Editorial: Speeding belongs on race tracks

By Roger Moroney

Driving in the night city
Driving in the night city

I embarked on an unusually late night journey from Auckland back to the Bay this week, after arriving home from a dash across the ditch to watch motorcycles going round and round a race track.

The flight got in around 12.30am and I eventually got to my car about 1am.

I had rested up on the flight and felt alert and awake, so hit the southern motorway and aimed for a stop at Hamilton for fuel ... for me as well as the car.

There was little on the roads apart from huge trucks bedecked in so many lights they looked like mobile office blocks.

I took a good break at Hamilton to interrupt the silent night journey and took on a bit of caffeine as well.

The Auckland-Napier haul is one I have done many times, in cars and on motorcycles, so I was comfortable with the journey.

But I was not comfortable with the turkey I came across around Tokoroa, who went past me at a speed I would estimate was nudging at least 140km/h.

This imbecile clearly figured that as the roads were devoid of traffic then gassing it way past the speed limit was just fine and dandy.

What was not fine and dandy was that it was very dark and the road crested, dipped and curved.

Room for error?

Minimal.

What's more, he did not appear to realise that as he'd gone past me he could have gone on to a more illuminating high beam.

The car (it was red, that's all I know as he wasn't hanging around) nudged the edge where the little cats eyes are studded a couple of times, before disappearing into the distance.

I thought about the Grand Prix I had been to at Phillip Island and simply figured there was only one place for high speed - a racetrack.

Not a state highway at three in the morning.

At the races, I saw a low-speed tumble and a terrifying high-speed one.

The low-speed victim scrambled back to his bike, dusted off the grass and grit, and began push-starting it back into the fray.

The high-speed victim was introduced to members of the Victorian Ambulance Service.

The higher the speed ... you know the rest.

So I'm all for police embarking on a holiday weekend reduction in the amount of km/h leeway which is usually allowed because, as the saying goes, "there's always one".

One driver who figures going 110km/h will give him or her and those with them in the car an earlier arrival - which is ridiculous as any time saving is measured only in a modest amount of minutes.

I've buzzed at 225km/h on a race track and it's fun.

Because that's where speed belongs.

Not out there on the busy holiday weekend roads.

Take care, take time and take breaks.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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