Readers' views on the 70 speed limit

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[These are but a microscopic selection of the letters, ‘phone calls and telegrams with which we have been besieged.—ED.]

Sir,
The Government, in imposing the 70 m.p.h. speed limit, obviously have in mind the U.S.A., where general speed limits are said to have lessened road casualties. This, if true, is not necessarily relevant to conditions in this country, where roads are now, without general speed limits, safer than U.S.A. roads are with them.

If the Government thinks it must make some spectacular gesture, why does it not, as other countries do, (1) prohibit parking, and enforce a general extension of “clearways” on all main roads, (2) indicate, on main roads, whether or not main road traffic has priority over side traffic. These steps would make a far more effective contribution to road safety than any speed limit.

It is to be hoped that the Government will realise the futility of imposing additional strains on a police force already seriously undermanned, in the attempt to enforce a speed limit that is irrelevant to the considerations that have prompted it, and which can only accentuate the universal practice of ignoring speed limits when they are irrelevant to road conditions. It passes comprehension that those in authority have not yet realised that, irrespective of other national attitudes, the average law-abiding Englishman ignores prohibitions in circumstances when he knows they are unnecessary, particularly when they are unenforceable.

Leek. J.N.H. Pursaill.

The Bloody Limit

This Bloody land’s a Bloody cuss,
Might as well go by Bloody ‘bus.
No-one cares for Bloody us,
Poor Bloody Drivers!

Bloody Fraser’s Bloody done it,
Given us a Bloody limit,
Makes you want to Bloody spit.
Poor Bloody Drivers!

Bloody Police State here at last;
Mustn’t drive too Bloody fast.
that’s the Bloody judgement passed.
Poor Bloody Drivers!

Might as well sell Bloody car.
Go and prop up Bloody bar:
Shan’t be going Bloody far.
Poor Bloody Drivers!

Seventy Bloody miles an hour.
What a waste of Bloody power;
Makes me feel Bloody sour.
Poor Bloody Drivers!

With apologies to the author of “The Bloody Orkneys.”

Crowborough. “J.B.”
[As the operative word of this despairing poem is heard almost every night on TV programmes these days, I have no compunction about publishing it, as once I might have done !—ED.

1896 and All That
(To be sung to the tune of the Communist anthem)

Tom Fraser’s flag is deepest red,
On Motorways be walks ahead,
If we exceed three score and ten.
We’ll likely end up in the pen.

Though Motorways were made to speed,
The flow of traffic, not impede,
Tom Fraser says “No ruddy fear.
I’ll keep the red flag flying HERE!”

Marske-by-the-Sea. B.G.S. Ayrton

Sir,
I would like to register the strongest complaint possible against this latest impertinence of the Transport Minister, with regard to the 70-m.p.h. speed limit.

Not only does this thinking take us back to the “red flag” mentality, but it puts the Motor Industry in a ludicrous position.

Bramhall. Philip Henshall

Sir,
The latest in the long line of restrictions placed upon the motorist in this country will no doubt be accepted with the apathy for which the general public are notorious.

I feel, however, that I must express the opinion of myself and a great number of my associates that the 70-m.p.h. pill is a monumental placebo calculated to deter at least a percentage of the rightful agitation for highway improvements.

If such a restriction were the answer to the problem of road accidents, then it would be, as such, acceptable, but it must surely be obvious that in any disease, whether of the individual or of the nation, a cure can only be effected if a correct diagnosis is made.

In four months’ time we shall be able to assess the effectiveness of the prescription, when I am certain we shall find that the sugar-coating has worn off and, as so many times in the past, we shall have been left with yet another distasteful result of a political publicity stunt.

Crewkerne. A.J. Parsons

Sir,
Quote—” We do not object to an experimental maximum speed limit.” Who said this ? R.O.S.P.A. ?, the Pedestrians’ Association ? No!—a Director of the A.A.! Just how wet can you get and still get paid for it ? Editorials in the Dailies showed a far more acute sense of the motorists’ interests and the country’s needs.

Perhaps my earlier outburst on the ineffectiveness of our motoring organisations was not so outrageous after all. Maybe Messrs. Jolley, Beech and Wildman should parade outside Parliament with placards. Maybe we all should. Someone ought to do something !

Gidea Park. H.S. Wildman