During the latter stage of my high school stint, during which only about eight or nine lads from the sixth and seventh forms actually drove a car to school, they showed a safety film in the hall which had a title like 'Speed Kills'.

It was all about how the misuse of speed, and the inability to adopt the habits of care and attention, could be very deadly out there on the roads.

Roads which were occupied by about a third of the number of cars there are on them today, and cars which possessed about a third of the horsepower of those out there today.

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It showed a couple of crash scenes which were unsettling, and we'd cast a glimpse at the lads we knew had cars.

Speed has always been right up there on the concern list for driving, although in recent years the drink-drive aspect has surged up alongside it.

Speed can indeed do damage, so it must be treated with respect ... and excessive speed has to be shown the door.

You see a signposted limit and that should be that. But hey, we've all seen and heard the miscreants who are either illiterate or simply don't care about themselves, their passengers and the other cars out there.

But at the end of the day (or at the end of the main straight) it is not entirely about speed.

It is also very much about inattention.

And the latter is most affected by the former.

Because at a slower pace, even by 10 or 20km/h, you have more time to react to an incident which may unfold.


I can remember my no-nonsense driving instructor repeatedly advising me to "keep your eyes on the road" and having done my opening road years on motorcycles I have very much locked that in ... they could be a tad unforgiving if your mind strayed, believe me.

Maybe it's an age thing, but I have no issue with being confronted by reduced speeds on certain stretches of road as I take the view "what's a few extra minutes?"

Besides, you post an 80 sign where it used to be 100 and the majority will edge it to 90 anyway.

The Napier City Council is looking at making some reductions at a few sites and are seeking public response, and yes, there will be those who groan at the prospect.

I personally acknowledge and embrace their stance of "safety is the key reason" and also take the stance I mentioned earlier.

What's a few extra minutes?