I've been writing about the M11 over at my local blog, but after a weekend spent driving to and from a wedding in the middle of the country, I realize that the haphazard concern for safety is more than a local issue.
I get the distinct impression that cost savings are the reason for safety being overlooked. Again, if this government were pursuing a "hands off" policy, some of this might make sense or at least be consistent. But, given this government's obsession with protecting us from ourselves, I can't understand why they ignore the following:
- Bushes are not going to prevent a car, bus or truck from crossing the divide and causing a head-on collision in the on-coming lanes.
- Traffic cones are insufficient markers for significant dangers at a work site - particularly at night. They're practically invisible on a dark night or in a heavy shower. Flashing yellow lights should be employed as well.
- Slapping up a new speed limit sign when construction starts is a danger if (a) that limit is not enforced and (b) the sign is not covered when there is no work on-going. Locals soon learn to ignore such signs, but those who are unfamiliar with the road will try to obey - creating huge disparities in the speed among cars sharing a road.
- Someone going 75MPH on the M4 is far less a danger than someone going 60 (the limit) on the road between Athboy and Oldcastle (this can be substituted by any of thousands of roads in Ireland).
- Speed as a concept is a problem, but exceeding the speed limit may not be it. Passing someone on a blind bend of a narrow, twisty road is a much greater danger than doing 65 on the M50 near Marley Park.
- And, a corollary to the one above tailgating seems to me to be a far bigger problem than simply exceeding the speed limit. I don't think too many Irish people know about the two second rule.
- UPDATE: I should also have added that motorway entrance/exit ramps are too short and drainage is poor.