For the avoidance of doubt, and apologies if I suggested otherwise (but I don't know where), but I do not think there is ever an absolute safe speed irrespective of conditions - a safe speed (which can be zero in some conditions) is dependant on conditions.
Sydenham wrote: Because of the many who don't adjust there speed accordingly i.e. when it is raining, or busy, or when children are about around schools, or time of day then limits have been imposed and will drop to the fastest considered safe at the worst time to suit the worst conditions.
Some people will knowingly ignore, or be ignorant of speed limits, as with any other regulations. I believe that continual education and other measures need to be in place to remind all of us of expected standards of behaviour. To say it doesn't work ignores the success of drink driving, and seat belt legislation and associated publicity / education, to name just two recent changes. Yes, some people ignore them and think they only apply to others but on the whole we are all safer (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists etc.) since the new regulations have been introduced - behaviours have changed.
I could also mention smoking - a common occurrence 'everywhere' including planes, trains and automobiles - as well as indoors, including most satisfyingly in bedrooms (sometimes). This behaviour has changed.
This new 20 mph push is more of the same - a response to changing road and social environment and as someone said earlier in the thread just as much aimed at saving pedestrian lives - i.e. children or those on mobile phones walking into traffic as with slowing dangerously speeding motorists / cyclists / motorcyclists / lorries.
But I think Sydenham Hill might be the exceptional road and not a good example. I'm still keen to understand whether it is, or whether there are other roads like it, where driving at 20 mph is also just as 'painful', in the area. However, I suggest, as Tim has done, that as we adjust to the new speeds, then it will appear less so.
And well done with regards to your treatment of the delinquent pupil of a few years ago - its a shame there isn't a blacklist that you could have put him on - managed by DVLA - so that someone having such an attitude has to go through lots more hoops before being allowed to drive freely on the roads.
And on my part for the avoidance of doubt - I have said that education ALONE doesn't work but throughout this thread it is clear to see that I am not at all suggesting that we do not need more of it!
If I didn't believe that I'd change my profession!
I stopped smoking back in 1994 for 11 years but sadly, started again. With repeated efforts to stop, I am, unfortunately at this time still using nicotine but I no longer smoke cigarettes. I vape.
However I have never driven under the influence of alcohol and I wouldn't travel in a car without a seat belt prior to 1983. I also had seat belts fitted to my first car in 1986, a 1963 Singer Vogue, which I could have legally driven without them.
I am all for campaigns for road safety but as a very experienced driver and rider of motorcycles, and with almost 52 years experience as a pedestrian I personally do not believe that a blanket 20mph limit round London is the best answer to reducing the accident statistics. But instead using that on the roads that need it and enforcing the law when it comes to all speed limits.
Funny enough just as many drivers quickly fasten their seat belts when they see me in my driving school car as did when they saw me in a police car! Not sure what they think I can do about it but I'm very happy to be having that effect as it's possible a life has been saved that way!
I think it was you who suggested that 30mph feels slow on the dual carriageway part of Southend Lane.
Trying to recall the last time I drove along it to remember if the road has been resurfaced, but apart from it being more of a car park in my opinion than a dual carriageway, the road surface was such that I would very often be driving a little slower than 30mph in the interests of car sympathy!
But whilst Sydenham Hill is exceptional, as already said, I believe 20mph not to be suitable for most roads. I used Brenchley Gardens as an example because despite the fact that it is not in Sydenham, it does have a 20mph speed limit.
Tim Lund wrote:I'd have thought driving instructors were in a specially good position to deal with the challenges of learning new behaviours, and should set a lead in showing it is possible, and not kick against it.
I also agree about the statistics but want more information regarding them. It isn't just anecdotes I have been putting forward but also reasons why I strongly believe as a very experienced and highly trained driver, that the 20mph speed limit on all roads is a mistake.
I can deal with the challenges and if you have read my posts you would see that I am driving in accordance to the changes. For me the challenge isn't keeping to the lower limit but dealing with the increased fears I have that I will be involved in an accident because of them which was borne out this week when I avoided an accident on Sydenham Hill, preventing another driver from driving into the side of my car. If I hadn't been driving and the pupil had I am sure the other driver would have been in the side of my vehicle. That is the challenge, and I have no choice but to deal with it.
With the amount of time I spend on the roads I often need to take evasive action to avoid accidents on the behalf of other drivers and fear that now these incidences will most definitely be on the increase.
I am setting a lead by driving at the limits imposed and am not kicking against it but making valid points as to why, as a person who has been involved in driver training for almost 30 years and been most successful at it, I believe this not to be a good solution.
I hope that the majority of drivers would have been able to realise the situation in time and accelerate out of the way as I had to the other day, rather than panic and brake which would have resulted in a collision!