law’s there to protect, I suppose. Speed limits go hand-in-hand with the expectation that we’re going to break them no matter how generous they are, so maybe that’s why they’re deliberately too low. I don’t know. Anyway, if they weren’t there, how would those nice government officials make all their shedloads of money?