Let good drivers go as fast as they can and scrap speed limits on motorways, says police tsar
PCC Stephen Bett said people should drive to road conditionsHe said how fast people should be allowed to drive depended on the driverHe said: 'If you've got a Formula One racing driver, well you can go flat out'Guild of Experienced Motorists has described his comments as 'nonsense'
17:27 GMT, 23 April 2013
07:01 GMT, 24 April 2013
Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett has been criticised for declaring speed limits should be abolished and drivers should be able to go 'flat out' on some roads
Speed limits on motorways and main roads should be scrapped and skilled drivers allowed to drive as fast they like, a police and crime commissioner has said.
‘We ought to drive to road conditions rather than set limits,’ said Stephen Bett, who is paid a salary of 70,000 as the independent PCC for Norfolk.
‘The problem is there’s so many signs. You are driving along and you get mesmerised by them and you get situations where you get a 50 [limit], to 40, to 30 and it goes to 20 and back up again.’
‘If we’re going to do something about speed and villages, we ought to just take all the signs down and say all villages are 30mph, or whatever it’s going to be, and you drive on roads – like they do in Germany and Italy – as road conditions say.’
He added: ‘People say if people are going fast they will cause trouble, but a lot of people, if [the limit] was 70mph, would go faster anyway.’
When asked at what speed a driver could safely travel on an open road in the early morning, he said: ‘If you have got someone who’s a Formula 1 racing driver, well, you can go flat out.
If he was a racing driver and really good and had tremendous reflexes, probably as fast as the car will go.’
However, David Williams, chief executive of the Guild of Experienced Motorists, said: ‘Twenty-four per cent of road deaths are caused by inappropriate speed.
'We need to protect innocent road users from people who think that they can drive faster, like racing drivers, on the highway. That just is nonsense.’
Mr Bett has said he agrees with those 'who believe we should revisit the current upper speed limit of 70mph on our motorways' and modern roads
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at
the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, added: ‘Abolishing
speed limits is a daft idea.’
Speaking after the interview, Mr Bett,
who was chairman of the Norfolk Police Authority for six years before
his election last November, was unrepentant.
He said: ‘I do agree with those who
believe we should revisit the upper speed limit of 70mph on our
motorways and modern roads which have been built, along with vehicles,
with safety in mind.
‘Whilst this may be unpopular in some
quarters, research would point to whether this could be universally
acceptable. My comments were designed to provoke the debate.’
Earlier this year, the Department for
Transport published guidelines for local authorities to give them more
flexibility in setting speed limits on local roads.