One of the articles on the front page of today's "Western Australian" was to the effect that 2400 drivers are caught speeding here every day, many of whom are doing more than 10/kmh above the speed limit while some may exceed it by up to 50/kmh above the limit. While 10/kmh doesn't sound a great deal over the limit, it certainly is if the speed limit on that particular road is 100/kmh or in some cases 110/kmh.
Our speed limits in Perth are 40/kmh past schools morning and afternoon; 50/kmh in built up suburban streets; 60/kmh in other suburban areas; 70 or 80 or 90/kmh on main roads and usually 100 or 110/kmh on country roads. (In miles per hour that is approximately 25, 31, 37, 43, 50, 56, 63 and so on.)
I have noticed over past months/years that there are a lot of single car crashes, particularly of a car crashing into a tree or occasionally a telegraph pole, or even a house. Surely the majority of those crashes would be caused by a car being driven far too fast or driver inattention.
Neither Phil nor I in our years of driving have ever been pulled over for speeding and the only time Phil received a ticket was many years ago when late at night he had gone through a red light. It was one of those double intersections where there are two sets of traffic lights and if you happened to be looking at the wrong one and it was green you could quite easily continue driving. My daughter also did that once years ago at an intersection near our home where another set of lights just up the hill was green. I think these days they have managed to change the type of traffic light so that is less likely to happen.
Getting back to the question of speed on the roads. Of course most cars are capable of doing speeds much higher than any allowed even on our big highways. In a way this is a good thing as it means cars have the ability to accelerate when necessary to perhaps avoid a collision so we can't argue about that. I was always confident that my 2 litre Ford Escort could accelerate well if needed but even then one must always take into account the car could fail for some reason so best not to take chances in the first place. I always maintained the speed limit wherever possible as I consider that drivers that drive below the existing speed limit can also be a danger to others as well as themselves.
Why are people speeding more than they did? I have heard say and read as well, that many people are becoming more arrogant these days ... selfish and thoughtless ... and I think unfortunately this may be true. I feel, for some reason, there is more pressure on folk these days and it is becoming more of a rat race than it has ever been before and so people are more worried about number one and less likely to consider the feelings or needs or others.
Recently it was decided drivers caught using mobile (cell) phones while driving a car would lose 6 demerit points and I think this was an excellent idea and feel it should perhaps be kept in force until people learn that it is against the law. I've even seen drivers of huge semi-trailers driving one-handed with their phones pressed to their ear and if that is not asking for trouble I don't know what is.
We are nearly all taught at an early age that we should obey the law and also not to do anything that is an annoyance to others. In other words, "behave yourself and don't be naughty"!! The majority of people do not commit assault, burglary etc., etc., and yet those same people think nothing of exceeding the speed limit or using their mobile phones while driving and yet by doing those things they are still breaking the law and endangering themselves and others. They even become exceedingly annoyed should they be stopped by a traffic policeman and feel they are being targeted. If they were doing the right thing in the first place they wouldn't have been pulled over; it is as simple as that. Don't break the law.
I have no idea what the answer is. It would seem once a person gets behind the wheel of their car they think they are sacrosanct and have no need to answer to a higher authority. Why? I only know whereas I once enjoyed driving, or being driven, there is no joy in it now as one is nearly always aware that some idiot out there is going to do the wrong thing and not give a damn about other people on the road, or themselves for that matter.