Speeding (mostly excl cameras) XXV - Dynamic Dave

****** Thread closed. Please see vol XXVI for further discussions. ******

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Speeding (mostly excl cameras) XXIV is closed and this thread has been started.

For the continued discussions around the subject of speeds & speeding, usually excluding cameras which are in another thread.

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DD,
BackRoom Moderator
Anyone else reformed? - top turkey
Hi All.

I am currently an associate of the West Midlands ROSPA and I am really enjoying my driving since having regular drives with a Gold/Silver member and reading and applying Roadcraft. I now acknowledge and adhere to all speed limits (although still wander off by 2-3 mph here and there) where as before, I would probably have no major thoughts of doing well over the speed limit (e.g. 55 in a 40) if I thought it was 'safe' to do so. My stress levels have decreased massively as I now feel more in control of what happens to my car and am able to anticipate the driving of others a lot more.

Similarly, I used to see speed trap devices as a really bad thing and considered investing in a Road Angel device or similar. However, now I have no worries of looking out for these as I know I am in control of my car's speed and will not get caught as long as I maintain my increased awareness.

I feel like a reformed smoker (although I've never smoked!) so just wondered if any other BRs have had a similar change in philosophy? I'd also like to hear about anyone else going through the ROSPA process.

Cheers.

TT
Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
Not for any advanced training, but 10 years or so of driving in Latin American countries cured me of getting wound up about it and convinced me it wasn't important enough.

Previous to that, if there was a horn being blown, rude words being said, or a car on your tail-pipe out of pure anger and spite, it was probably me. I don't know how I had the stamina for such stresed-out journeys and why I never had an accident caused by some of the anger fuelled risks I used to take, I really don't know.

A few years of driving in chaotic traffic wherever conceivable law was broken, and every conceivable stupid thing done on a regular basis, and noticing that not only was nobody getting as wound up as me, even if they were being liberal with the horn gave pause for thought.

I drive up the motorways now at a calmer speed, more than 10" form the nearest back bumper, and arrive calmer, more rested and less tired that I used to - although up to 5 minutes later of course.

I think the flaw in your plans would be the likes of a 30mph camera on a dual carriageway. That speed may be way below what is sensible, and if the camera is deliberately hidden (sorry, i mean accidentally obscured) it will still get you.
Anyone else reformed? - Sofa Spud
I am not a reformed driver as such, since I think it's true to say that I've always adhered to the 'Roadcraft' philosophy.

However in recent years I've become more environmentally conscious and my 'petrolhead' interest in exotic cars I'll never own has been eclipsed by an interest in diesel engine developments, hybrid drive systems and biofuels.

Cheers, SS
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
i occasionally speed, for instance

on balance i think its safer to use a little gentle speed to get yourself out of the position of having a HGV riding an inch from your rear bumber, having so much mass so close to flatening you is really much more dangerous than getting out of the way if you can do so safely

when overtaking on long windy single track roads with few opportunities to overtake, i will use a few extra mph to clear the person being overtaken, and reduce the amount of time spend out in the wrong part of the road, again on balance this is sensible and the least risky of options if done correctly

i ignore the most outrageous politically imposed limits such as 30 mph on a dual carriageway outside of residential area with no side roads etc, obviously i dont go to extremes, but if i know the area, and i know for certain the limit was imposed by some anti car nutters than again i dont feel im putting anyone at undue risk

clear open straight motorway in good conditions in a good car 70 can be far too low, so i will drive safely and responsibly, but ignore limit if appropriate

on the other hand i will often go much slower an force the prevailing traffic to do the same if they are behind me, past schools or sports grounds with kids on them for instance, although only at times of the day when its reasonable to assume they may be around

people preaching that they adhere to the speed limits all the time really dont understand risk management and have been manipulated by the anti car propoganda from the nutters in positions to waste public money, and is a classic example where the realities out on the road do not match what people preach, preachers on this issue are often some of the worst drivers out there
Anyone else reformed? - top turkey
----
people preaching that they adhere to the speed limits all the time really dont understand risk management and have been manipulated by the anti car propoganda from the nutters in positions to waste public money, and is a classic example where the realities out on the road do not match what people preach, preachers on this issue are often some of the worst drivers out there
----

John, I'm sorry if I came across as 'preaching' as that was certainly not the intention. I was simply relaying how my own individual driving style has changed since going through the ROSPA process. From my understanding so far, safety and risk management is a central theme in all that one does, so with respect, I don't agree with your implication that risk management is not a priority of the process that I am going through with the valued volunteered help of others.

Similarly, I don't feel manipulated by the process either. In fact, I feel very liberated in the knowledge that I am becoming a safer and more observant driver.

I'm sure your comments were not meant in the way that I have interpreted them, but just thought I'd continue the discussion in light of you post.

Safe driving,

TT.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
made no implication about you (or certainly none was intended)

however more broadly the people u hear taking the "i never speed" line generally drive pretty badly

i think its great u want to learn to drive better and are putting energy into it, im not convined u r being taught as well as possible if the speed message is as big a part of the course as your post implies

safe driving is what we all want and need

advanced driving techniques actually teach that speed above the posted limit can be done safely in many circumstances, and speed below the limit is necessary for safety in many others, sadly the findings of the original police driving instrcutors who built up the ideas at the foundation have been manipulated since then, also on the pure technical aspect of car control at the limit their techniques never were the best, but were a good compromise to teach relatively quickly to lots of people

etc

dont take anything i say personally

if i want to insult u ill make it much more clear
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
on marks input of being a reformed hot head, or however he would prefer to phrase it

i think thats different issue

self control and ability to control your agression is really quite different to the speek issue

there are lots of out of control hot heads driving around at 30 mph, and some very safe drivers with self control speeding modestly and safely

i never was that much of a hot head, was taught self control in lots of complex ways long before i was driving

i however did have the normal male higer risk taking approach in first few years of driving, however this was balanced by much better eyesight and perfect responses etc, which even as a perfectly healthy and fit older bloke u can never compete with

but u learn

as to how the masses are taught to drive the money spent on messages to them really would be better spent on stuff like "dont tailgate on the motorway" than simplistic speed messages
Anyone else reformed? - BrianW
"Similarly, I don't feel manipulated by the process either. In fact, I feel very liberated in the knowledge that I am becoming a safer and more observant driver."

I would put the "observant" in inch high block capitals.
Safety follows observation and is dependent on it.

If you observe you can react. Without observation you (or probably someone else) is dead or injured.

What that reaction is depends on the circumstances, but must be appropriate: it may be reducing speed; increasing speed; hooting; changing your road position; putting lights on; changing lanes; staying in the same lane; going round a roundabout twice to avoid a vehicle cutting you up; the list is endless.
Anyone else reformed? - mfarrow
I took the IAM course, though deferred from taking the test when my supervisor didn't phone me back with the examiners number :-(

Anyway, I have to say it did change my driving style for the better. I slow down a lot earlier for junctions, change gear less frequently, and rarely exceed speed limits, though cruising at more than 70 on the motorway in a car with 4 speeds isn't the quietest journey anyway!

The only thing I don't do is feed the steering wheel, IMHO too much to ask without power steering.
Anyone else reformed? - stokie
I took the IAM couse and I can confirm all the benefits you mention TT, well worth the £70 odd fee, as much for the one-on-one instruction from really polite and knowledgeable trainers as for long-term benefits.
The hardest thing since then has been learning to stay calm when 'untrained' drivers tailgate me when I'm sticking to the speed limit, but I'm getting there and it's good practise for coping with other little stresses in life.

Look on myself pre-training as a bit of an accident waiting to happen.
Anyone else reformed? - L'escargot
I drive up the motorways now at a calmer speed, more than
10" form the nearest back bumper, and arrive calmer, more
rested and less tired that I used to - although up to 5
minutes later of course.


10" ? 10 imperial inches ??

--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Anyone else reformed? - BrianW
How can we stop tailgating?

Anyone who drive at 50 or 60mph one car's length from the one in front must be brain dead, but you see it every day.

They need to be told, in no uncertain terms, but without traffic police on the roads it won't happen.

TV advertising might help, but what's the latest one? Oh yes, a remake of the kiddy in the road 30/35 or 40mph clap-trap.
Doesn't anyone at whichever department commissions the propaganda films ever look at the statistics and see that child pedestrian fatalities, distressing as they are, are something like five percent of all deaths and halving them would be statistically insignificant.

First lesson: concentrate the message on the area where an achievable percentage reduction will translate into a material number.
Anyone else reformed? - Sofa Spud
>>>people preaching that they adhere to the speed limits all the time really dont understand risk management and have been manipulated by the anti car propoganda

Er..actually, speed limits are the law. Are you suggesting it's wrong to obey the law? It's got nothing to do with risk management or anti-car nutters.

If other drivers want to disobey the rules of the road that's their lookout but when they criticise (or tailgate) others who wish to stay within the law that's not on.

Cheers, Sofa Spud
Anyone else reformed? - Lounge Lizard


Spud,

Are you suggesting that the State (albeit democratic) is the final & absolute arbiter of what is 'wrong'?
Anyone else reformed? - dylan
I have never been an aggressive driver, but in the past I'd often be over the speeed limit (40 in a 30, 60 in a 50 etc).

With the introduction of speed cameras, my speed has gradually come down to the point where I tend not to exceed the speed limit very often any more.

I think most people speed because they are used to getting away with it (that was certainly true in my case). All the excuses like 'it's safer to go faster' are really sounding a bit tired. Anyone with half a brain knows that there would be less accidents and accidents would be less serious if everyone slowed down a bit. I don't need statistics to prove that - it's blindingly obvious.

I think in general the public is beginning to appreciate this. I'm encouraged that the number of drivers champing at the bit to get past me when I'm having the audacity to stick to the speed limit is falling. Often now someone will slide up behind me, initially appearing keen to overtake, then suddenly have second thoughts, and fall back a safe distance and do the same speed as me. The exception is, of course, many lorry and van drivers. Their aggression really is quite tiresome.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
Er..actually, speed limits are the law

Well the laws and the way they are implemented clearly need changing, particularly the over the top enforcement of minor speed infrigments while total failure to police tailgating etc

the political and judicial system are largely responsible for much of the problems, they are leading a system designing some of the most dangerous roads in the world, and persecution of some of the safest drivers, while failing to do anything about some of the most dangerous drivers

really simplistic "its the law" is such a poor way of looking at it, the law is not a black and white feast, as is clear from all sorts of issues from canabis abuse to other ways the streets are policed

most people break the law every week in some way or other, if u consider the mass of regulation we have in its strictest form

there was always a difference between the literal law and the understanding between politicians, police and public about how they were enforced, that has been changed to press down on one section of the least dangerous segment of the public largely because they are an easy target and pay up when asked, so really the whole road policing and law has fallen into disrepute

in fact long serving traffic police and other v experienced advanced drivers in a position to know from real hands on experience are some of the strongest critics of the current priorities

so yes its the law, but i interpret them as was the custom when the laws first came into being, something to be enforced with discretion and skill

the worst cases of bad driving that kills people every day is not being addressed at all and this upsets me no end considering the budgets thrown around by the govt
Anyone else reformed? - Badger
Long ago, my driving instructor taught me (and it applied on the test if I remember rightly) that one should not slavishly stick to the speed limit if in a traffic stream that was exceeding it. If the stream is moving steadily at 35-40 mph in a 30 zone for example, then sticking to the limit yourself would cause a dangerous bulge in the stream as traffic overtook you. Safer to go with the flow and keep things moving, I was told. I wonder what happened to that notion.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
if u run some models of cars on the motorways with eveyone doing 70 mph max at all times you will find the motorway network quickly grinds to a halt

the natural instinctive reaction of drivers keeping slightly different flow is a lot more complex than most people realise

and the country depends on these minor speeders to keep the country going

flow theory doesnt support blind enforcement of limits

Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
>>the law is not a black and white feast,

Ummm, yes it is. It is exactly black and white, at least insofar as traffic is concerned.

It is enforcement that has changed.

For every one of us that believes we benefited from a clump around the ear when caught scrumping, there are another 10 who got the policeman fired for assault.

For every one of us that believes we benefited from an ear-baching when younger and caught doing something silly on the roads, there are another 10 who got the policeman reprimanded for lack of courtesy.

etc. etc. etc.

We have the enforcement that we deserved. We're just not sure we want it now. And as a society our behaviour, complaining, complaints, voting habits (or lack) and all the rest are what got us here.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
agree its societies fault as a whole for letting it happen

yea the law as written is black and while, the law as implemented by police/magistrates and judges is far from black and white

there are some impolite coppers, like in any job, and they should be systematically dealt with

yep the political system reacts to what we complain about, but when they spend so much on advertising the fact that "speed kills" its obvious lots of people will buy into this simplistic message, hence little old dear complaining of jobs racing, or sad familys who have had someone killed in a road incident will all complain of "speed" but really speed isnt in the top 10 of issues which need addressing to reduce road casualties and harse speed enforcement i a really inefficient way of dealling with the wheel spin/handbrake turn/etc merchants the little old dears are typically complaining about

etc
Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
I think it was about 3 years ago, in the Backroom, that I tried to explain to people campaigining against cameras (and therefore enforcement) that they were missing the whole point. That what they should be worrying about was;

"but when they spend so much on advertising the fact that "speed kills" its obvious lots of people will buy into this simplistic message, hence little old dear complaining of jobs racing,"

But instead they've continued the "cameras are evil" diatribe focussing on such messages as "I'm not clever enough to look at my speedo and drive" and now we've got even more cameras and the "speed kills" message even more embedded in people's minds.

No doubt everybody will keep hammering on about the "evil camera" without understanding that they are playing into the "speed kills" people's hands.

Its simple; Average Person does not like laws to be broken. In his mind this is a "bad thing". Its a perception, and not thought about much or logically. Not only is breaking the law bad, but they've seen all the adverts that say "speed kills" and therefore believe it does. Afterall, it is common sense that the more the speed the more and more severe the accidents.

Then he's sees a bunch of people campaigning about their right to ignore enforcement and to do a bad thing (speeding) - and then the clowns wonder why we get more and more cameras. It would be pathetic if it wasn't so laughable.

Worry about PR and go after the speed limits. That isn't an easy fight, but it is a possible one. "my right to ignore speed limits" is not winnable - from any perspective.

And please, the battle-cry "evil cameras" is stupid and counter-productive. "stupid speed limits" is at least correct.
Anyone else reformed? - BrianW
"Worry about PR and go after the speed limits. That isn't an easy fight, but it is a possible one."

Faced with State-sponsored PR, it's an almost impossible uphill task. Say something, however untrue, for long enough and loud enough and people will believe it.
The n***s in the 1930s persuaded a whole nation that the Jews were responsible for Germany's economic and international woes, with dreadful results.
The UK Government seems happy to sponsore a similar demonisation against motorists with any accident being their fault, backed up by total blame for urbanisation, pollution and global warming.
The psychology behind that is to induce a guilt complex, so that the motorist feels that they have to apologise for wanting to travel, involving the use of phrases such as "covering the countryside in concrete" (ignoring the fact that 95% of the development is not roads but houses, factories, shops and airports).
The simple fact is that population and economic growth requires infrastructure to support it, roads, rail, water supplies, electricity, schools and hospitals. The last few years has seen not only a lack of investment in additional and faster roads to cope with the growth, but an actual reduction in road capacity due to traffic calming, bus and cycle lanes and new/adjusted traffic lights.
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
yep the political system reacts to what we complain about, but
when they spend so much on advertising the fact that "speed
kills" its obvious lots of people will buy into this simplistic
message, hence little old dear complaining of jobs racing, or sad
familys who have had someone killed in a road incident will
all complain of "speed" but really speed isnt in the top
10 of issues which need addressing to reduce road casualties and
harse speed enforcement i a really inefficient way of dealling with
the wheel spin/handbrake turn/etc merchants the little old dears are typically
complaining about


"Speed is not in the top 10 of issues that need addressing to reduce road casualties."

Interesting statement - care to back it up with some facts.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
most pedestrains that are killed are drunk

lack of braking distance at high speed will end in death and injury in a way that being a few mph over the limit with lots of braking distance does not

lots of accidents caused by poor design of road signs

these 3 above could be addressed in numerous ways, "speed kills" adverts are a very inefficient way of impacting these numbers

as some basic examples

i DO NOT prentend to be an expert

but I have spoken to experts, and I think I can spot the flaws in the govt approach quite easily
Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
>>, "speed kills" adverts are a very inefficient way of impacting these numbers

Their primary purpose is not to impact those numbers. Their primary purpose is to make various organisations and the public feel good about the way that those numbers are being addressed - which is quite a different thing.

Its quite clever really, since once you've convinced people, if your measures are not successful it is obviously because you didn't do it enough.
Anyone else reformed? - Duchess
It seems that anyone who has taken advanced driving tuition feels safer, ensures more adherence to the laws of the road and enjoys their driving a great deal more.

People whose only driving education was prior to passing their test (plus accrued experience which may or may not include years of bad habits) are more likely to grumble about conditions, break laws (intentionally or otherwise) and get stressed about motoring life.

There are many good drivers who don't have additional tuition but very few bad ones who did.

Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
Just to throw a spanner in the works, my Dad's a class 1 Police driver and speeds all the time yet he is the safest driver I have ever been with...ever. That's not my interpretation of it - he is really that safe and smooth.

Of course, I've opened myself up to a tide of "but..." and "he shouldn't do that..." but you didn't think you could have a speeding thread without old Adam popping along did you?
--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
Should probably amend that. He was a class one driver - he retired a few months ago.

He'll always drive like that though because he's driven for 30 odd years in the Police and I don't think skill like that leaves you to be honest.


--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
Adam,

Its all in the difference between reality and perception. Sadly reality is all but irrelevant.

For as long as people's perception is that speed kills, then that's how it is - even if that isn't reality. Laws will be wirtten, police focussed, laws passed and it will all be based on perception.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
of course your dad has been trained using the "advanced driving techniques actually teach that speed above the posted limit can be done safely in many circumstances" doctrine

not the nonsense version the public get
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
wow mark im impressed

so what could good decent citizens that want the best road safety outcome do ?

dont think democracy is really working in this regard much
Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
Mark and John - I agree with you. What is interesting is that I have a copy of Roadcraft from the 1970's and one from 1994. We've gone from;

"Make progress as swiftly and safely as possible"

to

"Ensure you NEVER exceed the posted limit"



I take it that from 1994 onwards, you are completely safe as long as you are under the limit.
--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
thats pretty much proof of the

sadly the findings of the original police driving instrcutors who built up the ideas at the foundation have been manipulated since then

statement i made

policial correctness gone mad
Anyone else reformed? - mfarrow
Just to throw a spanner in the works, my Dad's a
class 1 Police driver and speeds all the time yet he
is the safest driver I have ever been with...ever. That's not
my interpretation of it - he is really that safe and
smooth.


As an ex class 1 police driver I'm sure he will understand that he cannot be fully observant of his surroundings on the roads all the time, and has as much chance as anyone of running over someone one day who runs into his path. Indeed, he has probably had the misfortune of having seen the concequences of such a misadventure too many times, and what happens when it is proved that the otherwise careful driver was over the limit.

I am in no way trying to criticise your dad, Adski, but believe that he is suffering from the "it'll never happen to me, I'm a safe driver" syndrome which is unfortunately all too common.
Anyone else reformed? - Altea Ego
And class 1 drivers have never been involved in accidents? fatal ones? I can relate several
Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
Don't you start RF. You're a really nice guy that I would hate to argue with but here we go.

Where did I say my Dad will never have an accident? Where did I say class 1 drivers don't have accidents?

I'll concede I perhaps hinted that he was less likely to crash. I think you've all taken my post too far. I simply meant to illustrate the fact that the limits are the be all and end all. Yes they are the law, yes it is illegal to exceed them.

Dylan, I'm going out now so don't have the time to reply fully to your post. When I get back I will but it will give me time to mull it over.

Please, no-one quote how many class one drivers have caused accidents or what theory of statistical analysis proves that they are more dangeorous. I never intended people to dissect my post as much as this.
--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
How embarrassing. I meant to say the limits are not the be all and end all.


--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - dylan
Just to throw a spanner in the works, my Dad's a
class 1 Police driver and speeds all the time yet he
is the safest driver I have ever been with...ever. That's not
my interpretation of it - he is really that safe and
smooth.


That doesn't put a spanner in the works at all. All it shows is that some drivers are better/safer than others. And that speed is not the only factor in safety. But we knew that already.

To put it another way, does the speeding help make your dad a safe driver? Or is he simply a good driver who chooses to speed? Wouldn't he be even safer if he slowed down a bit? If not, can he see into the future? If not, how can he handle an unexpected situation (e.g. car pulls out from side road, or child runs out from behind parked car) as safely at 40 mph as at 30 mph. Can he defy the laws of physics?

Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
Hmmm. I'll address mfarrow's points first.

I wasn't trying to say that he's never going to crash. You could be the best driver in the world and hit someone. The way I look at it is, he's 50. He's been driving since he was 16. Now I'm not for one minute suggesting that 34 years of driving makes you impervious to surroundings but put it this way, I'd be a passenger in his car every single time rather than in someone's car who never exceeds 25mph.

Dylan. Dylan Dylan Dylan. I must admit - I'm not too sure how to take your post but I'll humour it. Where at all did I say that speeding was a pre-requsite for safe driving? It is possible to do both. You ask if he would be safer if he slowed down. Why? You're measuring safety in mph.

Perhaps not the best thing to slot into my argument but a car could pull out anywhere despite the limit. Because the posted limit may be 40 does that mean it's ok to crash into other cars?

>>Can he defy the laws of physics?<<

Last time I looked, no. He can however drive safely.



--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - PhilW
"Can he defy the laws of physics?<<

Last time I looked, no"

Not sure it's Physics - but he's not done too badly in being retired at 50!!! Hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement!
Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
Retired from the Police after 30 years of service. He has another job now - if only we had enough money for him to stop work!

Mind you, I wouldn't mind stopping work at 50...40 would be better.
--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - PhilW
Come on Adski - you've only got about 40 (or by the time this Gov has finished 50, or 55) years of work ahead of you!! I'm sure you'll love it!!
The Law is not Black & White - Chuffer Dandridge
>>really simplistic "its the law" is such a poor way of looking at it, the law is not a black and white feast, as is clear from all sorts of issues from canabis abuse to other ways the streets are policed

So you won't mind if we pop round and burgal your house tonight?
Anyone else reformed? - dylan
> Where at all did I say that speeding was a pre-requsite for safe
> driving? It is possible to do both

Look at it this way. Let's say on a given road in a given car, your dad would do 40 mph and I would do 30 mph. However, because your dad is a better driver than me, let's say the risk of any potential accident is still lower for your dad. Let's say his risk of accident is 1 in 1000 and mine is 1 in 500.

I think this is the crux of your argument. Your dad's a good driver, so he can drive above the speed limit and still be safer than others who stick to the speed limit. I agree with that.

My contention is that if your dad reduced his speed on this road to 30 mph, he would reduce his risk. Let's say to 1 in 2000. So now he's 4 times safer than me, rather than 2 times. That would be good, right?

Regarding your argument, is it that at the 1 in 1000 level (or whatever the real number is) you reckon your dad is 'safe enough'? Or is it that you don't believe his risk level would decrease if he slowed down?

If the former, then I guess I can accept that. You're saying that his good driving more than makes up for his speeding, and therefore his overall 'level of selfishness' is no worse (or maybe better) than other people. If the latter, then I think you're plain wrong, though I have no way or proving it.

P.S. I'm not having a go at your dad. I'm trying to look at this very logically, without emotion. Not sure I'm succeeding, though :-)
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
Re "if your dad reduced his speed on this road to 30 mph, he would reduce his risk"

sometimes yes and sometimes no

applying a blanket approach that it is always safer at 30 than 40 is wrong

the whole point is that u should be reading the road and adjusting your speed to an optimum speed for road safety, and part of the highly skilled buiness of picking the right speed is a recognition that sometimes faster is better, it depends on a complex set of circumstances

this is where driving is to some degree an art and not a science

really really really if you are only analysing the problem based on speed u r missing so much of what needs to go into the equation
Anyone else reformed? - mjm
I think there is a tendancy to confuse the act of breaking the speed limit with the word speeding. It can be argued that the law is the law and should not be broken. There is no arguement to say that the law should not be changed. As far as I know we do not hang sheep rustlers today or run penal colonies.
What is a safe speed for one is not for another. A poorly maintained artic, fully loaded, with an inexperienced driver in poor conditions doing 30 in a 30 limit is speeding, but not breaking the limit. A well maintained car, with ABS with an experienced driver in good conditions, doing 35 in a 30 limit is breaking the speed limit but not speeding.
JD is right. Driving safely is so much more than just speed.
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
Dylan,
Excellent post.

The problem with many of the posters in this thread is that they, themselves, define what is a safe speed for the conditions, e.g.

"I always drive at X mph in these conditions and at Y mph in those conditions.

Now take myself. Well I am an experienced driver so I can judge exactly the safe speed for every condition!

If their judgement is different from mine - they are wrong!

Or is it possible I could be wrong? No surely not! I haven't had an accident for several weeks so that proves my case!!!!

C
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
yes cardew the responsiblity for the precise speed travelled has to be delegated to the driver

and the better the driver is trained and the more experienced he is the better he will be able to optimise the appropriate speed AND EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT HIS DRIVING such as when to turn the wheel when to brake etc

these decisions cannot be made remotely, especially not by politicians

i dont think im necessarily the best person at driving or speed judgement BUT i'd rather trust a well trained driver to get it right than some absract decision from someone who isnt there in those exact road conditions
Anyone else reformed? - BrianW
Any bets on how long it will be before the man withn the red flag makes a comeback?
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
yes cardew the responsiblity for the precise speed travelled has to
be delegated to the driver
and the better the driver is trained and the more experienced
he is the better he will be able to optimise the
appropriate speed AND EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT HIS DRIVING such as when
to turn the wheel when to brake etc
these decisions cannot be made remotely, especially not by politicians
i dont think im necessarily the best person at driving or
speed judgement BUT i'd rather trust a well trained driver to
get it right than some absract decision from someone who isnt
there in those exact road conditions


Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

We live in a democracy. We elect politicians to(remotely) design and impose a structure of law on our society. If we feel that the law is wrong we can lobby to change the law.

Leaving the interpretation of any law to individuals is the recipe for anarchy.

Paedophiles will argue that it is OK to have carnal knowledge of a consenting 10 year old.

On the motoring front there are some who will argue that their driving is not affected by a high alcohol content in their blood.

My definition of a safe speed for given circumstances might be twice as high as the speed you feel appropriate. It matters not what my driver training and experience might be, it is my judgement that counts - and that is faulty.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
i agree we live in a democracy

but a far from perfect one

where we have little say on much

and apart from the regional assemblies the people have had precious little say in many important decisions recently

we have a system where some public school cronies have highjacked what was at one time an organisation founded by genuine people with real greviances

we have an electoral system where people are voting for a party and not a person, or even policies

and yes i do recommend everyone uses the political process to change the world

but i also recongnise the harsh realities that we are actually ruled by nameless faceless people who dont stand for elections and who breed their own fashions and adgendas, council high rise blocks in the 60s anti car measures more recently - none of which has been put to the people

indeed even where local democracy is tried, it is often ignored, for instance i know a council which balloted all its voters on an issue, they voted one way and the council still went another way, amazed they kept that out of the press but the system works in mysterious ways

just because a political system tells me to do something doesnt mean im going to dogmatically do it, im a free englishman and we have a long history of fighting those that choose to rule us, in all sorts of subtle ways

and the way the laws are implemented, and law enforcement priorties are worked out at a senior civil servant/local govt officer/political level is very bad management, with very little basis in good science

dont be silly on the paedophile/drunk driver argument

if you were arrested standing on the street corner tomorrow morning chatting to your neighbour you would be surprized how many offences a copper can throw at you just for standing there, and u would be found guity, the reality is there is a lot of discretion used, and that discretion on road policing has largely gone

and spending lots of goct money on inaccurate and misguided proganda like "speed kills" should cause sad reflection to anyone who wants road safety genuinely improved
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
Re "We live in a democracy. We elect politicians to(remotely) design and impose a structure of law on our society. If we feel that the law is wrong we can lobby to change the law. " absolutely, but our form of democracy is far from perfect and needs some radical improvement, lots of the silent majority are disenfrachised, low turn out at elections, lack of ability to really get man on streets point across

Re "Leaving the interpretation of any law to individuals is the recipe for anarchy." nonsense, the public, police, courts, civil service, councils, and politicians have generally understood feelings on where the practical lines are, which are often widely different to the words written in the bills, all of these groups manipulate and use their judegement on these issues daily, we are not robots following a program

Re "Paedophiles will argue that it is OK to have carnal knowledge of a consenting 10 year old. " maybe true, but of course i dont endorse any such arguements

Re "On the motoring front there are some who will argue that their driving is not affected by a high alcohol content in their blood. " lock em up and take their licences away i say if they are that irresponsible

Re "My definition of a safe speed for given circumstances might be twice as high as the speed you feel appropriate." different drivers often will disagree, just as dentists will disagree whether a tooth needs a filling, but there is a range within a good practioner of driving or dentisry should operate, neither are capable of being done by robots

Re "It matters not what my driver training and experience might be, it is my judgement that counts - and that is faulty." nobody is perfect, but someone on the spot is likely to make a better decision than someone remote

Human error is always possible, but current speed regime hardly helps tackle this issue at all.

Good politicians set a framework in which the best EXPERTS possible set the precise rules, in this case they should set the guidelines, but delegate advanced drivers to set limits, not engineers or other politicians





Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
John,
I have to say I find your posts difficult to read; and thus the line of your many arguments.

There is little point in discussing the merits/demerits of our democracy.

For better or worse, we have laws and also the means of lobbying to change them.

With regards to speeding limits, a great many experts advise the legislature on the appropriate maximum speeds.

Many of us feel those lawful speed limits are inappropriate - either too high or(mainly) too low. Some feel they are about right.

As far as I can gather you advocate that any(experienced)) driver should be able to decide for himself what is the appropriate maximum speed for the road and conditions and is therefore justified in ignoring the set speeding limits and should not be prosecuted.

If that is indeed your position, I disagree! It leads to anarchy.

I submit that my analogy to Paedophiles and drink driving is valid(and not "silly"). In exactly the same way, they justify to themselves that the law is inappropriate. Is age 15 OK? Or 100 mg OK? I contend they also have no justification in breaking the law as it leads to anarchy. I am of course not arguing that speeding is the same category - but it is the principle.

C
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
im arguing that any person trusted to do a risky thing like drive is allowed some discretion, not total discretion, but some

and that the way arbitary limits is policed is done with discretion


and im arguing that the whole adgenda should be moved towards the things that would impact road casualties, such as braking distance and a whole set of other issues, and away from the single issue of speed

not too difficult to understand?
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
im arguing that any person trusted to do a risky thing
like drive is allowed some discretion, not total discretion, but some
and that the way arbitary limits is policed is done with
discretion
and im arguing that the whole adgenda should be moved towards
the things that would impact road casualties, such as braking distance
and a whole set of other issues, and away from the
single issue of speed
not too difficult to understand?


Yes, easier to understand thank you; the 3 commas helped enormously!

"not total discretion" Well there?s a thought to end this exchange!
Anyone else reformed? - mjm
Yes, Cardew, we do live in a democracy of sorts.

Individuals ARE judged on their ability to interpret the law. What is reasonable force? I, as a householder have to judge that when dealing with someone who decides that my house is his happy hunting ground. My response is judged, not on the spot, but by 12 good men and true.

There is good medical evidence to prove that alcohol impairs all abilities, including driving.

J D is saying that every driving situation is different, and the driver on the spot has the responsibility to react to each and every situation as it occurs.

The answer may be to help and assist EVERY driver/roaduser to improve his/her judgement.

Nothing personal intended, just helping the debate along!
Anyone else reformed? - jreg
It is not always the case that you will be safer, the slower you go.


My mother used to tow her horsebox with a very old landrover at about 30 - 35mph. Every time she went out, she would return with stories of near misses from the cars overtaking her (even though she used to pull into laybys reasonably often)

Now she has a 4.0 Range Rover and tows along at about 50mph, she reports significantly fewer problems.


When you're driving you have to drive for everyone else, as well as you, which is why the old advice of adjusting your speed to fit the trafic flow is still true.

Think what would have happened if my mother had used motorways in her old land rover at 30mph (she uses them now in the range rover)



James
Anyone else reformed? - Adam {P}
Well here is my reply. I must say, this is one of the most heated debates on the Backroom and it actually makes for interesting reading. Now I won’t lie to you, I’m nowhere near as learned as everyone else on here so my arguments may fall short for which I apologise.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to revert to a simplistic argument.
My contention is that if your dad reduced his speed on this road to 30 mph, he would reduce his risk. Let's say to 1 in 2000. So now he's 4 times safer than me, rather than 2 times. That would be good, right?

<<

Ok. My question is, if he reduces his speed to 20, he’d be safer still. Right? Yes the speed limit is black and white. Clear cut. As is the law regarding speeding and rightly to on the proviso that the limits are correct. Don’t go attacking me now saying “So you break limits you disagree with? Anarchy! Treasonous!” Whatever. I’m not saying that at all. But does a 30mph mean that if someone pulls out, you’re both safe? Yes it does and you wouldn’t find any person disagreeing with you. However, these 30 limits were springing up on roads where it was less likely (if you could say that) that someone was pulling out. 40mph, 50mph – is it ok for people to pull out on you then? But I digress.
Regarding your argument, is it that at the 1 in 1000 level (or whatever the real number is) you reckon your dad is 'safe enough'? Or is it that you don't believe his risk level would decrease if he slowed down?

<<

To be honest, I suppose I’m saying both. Dad is ‘safe enough’. You say it as though “well that will do” but safe enough to me is completely safe. Of course I’m biased. Of course I’m going to say my Dad’s great. Personally, and I understand it’s subjective but I would say my Dad is safe at 70 just as much as he is at 30. The 30 limit (assuming it’s not a true 30 limit and it’s one of those “new” ones) is a blanket limit to everyone. I’m allowed to drive at 30, Dylan’s allowed to drive at 30 as is Cardew, John, RF – everyone. My (soon to be) 17 year old sister will be able to drive at 30. I’m not for one minute suggesting we introduce variable limits based on how good you drive but as (I think) John said earlier. You will always get people who are better at reading the road than others. After all, driving is “90% observation”.

I did think of a really witty conclusion to this post but it’s completely escaped me so I’ll end on the fact that when in the Police, he could do whatever speed he wanted (on an emergency of course). Now are you going to tell me that the “risk” of someone pulling out outweighs the risk of whoever is being shot or vice versa?

You make a good argument you really do but NW has tried (and failed) many times before you to convince me otherwise. Whilst I’ll concede there are idiots on the road that you need to cater for, you can’t seriously be suggesting that we implement 30 limits everywhere on the offchance that someone may pull out .

--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - dylan
You make a good argument you really do but NW has
tried (and failed) many times before you to convince me otherwise.
Whilst I’ll concede there are idiots on the road that you
need to cater for, you can’t seriously be suggesting that we
implement 30 limits everywhere on the offchance that someone
may pull out .


No, I don't think there should be 30 limits everywhere. There is clearly a compromise to be made relating to speed and safety, and it makes sense for that compromise to be different on an urban street than on a motorway, simply because the danger of sudden obstacles is much greater on an urban street.

I suppose a lot of this argument boils down to whether you think the current speed limits are reasonable or not. Many (including HJ, I think) do not. I tend to think they are, given how necessarily crude an instrument they are. Even though I never had a crash when I drove at 40 in 30 zones, I do think I'm safer now that I drive at 30. And I don't feel it takes me an unreasonable amount of time to get places.

I should make it clear that the *only* reason I started doing 30 in 30 zones is speed cameras, so I'm not claiming any moral high ground here. But having been forced into it, I can now see the benefits. I encourage everyone to try it for a week. Stick to 30 in 30 zones, 40 in 40 zones, just for a week. You might find the benefits outweigh the downsides.
Anyone else reformed? - patently
The point of difference is this:

My contention is that if your dad reduced his speed on this road to 30 mph, he would reduce his risk. Let's say to 1 in 2000. So now he's 4 times safer than me, rather than 2 times. That would be good, right?

As Adski started to say, if his dad slowed to 20 mph then he would be even safer. After all, he has more time to observe and react to events. But you can go further; if Adski's dad slowed to 10mph then he will be safer still. Even better - 5mph! And why stop there? 2mph is even safer!

And, of course, if someone at 30mph rams him from behind or crashes while overtaking, that is their fault and due entirely to their excessive speed.

Provided everyone slows together, to 2mph or whatever, levels of safety will improve. Any accidents that did happen would cause little damage and almost no injuries. But we would take forever to get anywhere, and we might feel that was unacceptable.

What this analysis misses is that life involves risk. We might die at any time. I sincerely hope that I do not prove this point too soon, but I cannot change the fact itself (although I can influence the level of risk). Thus, there is a balance to be struck; we need to identify an acceptable level of risk and set limits based on that. Thus, maintenance of that same level of risk requires slower speeds past a primary school than on the motorway. And so on.

An important but missing element in this country's approach to road safety is this recognition - that there will still be some risk involved in getting up in the morning. We try instead to remove all risk, and hence (a) demonise anyone whose assessment is different to ours and (b) doom ourselves to a hopeless task.

But to say that some level of risk is acceptable is, sadly, unacceptable.
Anyone else reformed? - teabelly
The irony of course is that more people die from accidents in the home than do on the roads, and more people die from hospital acquired infections than on the roads. White van men kill the fewest per travelled km than just about any other driver and yet they speed more than most. People also have a fundamental misunderstanding of risk, get themselves worked up over miniscule risks and fail to notice the real ones around them. You are much, much more likely to be killed by smoking or drinking than driving a car. Those substances kill 150,000 people a year. Risks are often reported saying 'this doubles your chance' but fails to mention that normal random distribution can lead to situations where something appears to have double the incidence but it is entirely random. Unless the incidence is at least treble or better quadruple one can often assume it is random behaviour rather than any real cause and effect. Damned Lies & Statistics is a great read btw :-)


teabelly
Anyone else reformed? - BrianW
You can usually spot when statistics are being manipulated when a report suddenly switches from e.g. actual numbers "150 extra deaths" to a percentage "a fifty percent increase".
The latter usually means an increase from two to three.
Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
>>You can usually spot...

Which is something the BBC do all the time and it annoys me;

"out of 100 people surveyed about something which the BBC hates, more than 3 out of 10 said they wouldn't do it ever, whilst less than half said they would definitely do it and only 11 people said that they would do it sometime"

With the BBC failing to point that their message would lead you to believe that most people thought it was a stupid idea if you weren't listening carefully, whereas in reality 60% support it.
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
You can usually spot when statistics are being manipulated when a
report suddenly switches from e.g. actual numbers "150 extra deaths" to
a percentage "a fifty percent increase".
The latter usually means an increase from two to three.


Much beloved by politicians, the classic is "the rate of increase doubled in 2004".

Translation:

Earnings increased by 0.01% in 2003 but by 0.02% in 2004.
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew

Thus, there is a balance to be struck; we need
to identify an acceptable level of risk and set limits based
on that.


Patently,

The $64,000 question(not seen that expression for some while) is what is that level of acceptable risk?

Whilst I might be confident about Adski's dad driving at warp speed, there are some people I would not feel happy about driving with at any speed.

Speed limits are set by our political masters who act on the advice of experts - including the organisation that employed Adski's dad. These limits are a compromise taking into account the abilities of the average driver, the average vehicle, and average road conditions.

Not a perfect system - but how do we improve upon it?

C
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
well the idea of positive points on your licence as well as negative ones has its merits

5 years safe driving u get X extra points

Stop a pile up on the M1 the coppers can recommend u for Y extra points

etc
Anyone else reformed? - patently
well the idea of positive points on your licence as well
as negative ones has its merits


There follows a letter that I wrote to the DoT. They declined to comply.

----------------------------

Dear Sirs,

Road Safety Advertisements

I have recently heard a road safety advertisement via my local radio station. In the advert, the speaker addresses those listening in their cars and places a bet with them. Initially, he bets that they are running late, but quickly retracts that as it is too obvious. He then bets that they have been cut up during the course of that day, but retracts that also. Finally, he bets that they are travelling too fast, and asks whether the listener could stop if a child ran out in front of them. This bet is not retracted.

I have (so far) heard the advert on three occasions. On the first, I was in the outside lane of the M40 travelling southbound between junctions 9 and 8. I thought it unlikely that a child would run out in front of me in those circumstances and consider that I won the bet.

On the second occasion, I was on a local minor road about 400 yards from a primary school and subject to a 20mph speed limit. I was at that time travelling at about 15-18 mph, precisely because there were several parents and children within sight, making their way to school. I consider that I could have stopped had a child run out and therefore consider that I again won the bet.

Finally, on the third occasion I heard the advert whilst stationary in a queue of traffic waiting to clear roadworks controlled by single alternate traffic lights. As I was stationary, I cannot have been travelling too fast and therefore once more consider that I won the bet.

The speaker did not explicitly state the amount that he wished to bet. However, if I had been found to have lost the bet, I would have been subject to the appropriate fine and three penalty points. I understand that the maximum fine is £1,000.00, or £2,500.00 on a motorway. This is obviously the amount intended, in the absence of any specifically stated amount.

It therefore seems that I am owed £4,500.00 (one instance of £2,500.00 and two of £1,000.00) and a 9 point credit on my driving licence. I look forward to receiving that amount and your advice as to how to apply for the credit.

On a more serious note, the reference to having been cut up, immediately prior to the assumption (without evidence) that I was driving too fast, suggests that emotional upset is a recognised cause of poor driving. This advert has irritated me on each occasion through its sanctimonious approach, viz. that all drivers are presumed guilty unless proven otherwise. The advert can therefore be presumed to have had a negative impact on road safety.

Whilst I welcome all attempts to improve road safety through driver education, I feel that this should be directed towards revealing factors of which we were not necessarily aware but need to take into account. Attempts to make drivers feel automatic guilt do not do so. They make drivers feel that those in authority have no faith in our driving skills, and believe that we are at all times in the wrong. This leads to a ?them and us? attitude, in which the driver?s task is to evade hidden forms of tax collection disguised as road safety measures, whilst making speedy progress towards the destination.

An example of a better approach is your television advert in which a car is shown from one side in a busy high street, suddenly braking hard. The voiceover mentions when it would have stopped had it been travelling at 30 mph rather than 35 mph; after that point something resembling a child is hit and thrown over the car. This advert catches the eye and brings home a simple factual point ? the sheer distance required to stop from 30 mph and the significant additional distance required to stop from 35 mph. It does not criticise or hector; it informs. It made me think twice; the radio advert distracted me and left me feeling unjustifiably censured.

I look forward to more adverts along the line of the television example and fewer along the line of the radio example. I also look forward to the improvement in my financial circumstances following receipt of the £4,500.00.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
Re "television advert in which a car is shown from one side in a busy high street, suddenly braking hard"

that ad is nonsense, it looks to me as if the rear brakes have been disconnected on purpose etc

again SPEED isnt the issue its observation when driving near a school or similar

Anyone else reformed? - patently
that ad is nonsense, it looks to me as if the
rear brakes have been disconnected on purpose etc


My letter was written before the BR drew my attention to that issue - sorry should have flagged that up.

I liked the style and message of the ad, though. Shame that a misrepresentation was seemingly used in order to gain my support.

Not the only time HMG have done that, oddly. Anyway, must stop typing as the Butler is seeking my attention.
Anyone else reformed? - BrianW
The child running in the road advert annoys me intensely, it bears so little relationship to real life.
If it was slanted more towards "Have you observed the child on the pavement, considered whether there is a likelyhood of the child running into the road and adjusted your speed and road position accordingly" I would have more sympathy.
Concentration solely on the speed aspect misses the main point.
Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
>>There follows a letter that I wrote to the DoT. They declined to comply.

Did they reply at all ?
Anyone else reformed? - patently
Not a perfect system - but how do we improve upon it?


Well we can't set a specific level of risk because it is not measurable at a specific instant for a specific driver.

However, this does not mean that we should therefore find the nearest measurable thing and enforce that & that only. This seems to be current thinking - inappropriate speed can kill, therefore speed kills, therefore any and all speeds must be reduced and any speeding must be prosecuted. Three non-sequitors and a two changes of basis (from inappropriate speed, to speed, to speeding) result in garbage.

We need to observe and prosecute for inappropriate or dangerous driving, which includes much speeding and some activities at legal speeds. How to do so? Just as we used to, when our death rate was lower.

Sadly, though, we cannot do so in the "modern & efficient" ways now demanded by the present political masters. A change of attitude is needed.
Anyone else reformed? - Ex-Moderator
I thought the skidding car was a bit of a nothing advert - however, have you seen the current one where a little girl is shown dead against a tree having been thrown after an accident, and gradually moves closer and closer to the accident spot as the driver's speed is reduced and then takes a breath when the driver is theoretically at 30 - not a very good explanation, but you'll know what I mean if you've seen it.

Now that is an advert with impact - at least upon me.

The trouble is, an accident will be less severe at slower speeds. If you hit me at 20mph I am more likely to survive than if you hit me at 60mph. However, that doesn't address the matter of how to prevent the accident - which may well be related to teaching me, the pedestrian how to cross roads sober.

I guess that part of the issue is as to how much you should be restricted to allow for my failings or irresponsibility.

Now I can't say that is an effective argument where adults are concerned, but I do think it has some merit where children are involved. I may well be 100% innocent and without blame, but I may still have killed a child which I would not have killed had I been driving more slowly - even though the accident was clearly the child's fault.

For me the error is that only speed is addressed. Not only is that insufficient since all factors should be addressed, the error is compounded in that people are messing with speeds when they are sometimes unqualified to do so and sometimes perhaps motivated by politics.

Not only that, speed is addressed to the exclusion of other factors - drink, dangerous, drug, unsafe vehicles, etc. etc.

I've never found "speed kills" people or "speed is no problem" people worth talking to. For both it is a religious argument which they are incapable of discussing with an open mind. And I think an open mind is neccessary, because unless you wish one group of extremists or the other to win, then compromise will be required.
Anyone else reformed? - mjm
Yes, I thought the advert was more emotive than useful. I havn't seen the other. I thought the drink/driving one was good, also.
If the first one had shown, for example, the view through the windscreen of the car, at 30mph, with similar hazards,ie parked cars, pedestrians etc, but a "clear" road, and a voice over something like,"The road is clear, you are driving at the speed limit, but are you aware of this?" ----
At which point a child appears between the parked cars, followed by panic braking sounds.
The emphasis should be on awareness.

The top message on this thread was about advanced driving exams/lessons etc.
Is this not an indication that the current "acceptable"(good enough to get a licence" standard is too low?
The objective of driving schools is to train drivers to pass their test. If the test was set at a higher standard then instructors could train to this standard.

(There is no critism intended or aimed at instructors, by the way"
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
The top message on this thread was about advanced driving exams/lessons
etc.
Is this not an indication that the current "acceptable"(good enough to
get a licence" standard is too low?
The objective of driving schools is to train drivers to pass
their test. If the test was set at a higher standard
then instructors could train to this standard.


mjm,
IMO making the test more difficult would hardly affect the accident rate. I doubt many accidents are down to lack of skill. Surely the majority of accidents are down to inattention, disregard of rules or simply taking a risk. In short an attitude problem.

Short of psychometric tests to determine someone's suitability to get behind a wheel, I see little that can be done.

As a teenager, like many of that age, I did stupid things and took risks - not only when driving. I like to think I could have all of the awareness, roadcraft etc lessons and passed whatever driving test standard was set. I doubt if it would have affected my post test behaviour one jot - in fact I might have been even cockier knowing I had passed such a difficult test.

The reason why Adski's generation are classified as a greater insurance risk than my generation(I haven't got my bus pass) is not because they have less skill, and certainly their reflexes are better.

Sure experience helps, but a 25 year old with huge driving experience is statistically still more accident prone than say a 50 year old.
Contradictory Speed Limits - Adam {P}
I must say, this is a very interesting thread but if you wouldn't mind, I'm going to shift over to another question.

This morning, I was driving my Mum and Sister to school which, given a closed road, we had to take a lengthy detour. Anyway, this section involved us joining a road (the East Lancs for anyone who lives nearby). We joined this from a NSL dual carriageway yet at the entrance to the East Lancs there were new (new since Sunday) 60mph speed limit signs.

Now I won't lie to you, I didn't do 60 but it got more interesting. Coming back the other way, the NSL signs were still there (so 70). My question is, let's say I got pulled over after entering from the 60mph entrance yet someone joining a few hundred yards later (or in fact those coming the other way) see NSL signs. Would I get pulled for exceeding the 60 limit or, as I suspect, is the 60mph invalid until all entrances have these signs on?

To be honest, it's quite annoying. It's a perfectly straight road with traffic light controlled junctions yet it's lowered to 60. I drive on a dirt track which even I'll admit isn't worthy of a 60 limit yet they're classified as the same risk but I digree. (Twice in one day)

Obviously this road has now been deemed too dangerous. Maybe next year we'll see 40 limits "just to be on the safe side".

Sorry - I can't help myself. I'll stop now!
--
Adam
Contradictory Speed Limits - Adam {P}
Digree? I really don't know. Of course I meant "digress".

Methinks it's time for a new keyboard....or spelling lessons.
--
Adam
Anyone else reformed? - CM
Mark, I am a little confused with this advert. I understand the bit about 30mph/40mph 20/80% death but but....

What they are actually depicting and saying is that if someone hits a little girl at 30/40mph after braking there will be a 20/80% chance of killing her. With the car braking and skidding the impact speeds (i would imagine) to reach these 20/80% figures would be much less. I would imagine that being hit at 40mph would result in near 100% death rate for man and beast. what they should be saying is that it takes longer to stop and therefore the impact speed is higher.

overall it is a very good advert that i think can get away with quoting non-sensical statistics
Anyone else reformed? - NowWheels
An important but missing element in this country's approach to
road safety is this recognition - that there will still be
some risk involved in getting up in the morning. We try
instead to remove all risk, and hence (a) demonise anyone
whose assessment is different to ours and (b) doom ourselves
to a hopeless task.


I think we've been here before, o prophet of gloom! :)

Yes, of couse there is risk. But that doesn't mean it's not worth trying to reduce it. Road accidents remain a major cause of accidental death and serious injury -- for young men, they remain at a frighteningly high level.

Of course they used to be even higher -- much higher, esp if you count the accident rate per mile. But TPTB insisted on seat belts, speed limits, MoT tests, better roads, and so on ... and I'm sure that at the time, there were plenty of doom-and-gloom merchants saying it was all a waste of time.

When we finally get compulsory speed limiters on cars, to stop folks dangerously increasing the speed differentials on motorways, it'll have a very useful effect on the motorway accident rate. But we'll still have plenty of people denouncing that in advance, and when confronted with the evidence of succes, they'll go on to argue against the next safety measure. (BTW, I'm not averse in principle to an increase in mway speed limits, as long as trucks get an increased limit too -- it's speed differentials which are the greatest speed-related danger there).

Now I have no problem with people taking risks with their own safety. Don't wear a seatbelt if you don't want to -- it's your life. Drive a car with no airbags and a frame like an eggbox, and it's only the occupants who carry the risk.

But it's particularly troublesome to insist that speed in urban areas should not be further limited. It might not have a huge effect on the level of deaths and injuries sustained by car drivers: some effect, but not huge. But the real safety problem in urban areas is that other road users are being driven off the roads.

Children aren't allowed out on their own because of the risk of traffic, and even adults find it difficult to cross lots of roads, while plenty of residential areas are regularly disrupted at night by drivers who think it's OK to speed because the streets are nearly empty. These are the people who would really benefit from greater control of urban speeds: the people who carry the risks which others create, and whose lives are seriously constrained because car drivers resist any restraint unless it "feels right" for them.

But that's an unfashionable argument these days, and it probably shows that I'm getting old. It seems that plenty of folks these days get quite offended by the idea that they should moderate their actions to avoid creating risks for others.
Anyone else reformed? - BrianW
The other approach is to separate vehicles and pedestrians as far as possible and through traffic from local traffic.
I pass through three villages and a couple of high streets with shops on the way to work.
I don't want to, I'd rather not, but what should be main through roots for long distance traffic just don't exist.
Take the A1 for example. I cross that in north London. It's one of the longest roads in the UK, from London to Edinburgh, but at the London end it is lined with shops both sides.
Anyone else reformed? - NowWheels
The other approach is to separate vehicles and pedestrians as
far as possible and through traffic from local traffic.


True, generally a good idea, but not always feasible: the only way to bypass my village would be to trash one of two unspoilt valleys, which nobody would want. And in other places, it takes time to develop new roads to accommodate trafic increases.

And on the London end of the A1, I dunno that there's any solution to the major-road-alongside-shops probs, except to knock down big chunks of North London and/or blight the area with a flyover like the westway.

Unless you were proposing to keep cars entirely out of residential and retail areas, some sharing of space is inevitable.
Anyone else reformed? - Bromptonaut
And on the London end of the A1, I dunno that
there's any solution to the major-road-alongside-shops probs, except to knock down
big chunks of North London and/or blight the area with a
flyover like the westway.


Was not just such a scheme proposed for the Archway Road in the seventies. Birth of widescale public opposition to "road improvements" Abandoned after the locals, led by a mad academic, manned the barricades and disrupted the public inquiry etc.
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
I think the biggest farce in 'planning' was the projected A40 improvement in West London.

The M40 changes to the A40 which is a fast dual carriageway and meets up with the Westway which is an elevated motorway. There are no traffic lights except for a short stretch where there are 3 sets close together. Naturally these are a huge bottleneck.

This quote sums it up.

"The Government's decision to cancel a road improvement scheme cost taxpayers more than £20 million because 200 homes had already been bought and demolished on the assumption it would go ahead, it emerged yesterday.
A report from the National Audit Office said the Highways Agency had failed to make a full assessment of alternatives before demolishing the houses, which stood on the line of a proposed widening of the A40 in west London. The improvement had been planned for nearly 10 years to ease congestion on a principal commuter route.
By 1995-96, the scheme had reached the top of the Conservatives' roads programme, and the agency went ahead with demolition to prevent vandalism and squatting by anti-roads protesters. Similar activity by demonstrators seriously delayed work on the M11-Hackney link two years earlier.
But Labour abandoned the scheme within three months of taking office. The report said most of the properties had been in fair condition and the local house market had been buoyant. If the homes had been worth £100,000 each, their sale would have raised £20 million.?
£20 million is only a fraction of the overall cost of the aborted scheme.
Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
Now I have no problem with people taking risks with their
own safety. Don't wear a seatbelt if you don't want to
-- it's your life. Drive a car with no airbags and
a frame like an eggbox, and it's only the occupants who
carry the risk.



NW,
That raises the question of the responsibility of the State in 'protecting ourselves from ourselves'. The Nanny State if you like.

You could extend that argument to allowing bikers to ride with no helmets, take it to the Nth degree and allow people to slowly kill themselves with heroin.

The economic argument is that we, as taxpayers, pick up the bill for the medical treatment of those who finish up in hospital.

On the other hand we take no action against those who have to be rescued by when climbing Ben Nevis in wellington boots in winter, or going to sea in boats without the equipment or skill to cope.

Come to think of it a multi-millionaire balloonist was never billed for being rescued after ditching in the sea a couple of times.

C
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
i think ongoing road thinning to discourage driving is counter to good safety

it is best if there is space available to swerve into as an alternative choice is a kid does run in front of you

also necessary to let ambulances etc through

spending X houndred thousand on thinning a road and putting in cycle lanes that are never used, or some nice garden features on the path - multiplied by the number of times this is happening must be costing us all a fortune

ah well nice profits for engineering firms pandering to the anti car mandarins
Anyone else reformed? - patently
Yes, of couse there is risk. But that doesn't mean it's not
worth trying to reduce it.


No no no no no no no no no no no no ....

It is worth reducing risk within reason. But your contention, NW, is that risk itself is worth reducing wherever it exists.

This has the effect of starting with the biggest risks (lack of any MOT, say), moving through lesser but more serious risks (say, seatbelts), and continuing (36 in a 30!!) ever further to deal with ever lesser risks (30 mph!! horrors!) until the car itself is banned. Initially, a good process but as time goes the risk of absurdity increases.

In this reductio ad absurdum, we would then be unable to get to work unless we lived in London (by and large). I surmise that we would then be poorer, unable to fund the NHS, and more would die or suffer than if cars were permitted.

There has to be a sense of perspective. At present, I see no evidence of this. Every road death is of course a terrible loss to someone and an incremental loss to us all*, but sometimes we cannot stop them. At present, we lose more friends, relatives and fellow citizens through dirty hospitals than road traffic accidents, so there is a good argument that our focus should be elsewhere.

Incidentally, some argue that the dirty hospitals are a result of targets set with the admirable intention of treating more patients more quickly; if so then this is an excellent example of the law of unintended consequences. Which is, of course, exactly what I am wittering on about; by refusing to take a holistic view of life we may actually cause more harm than good.

If we focus on (say) "minor" speed infringements to the exclusion of all else, we might for example see road deaths rise even while prosecutions increase relentlessly. Oh, and we are ....

--------------------------
*no man is an island, etc
Anyone else reformed? - Altea Ego
"Road accidents remain a major cause of accidental death and serious injury -- for young men, they remain at a frighteningly high level."

No they dont.

More people die of cancer. Heart disease. prematurely.

Road accident deaths are at background noise levels where only banning cars totally will have any effect. Governments and those concerned with mortality rates should work and finance those areas that would have most benefit. It aint motoring BTW.
Anyone else reformed? - john deacon
the way the nhs is structured is doomed to fail

unless the consumer has buying power and the ability to take his business elsewhere, if for instance the hospital is dirty, it will never change

dictats from on high to do things like "clean up the hospitals" are a waste of time

local experts (senior docs and nurses) need to be delegated the authority to DO THINGS, and not just have decisions imposed on them

very high proportion of people in hospital are there because a doctor got their earlier treatment wrong, this could be systematiclly improved with a bit of science and good manegement, the causes are easily preventable with good regimes of patient management, such as second opinions at appropriate points etc

lots of deaths are caused by want of modest money being spent, for instance prostrate cancer could be saved in many cases by fairly cheap treatment early on, much cheaper than the average cost of saving a life in road managament terms, etc

Anyone else reformed? - Cardew
"Road accidents remain a major cause of accidental death and serious
injury -- for young men, they remain at a frighteningly high
level."
No they dont.
More people die of cancer. Heart disease. prematurely.
Road accident deaths are at background noise levels where only banning
cars totally will have any effect. Governments and those concerned with
mortality rates should work and finance those areas that would have
most benefit. It aint motoring BTW.


RF,
Have you misread NW's post?

A major cause - not THE major cause. Also ACCIDENTAL death and serious injury.

I would agree with your last paragraph. The law of diminishing returns is starting to apply!

C
Anyone else reformed? - Big Bird
I've read a few times in this thread and others the comments about inappropriate speed limits being posted on country roads.

Surrey CC seem to be converting all the previously NSL roads to 50 or even 40.

This annoyed me no end and like many others I continued to drive at what I thought was reasonable.

My confidence in being right has just taken a knock. Tonight on way home found the road blocked by multiple BiBs ambulances and fire tenders cutting what looked like 3 cars apart to remove occupants, obviously not a happy ending. This follows on from two prior fatals on this road in 1 year - but being the first I've seen too close at hand perhaps I'll be joining the ranks of the reformed.

I drove the rest of the (diverted) route home very gingerly counting my blessings
Dan
 

Value my car