Today is National Speedtrap Day here in Ireland.
This is the day when they stick our Boys in Blue [actually florescent yellow] at the side of the road to catch those unfortunate motorists who are unaware of the day that's in it.
They advertise the day well in advance, and are even kind enough to tell us where those speed traps [sorry – Safety Zones] are placed. There is a sting in the tail though as they have just introduced 355 extra "Safety Zones" which become effective today, so I would imagine quite a few will be caught. I'm sure the extra cash raised in fines will come in useful?
I sometimes wonder how many accidents and near misses are caused by these operations. How many drivers today are concentrating on the speedometers instead of watching the road ahead? How many of those speedometers are accurate? How many speedometers are still displaying the old Miles Per Hour, instead of the new money?
I tend to use the SatNav on a long journey for two reasons – it works brilliantly as a hands-free for the mobile phone and its speed indicator is more accurate than my speedometer. I know the latter is true as I have tested it and when I am doing 50, my speedometer indicates around 53, so if I relied on the car, I would be well below the limit. It also has in irritating little habit of pinging at me at intervals when I am over the limit [which is most of the time so I usually switch that “feature” off].
Of course National Speedtrap Day is the day when they chant their old mantra at us – "Speed Kills" – which I maintain is a load of bollox. Bad driving kills, not speed. I judge my speed not by limits but to such simple factors as visibility, the state of the road and the state of the car. There is a road near here about a kilometre long which is dead straight with no entrances, houses or hazards yet it has a 50 limit on it. I rarely go below 60 on that stretch. There is another road nearby, also with a 50 limit which has a long succession of nasty bends for about two kilometres and I defy anyone to get anywhere near the limit without smashing into something.
As it happens, I was out yesterday [doing 80 in their 50 “Safety Zone”] so there is no need to go out again today.
I'm keeping my money where it belongs.
Normal service resumes tomorrow.