Author Topic: Might be a silly question...speed limits  (Read 2641 times)

Jacqueline

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Might be a silly question...speed limits
« on: May 30, 2007, 10:30:48 PM »
Have tried to find a reply to my question on ask.com and get anything but what i want to know.

I remember the speed limit being set at 70mph for motorways. Not sure what year this was but guess i was a child or teenager i.e late 60's.

What i want to know is prior to this was there a speed limit set for motorways or was it open ended i.e any speed. Did the more advanced cars with higher speeds force this judgement?

Also what speed do you think we should be allowed and what is the speed limit in other countries?

Graham

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2007, 11:19:18 PM »
Jacqueline, this is not a silly question and I maybe able to answer it for you.

Before the mid 60's there was only one motorway, the M1, and as far as I know there was no speed limit. Now one day some geezer was testing his car, an A.C. Cobra, as he was going to use it in the French 24 hour Le Mans race. I can't quite remember his actual speed, but it was around 300 kph (near 200 mph). The motorway police didn't like the look of that, it was dangerous, but they couldn't catch him at that speed so they just waited until he ran out of petrol!!! They worked it out that, at that speed, it would take a car some 5 km to stop safely and that on the M1 you couldn't see that far ahead. So although they couldn't nab him for speeding, they could for dangerous driving. It then only took a short time (a week I think) before they put a speed limit on the motorway of 70 mph. Then there was no "oil crisis", so that was not the reason. Speed limits on the Belgian motorways, 120 kph, came about through the "oil crisis" in the 1970's. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

At that time there was a battle going on between British Rail, with the 'Inter City' trains and the bus company's 'motorway express'. The bus companies had built buses with Rolls Royce Spitfire engines in them, they had a cruising speed of some 106 mph!!! God knows what top speed these buses had, but when they overtook you, you were almost pushed off the road by the air pressure. You needed an E-Type Jag just to be able to catch em! I don't know what happened to those buses, after the 70 mph speed limit was imposed, as I had waved England farwell by 1967.

I know this all to be fact as I was there and the A.C. Cobra was, and still is, my favourite dream car.

I hope that this answers your question?

Graham

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2007, 11:39:07 PM »
Scratching my head, I think there was a bit of M6 too at that time  ???

Batman

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 12:57:34 AM »
As Graham said, Speed limits in the towns are 30kms ( no one ever does 30) its mostley 50kms, then small lanes in the country is 60kms, then B roads are 80kms and on the Dutch motorways its 100kms and 120kms, ( with speed cameras at every 1km +/-, France on the moterway is 130kms non paying motorways 90kms, and 50in the towns, In Germany its up to you how fast you drive, I've done over 180kms with no problems, and cars where passing me as if I was standing still, oh, and the petrol is about half price,........John 2000 ;D
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john2000

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2007, 01:05:35 AM »
 who do you think is back on-line, John 2000, ( must be my birthday ( again )  ;D, Batman will still be around, just in case John 2000 goes off line again......John 2000 ;D
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Graham

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2007, 09:12:17 AM »
As Graham said, Speed limits in the towns are 30kms ( no one ever does 30) its mostley 50kms, then small lanes in the country is 60kms, then B roads are 80kms and on the Dutch motorways its 100kms and 120kms, ( with speed cameras at every 1km +/-, France on the moterway is 130kms non paying motorways 90kms, and 50in the towns, In Germany its up to you how fast you drive, I've done over 180kms with no problems, and cars where passing me as if I was standing still, oh, and the petrol is about half price,........John 2000 ;D

Batman, in Belgium speed limits in the town are 50 kph (30 mph), but in school areas the speed limit is 30 kph (17 mph). If you are caught speeding by more than, I think it's 20%, you lose your licence.

Now this year the law has changed in Germany and there are speed limits on the motorways, I don't know what they are and don't care as I never go over 120 kph on any motorway. With the amount of traffic these days It's just not safe. In the past I have driven at speeds in excess of 200 kph, but it is, and was, pure madness on a motorway that is open to all people.

This may help; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limit

Graham

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2007, 09:26:47 AM »
From Wikipedia;

1 130 km/h is the recommended maximum speed on motorways, as indicated by a blue sign. Many sections of the German motorway network are now covered by speed limits, usually ranging from 80 to 130 km/h (140 km/h as speed limit is being tested in Lower Saxony -some politicians are against it, because 140 km/h is over the recommended maximum speed, depending on local conditions (i.e., frequent traffic, terrain, etc.). It is usual for drivers involved in crashes who were exceeding the 'recommended' speed limit to be held to be at least partly at fault, regardless of the circumstances of the crash, and insurance companies have the right to withhold payment.

Jacqueline

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2007, 09:54:46 AM »
Thanks Graham that has answered my question in full.

kelama

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2007, 12:28:36 AM »
graham remember those ac cobras racing down the M1, they were clocked at 196 MPH.

john2000

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 02:02:21 AM »
I remember the E type Jaguars shooting past, and the glitter of their wire wheels as they went past, and some times the 4.2 jags salons sports,
the most ugliest car on the road then was the Daimler dart two seater sports, but could they go,,, they where fast,   I remember the M1 being finished, I could drive from Birmingham down to Northamptom in a couple of hours, thinking yes, this M1 is really something, but then I went to France in my Morris 1800 for a holiday, after that the M1 felt like a B road when I came back, but the M1 was our first motorway so, it was;nt so bad........ got stopped by the police for driving too fast, I had just got off the boat late that night, and the police pulled me over, because I was driving a commercal vercule over 50 mph, ( it was a mini pick up ) with all the camping gear in the back,) I wont tell you what I said, but I was surprised that he did'nt book me, ............Happy days..... John 2000 8)
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Graham

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Re: Might be a silly question...speed limits
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 09:53:26 AM »
graham remember those ac cobras racing down the M1, they were clocked at 196 MPH.

Kelma, if you look at my reply to Jaqueline's original question, you will see that's exactly what I remember about the AC Cobra's.