Speed limits to depend on the driver?

djbsom

Well-known Member
Have we all seen the comments of a certain ex police commissioner reported yesterday that suggested speed limits should be related to the driver and conditions rather than the road itself?
He used the example of an f1 driver having no speed limits at all.
This came up between four of us last night in a pool hall and soon embroiled a dozen or so strangers too. It was very interesting who agreed with it and who didn't. And it didn't follow the pattern I might have expected.
My main interest is how they decide who is capable of deciding how fast the road is, where do you draw the line? Advanced drivers? Emergency drivers? Police class one? Driving examiners/instructors?
It was a real eye opener.
By the way, it was a really stupid off the cuff suggestion that he has since apologised for so this is just something I thought people might have opinions on.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
From what I see every day, people pretty much decide what speed they want to drive at themselves anyway.
Complete absence of enforcement means existing speed limits are ignored on a regular basis, everywhere.
And the speed they drive at is down to their own 'comfort zone'.
For example, if you were to remove speed limits from motorways, the people driving at 90mph would still drive at 90mph.
That's the speed they're comfy with, they wouldn't suddenly go 'Yahoooooo'
 

Cyland101

Active Member
Driving along the German Autobahns you soon get bored/tired of driving at 120+ mph. I find I always settle back down to a comfortable speed of around 90-100Mph (well on my motorbike anyway).

Can't see this ever being implemented here, and certainly not in built up areas.
 

Thug

Moderator
Depending on what driver?

The person driving the car itself? the person driving the car up ahead who pulls out in front of this car due to not being as quick thinking/reacting? or maybe the person up ahead who is a new nervous driver? of the person carrying a heavy load that cant accelerate as quick? or the person with a disability who cant manoeuvre their car as easily as the other driver? Or the pedestrian child who cant judge the speed of approaching vehicles as well as other people can.

Speed limits are there to protect everyone and not JUST the person who it driving THAT car.
 

Exemplar

Banned
To add to PC Thugs comments I find this disturbing.

The limit is just that, a limit, not a target and not a base line.

As an example I certainly get very frustrated when driving on a motorway and seeing a hazard sign saying 'slow to 60,50, 40' etc and obeying that sign only to see drivers willfully breaking that.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
To add to PC Thugs comments I find this disturbing.

The limit is just that, a limit, not a target and not a base line.

As an example I certainly get very frustrated when driving on a motorway and seeing a hazard sign saying 'slow to 60,50, 40' etc and obeying that sign only to see drivers willfully breaking that.

Agree with this. There are too many idiots that take the speed limit as gospel and basically ignore the road conditions. 70/80/90 is fine on a dry day, empty motorway etc, but in foggy or rainy conditions the speeds need to drop dramatically to suit, but too many numptys just don't both.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
To add to PC Thugs comments I find this disturbing.

The limit is just that, a limit, not a target and not a base line.

As an example I certainly get very frustrated when driving on a motorway and seeing a hazard sign saying 'slow to 60,50, 40' etc and obeying that sign only to see drivers willfully breaking that.

Don't these things have a big credibility issue though? i.e. you are cruising along on a nice day, then they start flashing 60! then 50! then 40! then end!. And that's it - no change in conditions / traffic / accidents etc.
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
Driving along the German Autobahns you soon get bored/tired of driving at 120+ mph.
You will when you have to refuel twice as often :D
I'm sure that at £1.40/litre in the current conditions most people would baulk at increasing their fuel usage - most vehicles give diminishing mpg above about 50mph.
 

wack

Well-known Member
Exemplar said:
As an example I certainly get very frustrated when driving on a motorway and seeing a hazard sign saying 'slow to 60,50, 40' etc and obeying that sign only to see drivers willfully breaking that.

It's an advisory limit unless it's one of the managed motorways .

if you start driving at 30mph when you can clearly see there's no hazard in front of you it's your life you're putting in danger because most people will still be driving at speed

Your choice but I don't slow to below 50mph because I'm more worried about 44 tonnes of truck ramming me from behind than what I can see in front of me
 

Exemplar

Banned
wack said:
It's an advisory limit unless it's one of the managed motorways .

if you start driving at 30mph when you can clearly see there's no hazard in front of you it's your life you're putting in danger because most people will still be driving at speed

Your choice but I don't slow to below 50mph because I'm more worried about 44 tonnes of truck ramming me from behind than what I can see in front of me

Yes my choice, to follow the correct guidance, your choice to ignore...
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Whilst we'll never get anywhere near to the scenarios that the OP posts, i do feel there should be much more variable limits, especially on Motorways.

I don't mind the limit being 50mph when conditions are poor but equally, i think the limit should be a lot higher (say 100 mph) when traffic is light and conditions are favourable.

The 70 mph is ridiculous in this day and age.
 

wack

Well-known Member
Exemplar said:
Yes my choice, to follow the correct guidance, your choice to ignore...

The problem is quite often it's not the correct guidance, I've seen 20mph flashing over 3 lanes for no reason ,if I'd slowed to the speed indicated I'd have a BMW up my arse at 80

If they're accurate and timed properly when there's a genuine reason they're a safety feature, inaccurate and on when there's nothing there and they're dangerous because drivers slow the first time and probably the second time, after that it's assumed the information is inaccurate so they get ignored.
 

twoeyedbob

Active Member
Agree completely ..far to many times nothing is happening..
We had overhead signs on for 3 months saying there were roadworks...when in fact they had finished 1 month previously..
Just one example...
In order to have any credibility they have to be correct
Most of the time at least

Sent from my HTC Vision using Tapatalk 2
 

djbsom

Well-known Member
Well it's gone a little off track but it shows how important driving is to us. Whether it's just getting around our daily lives or how we pay our mortgages.
The discussion in the pool room centred on how they would decide who was considered to be able to "self regulate". Mostly people thought it would be certain job groups. People involved in driving education like instructors and examiners and also those involved with driving standards enforcement such as traffic police.
My problem with that is that I often see bad behaviour from instructors and examiners and police drivers.
Conversely, there are plenty of good careful drivers out there who have never had any form of advanced training behind the wheel. So for me it's attitude over a job title any day.
Drivers who have put themselves through an advanced driving course for personal improvement score much higher to me than people who take a course purely for job reasons.
I taught a local lad to drive a few years ago and he had above average anticipation and car control. We kept in touch and I subsequently put him through the ADI tests. Some of the things I've seen him do ,whilst driving his marked up school car, take some believing. My point is that you can't say that certain drivers are better drivers just because they've proved they can drive well. It's all attitude. That's largely why the Pass Plus scheme failed. The kids did it purely for the cheaper insurance. I've far more respect for those people who have put themselves through the advanced driving course/test than those who've passed the ADI test.
And how do you hand out "go faster badges" based purely on attitude? Good luck with that.
 

djbsom

Well-known Member
The problem is quite often it's not the correct guidance, I've seen 20mph flashing over 3 lanes for no reason ,if I'd slowed to the speed indicated I'd have a BMW up my arse at 80

If they're accurate and timed properly when there's a genuine reason they're a safety feature, inaccurate and on when there's nothing there and they're dangerous because drivers slow the first time and probably the second time, after that it's assumed the information is inaccurate so they get ignored.

If the motorway matrix signs have a reduced speed limit in place there will have been a reason. Typically a member of the public will have called 999 to report someone walking down the hard shoulder or a dog/horse/whatever loose nearby. Then the limit is signed until a traffic car has driven the stretch and either dealt with the problem or established it was a malicious call.
Most drivers on that stretch of motorway will not have seen the child/dog/horse or whatever or the police car checking it out and there is now a pervasive attitude that they are "a waste of time". The result is drivers still pounding down the motorway maybe feet from the toddler in the grass. Frightening.
 

djbsom

Well-known Member
Whilst we'll never get anywhere near to the scenarios that the OP posts, i do feel there should be much more variable limits, especially on Motorways.

I don't mind the limit being 50mph when conditions are poor but equally, i think the limit should be a lot higher (say 100 mph) when traffic is light and conditions are favourable.

The 70 mph is ridiculous in this day and age.

Our continental neighbours have a good system. The motorway speed limit is lower in the wet than in the dry. 130kph when dry, 100kph in the wet. 81 and 62 mph.
I fully agree the current motorway speed limit is out of date but there would need a whole raft of changes before you could raise it.
Driver education. Believe me when I say the vast majority of people passing the driving test today could not handle a realistic modern speed limit. Hand on heart I can say that every single one of those approx 3000 pupils I've put through the normal driving test have had "pretend" motorway lessons on a nearby dual carriageway but that is rare. Most ADIs teach to pass the test.
Other traffic limited to lower speeds, like trucks to 56 mph. Yesterday I saw a small car based van limited to 68 mph.
Lane discipline. The majority of drivers in the UK do not deserve a higher speed limit.
 

Norman

Well-known Member
I wouldn't support an increase in the speed limit unless there was a significant change in attitude towards driving and speed.

I advise anyone with a teenage driver to make them watch the BBC Documentary "License To Kill" to see the attitude of younger drivers towards speed and perhaps more importantly, the consequences when things go wrong.

Watching documentaries like this should be a mandatory requirement of the driving test.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/tv/episode/b01s50lw/Licence_to_Kill
 
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lmccauley

Well-known Member
Hand on heart I can say that every single one of those approx 3000 pupils I've put through the normal driving test have had "pretend" motorway lessons on a nearby dual carriageway but that is rare.
My dad took me on the A19 dual carriageway regularly when I was learning to drive for just this reason. He impressed on me the importance of getting up to speed on the slip road. It was good practice in coping with drivers doing 30mph on slip roads.
 
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Drd

Well-known Member
My dad took me on the A19 dual carriageway regularly when I was learning to drive for just this reason. He impressed on me the importance of getting up to speed on the slip road. It was good practice in coping with drivers doing 30mph on slip roads.

That has to be the one thing that really winds me up, approaching a motorway at 35 or 40mph! It's terrifying. I've never worked out why people do it? These days I ease off if there's someone in front, so that I have sufficient room to accelerate to 70 as I join the melee!
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
I wouldn't support an increase in the speed limit unless there was a significant change in attitude towards driving and speed.

I advise anyone with a teenage driver to make them watch the BBC Documentary "License To Kill" to see the attitude of younger drivers towards speed and perhaps more importantly, the consequences when things go wrong.

Watching documentaries like this should be a mandatory requirement of the driving test.

BBC iPlayer - Bigscreen :: Licence to Kill

When you say "the speed limit", I assume you mean the national speed limit?
Which is widely ignored (probably more ignored than adhered to, these days).
And I would take a stab that the young drivers featured in your mentioned programme aren't speeding on motorways.
So there isn't a link between the two.
 

Norman

Well-known Member
I'm not trying to preach about speed but that documentary made me think.
You know I ride motorcycles and I'm not adverse to giving it a squirt at an opportune time, but I guess I'm getting old and now see the tragic waste of life from people driving too fast that I didn't in my youth.
I don't know what the solution is but I hope one is found.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
I don't know what the solution is but I hope one is found.

IMO, enforcement is the answer.
As long as a driver knows where fixed cameras are, they are free to drive around like loons without even the remotest chance of being caught.
Seriously, I could go out and drive at ludicrous speeds around Aberdeen all day, as long as I slow down for fixed cameras, I'd get away with it today, tomorrow, the day after that etc.etc.
I see and hear people blatantly ignoring the 30mph limit past our house every single day.
Repeat offenders too, you learn to recognise many of them.
Speed cables laid across the road have confirmed there is a problem.
What's been done about it?
Nothing.:mad:
 

Drd

Well-known Member
the tragic waste of life from people driving too fast that I didn't in my youth.

I think that's the clue. When I first learnt to drive I bought a Morris 1300 countryman and then slowly progressed upwards in power output and speed. As a newly qualified driver I didn't have the power to drive like a lunatic, and by the time I could afford a more powerful car (my second car was a 4 speed golf Gti which in those days only had 115bhp) I had learnt some car control. Over 30 odd years I've been up to 400bhp but still drive sensibly. Modern cars are easily capable of hitting high speed and young drivers don't get the learning curve that many of us older drivers experienced.

Perhaps rather than limiting speed we should limit bhp.
 

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