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Letter: No excuse to kill New Forest animals just because you’re driving the speed limit

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SIR – I'm very disappointed at the excuses Hampshire police give for the drivers of vehicles that kill our roaming animals.

The Highway Code is explicit “The speed limit is the absolute maximum – it doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.”

Locally, the conditions in the Forest are that animals can roam freely. Therefore 40mph is clearly not safe most of the time. It is an absolute limit, not a target to be achieved.

Equally, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) consider 95% of traffic incidents to be human error.

The Forest is over 900 years old. For 95% of that time the fastest human speed has been a bit over walking pace. The fact that we technically, and it seems legally, can go 10 times faster now, and kill animals, is no excuse to do so.

The police should have said: “Drivers are not driving to the conditions. They kill roaming animals and must live with that.”

But locally and globally humans always seem to give themselves excuses for non-human destruction. Soon enough globally we will find this is a fatal policy for all of us.

Peter Padfield,


(Main image: Russell Sach)

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