The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Monday, October 04, 2004

speeding - the new drink-driving

theme music: going the distance (cake)

is speeding as bad as drink driving?

fifteen years ago many people would have said drinking and driving wasn't that big a deal - if you can get the keys in the ignition you can drive - but few would now. will this happen to speeding too?

like most people, i really love to drive fast, really fast. but it's a guilty pleasure very rarely indulged - i fear an accident, and i fear a ticket. i know if i hit something when i am driving fast then i will probably hurt myself and definitely hurt what i hit. i've had one near head-on accident already when i wasn't driving fast (someone else ran a red light) and that was bad enough, even though neither of us was badly hurt.

The Man Who Sits In The Comfy Chair thinks the "if you speed be prepared to kill" line is a crock. But then he speeds, frequently, and he drives a lot. Is this any different from the attitude of drink drivers in years gone by - "i can handle it", "it's not me, it's those other people, they don't know how to drink (speed) responsibly" etc.

i think there are other factors that contribute to speed being a killer on our roads - recently there was an Australian expert reported talking about the need to eliminate roadside hazards that can be hit, eg trees, for all our roads where the speed limit is high. maybe if we had done this Michael King and his partner would still be alive as that is what killed them - simply driving into a tree, not even breaking the speed limit.

but until we fix those kinds of hazards clearly driving fast is not as safe as we all like to think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Physics tells those of us who listen to it that kinetic energy is proportional to the SQUARE of the velocity. So yes, speed kills!