After completing my mammoth essay on the 50k limit yesterday I turned on ABC TV news and the first thing I hear is coming speed blitz by Vic police, including the statement that research shows that 50% of drivers speed. Well, if speed kills, and there's maybe 1.5 million drivers speeding in Victoria, how come we only have roughly 350 fatalaties annually? There couldn't be any other factors at work, surely?
In NSW, official figures at
show that 38% of fatalaties involved speeding (which probably means merely exceeding the posted limit as distinct from any analysis of whether it was unwise in the conditions) and 21% involved alcohol, which are the main focus of police action and road safety campaigns.
But 17% were also due to people not wearing seatbelts, which kills nearly as many people as alchol and nearly half as many as speed. And unlike speed and alcohol, which are merely factors involved in collisions but not necessarily the major cause of the collision or injuries, not wearing a seatbelt is a sure way to death and serious injury, even at pretty low speeds.So where's the big police clampdown and official panic about not wearing seatbelts?
And one thing that is assumed in the whole official blah about speeding is that exceeding the posted speed limit is automatically equivalent to doing an unsafe speed, which any sensible driver knows is rubbish.
Amongst the times I've been genuinely frightened in a car, two of the most memorable are being on a freeway in peak hour in full dark in extra heavy downpours with sheets of water of unknown depth and unpredictable effect on steering and traction across the road, with bugger all visibility, and every car about half to a full length behind the other and all gaily doing 100 -110k three lanes wide. All they were doing is following the taillights of the car in front, because that's about all you could see in the rain and tyre mist. My options were to stop because visibility was so bad (call me piss weak, but I like to be able to see past the end of my bonnet) and risk being rear ended at speed by some dickhead who couldn't see past the end of his bonnet, or press on and try to increase the distance between me and those in front, which of course just results in a succession of dickheads filling any space bigger than a couple of car lengths. I regard that as seriously excessive speed and potentially catastrophic, but I'll guarantee you can see cop cars going down the freeway in the same conditions and not pinging anyone, because they're not exceeding the speed limit. So they must be driving safely, mustn't they?
The people in charge of road safety are no doubt well intentioned, but they are illogical and inconsistent and we are governed by bull**** instead of a coherent and reasoned approach to the problem of road safety,
I have said more than enough on speed and road safety and I promise not to start any more threads on them. Well, at least not until I stumble on the next bit of stunning official stupidity.