Just as I was about to commend Princess Anne for driving her Bentley at 93mph on a motorway, which sensible drivers know is safe under clear weather, low-density traffic conditions, I was caused to brake heavily when I received the NavTrak survey of views of a ‘representative poll of British drivers’. Because 55 per cent of those consulted agreed with Labour’s proposal that a 10-year jail sentence should be imposed on anyone causing death by careless or dangerous driving. The latter yes; but careless driving used to be a much milder charge. 42 per cent wanted special punishment for doing 100mph.
This poll also backed a ban of up to 10 years for a second speeding offence (17 percent), and 23 per cent wanted a prison sentence for speeding in builtup areas! So if you were caught doing 35mph in such an area your liberty would end. More polls showed 39 per cent wanting the motorway limit raised to 80mph and 10 per cent to 90mph. An automatic ban for doing 90-100mph, no mitigating circumstances allowed, got 54 per cent.
When a 70mph limit was to be imposed on the Ml, when traffic density was lower than now, Motor Sport instituted a petition of enormous volume, which Earl Howe presented to Downing Street, backed by Graham Hill. Even the Peer’s pleading did not have the desired result; but it may have stopped a suggested lower limit being imposed. Of course, road safety is paramount; but the war on vehicle owners does seem to be attaining absurd proportions.