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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:23 
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Engineers use rules when making machines that send and receive signals. When sending, they stick rigidly to the protocol, to allow other systems that read their work to have the best chance of reading their output. When receiving, wherever there is no chance of misinterpretation, they interpret the signal tolerantly, to allow their system the best chance to successfully read signals from other systems. I’m sure other branches of engineering use a similar idea.

Translated into road safety language, it is best to stick to the highway code yourself, but expect others not to. This means that good drivers should stay within the speed limit, because that is part of the highway code protocol. They should not always expect other drivers to stick to the protocol, and should drive defensively, following the maxim – hope for the best, but expect the worst.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:45 
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basingwerk wrote:
Translated into road safety language, it is best to stick to the highway code yourself, but expect others not to. This means that good drivers should stay within the speed limit, because that is part of the highway code protocol. They should not always expect other drivers to stick to the protocol, and should drive defensively, following the maxim ? hope for the best, but expect the worst.


"Hope for the best, but expect the worst" is very sound advice to drivers.

But to single out sped limit rules from the Highway Code is somewhat bizarre. The speed limit rules in the Highway Code are unlike (almost?) all of the other rules for the following reasons:

1) They are really a proxy for a different desired behaviour. The desired behaviour is that "people should not drive too fast". But the speed limit is a just a very poor proxy measure of the desired behaviour.

2) Few rules in the Highway Code are arbitrary lines - you either break the rule or you don't - it's not a question of degree. Yes I know you either break the speed limit or you don't - but even having broken it, few would think the behaviour dangerous or worthy of prosecution if you only broke it by (say) 0.01mph.

3) Just because it is in the Highway Code does not necessarily make it best practice. I can think of quite a few items of Highway Code advice that almost all responsible drivers ignore regularly. Headlamp flashing is an example.

There's more - but I'm late and I have to go out. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 02:39 
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I think that has to rate as the best tip I've read anywhere and without knowing it I think I have become a dab had at expecting the worst from UK drivers. There is of course a psycological school of thought called "projection" whereby assuming something will happen will make you carry out unconsious acts that actually cause it to. i.e. You assume the guy waiting to pull out is impatient and is going to pull out in front of you. In assuming he is going to pull out, you become cautious and slow down a little. The guy waiting sees that you have noticed him waiting and that you are paying particular attention to him, he notices your reduction in speed and assumes you are letting him out, so he pulls out! He waves to say thank you. You see the cocky git put his hand up as a false appology for cutting in. :cry:

In all honesty to the outside observer it would probably appear to be a piece of considerate driving and if more people were to consider other road users and there needs the roads wouldn't just become safer they might even become pleasent :oops: Sorry I forgot the first 3 rules of driving:
Me, Me and Me :?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:03 
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This is it, if you drive very cautiously everyone takes advantage of your position on the road. Although personally, I'd prefer to have lots of drivers pull out on me under my own terms during a journey than one driver pull out on me dangerously when I am not prepared.


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