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 Post subject: Hold on a minute
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 02:09 
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On the 'Claims' page Safe Speed whets our appetite for reasoned debate as he dallies with the question; 'Do speed limits ensure safety? To answer such a silly question Smith goes on to make a series of equally silly claims.

Starting with point 1.01 Smith claims that 'Speed limits do provide valuable information and guidance.' This is initially justified as an 'obvious fact'. We are then led to believe that clicking on the link may further substantiate the claim. But no. We are rewarded by a retraction on the claim. Mr Smith now claims that some limits are just 'plain stupid'. With the assertion left there, the claim must be restated as 'speed limits may, or may not, provide valuable information or guidance' and Smith has gravely weakened his initial claim.
Smith then adds that the most benefit he gains from a round white sign with a red border containing in large black letters, the number 30; and when coming across such a sign in his travels, i.e. a 30 mph speed restriction sign, is that occasion when he is approaching a country village. To Mr Smith these signs are like a cherished 'village ahead' sign. Just a little nudge to warn him of an 'area of increased hazard risk'.
No Mr Smith. Speed limit signs do not provide valuable information and guidance. They are not 'plain stupid'; they are inanimate objects. The 30mph speed restiction sign means DO NOT DRIVE FASTER THAN 30MPH. ADJUST YOUR SPEED NOW. IF YOU DO DRIVE FASTER THAN 30MPH YOU WILL BE COMMITTING AN OFFENCE. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT DRIVING FASTER THAN 30MPH YOU WILL BE FINED AND HAVE POINTS ADDED TO YOUR LICENCE.

Moving on to claim 1.02 'Some speed limits provide vital safety advice in areas of special danger.' Special danger eh? Mr Smith justifies this, as before, as an obvious fact. Smith now decides that this claim is linked to another claim 1.10 so we'll come back to this claim later.

Next we have claim 1.03 'It is well known and understood that suitably trained drivers can use very high speeds without special risk.' The claim cites a quote from a previous edition of the police drivers' handbook that states 'speed in itself is not dangerous'. Note that the current revised edition of Roadcraft does not contain this statement. Mr Smith then invites us to read more on some speed setting rule that gets a similarly extensive treatment elsewhere on the Safe Speed site. The wording of the claim prompted a concerned correspondent to suggest a clarification of the term 'suitably trained'. Smith agrees that it is right to be concerned that inexperienced drivers might suddenly believe themselves to be a police officer; to have attended a police advanced drivers course and passed to the accepted standard; to be attending an emergency requiring the promptest attention whilst driving a police car displaying blue flashing lights and sounding an audible warning. The actions of these deluded novices might result in extra risks being taken. And that's on top of the risks being taken, we are led to suppose, when the inexperienced driver is not so deluded. Smith then goes on to discuss attitude and hazard perception in typical style before describing the various forms of advanced driver training. Smith describes how the general public can get advanced driver training from the IAM on the roads and 'within normal UK speed limits'. Smith then suggests that once you have had this training and plenty of experience you are ready to start thinking that you're safe at very high speeds. This suggestion helps to clarify the term 'without special risk'. Restating the claim as it now stands, 'It is well known and understood that those who have passed the IAM test are entitled to think they're safe at very high speeds.


In Claim 1.04 Smith asserts that speeding drivers are responsible. He calls on our faith in our fellow man to believe that these speeders are just 'normal people going about their lawful business', albeit unlawfully, and doing so 'with proper care and consideration for others', but not the law. Justifying the claim as a 'social comment'? he offers two facts as proof. Firstly Smith asserts 'The fastest roads (motorways) are the safest'. This merely says motorways are the safest roads. What has this got to do with speeding being a responsible act? Secondly 'Only a tiny proportion of these "speeders" have accidents.' Who claimed all irresponsible acts result in accidents? The deliberate act of committing an offence, punishable by law, can never be claimed to be that of a responsible citizen.

In claim 1.05 Paul Smith considers it risky to admit that he finds 60-70mph a sleepy speed. It's risky yes. It certainly undermines Smith's suggestions elsewhere that his own driving approaches perfection. What has this got to do with speed limits? Just because Smith finds himself nodding off when he is travelling within a 10mph speed range doesn't mean that applies universally. It simply means Smith has identified a flaw in his system of driving.

In claim 1.06 Smith goes on to assert that 'It's the business of a driver to choose a safe speed for the conditions. It's no good coming to a 40mph curve on a 60mph speed limit road, crashing and then blaming the speed limit. So naturally we all compute safe speeds'. So Smith is asserting that 'naturally we all' adjust our speed to a safe one for the conditions. This beautifully serves to assist the undermining of claims 1.08, 1.09, 1.12 and 1.14.

In claim 1.07 Smith states that 'it is frequently argued that speed limits serve to limit the damage in inevitable accidents. It is a higher ideal to attempt to prevent accidents instead. If it is possible to prevent accidents, then that should be the primary emphasis.' No references are made to one of the supposed frequent arguments. If accidents are inevitable, then logic says they are not preventable. Therefore, travelling within a speed limit will serve to limit damage that might result should the colliding vehicle(s) be slowing from a speed in excess of the limit. The argument that 'speed limits serve to limit the damage in inevitable accidents' is therefore 'true'.

Claim 1.08. 'Suppose one day after tons of speed limit publicity an individual drives at 30mph because he has been told that to do so is safe. Turns out 30mph was far too fast for the circumstances and a death ensues. In such a way it is possible for speed limits to make roads more dangerous under some circumstances. And yes. We honestly believe this is already happening every single day.' But MS; according to claim 1.06 'naturally we all compute safe speeds'. If Smith is asserting that some public safety information might in some way 'hypnotise' individuals to drive at the speed limit at all times regardless of the conditions, then it is important for him to point out the publicity to which he is referring. All the publicity I have seen, simply state that the limits are there for a reason, and exceeding them can result in penalties.

Smith treats us to a little joke in claim 1.09 when he says 'Keeping to a speed limit is an extremely poor way to ensure that you can stop in time. In fact, it will fail the first time you encounter stationary traffic.' Boom Boom. Apparently it required the use of logical analysis to come up with this lame two-liner. The Highway Code (No. 103) says 'You MUST NOT exceed the maximum speed limits for the road and for your vehicle'. Nowhere does the Highway Code say a driver should keep to a speed limit at all times. Let's not forget that Smith has already stated in claim 1.06 that 'naturally we all compute safe speeds'.

Claim 1.10. 'Excessive use of low speed limits where it is obvious to drivers that they are not required brings speed limits into disrepute. This leads to speed limits being ignored, and unfortunately important speed limits are ignored as a consequence.' Obvious to whom? Maybe to those drivers like Smith whose ability 'approaches perfection' perhaps? This, readers will recall, is the claim related to claim 1.02 'Some speed limits provide vital safety advice in areas of special danger.' Maybe these special dangers are not so obvious.

Claim 1.11. 'Speed limits won't prevent a driver who doesn't care from causing danger.' A driver who 'doesn't care' about what exactly? Speed limits we are left to assume.

Claim 1.12 'No speed limits can prevent drivers from going too fast for the conditions when conditions dictate that the safe speed is below the limit.' Mr Smith makes this claim despite having already told us in claim 1.06 that 'naturally we all compute safe speeds'. Smith then supplies his justification as 'It is suggested in various studies that excessive speed accidents frequently happen below the speed limit. Perhaps around half of such accidents are within the speed limit.' If Smith's 'perhaps' is somewhere near the truth, then half of excessive speed accidents are happening above the speed limit. A grave concern worthy of such attention by the authorities.

Claim 1.13 'No speed limit can improve safety if the driver at the time does not know what the limit is.' If people are going to drive around with their eyes closed then accidents will happen. This might be the reason for those 'Tiredness Kills - Take A Break' signs seen on many of our trunk roads and motorways.

Claim 1.14 'Sometimes the national speed limit prevents us from using a speed limit to properly warn drivers of an area of increased hazard density.' If a national speed limit applies to the hypothetical A-road in Smith's justification prior to the hypothetical bypass, then a 60 mph limit applies if it is a single carriageway road. No law-abiding motorist has any right to exceed that. Doing so constitutes an offence. The increased hazard density hypothesised to exist through the bypass section shouldn't overly concern Smith because he has already stated, claim 1.06 again, that 'naturally we all compute safe speeds'.

So do the claims answer the initial question?

To remind us, the question was: Do speed limits ensure safety? The answer is no. So, Smith can pat himself on the back with self-congratulatory vigour at having produced a series of irrefutable claims to support this conclusion can't he? No. The answer was no before he even started. The answer to the original question could never have been yes. The initial hypothesis was ill formed to start with. Had the question been: Do speed limits contribute to road safety? a reasoned debate might have ensued. Instead we get a poor example of flawed logic and argument as already briefly discussed. This is a shame. Smith has made some valuable contributions to the debate in his concern over the zealous and disparate enforcement of speed limits. It is a pity he feels the need to publish such tripe to support it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 04:07 
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Quote:
Note that we're not suggesting that ALL speed limits provide valuable information or guidance. Some are plain stupid, and the more stupid speed limits we have the more the important ones are devalued.

However, as a driver it of great benefit to me to see the 30mph signs when approaching a country village. The 30mph signs are often the earliest warning of an area of increased hazard risk, and as such they are very valuable. In many cases the same effect could be achieved by having a new "Village Ahead" sign of course.


Could be changed to:
Note that we're not suggesting that ALL speed limits provide valuable information or guidance. Some are applied inappropriately low, and the more inappropriate speed limits we have the more the important ones are devalued.

However, as a driver it is of great benefit to me to see the 30mph signs when approaching a country village. The 30mph signs are often the earliest warning of an area of increased hazard risk, and as such they are very valuable. In many cases the same effect could be achieved by having a new "Village Ahead" sign of course.

This comment by Paul in no way attempts to suggest that the limit should not be adhered to and I for one totally agree that I view speed limit signs as an indication of the level of danger (whether to me or others) so get off your high horse and think before wasting our time.

1.02 - What other reason would you use for applying a speed limit other than to identify an appropriate limit for the conditions? If you come across a 30mph limit you are obviously entering an area which has a higher danger than a 70mph limit so the limit is obviously and indication of the danger level.

1.03 - What sort of drugs are you on? This page is excellent advice on how to interpret the statement and specifically says
Quote:
DO NOT make the mistake of thinking you're safe at very high speeds until you are trained in advanced driving AND you have plenty of experience. Take your instructor's advice.
which specifically removes the suggestion that an IAM course entitles anyone to think they are safe at high speed.

1.04 -
Quote:
Social comment. The proof comes from the facts that a) The fastest roads (motorways) are the safest, and b) Only a tiny proportion of these "speeders" have accidents.

could be amended to:
Social comment. The proof comes from the facts that a) The fastest roads (motorways) are the safest despite the fact that the traffic is travelling at high speed, and b) Only a tiny proportion of these high speed drivers have accidents. ie. speed does not necessarily mean danger.

1.05 - Every individual has a speed at which they are both comfortable and alert. Driving below that speed when the conditions are such that a higher speed would be appropriate tends to make people drowsy. If happens to me and it happens to many others so we tend to drive a little faster to ensure we are both comfortable and alert, making us SAFER drivers.

1.06 -
Quote:
So naturally we all compute safe speeds
could be amended to:
So naturally, any experience and well trained driver will compute a safe speed.

This in NO WAY undermines the following points.

1.07 - Very few crashes are inevitable! What Paul is saying is that more time and effort should be spent training drivers to avoid the inevitable crash rather than just slowing down so that the crash isn't as bad.

1.08 - "Speed Kills" "Wipe off 5" campaigns simply tell people to either drive at or slightly below the limit. What about advertising the 2 second rule, or hazard perception campaigns showing drivers what to look out for up ahead. Simply telling people to slow down does NOTHING to improve their abilities, rather it "dumbs them down" to believing that driving at or under the limit makes them safe.
Quote:
All the publicity I have seen, simply state that the limits are there for a reason, and exceeding them can result in penalties.

And just how do these advertisements improve road safety? The comment about 1.06 is already refuted.

1.10 - Obvious to any intelligent being who has a brain and uses it. There are numerous examples of badly placed and inappropriate speed limits on the forum so just drop in and look around.

1.11
Quote:
Speed limits won't prevent a driver who doesn't care from causing danger.
could be amended to:
Speed limits won't prevent a driver who doesn't care about themselves or those around them from causing danger.
You are obviously taking the piss to imply this meant the speed limits.

1.12 I think Paul is being very generous to say half. Other information on the site shows that less than 5% of crashes can be attributed to speed in excess of the limit.

1.13 Yes this one is a little confusing. My take is that inappropriately low limits cause drivers to become drowsy and this can lead to the situation that occurred in France.

1.14 The 1.06 connection has already been refuted.

Unfortunately, many people have been brainwashed into believing that driving at the speed limit means it is safe and therefore the question is intended to make people think about what a speed limit means rather than just blindly obey it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 04:14 
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Double post. (edited)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 07:59 
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The 'claims section' is nothing more or less than an argument database. It does not contain 'claims we are making' rather it contains 'claims that are made' or even 'claims that may be made'.

The claims section dates back to the very early days of Safe Speed and provided the foundations for much important work. It's certainly way overdue for revision, but it's a complicated and time consuming thing to revise. The plan is to closely integrate it with the forums, but the required software doesn't yet exist. Alternatives are being sought.

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 Post subject: Re: Hold on a minute
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 17:12 
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Pauly wrote:
Starting with point 1.01 Smith claims that 'Speed limits do provide valuable information and guidance.' This is initially justified as an 'obvious fact'. We are then led to believe that clicking on the link may further substantiate the claim. But no. We are rewarded by a retraction on the claim. Mr Smith now claims that some limits are just 'plain stupid'. With the assertion left there, the claim must be restated as 'speed limits may, or may not, provide valuable information or guidance' and Smith has gravely weakened his initial claim.
Smith then adds that the most benefit he gains from a round white sign with a red border containing in large black letters, the number 30; and when coming across such a sign in his travels, i.e. a 30 mph speed restriction sign, is that occasion when he is approaching a country village. To Mr Smith these signs are like a cherished 'village ahead' sign. Just a little nudge to warn him of an 'area of increased hazard risk'.
No Mr Smith. Speed limit signs do not provide valuable information and guidance. They are not 'plain stupid'; they are inanimate objects. The 30mph speed restiction sign means DO NOT DRIVE FASTER THAN 30MPH. ADJUST YOUR SPEED NOW. IF YOU DO DRIVE FASTER THAN 30MPH YOU WILL BE COMMITTING AN OFFENCE. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT DRIVING FASTER THAN 30MPH YOU WILL BE FINED AND HAVE POINTS ADDED TO YOUR LICENCE.

I'm really not sure what you're getting at here. Obviously a speed limit sign gives a warning that you may be subject to prosecution if you exceed that speed limit - but, given that most speed limits see no enforcement activity from one year to the next, to what extent is that useful information?

If set properly, speed limits will broadly accord with the type of road environment you are likely to encounter. Of course a skilled driver can work out the hazard density for himself and adjust his speed accordingly, but the speed limit sign provides this information in an easy shorthand. It also provides valuable guidance for less skilled drivers. This effect depends on speed limits being set on a generally consistent basis.

If speed limit setting is abused, and limits are imposed that do not relate to the road environment, then this valuable effect will be lost.

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"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 20:24 
edited


Last edited by johno1066 on Sun Feb 19, 2006 05:11, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 23:54 
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1. whos chapman
2.why do people make such long drawn out posts, state a view wait for reply expand on view etc etc (as stated in police operational guidelines 1982, (amended 1995) sub section 2 refering to paragraph 17

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 00:00 
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camera operator wrote:
1. whos chapman

http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/

Not Paul's biggest fan.

I see he says: "Lastly, I have had a couple of bouts of minor surgery this year, covered under the firm's insurance scheme, so I am now a paid-up class traitor. The same surgeon as would have done it on the NHS (and the same treatment), but done speedily and at my convenience. And yes I do feel guilty about it."

Hypocrite!

Apparently they did a brain investigation, but failed to find one :lol:

Quote:
2.why do people make such long drawn out posts, state a view wait for reply expand on view etc etc (as stated in police operational guidelines 1982, (amended 1995) sub section 2 refering to paragraph 17

:loco:

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"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 16:15 
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PeterE wrote:
camera operator wrote:
1. whos chapman

http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/

Not Paul's biggest fan.............:loco:


http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/web/public.nsf/Documents/Cars

third paragraph....full admission to driving whilst medically unsafe (sleep depriced), and at 130mph.

Apparently drives a 193 bhp Turbop charged Vovlo but lusts after a 'BMW'......and has a nice link to 'pollution' http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/web/public.nsf/Documents/Pollution?OpenDocument on the same page decrying cars as a polluter.

This guy's a comedian!!! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 19:47 
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hobbes wrote:
PeterE wrote:
camera operator wrote:
1. whos chapman

http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/

Not Paul's biggest fan.............:loco:


http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/web/public.nsf/Documents/Cars

third paragraph....full admission to driving whilst medically unsafe (sleep depriced), and at 130mph.

Apparently drives a 193 bhp Turbop charged Vovlo but lusts after a 'BMW'......and has a nice link to 'pollution' http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/web/public.nsf/Documents/Pollution?OpenDocument on the same page decrying cars as a polluter.

This guy's a comedian!!! :lol:


a browse at his opinions seems to suggest he's psychologically attempting to make up for his own admitted foolish actions, "cleansing" himself if you will, simpleton reasoning preventing him from seperating speeding from driving like a f@#&ing moron.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 21:22 
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I'm calling a halt to this line. We're not going to become yet another branch of the 'slagging off society'.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 22:18 
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sorry, I'll try to behave.

theres a reason where I usually post has had 3 offers of legal action in the last year... :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 23:18 
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hairyben wrote:
sorry, I'll try to behave.
Ditto.

My comments were likewise not directed at the man, just the non-sensical approach to the logic behind the arguments propagated on the aforementioned site.

But, point taken. It could be construed I was having a poke at the man....and by extension condoned by this site.....wrist slapped!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 05:03 
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A disconnected discussion broke out and was 'split' to a new topic: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11658

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