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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 20:24 
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millsee wrote:
One of the main reasons I can see for not increasing the speed limit, is that the central reservation crash barriers (safety fences) are tested for a 1.5 tonne vehicle impacting at 15 degrees at a speed of 70mph.

Manufacturers have to ensure their products meet this standard.

Raising the limit means that they would have a very easy get-out for providing substandard materials.


Those barriers are worse than useless when it comes to stopping an HGV doing 55mph.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 20:30 
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From a safety point of view, as well as for maintaining good flow of traffic, a speed differential between lanes is necessary - a 20mph differential being about optimum. If lane 1 is flowing at 60mph, lane 2 should be about 80mph and lane 3 about 100mph.
Whoops, lane 2 is already above the limit.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 20:39 
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Pete317 wrote:
From a safety point of view, as well as for maintaining good flow of traffic, a speed differential between lanes is necessary - a 20mph differential being about optimum. If lane 1 is flowing at 60mph, lane 2 should be about 80mph and lane 3 about 100mph.
Whoops, lane 2 is already above the limit.


How do you reach this assertion?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 20:59 
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Rigpig wrote:
Pete317 wrote:
From a safety point of view, as well as for maintaining good flow of traffic, a speed differential between lanes is necessary - a 20mph differential being about optimum. If lane 1 is flowing at 60mph, lane 2 should be about 80mph and lane 3 about 100mph.
Whoops, lane 2 is already above the limit.


How do you reach this assertion?


Question: What's the most dangerous place to be on a motorway?
Answer: Next to another vehicle, especially a large, heavy vehicle which could probably crush you without the driver even noticing. - so you don't want to spend more time than is absolutely necessary next to another vehicle.

A 20mph speed differential is a good compromise, even up to 30mph when passing a long vehicle - it allows you to get past reasonably quickly, while still allowing you a reasonable chance of slowing down in time if the vehicle should change lanes while you're still behind them.
Also, people passing with a reasonable speed differential allows them to pass quicker and get back into the inside lane sooner - which would largely eliminate bunching and promote traffic flow.

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Peter


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 21:00 
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Rigpig wrote:
Pete317 wrote:
From a safety point of view, as well as for maintaining good flow of traffic, a speed differential between lanes is necessary - a 20mph differential being about optimum. If lane 1 is flowing at 60mph, lane 2 should be about 80mph and lane 3 about 100mph.
Whoops, lane 2 is already above the limit.


How do you reach this assertion?


Question: What's the most dangerous place to be on a motorway?
Answer: Next to another vehicle, especially a large, heavy vehicle which could probably crush you without the driver even noticing. - so you don't want to spend more time than is absolutely necessary next to another vehicle.

A 20mph speed differential is a good compromise, even up to 30mph when passing a long vehicle - it allows you to get past reasonably quickly, while still allowing you a reasonable chance of slowing down in time if the vehicle should change lanes while you're still behind them.
Also, people passing with a reasonable speed differential allows them to pass quicker and get back into the inside lane sooner - which would largely eliminate bunching and promote traffic flow.

Regards
Peter


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 18:33 
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Hi
Unfortunately as much as I would like the speed limit raised I think that the standard of driving of the average person is not good enough to deal with the consequences of such a move ie some people driving at 80, (following everyone else) would react slower to a car braking 5 cars ahead than the car in front of them.
We need to reeducate people:
People need to learn not to get distracted from the road ahead you need a slogan like: amoment on the lips a lifetime on the lips
People need to be aware of what is going on behind them and in the other lanes around them (on their side of the road)
(my biggest bug bear :evil: ) People need to use the lanes correctly, it's not like a race where you have to stick to one lane you are allowed to pull in so you don't hold up the traffic behind you, even if you are keeping to the speed limit (they wouldn't even know if it was an emergency vehicle cause they don't use their mirrors)
Anyway education I do think the new drivers are being taught slightly better, I have noticed that most of the young people I know that have passed their tests are on the whole sensible and always have a designated (non drinking) driver if they go out.
sorry I have to travel on the A14/M11 everyday and the appalling way people drive infuriates me and it isn't only the people who drive fast most of it is the people who insist on sitting in the middle /outside lane doing 60 (cause that's what they think the speed limit is) :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 00:03 
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suehm wrote:
Hi
Unfortunately as much as I would like the speed limit raised I think that the standard of driving of the average person is not good enough to deal with the consequences of such a move ie some people driving at 80, (following everyone else) would react slower to a car braking 5 cars ahead than the car in front of them.


81.25 mph in EU and Brits on hols seem to cope OK with this... :wink: Possibly because driving on "wrong side of road" may force concentration levels upwards..... and general standard seems better on aggregate.


suehm wrote:

We need to reeducate people:
People need to learn not to get distracted from the road ahead you need a slogan like: amoment on the lips a lifetime on the lips
People need to be aware of what is going on behind them and in the other lanes around them (on their side of the road)


True - we bang on about this all the time .... see some of the other threads here - where we have looked at periodic assessments with prixe of cheaper insurance and booby prize of re-test.... JT's Italian style bonus points , etc, etc.....

suehm wrote:
(my biggest bug bear :evil: ) People need to use the lanes correctly, it's not like a race where you have to stick to one lane you are allowed to pull in so you don't hold up the traffic behind you, even if you are keeping to the speed limit (they wouldn't even know if it was an emergency vehicle cause they don't use their mirrors)


And some panic brake on hearing siren .... :wink: and upset people :wink: who drive too close behind ....... :wink:

German style driving is very precise ..... you note this in my wife's family - they are all much more precise and the two youngsters who learned how to drive in Germany are more IAM standard than their cousins who learned here....

suehm wrote:
Anyway education I do think the new drivers are being taught slightly better, I have noticed that most of the young people I know that have passed their tests are on the whole sensible and always have a designated (non drinking) driver if they go out.


Depends on choice of teacher like any other school. My eldest son is learning to drive. He is passed the theory test on his Birthday and we booked a block of 12 lessons at different times of day - and as it was still hols - he had three lessons at different times of day on one day. Then - he practises with us - in our Jags, Classics as well as the driving school's Corsa....

As for the drinking .... again lot depends on personality, upbringing and education. We always had designated driver when we went out as lads and lasses - and we still do. But - you will always get some in every generation.... and sadly this "minority" are becoming "majority" again as the Chavs and morons see less chance of getting copped with less trafpols and pandas .... Gatso cannot cop a drunk and drink drivers do tend to drive below speed limit and still manage to have fatals.... :roll: (Know what goes through the labs here on tests .... and what my colleagues in A&E say ....

suehm wrote:
sorry I have to travel on the A14/M11 everyday and the appalling way people drive infuriates me and it isn't only the people who drive fast most of it is the people who insist on sitting in the middle /outside lane doing 60 (cause that's what they think the speed limit is) :wink:


Conditioning of "70 is sinful" :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:38 
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Mad Moggie wrote:
81.25 mph in EU and Brits on hols seem to cope OK with this... :wink:


Brits at home don't seem to do too badly either, except in the eyes of people who associate illegal speed with unsafe speed :wink: I think the average motorway driver here exceeds the limit not because they want to exceed the limit, but simply because the limit feels too low for the average car of today. So if the limit were raised 10MPH, I don't think we'd see (m)any drivers then choosing to exceed that new limit by the same margin as they exceed the current limit. What raising the limit would do though, is to legalise the safe driving of the majority, whilst still allowing the book to be thrown at the genuinely dangerous.


Mad Moggie wrote:
Conditioning of "70 is sinful" :wink:


Mmm :( Driving home at the weekend along a 40MPH stretch of road, with clearly visible limit repeaters at regular intervals. The car in front of me seemed quite happy to be doing 40 most of the time, but EVERY SINGLE TIME they approached one of the repeaters they dropped down to 30... The first couple of times this happened I didn't make the connection, and assumed they were just slowing down for some other reason, but then as we continued along past a few more repeaters the link between sign and speed became crystal clear. :shock:

And no, the repeaters weren't coincidentally located at points along the road where it would have been necessary or even just a good idea to slow down - the road in question was straight for practically its entire length, and the few curves were gentle and with good visibility. Traffic levels were very low, the road surface was well maintained, dry, and free of any visible debris. In short, I could see no need to slow down at any point along the road, and certainly not in the vicinity of every single speed limit sign. Yet some drivers (and whilst this was a fairly extreme example, it's sadly not the only example I've seen) do now seem to think driving at anywhere near the limit is A Bad Thing. And, to be honest, who can blame them? Even I tend to drop to 5 below the limit when passing a scamera, just to be sure that a) it doesn't go off and b) if it does go off then there'll be no doubt that the photos will show I wasn't speeding... not that this would stop some SCPs from sending out the NIP anyway :roll:


So yes, this conditioning does seem to be becoming far more apparent in everyday driving, and I don't see how that can be good for road safety in general. Sure, you'll get some people pointing to an example like mine and arguing that it's good because it shows drivers are slowing down, whilst conveniently ignoring the bit about how their speed yo-yos around making it less safe for the other road users in their vicinity who're constantly having to adjust their own speeds to maintain a safe distance.

Still, what does it matter if other drivers are put at risk, just so long as we think of the poor innocent children, trying to cross the road [1] without any adult supervision and having never been given even the most basic of lessons in road safety [2]. What, me, cynical and tired of the way the road safety message is being turned away from one of shared responsibility to one of "the driver is always to blame"? Whatever gives you that idea...


1. because children only ever want to cross the road sensibly, you'd NEVER find one using the road as their personal playground, deliberately taunting drivers knowing that in the event of an accident it'll be the driver who gets blamed, pilloried by the local media, accused of being a menace to society by the parents - who suddenly are the most caring individuals on the planet, despite not giving two figs what their precious offspring were doing on the day of the accident - and put through hell for something that wasn't their fault

2. because, as we all know, children can't possibly be expected to grasp the concepts of road safety, or be responsible for their own actions. Makes me wonder just how much of my childhood was a complete waste of time, watching road safety ads on the TV, sitting through talks at school from the traffic police (and the BTP/British Rail, if we're considering transport safety in general), doing cycling proficiency tests and other practical exercises to raise awareness of safe road usage... Oh, that's right, I forgot. It wasn't a complete waste of time at all. Have humans "evolved" so much in the intervening 20 years that the average primary school kid today is now incapable of understanding the same basic concepts of safety that we did? The lessons I learned back then are still keeping me alive today - what hope is there for todays children if they grow up with the message that their safety is the responsibility of everyone except themselves...


Hmm, I seem to have rambled well off the original point. I guess that's what happens when I see a long-established system with a proven record of success get messed around with by people in power resulting in the system starting to fall apart, which then encourages the same people in power to introduce new systems which please no-one but the people in power and their associates/lobbyists/vocal minorities/string pullers, rather than simply restore the original system back to the state it was in before they started meddling. Wouldn't it just be great if, for once, we could have a government that was prepared to put its hands up and admit they well and truly screwed up, and are prepared to put things right. And wouldn't it just be fantastic if the pig hovering outside my office window would buzz off :(


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 00:03 
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Homer wrote:
If you abolish the limit you also get rid of the "it's legal so it's safe" brigade who stick to the limit come rain or shine (or snow, ice and fog).

I think this sort of driver is a myth. I certainly haven't met any as yet.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 03:12 
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itschampionman wrote:
Homer wrote:
If you abolish the limit you also get rid of the "it's legal so it's safe" brigade who stick to the limit come rain or shine (or snow, ice and fog).

I think this sort of driver is a myth. I certainly haven't met any as yet.


Then I take it that you think drivers are really rather good - virtually without exception - at adjusting their speed to suit the prevailing conditions?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 22:22 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
itschampionman wrote:
Homer wrote:
If you abolish the limit you also get rid of the "it's legal so it's safe" brigade who stick to the limit come rain or shine (or snow, ice and fog).

I think this sort of driver is a myth. I certainly haven't met any as yet.


Then I take it that you think drivers are really rather good - virtually without exception - at adjusting their speed to suit the prevailing conditions?

I'm struggling to work out how someone with such an analytical mind can come up with that sot of conclusion.
No, just the opposite, I think there would be very few drivers who accellerate up to the limit regardless of conditions. You just need a bit of sense not to do that. Despite the high self regard but probably low skill level of the majority of drivers, I don't think they are stupid. It would seem you do.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 08:37 
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itschampionman wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
itschampionman wrote:
Homer wrote:
If you abolish the limit you also get rid of the "it's legal so it's safe" brigade who stick to the limit come rain or shine (or snow, ice and fog).

I think this sort of driver is a myth. I certainly haven't met any as yet.


Then I take it that you think drivers are really rather good - virtually without exception - at adjusting their speed to suit the prevailing conditions?

I'm struggling to work out how someone with such an analytical mind can come up with that sot of conclusion.
No, just the opposite, I think there would be very few drivers who accellerate up to the limit regardless of conditions. You just need a bit of sense not to do that. Despite the high self regard but probably low skill level of the majority of drivers, I don't think they are stupid. It would seem you do.


It's your logic I'm questioning first.

You say (paraphrasing) that drivers do not treat the speed limit as a safety limit or a target. The alternative - the only alternative - is that drivers adjust their speed according to the conditions.

Since we obviously have to adjust our speed way below the limit when there's an obstruction ahead if we're not going to hit it - and we all do this routinely and effectively - I'm very happy to believe in general that drivers do a) set an appropriate speed, and b) reduce speed when necessary.

Your claim that drivers don't use the speed limit as a safety limit implies that they MUST INSTEAD adjust their speed according to the conditions. If they do indeed ajust their speed according to the conditions, then how important is the speed limit?

I believe that we have falsely elevated the importance of the speed limit to the point that millions of drivers (admittedly millions of the worst drivers) now see driving to the speed limit as "very important". Clearly, out of a population of 32 million there are bound to be drivers who behave like this - the only questions are:

1) How many drivers?
2) Is the proportion increasing or decreasing?
3) How dangerous is this sort of behaviour?

I'm sure the answers are: Millions, Increasing, and Very dangerous.

Tell me, "Itschampionman", what do you do for a living to have your beliefs?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 21:24 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Part of yesterday's Conservative statement included a pledge to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph. I have a balanced view on the subject and don't see an urgent need to alter the motorway speed limit.

Here are the main points of the argument:

For raising the motorway limit to 80mph

* legitimises current safe practice.

* possibly tends to reduce journey time on long hauls

Against raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph

* A small but possibly significant proportion of drivers would see 80mph as a target and would be less likely to slow when conditions worsened.

* 70mph may be "quite enough" for inexperienced and underconfident drivers.

* it isn't the speed limit that causes problems - it's pointless enforcement.

General observations

* Raising the speed limit is unlikely to have any significant effect on average speed.

* The idea of "raising the speed limit and then enforcing it rigidly" is completely absurd.

* I'd love to drive with no speed limit, but I think some inexperienced and incautious drivers need the guidance.

Any comments?
Yes they have to reduce the speed to 55 mph
nation wide this will help to conserve high oil bills and it is an safe speed
if you are in a hurry you have to leave earlier and take your time.
If you drive 55 you will safe fuel. Thank You


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 22:54 
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hbrinkhuis wrote:
Yes they have to reduce the speed to 55 mph
nation wide this will help to conserve high oil bills and it is an safe speed
if you are in a hurry you have to leave earlier and take your time.
If you drive 55 you will safe fuel. Thank You
On the local motorways rush hour speed is probably 20-30, so 55mph is often an insanely fast speed that will almost guarantee a crash. On the other hand, when the rush hour has cooled down a bit 55 is probably about right, unless it's raining of course. In the dry when it's nearly empty it is safe to go faster than 70 (early morning on Boxing day was the last time I found 'em really empty though, and I could have done a ton without any risk to anyone else, because there wasn't anyone else). You see, the value of a safe speed is a variable, different from one road to the next and on the same road from hour to hour. You simply can't declare Xmph as being safe. It might be now, but in five minutes it could be higher or lower.

As for the leave early, drive slowly advice, well thanks. I've often done that just to beat the traffic and have a less stressful commute. It saved fuel too as a steady 70mph on an empty road gives better mileage than 0-5mph stuck in a jam. However, saving fuel, worthwhile as it is, isn't really a road safety issue.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 02:30 
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hbrinkhuis wrote:
Yes they have to reduce the speed to 55 mph
nation wide this will help to conserve high oil bills and it is an safe speed
if you are in a hurry you have to leave earlier and take your time.
If you drive 55 you will safe fuel. Thank You


Hehe! You think it's so simple. If only it was.

See this:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=117

That's 93% of experienced drivers reporting that their concentration would be reduced at 55mph. That's not very safe is it?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 03:26 
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The best lane discipline I've seen has to be Germany. No speed limits on the autobahn means the guy behind could be doing 150+mph so it's pull out, go past and pull in.
As congestion increases, so top speeds decrease and traffic tends to occupy more of the centre lane but the outside lane still stays reletivly empty until things get too busy. I think the only mistake they made were the off and on ramps which are curved too tightly and cause for many an accident.
A campagn in this country that embarrases CLOC members (Center Lane Owners Club) could be valuable, as would efficient policing. If a centre lane user can be passed on the left within the speed limit then pull them over for a chat and a bit of education.
Raising the speed limit to 80 doesn't really achieve much. On a clearish road, even now with the scameras about, 80 would be average for most. Do away with it all together but bring in a massive tv campaign and a seperate test or at least additional instruction for motorway use. Introduce minimum limits for uphill stretches so if you can't do 50 you stay left, and enforce no LGV's or trailers in the right hand lane of a 3 lane motorway.


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