River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Letter from Ray Garrett

March 2004

More discussion on motoring in the county

Dear Ray,

In response to Graham's letter, February Issue, I would ask him if he would prefer to drive everywhere in top gear, be it fifth or sixth, let alone fourth?

I think it has been proven many times over that reducing speed reduces the degree of severity of injuries. If you consider injuries at speeds of 33-35mph, Graham's 10% leeway, they are greater than at speeds of 30mph or less.

Speed limits over the decades have been introduced to save lives and reduce injuries, not to raise revenue.

With regard to the cars not being able to do 30mph in fourth, that is surely down to the manufacturers deciding on the gear ratio, not the fault of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. Their maxim is, 'to be in control of the vehicle at all times and to drive according to the conditions of road, weather, and traffic.'

I would have thought more harm would be done to the car if it was in the wrong gear, be it high or low. There are very few areas with speed limits where you can be in one gear all the time because of corners, junctions, traffic lights, crossings etc., so I'm afraid Graham's argument doesn't hold much water.

Pollution. Let's have more Park and Ride for larger towns like King's Lynn, better and easier accessed parks for towns like Downham. And co-ordinated road works, so it's all done in the shortest time to prevent queues of vehicles sitting there with their engines idling. Does Graham have any thoughts on the school run, where you have quite often 'one car one child'?

I would agree with him on the point that it is not always the motorist at fault. Whilst travelling through a local village with a 30mph limit one morning, a paper boy stepped out in front of me, without looking, from behind a car travelling in the opposite direction. Had I been doing more than 30mph I would have been unable to avoid him and then would have had his injuries, or worse, on my conscience for the rest of my life. Let alone the legal consequences.

Driving is a skill that is enjoyable but requires great concentration, a momentary lapse can cause a lifetime's regrets, be it your own loved one or someone else's. It would be a good idea for drivers to take something like the IAM test and see just how good a driver they really are.

Yours sincerely,

Ray Garrett

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.