On Friday last, the Powers That Be introduced a 30Km speed limit in Dublin city centre.
Now personally I couldn’t care less if they introduced a 1Km limit as I avoid that city like the plague and haven’t driven in it for a decade or two anyway. However it’s the principle of the move that annoys me.
All these limits, be they speed or alcohol or whatever, are based on a highly flawed assumption that less is better. The principle works along the lines that if everyone drove at 140Km through city streets that there would be carnage – a fair assumption? – and that if everyone drove at 0Km there would be no deaths, injuries or even accidents which is also a fair assumption as nothing would be moving. The logic therefore goes that the slower the speed, the less accidents there would be.
Now that logic sounds pretty reasonable, but there are flaws within.
Suppose they did introduce a 140Km limit in the city centre, they would assume that everyone would drive at that speed which is beyond nonsense. From my recollection of driving in Dublin you would be damned lucky to hit 40Km because of the congestion. Every road has its own natural speed limit which is based on visibility, road conditions, driver ability and experience, the capability of the car and the geography of the road itself. Go over that limit and there are dangers, while below that limit there is just extra congestion.
Seeing as some drivers misjudge their natural abilities, there are of course accidents, so while I dislike limits I can see a certain logic, but imposing a blanket limit at such a slow speed will just cause frustration which is the enemy of safe driving. It is also a nice little earner for those Powers That Be as they can fine people for driving at a perfectly safe speed of 50Km on a road where otherwise conditions are right for such a speed.
These unrealistic limits are just another form of tax gathering and a sop to those campaigners who have lost family members. They are fuck all to do with “saving lives” because they don’t. How many deaths have there been in Dublin City Centre down purely to speeding and not carelessness? Probably none.
Frankly that speed limit is just another reason why I will never drive in that city again.