LETTER: Fitting speed-limiters should be a no-brainer

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If the fact that only two per cent of council-owned tower blocks are fitted with sprinkler systems is shocking and shameful, it has to be even more so that, speed limiters aren’t fitted to all motor vehicles, excepting emergency vehicles.

The London Fire Brigade commissioner, Dany Cotton said: “We know they, (sprinklers), save lives. I support retro-fitting. Clearly, for me, when you can save one life, it’s worth doing. This can’t be optional. It can’t be a ‘nice-to-have’; this is something that must happen and it’s something that must be in place for the future.” Accordingly, to save thousands of lives, and billions of pounds, fitting speed limiters ‘today’, should also be a no-brainer!

Motor vehicles have a raft of measures to protect drivers and their passengers, but none of them effectively protect vulnerable road users. Last year, 400 pedestrians and 123 cyclists, were killed by motor vehicles. Also, 11 horse-riders were killed and 116 seriously injured, in the five years to 2015.

According to the Department of Transport, road casualties cost £15billion a year. Also, according to a report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research, congestion will cost as much as £307b by 2030. We also have record levels of poverty in working families: more than two-thirds of children living in poverty are in families where at least one parent is working. In the third world it’s said the bicycle is “the first step out of poverty.”

While poor people desperately try to save money by walking and cycling, ‘poor’ drivers, (slowed by congestion), desperately ‘speed’ to save time, and make-up for lost time. And, in the case of delivery drivers, they ‘speed’ to make money. Lawless driving/parking exacerbates congestion, does it not?

If shoplifting to survive won’t be tolerated, then why do we tolerate drivers stealing time? Is any other worker allowed to steal time?

Also, if thieves who steal ‘poppy collection boxes’ are the ‘scum of the earth’, then drivers who ‘rob’ the poor of the freedom of safe passage, (which millions have fought, died, and been murdered for), must be even worse!

If sprinklers can ‘police’ tower blocks, and stop fires from spreading, speed limiters can ‘police’ roads and stop climate change from accelerating out of control; destroying homes, and leaving people destitute, and suicidal.

A cap on speed limits might ‘sadly’ make oil rich nations ‘poorer’, but long term, it should ‘fill’ government coffers, and enable them to pay public sector workers what they deserve, and allow ‘poor’ workers/students, to cycle to work/study,’ instead of fearing for their life.

Allan Ramsay

By email