Gareth from the Office: Speed Kills... but so does stupidity

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SPEED KILLS. Well, at least it would seem that way in a small Australian town, which is looking to change its name from Speed to Speed Kills for a month to support a speeding campaign.

Reading that last week, as well as talking to people on the subject of speed cameras, set me thinking. Do people drive too fast in Milton Keynes?

I have always been a careful driver, don’t get me wrong I’m not too happy when I’m going slow, but I stick to the speed limit – I just don’t want the points and the fine.

But with so many chilling adverts on TV, why would anyone want to speed? The government may have exaggerated their statistics in their ‘hit me at 30’ campaign – failing to update it for modern cars – but I don’t fancy hitting anyone at any speed.

Research shows that surviving a moderate speed accident is much higher today as opposed to the 1970s, when the statistics for the campaign were taken.

Just seven per cent of accident victims will be killed in a 30mph crash, while 31 per cent will be killed at 40mph – but I still prefer to be cautious.

I know that accidents are sometimes unavoidable, no matter what speed you are going but surely in residential areas the slower speed means higher awareness of your surroundings.

If you are driving on a dual carriageway, I see no problem in driving 70mph, that’s the speed limit, but different roads have different restrictions for a reason.

The Government’s casualty reduction targets for 2010 saw a 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road collisions.

There was a 50 per cent reduction in the number of children suffering the same fate and a 10 per cent reduction in slight casualties.

And what’s one of the most effective ways of achieving these stats?

Reducing the speed limit? I don’t think that’s the answer. Speed cameras are a possibility but only if they are set at an appropriate speed for the roads they serve.

People need to take more responsibility for their own driving styles, or face the consequences. Leave with plenty of time in hand, or accept you’re going to be late for something. Accidents happen when people are hurrying, panicking and in turn not paying attention.

But trust me I’ve done it. I am certainly no saint but I learn from my mistakes. At 25 I don’t want points on my licence and the added increase in insurance that comes with it.

So in turn please watch your speed because otherwise somebody else might be watching it for you.