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 Post subject: A Lone Dissenter?
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 16:11 
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For what it is worth, I have no problem with speed cameras given that I always stick to the speed limits - my problem is with the standards of driving in the Highlands.

Given that I am one of a very small minority who do actually observe the limits, I am sick to death being tailgated (and overtaken) even within 30MPH zones by dummies who believe that limits are for other drivers. I was driving south last week one evening at my standard 60MPH and by the time I got to Carr-bridge I was posing a serious risk to traffic in that I was at the head of a 9 car procession where 8 of the cars were clearly suffering from frustration. Although the signs says. 'Frustration Causes Accidents', my attitude is 'sod em all' and if they want to do 70+ MPH then I ain't going to help them.

If cameras generate a huge number of pounds in revenues then it can only be because there are huge numbers of drivers who put themselves in the frame to be caught.

The debate on this site is not about speed cameras, safety or tax raising by another name but is simply a bunch of drivers who want to drive at speeds which they consider safe, You either have speed limits and enforce them or scrap them and have a free for all. What does this group want - is it to have limits raised or have them scrapped?

Having said all that, I have to confess to nudging 70MPH on occasions whilst going west at the crack of dawn on roads deserted bar a few stags. Even then, I know that if I am caught it is my decisions and my fault and that there is no excuse.


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 Post subject: Re: A Lone Dissenter?
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 16:21 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
The debate on this site is not about speed cameras, safety or tax raising by another name but is simply a bunch of drivers who want to drive at speeds which they consider safe, You either have speed limits and enforce them or scrap them and have a free for all. What does this group want - is it to have limits raised or have them scrapped?


All views are welcome here including yours. However you do us a disservice by saying that we are not about safety. We certainly are. This project took over my life when a realised that there was no rational explanation for the loss of trend in the roads fatality rate except "bad policy". Speed camera are the central plank of that deadly policy. Se these two web pages:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/fatality.html
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/effects.html

As for "what we want", there are policy and mission statements on the first page of the website, but a better answer for you may possibly be found on this page:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/speeding.html

Ultimately we are demandng an urgent return the policies that gave us the safest roads in the world in the first place.

You will be most welcome at the Inverness meeting on Thursday evening.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lone Dissenter?
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 18:36 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
my problem is with the standards of driving in the Highlands.


I have visited the Highlands often and always found the driving standards much higher than south of the border. In fact it is a pleasure to get on the road with people who actually seem to be interested in driving as opposed to getting from A to B. Yes the drivers are fast along 'deristricted' roads but I find them much more willing to slow down when passing through towns and villages.

I wonder do you often drive in or around any major English cities? Spend a while around Leeds, Manchester or Sheffield and you will soon change your view of Highland drivers.

Quote:
I was driving south last week one evening at my standard 60MPH and by the time I got to Carr-bridge I was posing a serious risk to traffic in that I was at the head of a 9 car procession where 8 of the cars were clearly suffering from frustration. Although the signs says. 'Frustration Causes Accidents', my attitude is 'sod em all' and if they want to do 70+ MPH then I ain't going to help them.


You admit you were a serious risk yet you carried on regardless. :roll:


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 Post subject: To Both...
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 19:57 
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Quote:
You admit you were a serious risk yet you carried on regardless


How can I be a serious risk when I am observing the speed limit?? Surely the procession behind me were creating their own risk? Should I have pulled over and aided and abetted 3rd parties in breaking the law?

As far as the group's aims and obectives are concerned, I read the 'mission statement' and would summarise it thus;

'That speed limits are only advisory and every driver can decide for themselves what they deem to be a safe speed at any point in time. In fact it is up to each driver's discretion.The law must also use its discretion when deciding to prosecute based on the road, weather conditions, time of day, driver ability and car type(?)'

That seems a recipe for confusion.

I agree that the safety merits of 29 MPH versus 31 MPH are debatable but as with all limits, restrictions and maxima, they have to be set somewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: To Both...
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 20:10 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
'That speed limits are only advisory and every driver can decide for themselves what they deem to be a safe speed at any point in time. In fact it is up to each driver's discretion.The law must also use its discretion when deciding to prosecute based on the road, weather conditions, time of day, driver ability and car type(?)'

That seems a recipe for confusion.


Our road safety ABSOLUTELY DEPENDS on drivers choosing appropriate speeds. If we emphasise speed limits too much (as we have already) we see increases in road dangers (as we have already) and increases in excessive speed accidents (as we have already).

We must give the right messages to drivers - messages properly and accurately aligned with real accident causes.

Try reading this page carefully:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/background.html

And this report by Dr Alan Buckingham:
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/buckingham.pdf

HeadOfTheQueue wrote:

I agree that the safety merits of 29 MPH versus 31 MPH are debatable but as with all limits, restrictions and maxima, they have to be set somewhere.


Our system of speed limits worked pretty well until cameras and the bad policies that go with them. We had already earned ourselves the safest roads in the world, and not by chance. We didn't need cameras then and we don't need them now.

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 Post subject: Re: To Both...
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 20:22 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
How can I be a serious risk when I am observing the speed limit??

LOL! This is the kind of thinking the speed policy we have in place at the moment is encouraging!

"Well officer, I'm aware that I've mown down 5 pedestrians, crashed into 3 parked cars and am currently parked on top of your bike, but I was well under the speed limit, how could it have been my fault? Even the speed cameras ignored me!"

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 Post subject: Re: To Both...
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 21:13 
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CarlP wrote:
"Well officer, I'm aware that I've mown down 5 pedestrians, crashed into 3 parked cars and am currently parked on top of your bike, but I was well under the speed limit, how could it have been my fault? Even the speed cameras ignored me!"


ROFLMAO!!!


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 Post subject: Re: To Both...
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 04:12 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
How can I be a serious risk when I am observing the speed limit?? Surely the procession behind me were creating their own risk? Should I have pulled over and aided and abetted 3rd parties in breaking the law?.


I considered not replying to this part, but on reflection, I believe the points to be so very critical to road safety that I must reply.

1) On best estimates, over 90% of roads fatalities take place entirely within the speed limit. When you say: "How can I be a serious risk when I am observing the speed limit?" I am extremely concerned about the complacency that might underlie the statement. I sincerely believe that we now have millions of drivers who check their speedo and assure themselves that their speed must be safe because it is within the speed limit. Nothing could be further from the truth. A pedestrian struck at 30mph has only a 50% chance of survival. 30mph is frequently a deadly speed and keeping within the speed limit does virtually nothing to ensure that your speed is not deadly.

2) You said: "Surely the procession behind me were creating their own risk? Should I have pulled over and aided and abetted 3rd parties in breaking the law?" Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Your duty to safety is to minimise risk. You have told us that you felt drivers behind were becoming frustrated. Let's imagine the worst based on your present stance:

After 15 minutes of following one idiot behind makes an ill advised lunge to pass you. There's oncoming traffic and the idiot isn't going to make it. Somewhere a few feet to your right there is a god almighty offset frontal collision with an innocent oncoming driver. Idiot to the right's car spins clockwise and pushes you off the road as well. Innocent family in the oncoming car is wiped out. This is a very bad outcome indeed, and is commonly the result of frustration. Yes. The idiot is to blame, but if you had pulled over to let the idiot past would the accident have happened?

I'll defend your right to travel at any speed you feel is safe and appropriate. If that's 20mph slower than the other traffic, then so be it. But please please please consider danger that may arise though the thoughts and feelings of other drivers. If you sense that they might be getting frustrated, smell the danger and use your superior understanding to reduce the risk by letting them past.

You might find it useful to imagine that someone in a following queue may have a genuine emergency need for speed - perhaps there's a pregnant lady or injured child in the car are they are rushing to hospital. Imagine how they would feel caught in a queue. One day it might be true. One day there might be someone behind with a genuine emergency.

It makes sense to accommodate the desires of other road users whenever you can. I would also like to recommend Highway Code rule 145 which states:

Do not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if you are driving a large or slow moving vehicle. Check your mirrors frequently, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass.

Finally, you are not responsible for the actions of other road users and allowing them to pass does not aid or abet them in any offences that they may or may not commit. However you should take responsiblity for the direct and indirect consequences of your own actions when driving.

Approaching driving with pessimism and foresight tends to produce the right result.

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 08:46 
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Taking that A9 situation as a working example and given that the weather was good and my car and I are capable of driving far faster, at what speed would you suggest I should have been driving rather than at 60MPH which I was doing?

Are you suggesting 67MPH to keep me within the camera trigger point or speeds in excess of that?

It is a serious question and I would like an answer.

From what I have read in the replies so far, I was at fault for obeying the law and creating the conditions where frustration among the following cars may have lead to an accident. Sorry folks, I do not accept the premise that I need to ensure that I always assist other drivers to overtake me when I am going as fast as the law allows.

Are you also asking me to wave tailgaters past when I am doing 28MPH in a 30MPH zone? Sod them - let them get irate and frustrated and if I get tail ended so be it - the car needs a new exhaust and there is rust in the tailgate..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 10:09 
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On my visits to Scotland, especially the Highlands, I have always found drivers to be generally more courteous than here in the cities south of the border, where I usually skulk.

In particular, it seems much more common in the Highlands for slower cars to aid other cars to pass them. This does not involve the slower car stopping; when an appropriate passing spot approaches, they simply slow a little more, and drive closer to the nearside to give more room to pass.

It all makes for a much pleasant drive for both parties. The slower driver doesn't feel hassled by the following car, and the faster driver doesn't get frustrated.


Kaz


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 Post subject: Holding up the traffic
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 10:36 
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Kaz... I think we may be at cross purposes here.

I hold up the traffic when I am doing the maximm speed which the law allows. If I 'frusrtrate faster drivers' then that is not my problem. My problem is with the attitude which is prevalent where drivers feel at liberty to ignore the law.


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 10:59 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
I hold up the traffic when I am doing the maximm speed which the law allows. If I 'frusrtrate faster drivers' then that is not my problem. My problem is with the attitude which is prevalent where drivers feel at liberty to ignore the law.

I think you're getting 'cause' and 'fault' mixed up.

A cause is something that produces an effect. By sitting at a constant speed that is slower than that which the rest of the traffic wishes to follow, and by impeding their progress, you are causing them to become frustrated. It may not be your fault (and in this case, one would probably argue that it was the fault of the artifically low legal limit), but you are certainly the cause - if you were removed from the road, there would be no frustration, ergo you were its source.

So, in short, you can still cause frustration which results in an accident without it being your fault. It doesn't mean that you weren't responsible for the ultimate effect though.

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 Post subject: Them and Us..
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 11:16 
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Can we be clear here?

Are you saying that if a driver elects to travel from A to B on a 60MPH limited road at (say) 75MPH that he or she should expect that other drivers who elect to obey the law should ensure that they make every effort to facilitate the unobstructed progress of the faster car?

It is the responsibility of the faster car to wait for a safe opportunity to pass - I for one would be delighted if that safer stretch harboured a speed camera...


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 11:42 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
Kaz... I think we may be at cross purposes here.

I hold up the traffic when I am doing the maximm speed which the law allows. If I 'frusrtrate faster drivers' then that is not my problem. My problem is with the attitude which is prevalent where drivers feel at liberty to ignore the law.

I fully understand what you are saying, but I don't think it matters what speed you are doing; if you are at the head of a queue, and the following drivers obviously wish to travel faster, I think it would be sensible to allow them to pass safely. In fact, if I was in that situation, I would prefer a queue didn't form in the first place, although on some roads it probably can't be avoided.

I understand that you do not wish to exceed the limit, and I don't think anyone should advise you to do so; if you are not comfortable breaking the law then don't, but I don't think 'taking the high ground' with following drivers helps.

If it was me, I would prefer let the cars pass safely, than have them crawling up my exhaust, or worse, passing dangerously.


Kaz


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 Post subject: Re: Them and Us..
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 11:50 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
Are you saying that if a driver elects to travel from A to B on a 60MPH limited road at (say) 75MPH that he or she should expect that other drivers who elect to obey the law should ensure that they make every effort to facilitate the unobstructed progress of the faster car?

I don't think that is what is quite what is being said...

HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
...It is the responsibility of the faster car to wait for a safe opportunity to pass...

Yes, but it doesn't hurt to back off a touch to ensure they get past quickly once that opportunity presents itself.


Kaz


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 Post subject: Re: Them and Us..
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 11:56 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
Can we be clear here?

Are you saying that if a driver elects to travel from A to B on a 60MPH limited road at (say) 75MPH that he or she should expect that other drivers who elect to obey the law should ensure that they make every effort to facilitate the unobstructed progress of the faster car?

It is the responsibility of the faster car to wait for a safe opportunity to pass - I for one would be delighted if that safer stretch harboured a speed camera...


You are changing the rules somewhat as we go along - that's fine - but there are now several parts to the answer.

Firstly, it is simple common courtesy to assist other drivers in what they are trying to do. If you are being followed by a single car I wouldn't expect you to "dive out of the way" or pull over at the first opportunity, but I would expect any good driver to co-operate with overtaking traffic when possible. This co-operation would include keeping left if an over taking opportuinty arose, using main beam headlights at night to improve the view of the vehicle behind (assuming no risk of dazzle obviously), and probably easing off if overtaking commenced.

Secondly, this is not the same as holding up a queue of increasingly frustrated drivers.

Thirdly, if a driver behind appears to be becoming frustrated or aggressive, or if you are being tailgated, then get out of the way as soon as possible and let him have his accident elsewhere. It is absolutely not in your interests to prolong the risk to yourself, your vehicle and your passengers by keeping him close behind.

Finally, I certainly do not recommend that you concern yourself with other's apparent intention to break the law. That is entirely their responsibility.

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 12:06 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
Taking that A9 situation as a working example and given that the weather was good and my car and I are capable of driving far faster, at what speed would you suggest I should have been driving rather than at 60MPH which I was doing?


You must travel at a speed that you feel is comfortable, safe and appropriate. If you wish to observe the speed limit that is absolutely your right. Equally if conditions mean that safety is best served by a speed of 30mph in a 60mph zone, then you must travel at 30mph. These choices are both your right and also your obligation to safety.

But you should also respect the judgement of others who may be in different circumstances (vehicle type, skill level, etc) and do what you reasonably can to assist them in travelling at their chosen speed.

It is impossible to sit in an office and define in miles per hour the safe speed for a given stretch of road. That judgement must be made by each individual driver according to the prevailing conditions (which might include the behaviour of other road users, weather conditions, a vast range of different vehicle types and a vast range of different driver skills).

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 Post subject: Just an Observation
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 12:53 
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I notice that nowhere in the preceding posts has anybody in any way focused on the reasons why I am frequently 'Head of the Queue' and that is because I am in a minority among drivers. That is not an opinion but a statement of fact.

If the majority elected to obey the law then the problem would vanish and the minority who persisted in breaking i would, over time, become social outcasts.

Simple question, do you all observe the speed limits at all times - if not, what exceptions do you make?


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 Post subject: Re: To Both...
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 13:06 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
I was posing a serious risk to traffic


HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
How can I be a serious risk when I am observing the speed limit??


Make your mind up. It's one or the other. :?:

Right now I'm all out of Troll food.


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 Post subject: Re: Just an Observation
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 13:12 
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HeadOfTheQueue wrote:
I notice that nowhere in the preceding posts has anybody in any way focused on the reasons why I am frequently 'Head of the Queue' and that is because I am in a minority among drivers. That is not an opinion but a statement of fact.

If the majority elected to obey the law then the problem would vanish and the minority who persisted in breaking i would, over time, become social outcasts.

Simple question, do you all observe the speed limits at all times - if not, what exceptions do you make?


The law requires that this question is answered in generalities. You can find a great deal of statistical information about drivers exceeding speed limits in the official annual reports by the DfT six copies here:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/vsgb.zip

A far as my driving is concerned, I do my utmost to ensure that my speed is as safe as possible in all circumstances. If I exceed the speed limit that is my private choice. The law does not prevent exceeding the speed limit, rather it provides for punishment in cases where people are caught so doing.

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