Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Road safety and speed

The ‘road safety’ ad where the film is reversed and the dead girl comes back to life is specious. The message is that she might have survived if the driver had been doing 30mph instead of 40. But look closely and you’ll see it’s a residential street where 30 is equally inappropriate. A limit implies a universally-applicable safe speed. No such thing. One-size-fits-all limits can't fit all circumstances. They distract us from watching the road and acting according to the context. One-size-fits-all regulation might be fit for policymakers (who make roads unsafe, then leave us to pick up the pieces), but it is not fit for people.

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