Speed limit is not the problem

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From: Gerald Tinsley, Clifford Road, Boston Spa.

The letter “Scrap Plan to Lift Speed Limit” (Yorkshire Post, November 14) is an example of the illogical thinking which has influenced legislation and has resulted in the confusing jumble of speed limits which we now have on our roads.

The 70 mph limit was introduced in the 1960s in a knee-jerk reaction to a number of motorway crashes in dense fog, when traffic had been moving at 40 mph, although it should have been at 20 mph under those conditions.

Imposing a limit of 70 mph in normal clear conditions was the political answer to a demand to “do something” but it had no relevance to the problem.

The recent crash on the M5 has been reported as happening when traffic was moving at much below the 70 mph limit in misty conditions, and this case should not be used as an argument against the possibility of raising the general limit from 70 to 80 mph.

It seems that the main cause of the crash was traffic of all sorts – cars, vans, and big articulated lorries – driving too close together.

We see this on the roads every day, creating an unnecessary hazard but fortunately not often resulting in serious accidents.

Because drivers find a difficulty in relating their distance from the vehicle in front to their speed, some cars are beginning to be fitted with a warning system. If such systems can become universal we may see a real improvement in road safety – much better than irrelevant speed limit reductions!

A big issue

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

Has anyone else noticed the rise and rise of the word “issue”? There are no problems any more, only issues.

A stranger at a bus stop who had drunk too much told me he had “issues”.

A cheery barman at a pub near me still finds every order “no problem”. How long before I get “no issue”? Or, when I overdo eye-contact in the street, can I expect: “Is there an issue, pal?”

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