In the wake of the controversy following his comments that some speed limits should be scrapped, Stephen Bett, PCC for Norfolk, has issued a statement to clarify his position, in which he advocates “a common sense approach” to speed limits and management. He also says that his original comments were designed “to provoke the debate”.
Last week, Mr Bett, an independent PCC, said it might be safe for some drivers to go “flat out” in certain circumstances, and that many speed limit signs should be removed because drivers can become "mesmerised" by them.
Mr Bett also said that he advocated abolishing speed limits on motorways and other major roads, and having a blanket speed limit in villages.
In a follow-up statement, Mr Bett says: “I passionately believe that there are far too many road signs that, far from aiding safe driving, may actually do the opposite. The seemingly illogical changes of speed limit over short distances and sheer number of instructional, information and warning signs create unnecessary clutter and confusion for drivers.
“There are a number of examples in Norfolk where the speed limit quickly changes from 40mph to 30mph and back again. I don’t believe this is the safest way to manage traffic on our roads. Less is more and if we clean up our roads and reduce the amount of ‘road furniture’ we would all be safer.
“Whilst speed may be a factor in many accidents, I believe it is inappropriate speed that is the main contributory factor. That’s why I call upon drivers to, first and foremost, always consider the road conditions and drive accordingly.
“We need a common sense approach which simplifies regulations and limits for drivers – and reduces the need for all these changes of speed limit. I think it would be easier for all road users to understand that in a densely-populated residential area or near a school, the limit should automatically be 20mph (or 30mph depending on the local environment).
“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.”
Click here to read the full statement on the Norfolk PCC website.