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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 09:11 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
Fixit, on another note, you might like this.... http://www.ex-parrot.com/~pete/notverygoodatstatistics.html

Navigate to the updated pages too, from the links for more on the subject, in the light of intervening changes to policy at the DfT.


Thanks, that fits in with my own philosophy to a greater extent too. Installing cameras is like accident chasing rather than accident prevention.

I still disagree that saying we have got worse just because everyone else got better is the right way to go. Eventually everyone will have excellent road safety, ultimately that's the goal at least. I don't see why we have to be onsessed with finding who is the best, but when we look for the best we should admit that at the moment our statistics in terms of deaths per billion millions is one of the best there is, and further gains will be difficult to hunt down.

Of course, the most difficult thing in the world will be to explain to the family of a child killed by a speeder that because their child just got killed many others will live and the problem wasn't anything to do with the speeder



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 09:34 
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fixitsan wrote:
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fixitsan wrote:
If we say for argument's sake that the best we can do is to reach 4 deaths per billion miles, and we achieve that rate for two consecutive years, you will be making the claim that the government's policies have failed because there was no improvement. That's great for you because you can fight a cause which has no definitive end, but I think it's misleading to tell people how a reduced rate of improvement means we have poor road safety policy, when in fact we must have bloody good road safety if we have fewer deaths per km than in any other country.


I haven't had time to keep up with this today, which is a shame.

But I must deal with this point.

The purpose of policy is to effect a rate of change. Road safety is a big system with lots of inertia! It needs pushing in the right direction.

When all the big previous 'drivers' of improvement are still present:

- safer cars on the road every year
- continued investment in road engineering
- ongoing decline in pedestrian activity
- ongoing improvements in post crash care and rescue

And we know from history that these input factors together are far bigger than the rise in traffic, then something is going very badly wrong.

I know what it is. I have no doubt left. Drivers are getting worse under the influence of ill-considered policy.

Our good record was built in the past. In the early 1990s we were 30% safer than any other country. Recent figures indicate that we have been overtaken by 5 other european countries. ALL the advantage has gone, relative to our safer neighbours. That's a BIG BIG loss in not much more than a decade.


Only if the loss of advantage is a result of a failure of policy such that there are now significantly more people dead per billion km's. I don't believe this to be the case, but if you have figures which show them can you tell me where I see for myself.
The only 'big loss' isn't really a loss if there is no decline, it merely means that other countries have at long last worked hard at becoming as safe as us and I cannot begrudge them that if it's true , can you ?


Didn't you follow the link that smeggy provided?

The point is that we're not getting the improvements we're 'entitled to'.

Of course I don't begrudge other contries improvements. But I sure as hell begrudge the loss of trend in our results. 10,000 are now dead in the UK because of the deviation from long term trend. We're >1,200 lives per year behind where we expected to be.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:04 
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You seem to like red text ;)

fixitsan wrote:
I still disagree that saying we have got worse just because everyone else got better is the right way to go.

Paul and I aren’t saying that.

fixitsan wrote:
Eventually everyone will have excellent road safety, ultimately that's the goal at least. I don't see why we have to be onsessed with finding who is the best, but when we look for the best we should admit that at the moment our statistics in terms of deaths per billion millions is one of the best there is, and further gains will be difficult to hunt down.

That’s why we expect to have the exponentially falling type trend; this trend gives a smaller absolute decrement every year (even with a steady level of system improvement). That fact is we’re not getting any casualty reduction, let alone the expected rate, even though improvements are still being applied all over the system. How can that be?

fixitsan wrote:
Of course, the most difficult thing in the world will be to explain to the family of a child killed by a speeder that because their child just got killed many others will live and the problem wasn't anything to do with the speeder

That’s a bit of a cherry picked example, especially given that only 5% of all injury/fatal crashes have exceeding the speed limits as a contributory factor, and these include the nutters.
What is much harder to swallow is to ask why the parents of these young unfortunate pedestrians were lax in the education of their offspring. Go for a walk in a town centre and watch how few people look over their shoulder when crossing over a junction

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:15 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The point is that we're not getting the improvements we're 'entitled to'.


Let me rephrase that...

We're not seeing the benefit of the improvements that are actually being delivered because something else is going wrong.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:20 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
The point is that we're not getting the improvements we're 'entitled to'.


Let me rephrase that...

We're not seeing the benefit of the improvements that are actually being delivered because something else is going wrong.


Which is a very vague thing to say unless you can specify what the improvements are, and give measure to them. I believe that excess speed can be very dangerous and don't think reducing it in some areas is bent nail of an idea


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:25 
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smeggy wrote:
You seem to like red text ;)

fixitsan wrote:
I still disagree that saying we have got worse just because everyone else got better is the right way to go.

Paul and I aren’t saying that.

fixitsan wrote:
Eventually everyone will have excellent road safety, ultimately that's the goal at least. I don't see why we have to be onsessed with finding who is the best, but when we look for the best we should admit that at the moment our statistics in terms of deaths per billion millions is one of the best there is, and further gains will be difficult to hunt down.

That’s why we expect to have the exponentially falling type trend; this trend gives a smaller absolute decrement every year (even with a steady level of system improvement). That fact is we’re not getting any casualty reduction, let alone the expected rate, even though improvements are still being applied all over the system. How can that be?

All I can see is some system noise, emphasised by the very low level of deaths. What do you see it as being, and can you back up your idea ?



fixitsan wrote:
Of course, the most difficult thing in the world will be to explain to the family of a child killed by a speeder that because their child just got killed many others will live and the problem wasn't anything to do with the speeder

That’s a bit of a cherry picked example, especially given that only 5% of all injury/fatal crashes have exceeding the speed limits as a contributory factor, and these include the nutters.


Now that's an even more cherry picked example. You aren't able to rule out excess speed as a factor in those accidents just by saying that they happened at a speed below the speed limit. What proof is there that excessive speed is not a factor when the speed limit is used is not used as the benchmark ?





What is much harder to swallow is to ask why the parents of these young unfortunate pedestrians were lax in the education of their offspring. Go for a walk in a town centre and watch how few people look over their shoulder when crossing over a junction



I feel that motorised vehicles should bear right of way to pedestrians, and should drive at a speed which allows idiots, elderly, the blind, disabled and children to be allowed the same grace of time


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:33 
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fixitsan wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
The point is that we're not getting the improvements we're 'entitled to'.


Let me rephrase that...

We're not seeing the benefit of the improvements that are actually being delivered because something else is going wrong.


Which is a very vague thing to say unless you can specify what the improvements are, and give measure to them.


It's not 'vague' at all. It's perfectly specific.

And yes, I can give estimates for the various factors. There's a model on http://www.safespeed.org.uk/factors.html

Whatever way you work the figures you HAVE TO add a big negative factor from the mid 90s to match the real world performance.

fixitsan wrote:
I believe that excess speed can be very dangerous and don't think reducing it in some areas is bent nail of an idea


That depends on the side effects of the means of speed reduction. See, for example: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/sideeffects.pdf

Everyone knows that driving too fast is dangerous, but then what's the proper definition of 'too fast' and what are the proper steps to reduce the danger?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:25 
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fixitsan wrote:

I feel that motorised vehicles should bear right of way to pedestrians,


Just to clarify do you mean vehicles should have right of way over peds or that they should give way to peds?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 13:09 
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toltec wrote:
fixitsan wrote:

I feel that motorised vehicles should bear right of way to pedestrians,


Just to clarify do you mean vehicles should have right of way over peds or that they should give way to peds?


Give over the right of way, bear over the right of way, to pedestrians.

With the caveat emptor that there will always be fools who would try to test the water, as pedestrians, adn perhaps we should consider banning anyone guilty of jaywalking from having a driving licence... ;-)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 13:20 
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fixitsan wrote:
All I can see is some system noise, emphasised by the very low level of deaths. What do you see it as being, and can you back up your idea ?

You’re joking, right?
How do you interpret that sharp deviation from the long term trend as noise? How do you interpret the steady levelling off, to a plateau, as noise?
I’m an electronic design engineer, have been for many years. My work is with sensitive analogue sensors and robust, long-ish distance data transmission. I have to deal with real noise. Noise is random fluctuations, unaffected by previous states, not following any form of trend, so being unpredictable. Let’s not forget we are dealing with a rather large sample size (in the thousands) so any genuine noise will be almost completely cancelled out.

Regardless, why would this ‘noise’ only affect the back end of the curve and no-where else? This inherently makes it a pattern.

fixitsan wrote:
smeggy wrote:
That’s a bit of a cherry picked example, especially given that only 5% of all injury/fatal crashes have exceeding the speed limits as a contributory factor, and these include the nutters.

Now that's an even more cherry picked example. You aren't able to rule out excess speed as a factor in those accidents just by saying that they happened at a speed below the speed limit. What proof is there that excessive speed is not a factor when the speed limit is used is not used as the benchmark ?

So was the driver will within the speed limit, hence predictable?

That doesn’t matter, the fact is you chose a cherry picked example to suit.

fixitsan wrote:
I feel that motorised vehicles should bear right of way to pedestrians,

I could turn that upside down and say we should instead make jaywalking a crime (a la America). No combination of right of way will help if people run out into the road.

fixitsan wrote:
and should drive at a speed which allows idiots, elderly, the blind, disabled and children to be allowed the same grace of time

Yes, drivers must remain predictable to all other road users, I’ve been saying that for a long time. Additionally, all other road users must remain predictable themselves – this is so crucial.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 13:39 
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fixitsan wrote:
toltec wrote:
fixitsan wrote:

I feel that motorised vehicles should bear right of way to pedestrians,


Just to clarify do you mean vehicles should have right of way over peds or that they should give way to peds?


Give over the right of way, bear over the right of way, to pedestrians.


That's really a pretty meaninless idea (without much more detail).

What driver would deliberately run over a pedestrian who had wandered into the road? So we give way naturally without a specific rule.

Of course we (quite rightly) do have a specific rule about giving way to pedestrians crossing side roads.

Also quite rightly we do not have a jaywalking law. This leaves each case to be judged on its merits.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 14:19 
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smeggy wrote:
fixitsan wrote:
All I can see is some system noise, emphasised by the very low level of deaths. What do you see it as being, and can you back up your idea ?

You’re joking, right?
How do you interpret that sharp deviation from the long term trend as noise? How do you interpret the steady levelling off, to a plateau, as noise?
I’m an electronic design engineer, have been for many years. My work is with sensitive analogue sensors and robust, long-ish distance data transmission. I have to deal with real noise. Noise is random fluctuations, unaffected by previous states, not following any form of trend, so being unpredictable. Let’s not forget we are dealing with a rather large sample size (in the thousands) so any genuine noise will be almost completely cancelled out.

I've seen the sort of variation we have now in the low accident rate. One year up a little, the next down a little. Where this years change in accidents might be that there are slightly more, and last year there were slightly less it is easy to say there has been a large difference, but go back and count the actual number of deaths or the actual numbner of arguments and you see that there is no large difference. This is the noise I am talking asbout and the reason it wasn't seen befoe was that the signal was above the noise floor. The noise was there, but the signal was louder. I believe we have regressed to a point very close to the mean


Regardless, why would this ‘noise’ only affect the back end of the curve and no-where else? This inherently makes it a pattern.

Like I say, because the signal was previously louder than the noise


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 14:41 
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[quote="SafeSpeed"][quote="fixitsan"][quote="SafeSpeed"]

And yes, I can give estimates for the various factors. There's a model on http://www.safespeed.org.uk/factors.html

Whatever way you work the figures you HAVE TO add a big negative factor from the mid 90s to match the real world performance.


>>>>

Having looked I don't see much of an explanation for the categories of modelling, for example, what does 'vehicles ' mean ?
What does 'Pedestrian fear' mean ?

What I do see however, is the classic distribution curve tapering off to the point where the accidents can be said to have regressed to the mean. As you have pointed out, without making large changes in all areas we won't see much of an impact on the figures overall.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 14:56 
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fixitsan wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
fixitsan wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:

And yes, I can give estimates for the various factors. There's a model on http://www.safespeed.org.uk/factors.html

Whatever way you work the figures you HAVE TO add a big negative factor from the mid 90s to match the real world performance.


>>>>

Having looked I don't see much of an explanation for the categories of modelling, for example, what does 'vehicles ' mean ?
What does 'Pedestrian fear' mean ?

What I do see however, is the classic distribution curve tapering off to the point where the accidents can be said to have regressed to the mean. As you have pointed out, without making large changes in all areas we won't see much of an impact on the figures overall.


It doesn't much matter what the factors are. What's important at this stage is that you have to put in something big and negative to match the recent trend. I've got dozens of versions of that model, and they all have one thing in common - a big negative factor to explain the last 15 years.

That last para of yours is just nonsense.

Tell us a bit about your background.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 15:25 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
fixitsan wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
fixitsan wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:

And yes, I can give estimates for the various factors. There's a model on http://www.safespeed.org.uk/factors.html

Whatever way you work the figures you HAVE TO add a big negative factor from the mid 90s to match the real world performance.


>>>>

Having looked I don't see much of an explanation for the categories of modelling, for example, what does 'vehicles ' mean ?
What does 'Pedestrian fear' mean ?

What I do see however, is the classic distribution curve tapering off to the point where the accidents can be said to have regressed to the mean. As you have pointed out, without making large changes in all areas we won't see much of an impact on the figures overall.


It doesn't much matter what the factors are. What's important at this stage is that you have to put in something big and negative to match the recent trend. I've got dozens of versions of that model, and they all have one thing in common - a big negative factor to explain the last 15 years.

That last para of yours is just nonsense.

Tell us a bit about your background.


The last paragraph is an observation of your graph !
If the graph is nonsense how can you expect me to take it serously ?
I looked at these graphs http://www.safespeed.org.uk/factors.html , do they show a levelling off in recent years ?

My background won't change anybody's history, will yours ?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 20:01 
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Oh I'm going to have fun :evil:

fixitsan wrote:
I've seen the sort of variation we have now in the low accident rate. One year up a little, the next down a little.

Wrong! It’s actually: one year down a lot, the next year down a lot, the next year down a lot (this goes on for a few years, then) the next year down less, the next year down even less, the next year down hardly any, the next year no change.

fixitsan wrote:
Where this years change in accidents might be that there are slightly more, and last year there were slightly less it is easy to say there has been a large difference, but go back and count the actual number of deaths or the actual numbner of arguments and you see that there is no large difference. This is the noise I am talking asbout and the reason it wasn't seen befoe was that the signal was above the noise floor. The noise was there, but the signal was louder. I believe we have regressed to a point very close to the mean

:lol:

You can't make such a claim without having a quantitive idea of what the mean :???: and noise floor actually is, so please do tell (and demonstrate how you came to those figures), otherwise the reader will have no choice but to conclude you are making up your arguments to suit.

What’s the significant difference between the noise floor and the fatality rate, given that the former is the latter? What is the cause of the noise floor in this case? (noise does not appear out of nowhere).

You really believe random noise is really going to be at all significant compared to the signal when averaged out at that kind of group size? :roll:

Let's put this into context: given you think there is an impassable ‘noise floor’ in this case, do you believe that beyond a point there's absolutely nothing we can do to reduce fatalities? Given that the fall has indeed levelled off (please check the 2006 figure and add it to your data), would you agree that imposing even more speed limit drops or additional cameras would be useless? What about better post crash care, better in-car protection, better education, continued road improvements? Shall we just stop wasting money on all these other methods now?

fixitsan wrote:
smeggy wrote:
Regardless, why would this 'noise' only affect the back end of the curve and no-where else? This inherently makes it a pattern.

Like I say, because the signal was previously louder than the noise.

Are you saying the noise is now bigger then the signal? What on earth do you base that on? Why is the transition now?

Can you explain why 'your' noise manifests itself as a steady level, why isn't there significant level fluctuating much between years at the disputed tail end of the curve? Why are the figures actually steady? Is this not the essence of a trend?


Paul, you really should update your graphs to include 2006.
Fixitsan, please factor the 2006 figure into your calculations.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 21:57 
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smeggy wrote:
Oh I'm going to have fun :evil:

fixitsan wrote:
I've seen the sort of variation we have now in the low accident rate. One year up a little, the next down a little.

Wrong! It’s actually: one year down a lot, the next year down a lot, the next year down a lot (this goes on for a few years, then) the next year down less, the next year down even less, the next year down hardly any, the next year no change.


I was talking about the most recent year or two only, the change is small, sometimes up, sometimes down, and as you say sometimes no change.
No change ? We must be close to ideal if there is no change




fixitsan wrote:
Where this years change in accidents might be that there are slightly more, and last year there were slightly less it is easy to say there has been a large difference, but go back and count the actual number of deaths or the actual numbner of arguments and you see that there is no large difference. This is the noise I am talking asbout and the reason it wasn't seen befoe was that the signal was above the noise floor. The noise was there, but the signal was louder. I believe we have regressed to a point very close to the mean

:lol:

You can't make such a claim without having a quantitive idea of what the mean :???: and noise floor actually is, so please do tell (and demonstrate how you came to those figures), otherwise the reader will have no choice but to conclude you are making up your arguments to suit.

For the sake of the reader, who I assume is intelligent, they will note that as yet you have given me no statistical proof that road safety in Britain is a huge problem of the sort I often hear being quoted. I noe that you do accept that we don't actually have that much of a road safety problem in the UK which gives me some hope





What’s the significant difference between the noise floor and the fatality rate, given that the former is the latter? What is the cause of the noise floor in this case? (noise does not appear out of nowhere).

You really believe random noise is really going to be at all significant compared to the signal when averaged out at that kind of group size? :roll:

Oh please explain what size of group is required for what size of noise for there to be a case worth considering.

Today I have referenced some books in a technical library. Reports from ASCE, IMechE, and the SAE. They all conclude that if we are conservative that 75% of accidents are caused by human error.
Is that enough of a noise issue for you ? It is for me. And I have to conclude that it makes sense. It is random in occurence, some years it can be as high as 85%, and some as low as 70%, thats a 15% variance but it's closer to a 20% swing

I don't think the answer is education either, but I secretly hold out hopes for it if I'm honest, but let's be realistic for a moment....new drivers today have h at their disposal huge volumes of educational material, they have access to good instructors and experienced examiners, they sit a two part test adn we all have a highway code whcih if applied properly means there is a fair chance we may not all crash into one another tomorrow.

Even with such educational support material and backing, the idiots don't learn.

And amusing as it is there are groups who insist the answer might be more pedestrian crossings. I read one study from Canada in the nineties whcih showed that with few exceptions , anywhere where a pedX was installed the accident rate went up. Logically you could probably have predicted that, because you're focussing the pedestrians into one small area






Let's put this into context: given you think there is an impassable ‘noise floor’ in this case, do you believe that beyond a point there's absolutely nothing we can do to reduce fatalities? Given that the fall has indeed levelled off (please check the 2006 figure and add it to your data), would you agree that imposing even more speed limit drops or additional cameras would be useless? What about better post crash care, better in-car protection, better education, continued road improvements? Shall we just stop wasting money on all these other methods now?


No let's carry on with that, but have an option not to buy into it if we wish.
Instead of us having to have the joyous notion that a 5-star rated car is somehow going to save our lives more than a 2 star one rammed down our throats under the guise that there is some sort of serious road safety problem issue in the UK when in reality there isn't one.
With 75% of accidents being caused by human error, I have every reason to believe that humans won't evelve enough in the next few years to warrant us setting up an argument to consider it as a possibility.

People will have concentration lapses, girls will put on makeup at the wheel, guys stare someone out for pulling out in fornt of them and so on, these are the ordinary every day distractions which cause the accidents and about the best thing you can do is to either get those fools off the road or failing that just avoid them. Common sense dictates as always




fixitsan wrote:
smeggy wrote:
Regardless, why would this 'noise' only affect the back end of the curve and no-where else? This inherently makes it a pattern.

Like I say, because the signal was previously louder than the noise.

Are you saying the noise is now bigger then the signal? What on earth do you base that on? Why is the transition now?


Simply bvecause the accident rate has been improved down to a point where the human factor plays a more important part. Previously we have had no seatbelts, previously we have had poor tyres, previously we have had unreliable vehicles and poor and confusing road markings, and even (dare I say, no speed limit enforcement). Now, all of those things have been rectified and we're doing very well, so much so that we have all run out of things to blame and there's just a few left struggling for things to blame. We need to blame ourselves as people if we have to. We need to become accountable more, maybe we should even allow insurance comapnies to issue points on licences for when you are at fault in an accident, I bet that would change things somewhat !





Can you explain why 'your' noise manifests itself as a steady level, why isn't there significant level fluctuating much between years at the disputed tail end of the curve? Why are the figures actually steady? Is this not the essence of a trend?


Well yes, and that's my argumet, and has been for a while in this thread. There isn't a road safety problem in the UK. Simple as that. There's a bad driver issue I will have to say that, but people generally do now have the right equipment at their disposal to do a good job at driving without accidents, but somehow we just haven't worked out how !





Paul, you really should update your graphs to include 2006.
Fixitsan, please factor the 2006 figure into your calculations.


That would be the figure which shows no change on last year ? The one which says that we have had almost the safest roads in Europe for two years running, I'll gladly include them.

Now, whats the problem ?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 00:18 
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fixitsan wrote:
Now, whats the problem ?


Ignorance and death since you ask.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 00:32 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
fixitsan wrote:
Now, whats the problem ?


Ignorance and death since you ask.


There is indeed great ignorance in these matters. Where perception has now been allowed to become reality we are stuck with thinking that if an impovement is not made we have in some way failed our predecessors, yet it could quite possibly be thanks to the efforts of those people that we now find ourselves ins such a good position.

The 75% of accidents caused by human error are the only thing which we have to fear.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 01:05 
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 00:12
Posts: 22
I've been lurking on and off for a while, thought it about time I said hello :0)

Anyway .... a few posts back Paul wrote ...

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What driver would deliberately run over a pedestrian who had wandered into the road? So we give way naturally without a specific rule.


I've witnessed a pedestrian being deliberately run over and been a passenger in a car which was deliberately driven at a pedestrian.

Incident No. 1 - At traffic lights crossroads 2 youths who had pretty obviously been drinking were crossing. Youth number one made it to the other side before the lights changed, youth number 2 didn't and thought as the lights had changed he would stand in front of a car waiting to move off and make obscene gestures. Result was that said car drove off at some considerable speed straight into youth, who went flying over the roof, landing on the road behind the car. Miraculously didn't appear to have sustaind any serious injuries.

Incident No. 2 - I was passenger in a car crossing traffic light junction on green light, a pedestrian had left it a bit late, but was going to make it out of path of car before any collision occured. Driver of car altered course and swerved straight at pedestrian, then just before impact (and I do mean just) braked hard enough to lock the wheels momentarily and swerved away again, missing the pedestrian by inches, then made a comment about f**cking jaywalkers. I never allowed myself to be driven by this person ever again!!!

Ok the first guy had hardly just wandered onto the road, and making obscene gestures at a complete stranger is never gonna be a good idea, but there is at least one driver out there who would deliberately run over a pedestrian.


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