The first in an occasional series of rants on road safety issues asks the question "are you a 40mph driver?"
If you are, you might not recognise yourself but if you're not, you know exactly who I mean. Next time you're out in your motor car, glance down at the speedo and see if it's reading 40mph; if it is, look around outside the car and see if you can figure out, perhaps using the speed limit signs, what the speed limit is; is it 40mph? If it's not 40mph then you are a 40mph driver.
There is no excuse for 40mph drivers and there may well be no cure either. The two obvious cures: relearning to drive properly and permanently banning the incompetents are unlikely to happen because of the cost of the first and the social upheaval associated with the second.
Particular care must be taken when going from a 40mph zone to a 30mph zone when there's a 40mph driver behind you because the chances are that he will fail to anticipate your slowing down to match the speed limit. Always check your mirror while slowing down as the 40mph driver might not be able to brake in time, if he notices the change at all.
The thing about the 40mph driver and speed limits is that they don't apply to him. He may well have seen the signs and he might even know what they mean but they're only for other people, not him. He is a "safe driver", he's not speeding (except when he is, in the 30s or even 20s) and he's never had an accident in 50 years of driving.
On the open road the 40mph driver may well be at the front of the queue of traffic backed up because of the 40mph driver's best mate, the "second slowcoach" (which will be featured in a separate rant)
There are times when 40mph drivers aren't causing a public nuisance but they are so few and far between that I think flogging should be reintroduced especially for them.