Traffic speed constitutes a major social dilemma facing all developing and developed countries. From one vantage point, speed is valued, attractive and desirable, it arouses passions, it embodies luxury cars, it enhances mobility and we want more of it. From another, it kills and injures, it causes environmental pollution, noise and illness, it reduces the quality of life for the car-less and other road users, it has negative connotations with road building through greenbelt areas, and we want less of it. This paradox causes tensions to run high, and a compromise solution to the problems of speed has remained elusive. Yet speed underpins more than discourses on driving and car culture. Its ethos infuses most other facets of modern life from electronic mail and microwaved meals to a position where ‘instant access’ to everything has become expected. The desire for speed now seems endemic.