I know it was my fault and I was in the wrong, but I still feel peeved with the authorities...

…Perhaps it’s partly due to ‘Party-Gate’, why should I comply when the rule makers don’t, but it is probably more that some rules don’t make sense. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the British public were taken for ‘mugs’ with many of the nonsensical and counterproductive COVID rules, but it also makes you wonder about many of our other laws.

I am peeved because I have recently had to attend another speed awareness course. I appreciate not all will have sympathy and after 40 years in insurance dealing with a number of road accident claims involving death or serious injury, I am well aware of the dangers of speeding.

I am certainly not against punishment for the real speed merchants who generally go far too fast, and whilst local residents may not agree, is it really right to be penalised for going 47 mph (the limit was 40) on the dual carriage section of the A27 at Lancing, keeping up with traffic on the main arterial route along the south coast of England in a modern safe car? Like me, my guess is that most if not all the attendees on the course were in the ‘a bit over the limit but nothing too extreme’ category.

My previous Speed Awareness Course used data that correctly pointed out that accident rates dropped when 20 mph zones were introduced but failed to mention that accident rates went up elsewhere. This time it was braking distances that were open to question.

The most persuasive point was the physics behind extra speed. At 30 mph you stop in 23 metres but go 31 mph and you are still doing 8 mph at the 23-metre mark. Perhaps not deadly but the difference between 70 and 80 mph could be as you are still doing 39 mph at 96 metres (the stopping distance at 70 mph).

That really makes you think. But having been told an ‘average family car’ stops in 73 metres at 60 mph, I find that the published stopping distance of my Volvo is just 36 metres at 62 mph (100 Kmph). Given the track record of motor manufacturers, this is obviously a manipulated figure, but it can’t be that far out (and if it is why do the Government allow them to publish it).

I appreciate that the Volvo will no doubt be at the top end of braking ability and that you can’t have different rules for different cars, but the most galling part of the course is the reminder of the speed limits on other roads.  Whilst I am restricted to 40 mph on what I consider to be a relatively safe road, I can legally go 60 mph on a narrow, bending, single carriage country road, something I would not dream of doing, but many do not have restrictions.

Electric scooters

Not everyone will agree with my take on speeding, but we seem to be building up to the inevitable legalisation of E-scooters despite all the warnings of misuse. They are now commonplace on pavements, and we have recently had the first ‘pavement’ death, a 71-year-old Grandma killed by a 14-year-old e-scooter rider.