- Whatever the limit...

The 40mph club

Have you encountered anyone in the 40mph club?

3y ago

If you live and drive anywhere outside of a city, I am sure you have encountered this secretive and mysterious driving club. I call them the 40mph club, but I'm not sure if that's their actual name, as they have no obvious club badge on their cars.

You can recognise their members easily enough, though. They always drive a small car. Club members seem to favour... shall we say the cheaper cars on the market, You know the ones - those with flat cloth seats, hard plastic steering wheel rims and the narrowest tyres available. Members of the 40mph club appear to have non-functioning mirrors too, since they appear unaware of anything happening around them. Of course, not all small cheap cars are driven by members of this club, but there is one sure-fire way of detecting club members.

If you are driving along a lovely country road with, say, a 50mph limit, you are certain to come across someone doing 40mph - just slow enough to annoy you, but not slow enough to make overtaking easy, especially when there is a lot of traffic coming the other way.

But you know that there's a village coming up, so you'll both be forced to slow down there, and hopefully the car in front will turn off. Sadly not.

The 30mph limit sign comes up, and while you slow down, the car ahead of you continues on at 40mph, oblivious to the change. You may catch up at traffic lights or a roundabout, but when you have exited the village, and the national limit sign approaches, you feel sure they'll speed up.

National speed limit on a single carriageway - 60mph. According to research by MoreThan, 34% of motorists don't know what this sign means.

National speed limit on a single carriageway - 60mph. According to research by MoreThan, 34% of motorists don't know what this sign means.

No again. The car ahead simply carries on doing 40mph!

You can see why I call it the 40mph club, can't you? Their members drive everywhere at 40mph. Whether the limit is 30mph or 60, they appear unable to drive at anything other than their 'comfort' speed of 40mph.

While it is occasionally annoying to other road users, what is more worrying is whether they are able to mentally process their surroundings at anything other than 40mph. Are they deliberately ignoring the speed limit signs and changing road conditions in order to stick to their comfortable cruising speed, or are they just oblivious of everything around them?

Have you had any experience with members of the 40mph club? Are you perhaps a member yourself? Please let me know in the comments.

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Comments (8)

  • Bit like the middle-lane club on the motorway

      3 years ago
  • These are the exact same people who, when a light turns green, sit and think to themselves "Hmm, that light just turned green... I think I shall now take my foot from the brake and gently apply the accelerator." This way they slowly roll through the intersection as the light turns yellow and my face turns red three cars back.

      3 years ago
  • I was loaned a Nissan Micra by a garage as they fixed my car. Took the daily trip around the M25 and all seemed to go well at first. Pulled on at the Watford turning going clockwise, little traffic, was doing a steady 65-70 MPH.

    After a few miles, noticed that I was in slow lane doing 40 MPH.

    Sped up and got on with my journey.

    A few miles later, noticed I was at 40 MPH again.

    I hate the Nissan Micra.

    Was given a Fiat Styless when the company car lunched itself. Some bastard had set the speed limiter to 30MPH. Took me 15 minutes to get back to the hire shop to say it was broken. They sorted it in 20 seconds.

    I hate the Styless, and the previous renter, bastards.

    As for the 40MPH club, down here is Cornwall, they are called Emmets, or onanists if they have a caravan.

      3 years ago
  • The 40mph club where I live is almost exclusively Prius owners, with a few older Subarus sprinkled in. They have bylaws that state that they need to do 40mph at all times unless they are on a narrow/country two lane road with traffic behind, then the max speed is 18mph without exception.

      3 years ago
  • Yes well sort of. There more like the 5 to 15 under club here, there at the front of every traffic jam, problem, blocking merge lanes, usually the victim of an accident thats legally not there fault but in reality totally there fault, and 75 percent of them drive Toyota cars here. 5 percent of them drive shit cars like you said and the rest are in crossovers.

      3 years ago