LETTERS From Dr Noel Stimson, Bembridge:
KEVIN Jenkins’s attempt to resurrect his Campaign440 (CP letters, 27-09-13) is perhaps to be expected in the light of the numerous current campaigns suggesting 20mph limits around the Island.
With modern traffic densities increasing in many urban and rural areas, 20mph limits make sense where there is a need. But drivers need to be able to adjust their speed appropriately, up or down, according to the conditions and legally enforced speed limits, usually conform to this principle.
However, a blanket 40mph Island-wide would be disastrous for Island drivers and of no proven value to pedestrians. The 2010 figures show that 60 per cent of all road accidents occur within urban speed limits.
Statistically, the safest roads in this country are our fastest roads — the motorways (four per cent).
Obviously, there are many factors involved and no one is suggesting a speed limit free-for-all.
Mr Jenkins mentions the blanket 40mph limit in Jersey and Guernsey, but that is not a reasonable comparison; Channel Island rural roads are, in the main, much narrower even than ours, mostly bordered with high hedges. I can assure Mr Jenkins it is most unlikely any normal driver/car would even reach 40mph, let alone exceed it.
Even the buses and coaches are specially modified by having their overall width reduced by 18ins or so in order to fit the narrow Channel Island roads. Their blanket 40mph limit is entirely appropriate.
An Island-wide 40mph limit would be a massive retrograde step and grossly inappropriate, bringing Island driving standards down to match the lowest level of competence.
The politicians don’t want it (too unpopular) and the police don’t want it (impossible to police and unnecessary in any case). Such a limit would be a death blow to all 'L’ and advanced driver training on the Island.
To imply Speed Kills is totally incorrect; it is the wrong speed at the wrong place that can kill; RoSPA describes this as 'inappropriate speed’. The answer to reducing road casualties has always better initial and on-going driver training and education. Maybe there are lessons to be learned from the aviation and sea-going professions?