Mon | May 29, 2017

Review archaic 50kph speed limit

Published:Friday | June 12, 2015 | 6:00 AM


If the substantial and severe new traffic fines result in better driving on our roads, if they will dramatically reduce the high number of road fatalities, and if they will save many lives, we will be forced to put brakes on the undisciplined way we drive in this country.

Too many lives are lost through careless driving, and so we pay dearly.

Most of the fines may well come from speeding, and speeding is claimed to be the causal factor in many accidents. However, many of the places where the 80kph and 50kph are designated appear to be arbitrary and bear no association with the prevailing road condition. At times, the zones are difficult to detect (use colour marker at intervals) and some of the small signs are hidden or improperly placed.

The speed limit of 50kph goes back to the days of the Morris Minor, Austin Cambridge, and Plymouth cars. Today's motor vehicles are of higher engine capacity, way easier to handle, and our road network is vastly improved. Today's vehicles perform inefficiently at and struggle to maintain the 50kph limit.

Motor cars are handled better, perform more efficiently at around 60-70kph, and control of the vehicle is better at that speed. Consequently, consideration should be given to raising the minimum speed limit, at least in particular areas, which would also reduce driving time.

And on a related matter, shouldn't the motoring public be forewarned by public announce-ments when, and, broadly, where speed traps are to be mounted?