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Carolyn Bointon: A52 Ashbourne to Derby speed limit could be increased without risking lives

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: July 23, 2014

Carolyn Bointon: A52 Ashbourne to Derby speed limit could be increased without risking lives

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THERE'S been a lot of talk on social media recently about lowering the speed limit on the A52 between Ashbourne and Derby.

They say speed kills. But does it really?

Personally, I don't think so. I think recklessness kills. Inexperience kills. Impatience kills. But speed? I think that's just a scapegoat.

Most of the A52 has a 50mph limit. In small sections, this is cut to 30mph and 40mph.

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It seems many people believe a lower speed along its entirety would help reduce the number of accidents and make for a safer highway.

Well, I disagree. I think we should increase the speed limit.

Now then, don't go thinking I'm some young speed-freak or boy racer – because I'm not.

I'm much closer to my 70th birthday than my 20th. I don't drive a super-car, I drive an old Ford Fiesta.

But I do believe in driving to the speed limits because, when I took my advanced driving course, I was taught to "make progress".

I think one of the reasons this stretch of road has so many nasty crashes is because drivers get frustrated following cars which stick religiously to the 50mph limit and, in their impatience to get past them, make bad decisions and dangerous manoeuvres. Don't even get me started on those who drive 5mph below the limit to "be safer".

So why not increase the speed restrictions?

After all, it's a good road, with decent visibility, and competent drivers should have no problem driving at the national speed limit.

If cars travelled at a higher speed, there would be less inclination to "go for the overtake", fewer frustrated drivers tapping their steering wheels impatiently and, maybe, just maybe, fewer accidents as a result.

Last time I drove along this stretch of road, I was overtaken five times. And I was driving at the maximum speed limit throughout.

One of those drivers cut it very fine, too, with his back-end fishtailing as he tried to tuck back in, before the oncoming HGV and his car met face-to-face.

If I'd been doing 60mph, would he have felt the need to get past me? Or would he have just been content to follow, knowing he was making good progress?

I'm not in any way suggesting we increase the limit through Brailsford, or where there are houses and it's a built-up area.

But, when you're driving through open countryside with good conditions and visibility, then surely we should be allowed to drive at 60mph.

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