Sunday, 6 November 2011

Knee jerk reaction government

I see on the news that the government are reviewing motorway/road policies after the crash on the M5. Seems fair enough doesn't it after something major. I think something like 7 people died... Surely that is a lot?

But hang on, 5 people die and over 60 are seriously injured on UK roads EVERY SINGLE DAY...

Why is it special when it happens in one place in one incident. Surely, if this level of death and injury is cause for government review it should be happening every day? Incidents like this are rare, thankfully. Statistically, they are not significant, just part of a bigger picture that is itself a tad disturbing. Death and injury on the roads is the price we pay for the convenience of having roads and cars and so on. It is probably a fair price overall, sadly.

I feel sorry for the people injured and killed on the M5 this weekend, obviously, but why do all of the others killed every single day appear not to matter?

Or are we governed based entirely on what makes news headlines?


  1. It would seem logical to conduct a thorough investigation in to the causes of this incident (and in fact is normal process in any RTC where serious injuries / fatalities occur), and if that concludes that the accident could have been prevented by different motorway/road policies then fair enough consider making changes, but for all we know the cause could be something entirely separate, such as a driver falling asleep at the wheel, or related to the nearby fireworks display that apparently sent smoke over the road etc...

  2. Indeed, and of course an accident is investigated and actions taken if that is the outcome. It is just that (a) the media report this lots but ignore the same number of people killed the next day and the day after, and so on.." (b) the reporting suggests tha government is reacting to this (presumably just because it is in the media) which is not rational government.

    The comment from the government should have been along the lines "of course, as with all major accidents, the matter will be fully investigated and appropriate actions taken if they can avoid further accidents", and not saying they are reviewing policies!!

  3. There have been a number of articles popping up calling for the proposals to increase the speed limit on motorways to 80mph to be scrapped in light of this, despite the fact there is no evidence (at present anyway) that it was caused by excess speed (and in fact whatever the limit people shouldn't have been doing anywhere close to it given the foggy conditions etc)...

  4. Speed limits are always wrong as the same road with different conditions can warrant a totally different limit for safety. People naturally aim for the specified limit regardless. In many ways no limit on a motorway would be much more sensible - or some dynamic limits like parts of the M25.

  5. I like the German way of things, with varying speed limits, both coming up to and after junctions and also weather dependant. as you said people will always aim for the posted limit anyway, so might as well make that limit variable and suitable for the potential conditions.

    I also hate the way people always blame speed for traffic collisions, of course speed is a factor, as if the vehicles were stationary the collision would not have occurred! stupid driving is by far the biggest reason though.