The extension of 20mph speed limits to cover most of the borough

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Wednesday 15 September 2004 3.16pm
Apparently this is a serious proposal. It is clear that in an accident with a pedestrian or cyclist a vehicle travelling at 20 mph will do less damage than on at 30 mph, and one doing 10 mph even less, and 5 mph less still. Years ago many roads became 30mph zones instead of 40 mph ones. Take this on another 20 years and the proposals from those with political axes to grind against the use of vehicles will be proposing 10 mph limits. Legislation for proper cycle lanes and enforcement of laws as in other countries to control jaywalking would save many more lives than tinkereing with the speed limits. If pedestrians crossed at the proper crossings and were fined if caught crossing on Red signals as are car drivers many lives could be saved. Unpopular, but tell me it's not as valid.

Yes there are bastard car, van and lorry drivers out there, but they are a small minority who may be just the ones who would ignore the new limits if introduced. The majority of drivers do use a little sense in controlling their speed, 45 mph along the dual carriageway part of The Old Kent Road on a quiet 2 am drive is clearly safer than 20 mph outside a school at rush-hour. Which one is legal? You guessed it.
Wednesday 15 September 2004 3.58pm
I've got a certain amount of fellow feeling for what you're saying Jerry. There's no point in making everyone crawl round at 20mph just for the sake of it.

I'd also say that IMO it would be better in terms of reducing accidents if we spent the money it would take to enforce 20 mph zones and spent it on policefolk visibly on the streets enforcing the existing traffic laws. I'm convinced that I'm more at risk from, say, people eating/drinking/phoning/reading the paper/using their laptops etc whilst driving than from people driving at 30 mph, but there's no disincentive for these people not to do what they're doing because there's no real enforcement of those laws.

I also agree with you on the cycle lane issue. However, IMO the problem we have with old parts of an old city is that the road width and layout means it'd be really dificult to put proper sized cycle lanes along our roads (let alone cycle lanes that are separated from the traffic, which I think is what we really need to get more people moving round London in a way that's acceptably safe to them).

There's obviously a problem. Too many road users on too little road, leading to increased danger for pedestrians/cyclists/etc. One way might be to enforce universal low speed limits as proposed (and, as an aside, I'm sure many cyclists can keep up 20mph for decent stretches, and what, theoretically, would happen to a cyclist who sets off a speed camera?). If this isn't the solution though, what is?

The only thing I can think of is to keep speed limits as they are, but to reallocate the existing road space between the different types of road user. As you say, this might have to mean strongly encouraging pedestrians to only cross at crossings. I think it would also mean more roads (or at least lanes of roads) being designated for cycles and less space for cars. Would that be a better option?
Anonymous User
Wednesday 15 September 2004 4.21pm
I have heard that speed is causal in a very small percentage (soemthing like 3%) of RTAs.

As you point out it is more likely to be bad driving which kills people, however, it is not possible to catch such driving on camera (or very rarely so.)

The speed camera system is making criminals out of law abiding citizens and making millions of pounds to spend on more speed cameras.

More to the point, the continual watching of the speedo can, and does, take attention away from the road.

Sadly it only takes one driver to ignore the highway code and treat more vulnerable road users with contempt to start a chain "Well, if he's gonna do it..." reaction. Also, car drivers are not taught defensive driving - they are not taught to actively look for cyclists, scooters etc and often just don't register them.

Reducing speed limits to 20mph seems pointless as, at busy times of the day it is rare to get above that speed in the majority of places in SE1. Will cyclists have to bear number plates just incase they do exceed the speed limit?

Wednesday 15 September 2004 4.50pm
Birdie wrote:
>
> More to the point, the continual watching of the
> speedo can, and does, take attention away from the
> road.
>
Dead right! I have been one of the few people trying to observe the 20mph limit on Tower Bridge. As the bridge narrows it is quite dangerous to take eyes off the road to check if you're not doing 21 mph by mistake. There are many pedestrians and cyclists here who I feel are MORE in danger from this 20 mph limit than before. I do believe the limit here is really for weight reasons to protect the bridge but it does illustrate the point.
Wednesday 15 September 2004 10.17pm
& have you tried to observe the 20 mph limit in the (non SE1) Rotherhithe tunnel - you get pipped at by the cars behind if you do!
Thursday 16 September 2004 9.01am
Birdie wrote: "The speed camera system is making criminals out of law abiding citizens"

Next time you get a ticket for doing 25mph in a 30mph zone I think you will have a pretty strong case and should appeal against any penalties. If however you are driving in excess of 30mph in a 30mph zone you will probably find that in fact you are breaking the law.







gggggrrrrrruuff
Thursday 16 September 2004 9.09am
I can see that a lot of people are not impressed by the proposal to reduce speeds.

But what do people think is the solution?

Are the people complaining against reduced speed limits denying that there is a problem on our roads? Do they think no action is required?





...if you press it, they will come.
Anonymous User
Thursday 16 September 2004 9.29am
hot puppy wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Birdie wrote: "The speed camera system is making
> criminals out of law abiding citizens"
>
> Next time you get a ticket for doing 25mph in a
> 30mph zone I think you will have a pretty strong
> case and should appeal against any penalties. If
> however you are driving in excess of 30mph in a
> 30mph zone you will probably find that in fact you
> are breaking the law.
>
>

I did mean it more in the context of the comment that continual watching of a speedometer is more dangerous than continual watching of the road ahead. It is very easy to creep over 30mph and be driving perfectly safely, as I noted speed is not the cause of the majority of accidents, dangerous driving is.

It is also a well documented fact that a number of cameras are placed in money making rather than accident hotspots. The speeding motorist is easier to catch than the one driving on the phone/eating lunch/using a laptop/reading etc.

I may not have been eloquent enough but I stand by the sentiment.

Thursday 16 September 2004 9.40am
"speed is not the cause of the majority of accidents, dangerous driving is"

is this your opinion or do you have a source?
Thursday 16 September 2004 9.47am
Jerry said: "Take this on another 20 years and the proposals from those with political axes to grind against the use of vehicles will be proposing 10 mph limits."
Do you think you'll be driving petrol fuelled cars in 20 years time?
Why do you think people have "political axes to grind against the use of vehicles"?
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