Why the planned speed limit change is misguided

iWriters

Share

The writer is a 21-year-old studying for an MA in journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London.

My mother sticks to 56mph exactly on the road. This is because a man in a garage once told her that it achieved the best value for money, petrol-wise. Reasonable you might say?

Not so much when the car is on two wheels going round a narrow country bend. Not when you're saying your Hail Marys in an attempt to prevent yourself getting spread thinly over whatever tractor is on course to give your mother's Peugeot 206 a high-velocity smooch. She also keeps to 56 on the motorway, no matter how many haulage lorries swagger up indecently close to the car's hindquarters.

My father, being one of those men to whom driving a car with "sports mode" and a seat warmer is akin to reaching nirvana, is different. He sees the outer lane of the motorway as his personal assault course.

His winning approach is as follows: should a car accidentally be in front of you on the track, sorry, M1, approach at speed. Next, use your skills to stay four inches from the boot of the other car, at which point it will gratefully realise that it shouldn't be in the fun lane. Furthermore, in the manner of musical statues but less extreme, should any vehicle with flashing lights appear, you must immediately drop your speed to the number shown in the little white circular sign with the red border. Your score doubles if, when the flashing lights disappear, you switch to sports mode and get from London to Leeds in 26 minutes.

Both of these outstanding citizens are about as likely to change their speedometer habits as the price of petrol is to slide down to under a pound a litre, or as Jeremy Clarkson is to be seen on a Boris bike with his trousers tucked into his socks.

The proposed raising of the speed limit by a paltry 10 miles per hour will, I fear, mean very little for anybody. The vast majority of people will continue to drive just as they did before. Just like the Germans do on their limitless autobahns, where two per one billion road users died in 2008. If the speed limit is raised there will still be congestion on the roads, and there will still be accidents.

But these accidents occur due to bad driving, exploding car parts, and texting your mother to ask what's for tea, mid-roundabout.

So, what did you think of young writer Natalie Cox's column? Let us know at i@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there