November 29, 2011

The coalition government’s reckless plans to increase the motorway speed limit to 80mph, will lead to countless extra deaths and injuries and could send motor insurance premiums through the roof, insurers claimed this week.

When Transport Minister Phil “Top Gear” Hammond introduced his crowd-pleasing speed-fiend’s charter last month, he claimed that deaths on Britain’s roads had fallen by 75% since the 70mph limit was introduced, but that it was now time to “put Britain back in the fast lane of global economies”, along with places like Italy which already has an 81mph limit.

Though lorries will still to be limited to 70mph, so goods won’t get from place to place any faster, Phil anticipates massive economic productivity gains from rushing top business persons from one meeting to another more fastly.

Surely, you might think, a few extra deaths would be a price well worth paying for the huge surge in productivity the move will surely unleash.

But curmudgeonly motor insurer Allianz believes, according to this week’s Post Magazine, that “should this change lead to more deaths and injuries on our roads, it will need to be funded by increased premiums, unpopular though that might be.”

When approached by Post’s reporter, a spokesbeing for RSA was unable to comment, saying: “The needs of the economy, the impact on the environment and a potential rise in accidents would need to be analysed closely.”

Along with kick-starting Britain’s economic resurgence and turbocharging “the arteries of a healthy economy”, Hammond reckons the move will have the added benefit of decriminalising the “otherwise law abiding” vast majority of motorists who already drive at 80mph (albeit not the large subset who drive at 90mph+).

Decrimalising otherwise law abiding people sounds like an excellent project. Perhaps the government could also consider decriminalising otherwise law abiding people who simply happen to shoplift, fly-tip or graffiti from time to time. The only flaw in this argument, of course, is that reaping the full economic benefit of supercharging the circulation of this country’s economic lifeblood rather depends on all those now driving at 80mph driving at 90mph, those who drive at 90mph driving at 100mph etc… Can we be sure they will show true bulldog spirit and respond – or will they simply slip back into comfortably law-abiding lackadaisicality?

So come on motorway users: put your bloomin’ foot down and speed the British economy along the road to recovery!


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