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Boards should show flexible speed limits

SIR – The issue of speed limits on our roads is something the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency have failed miserably to get to grips with (Fleet NewsNet, December 16).

They have decided on a ‘one size fits all’ approach and it is evident that this does nothing to promote road safety awareness, traffic management, or compliance with speed limits.

With all the technology available today and the ever-growing number of electronic information boards appearing up and down the country, surely a system of flexible speed limits could be introduced?

After all, while it is appropriate to apply a limit of 20mph past a school or in a busy high street during the day, wouldn’t it also be appropriate for that limit to be 30 or even 35mph, between 12am and 6am?

Likewise, during typical rush hour periods on the motorway, the speeds could be restricted appropriately and at times of lighter use they could be elevated to 80 or 85mph.

I believe that the bulk of speeding today is caused by the demands placed upon us by modern society, not because we have become a country populated by speed freaks. I believe that most people will obey the speed limits if they can see the sense and reasoning behind them.

Peter Smith
Purchasing Manager
TRW Automotive

Sensible signs – safer situation

SIR – I don’t believe anybody has an issue with reducing speed in dangerous areas such as near schools, where it would more than acceptable to reduce speed limits to 20mph.

But the police have brought on a situation of income generation rather than law enforcement by using mobile traps and static cameras on quiet roads where safety is not the issue.

The law is to be changed shortly to ban the use of laser and radar detection devices in cars. Yet it has been reported many times that drivers with these devices are safer ones.

The whole of the UK’s speed limits should be reviewed to reflect modern motoring and safety requirements.

While 20mph in school areas is a great idea, I feel a more sensible limit would be 85mph on quiet motorways in dry conditions.

If all the limits were sensible, the police would have a fair argument to ask the motorist to ‘buy in’ to safer driving instead of the have a go at the motorist situation we have now.

Mark Hindle
MNH Vehicle Contracts

Slower driving helps motorists stop errors turning into accidents

SIR – Motorists should always drive within speed limits. Doing so can help save lives, fuel and could collectively bring down insurance rates.

Driving slowly in urban areas is better for cyclists and pedestrians, who do not need a car park space and need less road space, whereas high speeds deter them.

Speeding upsets local people, so when a company wants planning permission for expansion, objections are often made on traffic grounds.

On motorways, the chance of a crash is small but there are so many drivers that enough crashes occur to regularly disrupt motorway travel.

Speeding is not often a direct cause of accidents. But all drivers make mistakes from time to time and lower speeds allow time for correction.

Ray Wilkes
By email

Training needs to be reinforced

SIR – Risk assessment is clearly going to top fleet managers’ agendas in 2005. However, I don’t agree that the issue of reducing employee liability can be left to training alone (Risk assessment is number one priority, Fleet NewsNet, December 23).

Training is only effective if constantly reinforced. It is very telling that while almost all the respondents to the survey believe that effective risk assessment is the way to reduce employee liability, only 8% find their risk management successful.

To be effective, it should be viewed in the wider context of business imperatives such as duty of care and security. By putting systems and technology in place to monitor and curb ingrained driver behaviour, companies can constantly reinforce training. For example, technology designed to monitor and report business and private mileage in fleets can easily be used to assess security threats caused by unauthorised use.

It can also be used to monitor and tackle problems such as a ‘long hours culture’, reducing the risk of road accidents caused by driver tiredness.

Andrew Hunter
Eagle Eye Telematics

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