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Would society be ready to self-regulate if speed limits were abolished from next year?
Many times when I'm behind the wheel or on my motorbike I imagine what it'd be like not to have speed limits on our roads at all. I imagine that if everyone was like me, there would be no need for them. You would always know what the right speed on a given road, in those circumstances, in that weather would be. Why wouldn't you, you're reasonable human being capable of doing amazing things (like putting two and two together), therefore, being considerate to your surroundings wouldn't be a problem.
If there was no speed limit I'd be driving 130-150 mph on motorways, 60-100mph on dual carriageways, 30 in built-up areas, 5-20 past a school. Well, to be frank, I'd happily drive at 60 mph in a built-up area at 3am when there's no-one around, no parked cars which could hide potential hazards, etc.
It all comes down to the driver, you see. A tired useless accident-prone driver who fiddles with the radio and manages to shave at the same time while moving will be a danger to the world - whatever his speed. A skilled and careful driver like me, pays attention every second of his journey and keeps himself and others safe.
Why should I crawl along at 70 mph on an empty motorway at 3am?
If there were no speed limits, people wouldn't need to speed anymore. They would just make up for the delay where and when it's safe - legitimately. Why should I crawl along at 70 mph on an empty motorway at 3am when my skills and modern technology (in the form of a fast, reliable and safe car) would allow me to get from London to Cornwall in 3 hours?
I know why: because we don't live in an ideal world. The question, therefore, is: is it 'non-ideal' because of a handful of anti-social individuals or is it more than just a handful? If the former is true, I suggest that we cage that handful of thugs and let the rest of us get on with our lives without having to observe rules which were made with 'them bad guys' in mind.
Classic story: a 3-lane dual carriageway, lunchtime, dry weather, 1 sleepy driver in the slow lane, 1 unhurried driver in the middle lane, 1 selfish b*****d hogging the fast lane and stuck behind him is Mr.X experiencing another instance of speed limit enforcement(50 mph) by a fellow motorist. Mr.X is late for a job interview but is in good form, having slept well, and his car is well-maintained. Exceeding the limit by 20 mph would help him. He's stuck for 5 miles, after which he comes of the main road and into a residential area. This is his opportunity to make up for lost time. He keeps his foot on the pedal and flies past a school at 40 mph when... a child steps out in front of him.
Mr.X should have left earlier. Mr.X should have been allowed to exceed the limit on the cariageway.
Speed limits save lives. But frustrated drivers take them.