Saturday, September 09, 2006

More Thoughts on Traffic

I've spent a lot of time over the last couple of days driving on motorways, and I have a few more thoughts on traffic. It's worth qualifying this all by saying I'm not (yet) a great or greatly experienced driver, but these are my reflections.

A large proportion of the delays on motorways are caused by one slow vehicle overtaking an even slower vehicle (or even x3 or 4), which slows the faster lanes down. This could be reduced by imposing a minimum speed limit for motorways except in jams.

The rules on motoring offences are illogical. For example, driving safely at 60pmh on a deserted bit of dual carriageway in Manchester is heavily penalised despite having no effect on other users, whereas driving at 30mph down a single lane country road where it is safe to drive at 60mph is legal and carries no penalty whatsoever although it can cause great inconvenience to other road users.

I therefore suggest that hypothetically, road penalties should be linked to inconvenience caused to other users. So driving too fast on a deserted road with unrailed cliffs shouldn't be an offence if you're the only person in the car and there's no-one living at the bottom of the cliffs.

Killing someone by dangerous driving, or running the risk of doing so, would of course be the most serious offence, punishable by a lifetime ban, huge fines, etc. But what if being much too slow turning out of a junction or driving at 30mph in a 60mph limit was a more serious offence and speeding was only an offence if dangerous?


Daniel Hill said...

`For example, driving safely at 60pmh on a deserted bit of dual carriageway in Manchester is heavily penalised'

Which dual carriageway is this? I thought 60 mph (and 70 mph) was legal on all of them?

John said...

Having just driven to Stockport from Congleton, I was referring to the A34 just south of Cheadle Royal (speed limit 40, IIRC, with speed cameras). Outside Stockport borough, the speed limit is higher. Incidentally, those are easily the most profitable speed cameras in Stockport.

Daniel Hill said...

Ah yes, you're right, though it's actually 50 there.