Friday, 13 August 2010

Driving me Crazy...

So, after my points I made in my previous blog as far as reasons why I wouldn't be writing blogs more often, I find myself procrastinating with a blog entry. Oh well, such is life.

So, the other day at work, I was browsing the Daily Echo (as it's sold in the canteen, and therefore it's the closest thing to read) and I noticed another in a long line of stories regarding speed cameras and how good/bad they were. There's been a few of them recently, whether it be the announcement that the Wessex Way 40mph limit is continuing, the justification for said announcement after outcry from the common man, the discovery of how much money the Holes Bay camera made in a year, and the question over whether they'll all be shut down.

But I'm not commenting on these as specific stories. Yes, I drive down the Wessex Way to work every day, and yes I wish the speed limit was back to 50 along there (and those of you who read this who are not from Poole/Bournemouth, I'm sorry, you won't have a clue what I'm on about!) but the biggest issue is that it's extremely hard to argue for a raised speed limit.

Because if you argue for a raised speed limit, then you are effectively arguing that it doesn't matter if more people die. Because it can be proved that speed kills. So therefore it's an impossible situation to be in, as shown with the following mathematical equation.

Desire for Higher Speed Limits = CHILD MURDERER!

But do you know what? I don't think that's always true. Let's take the Wessex Way as an example for a moment (and for those of you who don't know it, it's a long, mostly straight dual carriageway, which used to be 50mph all the way along, and now one section of it is 40mph). It's got some short slip roads leading onto it, and therefore I don't think it should be over 50, but other than that there's no pedestrians and therefore I don't see the reasoning for the 40mph limit.

Currently the justification (as listed in one of the articles I linked earlier) states that "between 2004 and 2008, there were an average of 2.4 accidents and 3.3 casualties a month. But between February and May this year, this reduced to an average of 1.5 accidents and 2 casualties – a drop of 37.5 per cent and 39.4 per cent respectively. "

Yes, that looks like an awful lot in the percentage statistics, but in real life that's a drop of 0.9 accidents per month. That's less than one. And that's ignoring the most important issue here, which is that you cannot compare an average gained over four years (which includes time before the alterations were made to the laning etc near the Frizzel end) to an average gained over 3 months. One wonders why they didn't compare a specific February to May section of their statistics to the ones they have gathered. And I suspect that it's because they would have shown bugger all difference.

But enough of that, I know what you're all after. So here it is. Brawny's sarcastic-yet-vaguely-sensible suggestions for how to overhaul our roads.

1) Increase the national speed limit.
Increase it to 100mph. The national limit of 70mph was established in 1965. There weren't many road cars that could drive faster than that in 1965! Everyone speeds on Motorways anyway - and while I don't know the statistics for them (mainly because I can't find them) I wouldn't imagine the fatality rates for driving at 100mph in modern vehicles are much worse than driving at 70.

2) Motorcycle lanes.
I would say this, because I'm a motorcyclist. But it'd be really handy.

3) Strict limits in built up/urban areas.
As much as it pains me to say it (and I hate driving at 20mph as much as the next motorist) but built up and urban areas are higher risk when it comes to driving, due to those irritating-but-not-going-anywhere-soon pedestrians. So keep strict limits. Cameras by schools etc is fine, and indeed I can see as a very good idea.

4) Have a long look at all roads to evaluate speed limits.
This is where all the Wessex Way moaning from earlier fits in. Just look at roads with a sensible eye to gauge the speed it should be. And don't let panicking over-reactionaries make you slow it down.

5) Stop assuming all drivers want to speed.
I hate this assumption. It happens even more with me, since I'm a motorcyclist, have long hair and am still (relatively) young. (Yes, I know I'm turning 30 this year, but I'm still young. Dammit.) People therefore assume I want to ride everywhere at 120mph. Not true. I just want to feel like I'm getting somewhere in the manner that combines the quickest with the safest. And most of the time that works. If we raised the national speed limit and re-evaluated speeds on all the roads, then maybe we'd all get where we are going as quickly and safely as possible.

Oh and I almost forgot...
6) Ban BMW drivers. You know it makes sense.

So what do you think? How would you improve our roads? Send an e-mail to

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Time has passed....

I know, I know, what you're all waiting for is for me to supply you with my now month-overdue Dr Who Finale reviews, right?

Well tough. Too much time has passed now, and I'm not going back to do them now, so suffice it to say that I enjoyed the finale a great deal, and I would have rated both parts as 9/10. So there.

Moving on, I know what you're all thinking, you're thinking "I haven't heard much from Brawny in a while, is he dead?" Well no, I'm not dead (but thanks for your concern!) I've just been busy. As most of you are probably aware, I finally made the big move back to Poole, and since then I've started a new job, moved into a new flat with the ever gorgeous Neety, two turtles, ten games consoles (not including handhelds) and have been generally rather busy. So sorry for that.

Now I am aware that this ought to be the point where I promise to write more, but I'm not going to say that, as now that I don't have access to this at work every day, so I can't write when I'm bored at work, then my posts are probably going to decrease in relation to the number I used to write. I'd like to pretend that less quantity will mean more quality, but this probably isn't the case either. I'm not going to drastically change what I write about or the style of my writing, so the best promise I can make is that you will get less of the same.

But that's still better than no bread, right?

Also, my writing is being taken up with a one act play that's been commissioned and I need to have written by the end of the month, a novel that I'm determined to finish the rewrite on so that I can sell it to you, the idiotic enthusiastic members of my fanbase through the wonders of Createspace and Amazon (So I may sell, what, three copies?), I have several half finished scripts on my computer I need to finish and I also intend to write and record an album that'll be avaliable on iTunes and Spotify by the end of the year.

Do I expect to make any money from this? No. But as I am turning 30 I've decided that its better to make my stuff avaliable, rather than keep it hidden on my hard drive, so there we go.

Anyway, I have to go now, because I do have a dinner to make (mmm, Steak and Mash), some Kingdom Hearts walkthrough to read to Neety when she gets stuck (Throw Fire at the Pillar!) and later on, some DVDs to watch (movie night with the Neet, YAY!).

But fear not! Brawny ramblings will return, in fact, there are a couple already half-written. So keep an eye on this, I'll write soon, I promise. But for now, just go about your daily business.

For now....