Speed cameras make drivers less safe
SIR – I am unconvinced by the argument that speed cameras reduce road deaths. I find that when I know speed cameras are there I am constantly taking my eyes off the road to look down at my speedometer to check I am below the speed limit.
This means my eyes are not on the road all the time, as they should be.
I could thus lose a split second’s response should I need to brake in an emergency. To date I have only ever had one speeding penalty, having been stopped once for speeding in 31 years of driving, when I got three points and a £60 fine.
This was for travelling at 96mph in clear and dry weather conditions on a deserted M6 motorway at 2am.
Perhaps the police could do something about those drivers who unwittingly make the roads more dangerous by driving very slowly. I recently was in a queue of vehicles following a motorist driving at 35 mph on a single lane A road which is wide and straight enough for vehicles to pass only for limited sections. This road had a 60mph speed limit and drivers were desperate to pass and were cutting it fine (I don’t excuse this but they are human).
I expect the leading 35mph driver thought he was the safe driver and those passing were idiots. It would never have occurred to him that if he raised his speed to, say 55mph, everyone would have sat happily behind him.
Let’s have more police out there setting an example and talking to and helping motorists. Peter Young, Facilities and Fleet Manager, Veritas DGC, Crawley
Pay per use: fair system or illegal drivers’ dream?
SIR – With air, rail and bus travel, cost is roughly proportional to distance travelled and there are discounts for all off-peak travel. Most people would agree that this is a sensible charging system.
The same system for road travel would bring direct congestion benefits. The problem at present with private road transport is that a high proportion of travel costs are fixed so there is little incentive to plan journeys economically or away from busy times or to consider alternatives to car use.
If road-user charging shifted the fixed costs to mileage-related costs, people would naturally plan their journeys differently in a way that would reduce car use when there were good alternatives.
There would be no need for punitive charging.
There are several indirect bonuses. The charging system would make dodging insurance and road tax very difficult, so overall costs for honest motorists could fall, while still giving a good incentive to cut car mileage by walking or cycling short distances and using public transport at busy times or for longer journeys.
The system could make car theft extremely difficult, bringing further insurance reductions.
Congestion reduction would bring important business and economic benefits to the country. It would also allow the rapid growth of high quality, reliable bus services, allowing people easier choices about when not to drive.
There are potential pitfalls but these could be avoided by intelligent engagement by all interested parties.
Ray Wilkes Co-Ordinator, Yorkshire & Humberside Transport Roundtable
SIR – Recently, part of the M25 around the M40 junction was closed because of an accident and motorists were being told to go round the opposite way to get to their destination, a distance of about 96 miles.
Would motorists have to pay for 96 miles of peak time motorway driving if this happened when the new road pricing scheme starts?
It seems that when this Government has a problem, the public has to pay for its screwed-up ideas. The Government should look at the people who are driving illegally, without insurance, MoT, tax etc.
Minor accidents caused by uninsured motorists are ignored by the police and the onus is left to the insurance companies to charge extra on our policies to cover this.
These people are still on the road free and without charge, and will still be able to do so.
Looking ahead, the black economy will find a way round any tracking technology that the Government can come up with and the dishonest will benefit even more as a result.
Les Tasker director, Auto Keys (Nationwide) Luton