This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Friday, August 25, 2006

Murderous Motorists.

Every now and then a lobby group asks the government to reduce speed limits, increase sentences for motoring offences, and put more speed bumps into roads. The government often acts on this, as let's face it, it is cheaper than giving into other lobby groups such as those who oppose the war in Iraq or the animal rights brigade.

As a police officer, I am naturally disgusted at people who speed, use their mobile phone while driving, and otherwise terrorise our neighbourhoods with their driving. There is a huge criminal fraternity at large here which goes unpunished other than a few points on their license. I am disgusted that these impatient fools are not treated as murderers and locked away for life. If you are stupid enough to kill someone who runs suddenly in front of your car, no penalty is too severe.

The only way to deter these terrorists is to imprison those who speed. It is worth two-and-a-half years or more and thousands of pounds of tax-payers money to bring them to justice if that is what it takes.

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Copyright of PC Bloggs

13 Comments:

Anonymous Dr Dan H. said...

Ah, speed limits. They save lives, don't they? Quite clearly, a road without a speed limit is hideously dangerous, and imposing a limit on such an anarchic terror will most certainly improve matters immeasurably?

Well, in the nineteen nineties, through little more than bureaucratic stupidity, the freeways of Montana lost all speed limits, and stayed like that for several years.

Those years had the lowest fatality and injury rates ever recorded in that state.

Speed limits were later reinstated on the roads, and casualty rates then rocketed, and have stayed high ever since.

Read all about it here: http://www.hwysafety.com/hwy_montana_2001.htm

To conclude, you do indeed sound right. Cracking down on speeders sounds absolutely wonderful, and a great use of police time. There's just one slight problem; the facts of the only live experiment ever done on the topic directly contradict you.

I look forward to your most erudite response to this comment.

25 August, 2006 16:16

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

I think I need one of those signposts some of my readers have suggested. Dr Dan H - I am not always one hundred percent serious in everything I write.

26 August, 2006 05:23

 
Anonymous Rob said...

The Montana example sounds very credible until subject to any thought process. Freeways are not the places where speed limits are most applicable (urban areas are), and with the generally sluggishness of the American car, it probably wasn't the least safe thing ever.

Try that in Britain in an urban area (or even on the motorway; at present, with a speed limit of 70mph on motorways we see people going up to about 110mph - the number of people doing that would rise drastically if you deregulated motorway speeds - I'd do it!) and you'll see why speed limits are useful.

I read the article from the highway safety website. Their reason for no speed limits being safer was: people wore seatbelts more often, and had better lane courtesy. Only the most credible of petrol-heads will imagine that this is logical. Those two things are nothing to do with speed limits. If people driving in a speed limit zone think that it's safe to not wear a seatbelt, then they're exhibiting ignorance. That has nothing to do with speed limits.

As for lane courtesy - why was it better? There is no decent explanation given.

The entire article is actually written in a beguiling way, using rhetoric and repetition to try and persuade. There is no evidence that the fewer accidents were anything other than a statistical anomoly; the only explanation given for it was the magical ability of deregulating maximum speeds to make drivers drive more safely, and to wear seat belts.

Anyway, I'm commenting on a comment rather than the original blog article. I of course disagree with the idea that inappropriate speeds and holding a mobile phone while driving are acceptable, but I can understand that yet another lobbying group must be annoying. We don't really get that in the UK.

I came here from coppersblog, and like it. Look forward to reading more!

26 August, 2006 10:53

 
Blogger ExtraSpecialCopper said...

people should focus on people who dont signal, dont know how roundabouts work, who have no ane discipline and get up peoples arses - these are worse than speeding imo. What makes me laugh is people who say they have never sped in their life - yeah right

26 August, 2006 11:56

 
Anonymous justacop said...

We should concentrate on the many aspects of bad driving, not just speed, however speed cameras are cheap (compared to police) and have no discretion. They are also in fact a nice little earner for the chancellor which I am sure has not gone unnoticed at the treasury. Safety orientated - don't make me laugh, the flashing 'reduce speed signs' would be just as effective but they do not raise any revenue.

Cameras don't catch uninsured drivers, 'death trap' non certificated vehicles and disqualified drivers.

We need more traffic police officers, not those sign placing HATO people, real ones. Many years ago the police service in the UK was very capable of dealing with cross border crime, and level 2 crime - we had things called crime squads, and indeed road traffic police operated to a large extent across border.

This was relatively effective in dealing with this sort of crime, after all how many speeding cars on the motorway turned out to be full of criminals and stolen gear? Lets face it the government drive has been relentless on reducing 'real police' numbers in these roles along with ACPO. The cost of this is letting cross-border crime increase - absolute numpties ! Is SOCA the answer - well no I don't think so.

It's all about getting back to basics. Let's face it someone doing 40 in a 30 at 0400 in the morning is a lot safer than someone doing 30 in a 30 past a school during the day - police discretion is a wonderful and effective tool but they need to be out there, enforcing all aspects of traffic legislation which in turn catches the criminal element using vehicles to further their lawlessness.

28 August, 2006 10:08

 
Blogger beethoven writes said...

can you honestly say that you have never broken the speed limit?

i don't own a car so can speak without bias on this i think. i do however have a driving licence.

from what i have seeen, everyone speeds at some point. im not saying that i agree with it but if you drive, you speed sometimes, surely?

every year, around fifty pedestrians in london are hit by police cars on emergency calls. perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to speed either?

28 August, 2006 19:48

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Injuredcyclist, I would like to draw your attention to the Sarcasm Alert. This will soon be installed and will be triggered daily to assist my readers.

29 August, 2006 17:47

 
Anonymous made up in Manchester said...

I found this site through Ian Dale - Very interesting.

On the point with speeding - I was lucky enough, the other day to discover how much easier driving in the UK has become.

Having gone to a bit of a do on Wednesday evening, miles from home, I ended up a little worse for wear and had to sleep it off. Next morning, I had to get home and I was possibly over the limit (for walking!) so I got in the car, and made my way home. having passed a speed camera, (at 25 mph because I couldn't see the needle properly!) I was shocked to see a big Volvo in the usual bright battenburg style so popular these days.

Luckly for me, the nice policeman inside was unable to use his initiative and find out why I was travelling at 25 mph, because he was waiting for the nice machine he was using to check my number plate to see if I had insurance!

Extra lucky for me was the straight road that meant I didn't need to keep my hands on the wheel, as I was feeling quiet ill!

Anyway, maybe this story is real, maybe it isn't - it does point out that getting car insurance, tax and an MOT, wearing a belt and sticking to 30 when going past a copper sort of makes you invincible with regards to any other motoring crimes, like being pissed, lacking the skills to drive a car or having a car which is nothing like what it is meant to be - Vauxhall Corsa V8 badged as a 1.1 anyone?

01 September, 2006 12:10

 
Blogger Emma F shares the wealth said...

The Montana story is a complete (but oft-repeated) myth. Check out for example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States#Montana
for more information.

01 September, 2006 13:38

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay for trivialising terrorism!

12 July, 2007 14:12

 
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