Sunday 15 December 2019

Why we seem to go so fast in suburbia

General view of traffic driving through floods on Clontarf road. Clontarf, Dublin
General view of traffic driving through floods on Clontarf road. Clontarf, Dublin
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I ofter wonder how people can drive so quickly in residential areas.

Of all places to drive slowly and carefully, surely suburban roads mark one of the most likely for children or their pets to run onto a road.

Yet I regularly see cars doing twice, perhaps three times, the speed they should be doing.

I'm talking mums rushing children to school as well as men in their powerful machines and people in vans.

The thing about residential roads is that there are usually a number of cars parked on either side, reducing visibility significantly.

I know there are speed limits.

But how many people could tell me what they are in their area?

How many signs are heeded?

The mornings are probably worst as people rush to make connections or beat the traffic.

Which makes them the most dangerous times.

Because we are not always at our sharpest or brightest at that hour of the day.

I'm raising this not because I've noticed any great upsurge in the activity.

It is more that I do feel a certain level of speed - which I reckon to be well above the prevailing limits - is now almost accepted.

And I'm most certainly not talking about Dublin alone.

I'm talking about towns and villages around the country as well, just in case you think I'm picking on a confined area. I'm not.

I'm talking about the level of speed I see and witness many a day on my travels through ordinary little towns.

I'm struck by the contrast with European towns and villages where limits are observed much better. I think this comes from a combination of enforcement and a culture that recognises the implications of speeding.

Irish Independent

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