'Silly' speed checks just an excuse to lower limits until it's quicker to walk instead
I noticed the other day that the silly season has now started in our fair city. The silly speed-check season, that is.
Pairs of wires are appearing across various roads and soon tables of statistics will be published, which will be of very limited value.
If anything, I expect they will show that many drivers exceed speed limits in a modest sort of way without incident, suggesting that statutory speed limits by themselves do not prevent accidents. Driver behaviour is at least as important, if not more so.
The trouble is that the authorities may be tempted to deploy such limited data in their campaign to reduce speed limits still further. So if you see a pair of these wires across the road, don't slow right down. This gives traffic officials all the excuse they need to reduce the speed limit and before you know it, it'll be quicker to walk wherever you're going. Hit the wires right on the button, is my advice, or the powers that be will dust off the Red Flag Act (see Wikipedia).
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Now a little postscript about last week's piece about water meters. I have received a little note from DEFRA (the Government Department responsible) – "The right of a householder (in North Lincolnshire) to remain unmetered can be set aside," it says (it means ignored).
This is because our area apparently suffers from "serious water stress".
So how much do you bet me that soon after the water meter is installed, a little note will be pushed through our letterboxes telling us we've got to change whether we like it or not?
As a consequence, many of us may suffer "serious flow stress" to our bank accounts. Free country? Who told you that?
What a good idea this Community Champion Award scheme is.
Leafing through last week's paper, I have found a perfect candidate for an award.
He's only seven, bless him, and he's just emerged from chemotherapy for a rare children's cancer.
He could have come out of it feeling sorry for himself, but not a bit of it, apparently. There he is, beaming at us all from page 9 and, in doing so, giving hope and support to all other cancer patients – children and adults alike.
His parents must be so proud of their brilliant little son. So, though I've yet to meet him, I nominate Alexander Strong. Never mind all the administration twaddle. Just give the lad a medal.
Great opening show. Queen did well (no Mr Bond, I expect you to fly), Bean excellent touch of lightness. Big let-down was McCartney. Voice is gone. Would have preferred Elton. Forging of Olympic rings the high spot for me. Reminded me of Scunthorpe.
Thumbs up for Tim Berners-Lee and the children's choir and soloists. Well done them – I wouldn't have been brave enough, anyway my voice has broken.
Sport? Well, usual British start, almost total failure. Hope they'll do better. England expects and so on.