How many times have you heard someone say ‘speed kills’? It’s obviously a very odd thing to say, since we all know that it’s not the speed that kills; it’s the stopping really, really quickly that does the damage. No, when someone tells you that ‘speed kills’, they’re talking out of their bottom. And the people that say it tend to be really slow drivers. The same really slow drivers that are completely oblivious to the nuisance they cause to other road users. They think that it’s much safer to drive 10mph under the speed limit than 10mph over it… but it’s not. And this is exactly why I think slow drivers are the problem.
First things first, how annoying is it when you are sat behind someone doing 30mph on a 50mph road? If you’re on a bike, it’s only a very mild irritation, as you’ll have nipped passed them before it’s had chance to boil your piss. It’s when these inconsiderate clowns hold car and van drivers up that it’s a major issue. A car can’t just nip past, the way a bike would, and a van certainly can’t. They’ve got to wait for a bit of straight road so they can see if there’s a gap in oncoming traffic, get a bit of a run-up and hope for the best. There might not be a bit of straight road or a gap in oncoming traffic for ten miles. By now, the poor bastard’s late for work. Or his dinner’s cold. All because one arsehole doesn’t know how to drive properly.
With patience wearing thin, the otherwise sensible driver becomes increasingly likely to attempt a risky overtaking manoeuvre, just so he can get some miles under his belt. And whilst any accident that occurred as a result of this would, by law, be the fault of the ‘overtaker’, it’s quite clear that the ‘overtake-ee’ (that was driving too slowly) ought to be the one held accountable. He won’t be though. He’ll get off scot free.
And if slowing cars and vans down is bad enough, holding a lorry up in a vehicle capable of doing 100mph should be considered one of the worst crimes ever. Punishable by a good hard kick in the nuts (or the fanny). There’s absolutely no excuse for it. If you’re sat on the motorway in your 40ft articulated lorry doing 56mph you shouldn’t ever need to overtake anything. You and your trucker mates should be the slowest things on the road. Every now and then though, you’ll find you need to overtake some joker in a car doing 50mph. I know because I’ve seen it. It should never, ever happen, and if you have to ask why, you shouldn’t be on the road.
If I was in charge, the lorries would have to stay in the slow lane where they belong, but if there was a car holding them up for no good reason, they’d be allowed to ram them off the road. And it would serve them right.
Because having a great big lorry going that slow is one thing; there’s a good reason they are going so slowly, you can see them a mile off and you expect them to be doing that speed. You’ve no reason to expect a car to be going that slowly so when they are it can cause all sorts of problems.
Whether it’s a motorway, dual carriageway or a B-road, if Mr Magoo is doing 20mph less than everyone else, it’s going to cause a problem. Whilst he’s sat there, oblivious to his surroundings and listening to Shania Twain on the wireless, everyone else is having to slam the brakes on, swerve out of the way and take last-second avoiding action in an effort not to smash into him. They may well end up smashing into someone or something else, whilst Captain Knobwash trundles along on his merry way. Probably blissfully unaware.
Because it’s extremely doubtful that he (or she) is concentrating fully on driving. You don’t need to concentrate when you’re driving that slowly, do you? You do if you are driving faster. In fact you definitely do, if you’re speeding (and not just concentrating on looking out for speed cameras). The faster you go, the more you have to concentrate, and the more you concentrate, the safer a driver you’ll be. That’s just common logic.
I’m not saying everyone should break the speed limit. But what I am saying is that just because you might drive a little bit over the speed limit from time to time, it doesn’t make you a dangerous driver. Constantly driving significantly under the speed limit though, does. It’s also very, very bad manners. No, if you’re not prepared to drive at least 40 in a 40, 50 in a 50, 60 in a 60 etc. then you ought to ask yourself whether you should be driving in the first place. It would be better for everybody if all you slow drivers stayed at home. Or got the bus.