Police Chief of South Wales, Peter Vaughan, has said that he doesn’t agree with the government’s plans to push the legal speed limit on the UK’s roads up to 80mph. He explained that it was basic science that when something is travelling faster, it makes more of an impact when it meets something which is stationary.
He added that he commonly saw people driving at 70mph when the matrix signs on motorways are advising drivers not to exceed 40mph. He went on to say that the signs have been put up for a good reason, and that is to tell people what is happening further down the road.
Vaughan also said that he would like to see Westminster devolve control of the Welsh police force to Cardiff. A recent report by the Department for Transport indicates that nearly half of all drivers have broken the 70mph limit, either on purpose, or by mistake. The limit was introduced in 1965, and official figures show that since then the number of road deaths has dropped by around 75 per cent.
Supporters of increasing the speed limit say that car technology means that it would be safe to do so. They also claim that reducing journey times would be good for the country’s economy.
A consultation was launched earlier in the year, and the Department for Transport has suggested introducing the change in 2013. Detractors say that pushing up the limit will make the roads more dangerous and will mean that motorists will burn more fuel, which is not good for the environment.