Driving at just 30mph makes your car a lethal weapon ...

Driving at 30mph already poses a deadly threat to a child ... and the risk rises for every mile above that speed. SG151015-114TW
Driving at 30mph already poses a deadly threat to a child ... and the risk rises for every mile above that speed. SG151015-114TW
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Two motorcyclists were convicted of dangerous driving after they were shown to be riding at 126mph on the A151 at Edenham, near Bourne.

One was seriously injured and is now in a wheelchair after the second rider hit him.

Daniel Metcalfe-Hall's bike after the crash.

Daniel Metcalfe-Hall's bike after the crash.

Obviously reckless speeds like these are certain to make headlines.

But what about drivers “pinching a bit” by doing 35mph in a 30mph limit?

Hit a child at that speed and it’s a 50-50 chance whether they live or die.

More than 38,000 people were caught speeding in Lincolnshire last year – some 10,000 above the population of Spalding in the 2011 Census.

It’s 30 for a reason and that reason is you are surrounded by vulnerable people – children, cyclists, pedestrians.

John Siddle

Around 1,200 of those each month opted to do a speed awareness course to save getting points on their licence, shave a tenner off the £100 fine and avoid higher insurance bills.

Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership spokesman John Siddle said the aim of speed awareness courses is to persuade people to change their driving habits.

He said: “A lot of people often get caught in a speed limit when they have failed to identify as a driver what the speed limit is. Helping them identify what speed limit they are in is a massive step forward in people actually driving to the speed limit.”

For many it will be their first driver training since they tore up their L-plates.

Cameras like these at Ropsley, near Grantham, will be installed at Crowland.

Cameras like these at Ropsley, near Grantham, will be installed at Crowland.

“You pass your test at 17 or 18 and thereafter (legally) you need no further training until you are 75 and you give up your licence,” said Mr Siddle. “I would say 99 per cent of people come out of a speed awareness course saying ‘I didn’t know this’ or I didn’t know that’.”

A TV advertising campaign of a few years ago highlighted the dangers of speeding in a 30mph limit with a young girl saying: “Hit me at 30 and there’s an 80 per cent chance I will live – hit me at 40 and there’s an 80 per cent chance I will die.”

Speed awareness courses delve into that a little more deeply and throw up the statistic that it’s a toss of a coin whether a child lives or dies if a driver’s speedo creeps up to 35mph.

When there are no speed limit signs – and lampposts are evenly spaced – you are in a 30mph limit.

Mr Siddle says: “It’s 30 for a reason and that reason is you are surrounded by vulnerable people – children, cyclists, pedestrians.”

In 2014, 42 people were killed on Lincolnshire’s roads and 356 people were seriously injured. A further 2,711 sustained slight injuries.

Up to November 1 this year, 35 people were killed and 224 seriously injured.

“Probably about one-third of collisions are speed related in some way, shape or form,” said Mr Siddle. “We can add a few more in there in terms of loss of control, because the speed is inappropriate for the conditions, and we’re probably getting up to nearly half of all collisions.”

On October 27, we revealed in our sister paper The Lincolnshire Free Press that average speed cameras are going to appear next summer on the A16 at Crowland to cut the death toll on an £80.3million road built to replace the “killer A1073”.

It was meant to be the super highway that stopped the seamingly endless run of fatalities on the former Spalding to Peterborough link.

But, since the new stretch of road opened in 2010, eight people have died and 15 have been seriously injured.

Speeding is singled out as the main factor in a catalogue of accidents.

Mr Siddle said this week finances are in place and subject to technical issues, like resolving the 4G link, cameras could be up and running by April or May to cover the Crowland junctions.

He said: “People are driving at high speed and are not affording those who are emerging from junctions the chance to do so safely.”

The new road’s reputation is such that BBC 1’s Countryfile has done some filming there for a feature looking at rural roads that will be broadcast on December 6.

After the county’s first average speed cameras were put in at Ropsley, near Grantham, crashes dropped by 57 per cent and there was a 70-plus per cent drop in the number of deaths and injuries.

Mr Siddle described the county’s yellow safety cameras as a “visible deterrent” and says just under half are “loaded up” at any one time to catch errant mostorists.

Where safety cameras aren’t recording, monitoring equipment checks drivers’ speeds – if high speeds are detected, the safety camera will go live and drivers will face the consequences.

• Daniel Metcalfe-Hall (27) was the motoryclist injured and left in a wheelchair after fellow rider Paul Alderton (30) crashed into him when they were riding at high speeds on the A151 at Edenham.

Both men pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving, but were convicted after a hearing at Grantham Magistrates’ Court.

Each man was banned from driving for a year, and must pass an extended re-test to drive again, as well as being fined £300 with £400 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Mr Siddle said it was proved in court they reached speeds of up to 126mph, but footage from their helmet cameras showed even higher speeds, and the men were using track practices to maintain their high speed, “knees down when cornerning”.

“Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership and Lincolnshire Police engage with bikers who enjoy Lincolnshire roads on a daily basis and provide good training to keep them safe,” he said. “However if riders want to travel at speeds such as this they should confine themselves to a race track.”

Metcalfe-Hall, from Grantham, and Alderton, from nearby Gonerby, were in court on November 11.

Previously ...

Average speed cameras to cut death toll on A16 at Crowland?

Is speeding a deadly threat where you live? Please tell us ...

Holbeach road racers are ‘unreasonable’