SIR — I read Dennis Blackmore's letter about the innocent motorcyclists who selflessly sacrifice themselves daily because of the stupidity of selfish slow drivers (Free Press September 2) and on re-reading it confirmed my opinion that Mr Blackmore seems an angry man.

This sounds like verbal road rage. Not an ideal state of mind for a professional driver and rider, methinks!

I think we can all agree that there are some selfish and excessively slow drivers on our roads, and there are also quite a few boy racers on four wheels as well.

However, it is an inescapable fact that motorcyclists are inherently more likely statistically to be involved in accidents, whether any other road user is present or not.

Just to remind this gentleman, speed limits are maximums, and even de-restricted roads - as he incorrectly describes them - have a speed limit of 60mph.

To travel at or close to 60mph on some of these roads just because they have no lower limit is stupid, irresponsible and downright dangerous - who, for instance, would drive at such speeds through some of our single track lanes just because they have no speed limit signs?

Lest Mr Blackmore thinks I am being "holier-than-thou" I would explain that I too have driven many hundreds of thousands of miles both at home and abroad and have some sympathy for his criticisms, but a frustrated driver because he is bunched-up is a bad driver.

No job or appointment is so important that one should endanger their own or any other road user or pedestrian's life to make it on time.

I would admit past guilt in that a few years ago I committed a speeding offence of 36mph in a 30mph limit.

Easily done and a fair cop, and I chose to accept the offer of a Devon and Cornwall Police safety driving course rather than have points added to my licence.

Two items particularly stand out. On the practical driving section with a police instructor and two other 'pupils' on a stretch of bendy, rural road at about 50mph, a motorcyclist approached us from behind at high speed and roared past, actually making slight contact with an oncoming truck and leaving behind the rubber off one of his pedals.

I question his sanity and suitability to be allowed even to push a wheelbarrow.

Such was the disturbance that the police instructor radioed his number ahead and terminated our 'lesson' forthwith.

The second item was the assurance in the classroom that, although speed is a major factor in many accidents, to be abiding by a posted speed limit is not sufficient defence if you have a so-called "not my fault" incident.

Strike a child in a 30mph zone when doing 25mph and you may find that it will be deemed an inappropriate speed and you could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention or even dangerous driving if it is felt you showed a lack of awareness of possible dangers and hazards around you.

My advice to this gentleman would be "chill out, dude"! If five minutes behind some flower-arranging slow coach is still too much for you to bear, visit the surgery and get some beta-blockers.

Better still, take up flower-arranging yourself – if you can't beat them, join them!

Richard Gray,