Smart Motorways

I got a speeding ticket recently.

Since you ask, 57 mph on a 50 mph stretch of a “smart motorway”.

I took my punishment like a man (see below) and went on one of those Driving Awareness Courses that are an alternative to three points on your driving licence. Mine was a Motorway Awareness Course.

I thought I was the only person I know who’s been on one. Turns out everybody I know seems to have been on one. Or two. Or…..

So we (23 men, 2 women – hmmm) got together for a really instructive and (yes) enjoyable afternoon where we learned about Smart Motorways.

They’re great! The Smart Motorways and the courses.

The basic concept of a Smart Motorway is that by going slower we will all get there quicker.

So, via a network of cameras and computers, judgements are made about the likelihood of traffic jams (or worse) occurring up the road if we all continue at our current speeds, and decisions are made that are communicated to us via the variable speed limit signs.

Decisions like imposing a 50 mph limit now, to avoid us having to stop completely in 5 miles. How good is that!

The point, of course, is that if we all continue simply to do what we think is best for us as individuals (drive at 70), we will all lose out.

But the other point is that not knowing that, we will all continue to act selfishly.

So the variable speed limits have to be compulsory. Not just optional.

And now for the obvious parallel.

In the place where you work, where are you acting selfishly rather than for the greater good of the whole group.

And how many people are losing out as a result?

And just maybe, as with Smart Motorways, you’re one of them.

Maybe we all need to do a Smart Motorway course. For lots of reasons.