Disclaimer: I don’t work anywhere in Government, I’m not a police officer nor a spook (or am I?!). I really like cars, particularly if they make loud noises and go quite fast. In fact I frequently moan about overzealous speed limits and “traffic calming” measures (*coughs* Strang Road!). So I’m approaching this purely from a point of interest.
On March 27, as part of its efforts to prevent overwhelming our health service due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Manx Government implemented an island-wide speed limit of 40mph. While most accepted the measure, there were whispers of conspiracy on social media that this was a permanent limit introduced by stealth. This was quashed by IOM Police at the time.
An all-island speed limit is however, a long-standing topic of discussion for us Manxies, with many arguments on both sides of the debate.
One such argument is that, thanks largely to the TT, the Isle of Man is associated with speed limits, or lack thereof. To introduce an island-wide limit would ‘ruin’ one of the Island’s unique propositions. I have also heard arguments that such a measure is simply unnecessary nanny state interference.
On the other hand, since this limit was introduced, according to Chief Constable Gary Roberts road traffic collisions are down 80% – April saw fewer road traffic collisions (and therefore likelihood of injury/death) than any month since 1993. Of course there were also fewer cars on the road. There is however the positive environmental impact of everyone driving slower, which by the way also means more pennies in your purse as you’re shelling out on Shell less often.
Since its introduction, I’ve been gladly obeying this temporary limit (despite my bias above) as I’ll do whatever I can do to help our Island get through this pandemic. Yet, over time, I’ve begun to get used to it and am beginning to consider that a limit might be, in balance, a good thing for us all in the long term.
In reality, the journey time saved travelling 5 miles with a max limit of 40mph versus no speed limit is probably minimal, a minute at most maybe? Bear in mind, while there may be no limit on parts of the journey, road conditions, other cars/tractors/horses/cyclists etc means you’ll very rarely top 60mph anywhere on the Island.
But that’s all missing a big part of owning a car/motorbike isn’t it? I enjoy driving, I like the feeling of speed (where safe and legal to do so obvs) so how would I feel if this was taken away?
You can probably tell I’m undecided. So I’m curious to understand what the feeling of the general population may be – therefore I’d appreciate your views via the following Survey:
It’s anonymous and takes less than 30 seconds.
Note: The entire findings will be published. The survey’s not been commissioned by any Government department – there’s no shady stuff going on here, just my curiosity.