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When's A 40 Mph Not A 40Mph


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just had a letter from community speed watch stating I was doing 41 in a 30 limit on a road that I use on a regular basis, it goes from 50 to 40 , 50 to 30 when I get to logerheads my sat nav which I updated last week said it was a 40 limit but seems they have dropped it from 40 to 30 on one section of that road so it pays not take any thing for granted, watch for limit signs ,cyclists wild life running across the road and keeping control of your car and a look out for community speed watch bods


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Wasn't there a case some time ago where the local council didn't go through some proper process for changing the speed limit on a section of road, and someone initially prosecuted for much the same mistake as yourself had it turned over when their error was discovered?


Not sure whether it's still the case but I'm sure I recall a story along those lines once.

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its all a bit crazy at the moment. There is a section i drive that is 40 except when the lights are flashing on school hours and then it is a 20. Which is fine except how do you know what the limit is if you start from within that section? Also it is school holidays and i have to crawl along at 20 for no reason as there is no-one about at all.


If i drive to oxford from where i live the same types of road can be 40/50/60 with no reason why one section is faster or slower than the other.


It's better now but i used to get very annoyed at speed cameras which don't have an obvious speed limit sign nearby, especially on the oxford road as above as people wouldn't know and slam on the brakes to be sure they wouldn't get a ticket causing more of a danger as they would panic that the 60mph road they were on was actually a 50mph.



still makes a bit of money for the government ;)

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I agree about schools having limits near to them but they should be under strict control by the proper law and not by so called official do good era.


When is a 40 limit not a 40 limit.

That's easy.

It's when a local parish council is full of green do gooders.

Sorry in advance to any members that run or are part of a parish council but the law is the law.

The queens highway is still just that.

Rant done with now.

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What are these community speed watch things?



I've taken part in one recently.

Certain roads in Bromley are seriously abused, & our local neighbourhood watch asked for volunteers.

Stupid here put up his hand.

Anyway, we were stationed outside Biggin Hill airport at 8 am on Friday.

3 volunteers, two PCSOs, & one bike copper (6 ft 5in)! all in very bright high-viz vests, standing out like

a sore thumb..

Straight road, single lane each way, with several junctions , 30mph, well sign posted.

30mph really is a sensible speed for that road.

If the camera i operated by volunteers or PCSOs its just a caution letter.

If its operated by police or designated agents, its legally enforcable.


We ignored anything under 40, in 2 hours we clocked 38 over 40, one bus at 39, one van at 54,

and a BMW doing 47 while overtaking another car, by using the hatched central reservation..

All in clear sight of us 6 luminous lovelies.


Those 3 had a good talking to by the leather clad man mountain.

The rest will get a caution letter.

Of the 38, 29 were female, almost half of them had children in the car, and 4 were spotted

using a phone just before they reached us.


I am not blameless myself...I had a speed awareness course recently, for doing 39 in a 30 limit.

I left a 40 zone, missed the 30 sign, & carried on happily at the 39 I had been doing in the 40 limit.

Hands up....my fault.....& some of the statistics from the course were real scary eye openers.


Peter I'm sorry you got caught, but at our age we should all know better!!!

As for relying on a satnav as a speedo.....shame on you :)

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Another thing about speedometer against satelight derived things.

As most of you know I have recently had a very bad experience having a new dash fitted.

Simon told me he had tested the speedo with his phone, and it was running one mph fast. In other words 40 mph would actually read 41 mph.

Where I live is at the bottom of a valley, down hill in and up hill out no matter how you approach it.

Both roads on the downhill stretch have speed warning camera's.

I alway approach at 40 as that's the legal limit.

Yesterday after a great enjoyable run out I was warned by the sign.

Quickly checking my speedo I was bang on 40.

I had to knock 3 mph off my speed before the sign would reset.

No wonder I was overtaking many cars when I was reading bang on 70 on the motorways.

Now I need to go back to my old workplace and set it all back up on the tachograph setting rollers.

Enough is enough so tomorrow I will be back on the phone to them. YET AGAIN. If you cannot trust the so called pro's, who can be trusted. I worked at my last place since they were taken over by MAN, including the old ERF days I worked for them for 16+ years.

Even after that amount of service, had I have treated any customers vehicle as badly as they treated mine, absolutely no doubt about it, I would have been sacked.

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To be fair Pete all the things you mentioned you should be doing anyway, speed limits do change - its a fact of life. You could consider the advisory letter to be a reminder of that fact, the community speed watch may have intentionally setup the patrol purely for that reason - to formally remind people of the new limit. Personally I would prefer the advisory letter than the one with 3 points attached. I am also a fan of the speed cameras that seek to "embarrass" you into slowing down, they seem to be far more effective than a predominantly empty GATSO.


However, I do agree with the comments about some of the apparent illogical changes in speed on any one road, although my puzzlement tends to be at how the faster section can be any safer than the slower section when they both seem to have the same level of hazards - or even worse the faster section seems to have more hazards.

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I am also a fan of the speed cameras that seek to "embarrass" you into slowing down, they seem to be far more effective than a predominantly empty GATSO.


Yep i think these are really good. There have been a couple of temporary ones on my commute and even though they are no longer there i am still reminded that i have let my speed creep up a couple of mph in the past.


But the cynical part of me thinks that they don't use them more as they have no financial benefit.


I find some decisions odd. There is a corner on a road near me that has claimed many lives as it is a 60mph road with trees on the outside of the corner. I myself was 3rd on scene to an upsidedown car with 2 dead inside at that corner and a couple of months ago read in the local paper a guy i went to school with died there when the van he was in hit a tree. But nothing has been done at all??? a stretch of armco would, i am sure, stop people hitting the trees and dying. Yet this week a lorry took it's roof off going under a low bridge (happens a fair few times) and they are putting in plans for new bridges and one-way systems or traffic lights. doesn't make sense to me.

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While I'm very sorry that anybody dies or is injured in a road accident, where do we stop when it comes to making roads safer? I'm sorry but if you're paying attention then you should be driving to within the limits of the road, your car and the posted speed limit. Just because a limit is posted doesn't mean its safe to travel at that speed. Some people don't consider stopping distance in an emergency at all when they drive and they certainly don't consider other people. No amount of speed limit signs and Armco are going to save them or others when they get it wrong and they are impossible to police with current police budgets. A lot these accident reduction measures don't save lives and cost us taxpaying folks money.

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whilst i agree in principle the same part of the road near me has claimed far too many lives for it to be the odd idiot. I feel sorry for the people who's house it is with the trees. Maybe even just a sign like some countries do to keep it in peoples minds, like a black silouette or i think they plant daffodils where there are fatalities to remind people.


It is hard though as people have faster and faster cars and think they are untouchable. When i was young 100bhp was a big fast car now you can buy little hatchbacks pushing 200bhp on roads with more cars and people. You are right though i watch people on the motorway in the fast lane <1 sec behind the car in front doing 85+, just takes one wrong move and it will go wrong fast.


driving the 2b reminds me i am pretty exposed!

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When I first passed my test I was a statistic waiting to happen. Luckily I have so far made it to 23 and no amount of speeding fines, scare tactics or horror stories ever made me think about my speed or how I was driving. Even more so when I drove a defender and ended up with the general mindset of "anyone hits me they'll come off a lot worse"

What did get me was the realisation that in the Zero, if anything serious happened, chances are I'd be using the last of my luck. Death by Ford KA is not something I want on my headstone lol. Eitherway nothing brings you to your sense quicker than feeling exposed and that helped me big time. Still doesn't prevent the spirited drive, thats what the car is for. But its the trackdays that allow me to test the limits, not public roads.

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why is the world in such a rush?


does speeding really get us to our destination that much quicker?


is the time save speeding worth the risks?


how many times have we heard stories where the speeding driver walks away from a crash leaving innocent people dead?


can any of us truly imagine the horrors that firefighters, paramedics and police see on a weekly basis as a result of dangerous driving?


how many petrolheads who build and modify cars think this skill qualifies them as Richard Burns? when the reality their driving skills are closer to Mr.Bean.......anyone can go fast in a straight line.....and a lot of people can go fast around a corner.......but how many have lighting fast reactions and know what to do when the unexpected happens?



Just saying............confidence and experience can lead to complacency if we're not careful.

Edited by steamer
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'how many petrolheads who build and modify cars think this skill qualifies them as Richard Burns? when the reality their driving skills are closer to Mr.Bean'


partly the reason i stick with my old 1.6 pinto pushing 80bhp :) (it's probably more like 50bhp by now but i can pretend the bits i've done have made an improvement). Still fast enough to kill me i guess.


I'm lucky enough to live in the forest of dean where you learn that you are likely to hit a Boar, Deer, Sheep, Fox, Badger, Cyclist, Walker, Tractor, Fallen branch etc at any turn so it makes me always expect i might need to stop in a hurry.


Whilst i am not suggesting we all power slide everywhere i think it's a good thing to understand how the car handles and when it might step out etc. The germans i believe do a 2 week driving test which includes skid pan. We just wait until it snows and drive into everything.

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One of the scary stats I learned on my speed awareness course.

3 drivers on a motorway, one at 70, one at 80, one at 90.

A stationary obstruction appears.

Guy doing 70 stops just in time.

Guy doing 80 hits it at 30....

Guy doing 90 hits it at 70...

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