Belfast Telegraph

Too many speeders, too little regard for the restrictions

Editor's Viewpoint

Many will be surprised by the revelation that nearly 42,500 people were caught speeding last year. This represents some 116 people a day. Some areas are more susceptible for convictions than others, and 12 drivers a day are caught on Belfast's Antrim Road.

Obviously the penny has not yet dropped with those who travel on roads where speeding offences are high.

Most of the detections occur in the 30mph zone in heavily built-up areas, and often in the vicinity of schools where children are particularly vulnerable.

A large number of people who are caught may feel that their conviction was unfair, and one of our own journalists gives a good example of this in today's paper.

It is indeed galling to be caught when driving just over the limit, rather than travelling at an excessive speed, but the authorities need to set down standards and even a few miles per hour faster than the limit constitutes a motoring offence.

However, the question of speed limits has to be set against the high number of road accidents, and the alarming reality that 40 people have died so far this year. If such a figure was reached by paramilitary activities there would rightly be a huge outcry.

Each of these road deaths is a tragedy for the victim's family and friends. It causes immense heartache to those left behind, as well as others who have been grievously injured with life-threatening conditions.

Many of these are the victims of car accidents and collisions, while the death-rate among motorcyclists is equally alarming.

The carnage continues despite the high-profile road safety campaigns and a variety of speed calming measures, which are still not heeded enough.

Some people regard speeding penalties as a source of indirect taxation, but basically if you stay within the limits you will not be prosecuted. The responsibility ultimately lies with each person behind each wheel. Speeding and road safety are incompatible. We can't have it both ways.

Belfast Telegraph


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