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The dangerous 20 kills kids

Town councils all over the country are seeking to introduce blanket 20 MPH limit zones over large areas. Inevitably these will at some point be monitored by average speed cameras and devices situated at all access points. Some Towns like Portsmouth are already operating such zones.

One only needs to listen to the rhetoric of the proposals to imagine that there is wholesale slaughter of children in our cities and towns on a daily basis. Claims like "2/3rds of child fatals will be cut by these limits." But 2/3rds of what exactly? 2/3rds of 1? 2/3rds of zero? Are we not supposed to ask how many actual children are being killed by speed caused accidents before these blanket limits are introduced? What was the actual primary cause of these accidents? We are never told are we.

We know that for every unnecessary 1 MPH we slow traffic costs about £3,000,000,000 a year ( about £30-£40 Billion annually), added to that the cost of the equipment, policing, prosecution and of course the benefits payments to perfectly safe drivers who have lost their jobs on the altar of bogus road safety. How many children's lives could be saved with this kind of money with a better NHS, emergency services like ambulance, police and fire?

But does 20 MPH make things safer? No not at all. The reverse in fact.

Imagine you are driving at a motorway speed. How easy it is to maintain a chosen speed without reference to the speedo. This is because in top gear, usually 5th, the gearing is so high that the throttle has little immediate effect of acceleration or deceleration on the car so maintaining a high speed, with less speedo reference, allows more focus through the windscreen where we should all be focussing.

The opposite is true at lower speeds. Because of the low gears at 20 mph, it is now impossible to maintain a figure, or remain below that figure, without constant reference to the speedo. So in busy towns and urban areas, parked cars, pedestrians, children, traffic, pedestrian crossings where we really need to be paying more attention through the windscreen, drivers, for fear of losing their licences, their jobs and of fines will be doing the last things they should be doing and speedo gazing instead of focussing on what is happening outside the car. Is that what we want? It is obvious then that this will increase accidents and not reduce them.

The logic behind this nonsense? Ah the slower traffic goes the less the impact-effect no matter what causes the accident.

But how about preventing accidents instead of expensively over slowing Britain's roads and turning thousands of safe drivers into offenders by doing so?

Then there is the 'dumbing down' effect.

Where drivers who would automatically set an appropriate speed at say 10 or 15 MPH, will then drive to an average of 20 MPH which will clearly be too fast in many locations. It is "too fast" that causes accidents no matter what the number on the pole is.

So there are two serious issues with setting limits so low on a blanket basis and both of them will kill.

Setting limits is a public consultation exercise. Even blanket speed limit zones are subject to public objection.

So mums a simple question. Would you prefer your kiddie hit by half a ton of metal doing 20 MPH or not at all because the driver saw your child in time?

We must all do our part to oppose them and submit objections. The latest town is Stoke. Get to it.

Ask for copies of the orders start objecting to them.

Subpages (1): Letter to Mike Penning