A word from the editor: I’ll be taking it easy on the roads

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I have a confession to make - but I’m not looking for forgiveness.

Last week I attended a motorway speed awareness course. My transgression was doing 74 miles per hour on the M62.

The many layers of irony are not lost on me. On a daily basis I pass this very same point, and the camera will rarely be troubled by any car doing over 20mph. If the road does happen to be clear enough to change up from third gear then the only vehicles doing less than 80 might be the odd mint-condition Morris Minor on its annual run, a clapped-out banger blowing smoke and maybe a small car whose fuel-conscious driver has calculated the optimum speed/gear ratio to maximise the output of miles per litre (dependant on the prevailing wind).

But I digress.

I would probably not have had my collar felt were it not that the smart motorway gantry was telling me to stay under 60.

I could fill the rest of today’s YEP with the stories of those I’ve seen breaking those limits on a daily basis, but that’s not the point.

The limits work to manage our speed, make the motorways run more efficiently and reduce delays and accidents - accidents which cost lives. I know it and you know it and there is no excuse.

The course was sobering enough to slow me down, but not as heartbreaking as the Oakleaf Service will be that I will attend this Sunday, where families remember loved ones who have died on the roads.

The services were the idea of the charity SCARD (Support and Care after Road Death and Injury) and are an annual event. Perhaps those motorists arrogant enough to think the rules don’t apply to them should attend the Oakleaf service at 3pm at Leeds Minster this Sunday, to see the raw pain and grief such a loss brings.

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