Speeding is not cool! – “How Science Works”
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has confessed to being caught speeding, saying he was “bang to rights”.
The Labour MP said he was going at 56mph in a 50mph zone on the motorway in his West Yorkshire constituency.
Writing on his blog, he said he had paid a fine and attended a speed awareness course rather than accept penalty points.
Mr Balls was caught by the police using his mobile phone while driving during the 2010 general election campaign.
It was reported at the time that he had been fined £60 and given three points on his licence, but a spokesman for Mr Balls said police returned his cheque and the points were never applied, meaning he has a clean licence.
The Morley and Outwood MP attempted to laugh off his latest motoring offence, saying he had been going “too far, too fast” – one of his favourite attack lines against the coalition’s budget cuts.
“Like many local people, I was caught out by the never-ending roadworks on the M62,” said Mr Balls.
“Pulling on to the motorway at Morley, I realised too late that the speed restrictions were still in place.
“I was caught and bang to rights – doing 56 in a 50 mile restriction zone.
“Going too far, too fast, you might say.
“I paid my fine and chose to attend a speed awareness course. I currently have no points on my licence and would like to keep it that way.”
Describing his speed awareness course, he added: “I ended up in the Holiday Inn with 39 others.
“The course was very professional and actually really worthwhile.”
Mr Balls said the experience had made him even more determined to get 20mph zones on busy roads in the area.
“What hit home were the statistics which link speed to car deaths. At 20mph, less than 10% of people will lose their lives if hit by a car.
“But the probability rises exponentially, going above 40% at 40mph.”
Science behind this….
Well in fact Ed and the course are right of course, this is very good Science also well done to the BBC and their Science reporting.
If we think about the energy contained in the motion of a car which is travelling at 40 mph instead of 20mph. Since kinetic energy is related to mass and velocity by a more complex equation of KE = 0.5mv2 we find that if we double the speed the energy contained in a car is x4.
This means that of course a speed double is in fact x4 as dangerous in terms of the energy which is required to be lost on impact.
Hence, if you are hit by a car travelling twice as fast there is a much greater risk of death!
However, I would add that Ed was only going 6 mph over a 50 limit so the energy increase would be much smaller than this, also the chances of being run over on this part of the road is small as it is a Motorway, so keep things in context!