- a bedtime story to give anybody a nightmare

Once upon a time, road safety was firstly about improving the roads — making them wider, with better visibility and clearer signage, and then about educating road users — pedestrians, cyclists and drivers — to behave defensively and responsibly.
This is what the Association of British Drivers stands for.

Now, speed reduction has become the be all and end all of road safety. Any speed reduction, anywhere — so much so that road safety schemes are deemed successful if speeds are reduced, even if the number of accidents actually increases! And, have you noticed how, these days, the driver is always to blame for accidents? Any recklessness on the part of pedestrians or cyclists is regarded as irrelevant.

So Britain has become a corrugated wasteland of humps and bumps, with garish signs threatening instant retribution should one inadvertently break the speed limit by a few mph. Speed limits, meanwhile, are being quietly slashed in many areas on the most tenuous of pretexts. And big brother is really there, too, with hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life being prosecuted for this so called "speeding", in circumstances where safety is simply not an issue. All this is justified by glossy government documents produced at vast expense to the taxpayer but filled with the most outrageous politically correct rubbish known to mankind.

What has changed and why?

There have always been individuals who believe that over zealous rules and regulations should be applied to restrict everyone's behaviour to deal with problems caused by a reckless minority. Such people have always been wrong — the result of their policies is always to make the underlying problem worse and to bring the rule of law into disrepute. In past years, this attitude to road safety was balanced out by sensible, enlightened people who realised that the ability to moderate ones speed according to the conditions was more important than slavish adherence to a blanket speed limit, which would, even if set with the best of intentions, often be either too low or too high. A broadly acceptable compromise resulted whereby the police used their resources to target obviously dangerous and incompetent drivers and those who were driving safely were largely left alone to enjoy their motoring.

During the '90s, we have seen the relentless rise of an anti-car ideology. Suddenly, the motor car, one of the greatest liberating forces of the twentieth century, is public enemy number one, and it is fashionable to use any method available to try to discourage the population from using their cars.

Since most people actually enjoy driving, this might at first sight appear difficult. Not so.

And they admit it.
Friends of the Earth said in a report to the Government in 1995 that "speed limits should be made very low and rigidly enforced to take all the glamour out of motoring".
Extreme anti-car pressure group Transport 2000 has set up a shadow group called "The Slower Speeds Initiative", which is campaigning for 55mph on the motorway, 40mph on A roads and 20mph (or even 10mph) everywhere else.
These people collectively are very close to both local and national government, and have succeeded in persuading Roads Minister Lord Whitty to set up a speed limit review on their terms. They are ultimately behind this ruinous change in road safety policy.

The result of all this restriction, obstruction and persecution? Road deaths, which fell continually for many years, have actually stopped falling since this anti speed obsession began to bite in the early nineties — and they have done so because the real causes of accidents have been ignored. Sound road safety principles have been swept away in a torrent of simplistic phrases, repeated over and over again by campaigners and government. Driving standards have been allowed to fall, rendering too many people incapable of recognising and responding correctly to hazards.

The population is being dumbed down.


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