Consensus Builds That Government Speed Policy Wrong
The Institute of Advanced Motorists today issued its strongest ever attack on Government roads policy, criticising both a "plague of speed cameras" and low speed limits for damaging road safety.
The ABD has always maintained that the Government has misunderstood the relationship between speed and accidents, and has therefore failed to deliver an effective and reasonable safety policy.
"The key to driving safely is to look at the road ahead and to adjust your speed according to what you see," said Mark McArthur-Christie, IAM Observer and ABD road safety spokesman. "But when the speed limit is set way below what is a reasonable and safe maximum for the road, drivers cannot do this without breaking the limit. When such limits are rigidly enforced, drivers can no longer pay attention to upcoming hazards and lose the ability to recognise and respond to them correctly."
All road safety depends on drivers' ability to control their speed properly, and speed limits must work with this skill to enhance it rather than undermine it as they do now. This means they must be set at sensible levels and commence when the hazard does, not half a mile before.
Enforcement of limits should be targeted at drivers who are failing to control their speed sensibly rather than at the very drivers who are. This means reduced use of cameras and more properly trained officers.
Above all, recognition should be given to improved driving skills, and these should be positively encouraged rather than treated with total contempt by speed limit and camera policy.
IAM Press Release (PDF)
Notes for Editors