Anyone can drive fast. Exceeding the speed limit does not mean that you are a good driver. In fact, it provides evidence to the contrary because unless you are an emergency services driver it demonstrates a lack of self discipline.
The reality is that many of us speed at some point during a drive. We can find ourselves over the limit when we get distracted such as listening to the radio or we allow our concentration to wonder off the driving task. Does this make us a bad person? I think not. However, it does demonstrate that we are all human and as such we are susceptible to making errors and occasional poor choices.
Recently there was coverage on the media about zero tolerance to speeding, even by 1 mph. I am not sure if this was reported correctly as the media enjoy sensationalisation and are looking for a story which sometimes gets in the way of the facts and what has actually been said. Whilst I do not support speeding, I recognise that we are all human and at times we will find ourselves over the speed limit. However, I also believe there is a difference between a driver who habitually speeds, spends their time looking for speed traps and genuinely believes the speed limit does not apply to them v a driver who notices they have gone over and slows.
I am not sure how effective prosecuting drivers 1 mph over the speed limit will be for improving road safety. It will generate more funds but do little more to reduce the risk posed by risk takers and aggressive drivers.
As an advanced driver we should be demonstrating that we have the self discipline to stay within the speed limit. Recognise that we are over and do something about it. Have the self awareness to notice when we have exceeded the limit and come up with our own solutions to prevent us from speeding again whether by 1 mph or more. For example, making sure we know where to look for changes in speed limits, use of in car technology such as cruise control or speed limiters. Better route planning or time keeping. Not allowing ourselves to be bullied by following drivers who take exception to us driving at the speed limit.
The correct use of speed can create the time and space we need to stay safe. Whether it is staying within the speed limit, using acceleration sense to slow on approach to hazards or reduced speed limits or constantly thinking about and adjusting our speed as part of the system of car control.
Acceleration sense can also potentially save us money. For example, less wear and tear on our vehicles and higher mpg.
Next time you are driving ask yourself have I exceeded the speed limit? What can you do to avoid this happening again? If you managed to stay within the speed limit what techniques did you use?
Remember the faster you drive the less time to have to see and understand what is happening. The less time you have to process this information and to plan. The faster you are driving the longer it will take you to stop.