Friday, May 28, 2010

20mph in built-up areas?

There is a big piece in the Independent today written by Dr Nick Foreman, a GP from Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Nick was involved in an accident when a child ran out in front of his car. Nick writes...

I think I was going at 20mph at the point of impact, and maybe now you will agree with me that that should be the speed limit in built-up areas.

...Well no Nick, I do not agree with you on this one. Life is about managing risk and if all built-up areas where pedestrianised then children could not run out in front of cars. Roads are for driving on and pavements are for walking on. These are basic life skills that should be taught to children by their parents. The Highway Code should also be introduced to these children, roads are for driving on and you should ONLY cross at recognised crossing points. The roads are not a playground and it is the parents' duty of care to their children to teach them these simple life skills.

If a child knows that to run out in front of a vehicle means certain death, as I was told as a child, then children will respect the Highway Code. If the built-up area speed limit is reduced to 20mph then this will only encourage children to run out in front of vehicles and even adults to jay-walk willy-nilly everywhere. Why should the whole country grind-down to 20mph because a few will not act sensibly?
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