Just the other day, in my capacity as a parish councillor, I was asked by a concerned resident of the village to bring up an item on speeding at the next meeting. It transpires that a rather well-known individual was allegedly recognised by them speeding through this part of the shire – one Mr Jeremy Clarkson – presenter of BBC TV’s Top Gear programme, author and newspaper columnist.
A quote from a piece that Jez wrote on the Top Gear website a few years back talking about radar detectors and the joys of driving fast gives us some insight, if any were needed, into his attitude towards speeding: “…the real reason we are attracted to radar detectors has absolutely nothing to do with safety. It’s because, theoretically, they allow us to drive at one million mph through a village, safe in the knowledge that Plod isn’t hiding round the next corner in his Fiat van […]
“[…]Only the other day, on the television, I joked that I’d never buy a car because it protected pedestrians well in an accident. There are, I explained, more important things to worry about, like how fast it goes and what it looks like. And, of course, the next week, I had a barrage of mail from people whose children had been run over and killed. Each one made me feel absolutely fucking dreadful.”
And so it should Mr C. On rural village roads, with blind bends and build-outs, close to schools and other amenities speed limits are set with everyone’s safety in mind. The total length of a speed restriction on a stretch of village through-road might only be a few hundred yards or so. What’s the point of speeding through it? Something will slow you up on the way through so why not drive smoothly through at the speed limits. Just exercise a little patience and consideration? You’ll get out and on your way in no time.
The same goes for all the selfish gits – most of whom are residents old and new – whose lives are apparently so much more important than the safety of the kids, parents, the elderly, cyclists, horse riders etc that also use the road. Not to mention their own personal well-being. Tractors coming round blind bends with the sun behind them on bright winters’ mornings tend to be almost invisible and provide a fairly terminal barrier when hit head on at speeds even as low as 20 mph.