Safe Speed Forums

The campaign for genuine road safety
It is currently Sun Dec 17, 2017 22:14

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 16:25 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 16:07
Posts: 6
You describe how Smeed's equations failed, and put forward your own as a better alternative, beause he didn't know about the constant stream of engineering led advances in road and vehicle safety that would be a factor in motoring over the last 40 years.

I'm sure you are right and for two reasons: compulsory seatbelt wearing and the improving average age of cars.

The first is entirely due to legislation and the second the economic growth we have enjoyed - and the improvement in living standards that has accompanied it - enabling more people to afford newer cars which have never been cheaper.

The worrying thing about these observations - and the fact that improvement in road safey apears to have stopped - is that there is not really very much more that can be done by fiddling at the margins.

The next step change in road safety will come from another government led initiative; external control of a vehicle's road speed and separation distances and that will really pose the question: do you want safety at all costs or are you prepared to accept risk in exchange for freedom of movement and choice?

We are beginning to grapple with this conumdrum in general health and safety issues like rambling over wet fields, children's paddling pools, playing conkers at school, hanging flower baskets, and so on. Its road safety related version will be coming to a road near you anytime now.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 23:44 
Offline
User

Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 19:32
Posts: 18
Location: Ayrshire
[quote="briesmith"]
I'm sure you are right and for two reasons: compulsory seatbelt wearing and the improving average age of cars.
[quote]

Are those the only two improvements in road and vehicle safety that you can think of?

what about:

laminated glass
airbags
seatbelt pre-tensioners
crumple zones
anti-submarining seats
head restraints
anti-burst door locks
anti-lock brakes
negative scrub radius steering geometry
improvements in barriers
re-alignment of dangerous stretches
high grip surfaces


and I'm sure that others on here will come up with dozens more.

Even the two you do select are suspect,

seatbelts have saved the lives of drivrs and passengers, but have they led to an increase in deaths of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists due to risk compensation?

although there are more new cars on the roads than ever, the average lifespan of a car is also increasing so there are probably more 10 year old cars on the roads today then there were 40 years ago.

Duncanmac


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 00:42 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 23:09
Posts: 6731
Location: Stockport, Cheshire
briesmith wrote:
The next step change in road safety will come from another government led initiative; external control of a vehicle's road speed and separation distances and that will really pose the question: do you want safety at all costs or are you prepared to accept risk in exchange for freedom of movement and choice?

It's not as simple as that, though.

It could be argued that external speed control (unless set at a ludicrously low level) would actually make the roads more dangerous by encouraging a "cruise control zombie" mentality. There is nothing practical to stop cars being equipped now with single-speed limiters on the HGV model, but it's doubtful whether doing that, at the maximum legally permissible speed, would make any difference whatsoever to casualty stats.

And, say, making driving tests much more difficult, and thus reducing the number of drivers, might also not be a safety panacea, as it would lead to fewer vehicles, travelling faster because of the lack of traffic jams, and result in more mileage by pedestrians and cyclists which are more risky modes. I'm not saying it's a causal factor, but over time casualty reductions have gone hand in hand with an increase in the proportion of licensed drivers in the population.

_________________
"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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 02:38 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
briesmith wrote:
We are beginning to grapple with this conumdrum in general health and safety issues like rambling over wet fields, children's paddling pools, playing conkers at school, hanging flower baskets, and so on. Its road safety related version will be coming to a road near you anytime now.
This extreme risk-averse culture we're turning into is doing my head in. I think I need a lie down and a couple of copoxamol. D'oh! Can't do that. Been withdrawn to prevent me taking too many. :roll: What a country! :twisted: :wink:

Seriously, I think you're quite right that road safety policies have for some years been no more than fiddling at the margins. In fact there's been a bit of an obsession with a single margin. But speed enforcement by technology isn't delivering and I doubt speed control by technology will either for much the same reasons as PeterE. If it happens anyway I intend to watch from a very, very long way away, like Samoa. :)

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 09:40 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 23:09
Posts: 6731
Location: Stockport, Cheshire
Another point is that it is human nature to find ways to get around restrictions, particularly if perceived to be unreasonable. It's the "jelly in a string bag" syndrome.

The spread of automated enforcement has led to an upsurge in driving unregistered vehicles. With hindsight, that is not remotely surprising.

We now have a situation where somewhere between a third and a half of all fatal accidents involve a driver who is one or more of unlicensed, disqualified, uninsured (and not just on a technicality), impaired by illegal drugs or at least twice the legal alcohol limit.

Telematics - unless of an exceptionally totalitarian and intrusive form - won't do much to solve that. It needs a combination of more active "on the ground" policing and restoring trust in the enforcement system. The latter is a much more difficult challenge. Even basically responsible people are now taking the view that "if I can get away with it, why shouldn't I do it?"

_________________
"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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:17 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 09:59
Posts: 3544
Location: Shropshire
PeterE wrote:
The spread of automated enforcement has led to an upsurge in driving unregistered vehicles. With hindsight, that is not remotely surprising.

We now have a situation where somewhere between a third and a half of all fatal accidents involve a driver who is one or more of unlicensed, disqualified, uninsured (and not just on a technicality), impaired by illegal drugs or at least twice the legal alcohol limit.


I'm pretty certain that unlicensed, disqualified etc drivers would be causing as many fatal accidents cameras or no cameras. This country is slowly being choked by the increasing disrespect for the law and criminal activities undertaken by a certain category of it's people.
We can blame cameras, and the underlying policy, for some things; the alarming rise of the Oxygen Thief isn't one of them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Enforcement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:33 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 16:07
Posts: 6
The list of safety measures given in one of the earlier replies to my post is much more comprehemsive than mine but really just says what I said but better.

Unregistered, unlicensed, "shouldn't be there" drivers are an obvious first target for road traffic control. An illegal driver or vehicle would be identified as soon as he/she or it joined a controlled traffic stream and appropriate measures (could be) taken. I am certain that the Congestion Charge system in London could do this now if the political will was there (ie most of the drivers likely to be caught were not almost guaranteed to be from the protected minorities.)

Index number identification technology - "INIT?" - is a much better use of cameras than simple speed limit enforcement and is already going down this route. It won't be long, for instance, before the petrol station chains link their "driveaway" databases preventing petrol thieves repeating their trick until they at least change their number plate.

By the way can I just say that this is the most thoughtful forum I've ever participated in. The quality of the thinking behind the posts is evident and the standard of written English would gladden the heart of any Mr Chips.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:44 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
Rigpig wrote:
We can blame cameras, and the underlying policy, for some things; the alarming rise of the Oxygen Thief isn't one of them.
Not scameras perhaps, but the policy, yes. I feel that it's not entirely to blame, but the same policy that's given us thousands of gatsos has helped encourage a group so determined to avoid being pinged that they'd rather drive illegally.

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Enforcement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:54 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
briesmith wrote:
An illegal driver or vehicle would be identified as soon as he/she or it joined a controlled traffic stream and appropriate measures (could be) taken.

That's a new one on me. How could this be done? I know someone who's recently had their plates nicked and Swansea aren't issuing a different registration (or so he said). How would an automated system tell the difference between the two vehicles? Okay, I'm prepared to believe that a quick check could be made to see if the vehicle description matched, but wouldn't that need an actual person? Even then, if a plate thief has the brains to put the stolen number on a very similar vehicle who'd know the difference. And if a plate has been copied rather than stolen no-body would be aware that there was even so much as a potential problem relating to that number. I know new plates aren't as easy to get as they were a few years ago, but it can still be done.

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:08 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 16:07
Posts: 6
PIN technology is rapidly overtaking the old fashioned or traditional ignition key. Once a driver logged into a vehicle (in order to start it) then that vehicle would radiate that driver's PIN whenever it passed a checkpoint using RFID technology. The system would check the driver's ID with the Criminal Records Bureau and discover whether the individual was illegal or not.

Biofitness tests (based mainly on response time patterns) could also be carried out in the vehicle at the logging-in time to check for the influence of drink and drugs.

INIT would at the same time capture the index number and compare it to the DVLA database and the motor insurers' database to check that the vehicle wasn't an illegal and that the driver was insured to drive it.

Very Big Brother but already entirely feasible with existing technology and computer systems.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Enforcement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:49 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
briesmith wrote:
The list of safety measures given in one of the earlier replies to my post is much more comprehemsive than mine but really just says what I said but better.


I need to point out that your view offers no credible explanation for the highly regular and reliable fatality rate reduction over the period 1950 to 1993.

Personally I relate the reduction mainly to engineering improvements, but there may also be an element of social acclimatization to road risks (i.e. we understand the risks better and manage them better).

So you really need to look for factors that have changed in the last decade or so. I would regard vehicle safety improvements and social acclimatization as steady and ongoing unless someone can produce evidence to the contrary.

btw, for those who have not figured it out, we're talking about the trends on http://www.safespeed.org.uk/smeed.html

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 13:08 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
As you say, very Big Brother. Highly intrusive, and also reliant on changes to the entire vehicle fleet in the UK as well as a new system covering the whole road network. And I'd say it's a good bet that those who are into car crime will be very quick to work out ways round it. How long did remote central locking last before someone developed a code grabber?

Even ignoring the civil liberties and implementation issues, there's another hurdle. What about foreign vehicles? Cover one area, even a whole country, with such a system and there will still be vehicles round the edges that aren't part of it. In the UK you're never more than 70 odd miles from the coast, and we've got another island to the west and an entire continent to the east - arguably the whole country consists mostly of edges. At least a dozen ports, ferries to five or six countries, plus the Chunnel and a land border with Eire large enough to make it very hit and miss across Ulster (which itself has ferry connections to 3 or 4 ports on the UK mainland). Make it EU wide and you just move the problem somewhere else.

There's an even bigger and more fundamental issue. Such a system won't actually change anything important. Crashes are invariably caused by a failure of the nut at the wheel :wink: , and we can achieve far more by making that part better than we can with techy schemes like PIN numbers, RFIDs in cars and tracking systems. A pinch of prevention beats a pound of cure, and I don't think the technology offers a cure as such. Easy punishment for the authorities perhaps, but I don't think that's much of a cure. IMO the cure is better preventative measures. L test to a higher standard, and possibly repeat testing. Better driver education. Better roads. Honest road safety messages aimed at all road users, not just drivers. More trafplods. There's loads we could be doing, and indeed used to do, that we know works. So why aren't we?

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Technology
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 13:46 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 16:07
Posts: 6
As ever I don't have the figures but I believe that uninsured, unqualified drivers, drivers under the influence of drink and drugs and drivers in stolen cars ("joyriders" etc) are involved in a significant proportion of road accidents and car related crime.

Most of these are not professional criminals - who will always work to defeat measures aimed at them and their activities - but members of society who have no tradition of driving tests, motor insurance, car testing and so on and who, typically, are armed with limited wits and little means to overcome relatively simple technology.

And, please, I am not in any way recommending this technology; merely reporting on what I think "they" will be doing to us drivers in the future.

All of this will become possible because of the drive to road pricing; the technology needed to meter our usage of public roads will do all I have mentioned and more.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Technology
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 16:24 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
briesmith wrote:
As ever I don't have the figures but I believe that uninsured, unqualified drivers, drivers under the influence of drink and drugs and drivers in stolen cars ("joyriders" etc) are involved in a significant proportion of road accidents and car related crime.

Most of these are not professional criminals <snip>
Yes the "unlawful" drivers (uninsured, stoned, drunk as a lord etc) are a distinct group from the criminals and do cause more of a problem road safety wise. I realise that my post seemed to lump them all in together, which wasn't my intention but sloppy wording did make it look like that. :oops: Sorry. I was pointing out though that measures, or rather counter measures, will be found, and I expect some of these to filter down to the section of society that are happy to flout the law but who we would not describe as professional criminals. At a very basic level, such an individual living in Dover might go and buy a car in France (dear God, he's already a liability and now he's in an LHD :) )

briesmith wrote:
And, please, I am not in any way recommending this technology; merely reporting on what I think "they" will be doing to us drivers in the future.
I understand. I'm just reporting on why I think it'll (a) deliver no safety improvements and (b) die on its arse. :wink:

briesmith wrote:
All of this will become possible because of the drive to road pricing; the technology needed to meter our usage of public roads will do all I have mentioned and more.
We already have a brilliant way of road pricing. It takes into account a driver's mileage, the economy of the engine in their car, and even to an extent the time of day they drive. It's fuel duty, as I'm sure you've already guessed. But like I said, it's brilliant. For example, my Honda Prelude with a 2.2 VTEC is a bit of a thirsty beast, so I pay more per mile to drive it than my neaighbour does in his diesel Audi. But he tends to drive more in rush hour traffic (i.e. at times of congestion) than I do and has a higher annual mileage, both of which adjust my "charge" down a bit in relation to his. And unless we steal fuel there is nothing, not a thing, that either of us can do to dodge it. I have no idea how many tankfuls of fuel are stolen each year, but I'd bet compared to the millions and millions of tankfuls that are paid for it's insignificant. From the government's point of view this revenue is also dirt cheap to collect. Road charging is already here and has been with us in effect since the first tax was put on fuel.

So what's the big attraction of GPS tracking or RFIDs and PINs? I'm not given to conspiracy theories about being able to track us everywhere, as I don't think that's a motivation. However, the fact that it could even become a capability still worries me as we can't know what sort of government we'll have in ten or twenty years. I just think the government has a fascination with technology and really believes that gadgetry will always mean "better". Or perhaps they just have a weird fascination with acronyms (how else did WMD suddenly replace nerve gas, nukes and germ warfare... "Hey guys, let's just call 'em all WMDs, it's practically a soundbite on its own" :twisted: ).

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: An Update
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 16:57 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 16:07
Posts: 6
It's a couple of years since I last posted and I thought it would be interesting to review what's happened in the intervening period.

Firstly, and out of nowhere, we have had the Downing Street petition. For the first time the always silent majority actually had their say. And the effect was amazing. The government, and all it's anti-car cohorts, rapidly retreated to the extent that road pricing as an everyday, inevitable thing, has all but disappeared.

This doesn't mean "they" have given up. The need for constantly rising levels of revenue says thay can never give up; they (will) have to continue to find ways of taxing us that are stealthy (or dishonest depending on your politics) and the middle-class (ie taxed, insured and qualified) motorist is too fat, too easy and too compliant a target to ignore.

So now it's speeding again; and drink driving. Millions of speeding fines and 250,000 drink driving penalties a year! raises almost all the money needed to run the courts system. Raising the number of penalties and disqualifications will do nicely.

But will we stand for it? The dog has barked and the worm has turned - once. Will we do it again?

Can they ever convince us that reducing the limit from 80mg/l to 50 - so that a salesman loses his job, his home and his family because he drank a glass of wine - makes sense? Will we for much longer, put up with 23mph in a 20mph limit zone and 34mph in a 30 being classed as speeding?

Or will they be unable to overcome our innate comon sense and begin to row back?

Will there be a backlash against camera evidence only (ie no ticket on the windscreen) parking penalties? I think there might. Particularly if the large metropolitan councils abuse their powers and start dishing them out wily nilly. Which they will.

I think motorists and the whole area of public motoring policy are in for an interesting 10 years. Watch this space?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 23:10 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 18:54
Posts: 4036
Location: Cumbria
I think so - but they need more rope to hang themselves with first. Since the introduction of speed cameras, I've seen shifts in "public" opinion that are heartening. My father-in-law, friends of my parents, various other respectable middle-aged or elderly "worthies" all getting "scammed" for (in their view) absurdly petty minor infrigements all adds weight to "the cause". All these used to think that cameras were only there to catch the "yobs"!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:55 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 21:10
Posts: 1693
Mole wrote:
I think so - but they need more rope to hang themselves with first. Since the introduction of speed cameras, I've seen shifts in "public" opinion that are heartening. My father-in-law, friends of my parents, various other respectable middle-aged or elderly "worthies" all getting "scammed" for (in their view) absurdly petty minor infrigements all adds weight to "the cause". All these used to think that cameras were only there to catch the "yobs"!


We have local elections in a few weeks time.

Talk to your prospective councilors. Ask them about their policies. Tell them who you will be voting for (and not) and why!

Now, I know choice in many areas are limited, but that might change in the future.

(It is worth noting that London BNP policy opposes Speed cameras, congestion charge and "Obstructive" road furnature such as uneccecary bus lanes. If I lived in London these, on their own, would be good enough for me!)

_________________
"The road to a police state is paved with public safety legislation"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Voting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:49 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 16:07
Posts: 6
Personally, they could take my car away and make me pull a rickshaw; I still wouldn't touch the BNP.

But there you go; that's politics.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 13:38 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 18:42
Posts: 1283
Location: Essex
Gatsobait, off topic but there was a TLA before WMD's in the forces we were taught about NBC weapons and warfare (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical).

Sorry, have taken anorak off now.

Back on topic I agree that there are many things we need to be doing before automated enforcement, one thing that I firmly believe is better standard of driver training and testing. Coming from mainly construction safety I use plant operators as an example, many were badly trained and some came over under 'grandfather rights' lots of accidents, as plant training, regularl refresher training and testing came in there has been a significant reduction in the number of accidents.

So why not with drivers?

_________________
Gordon Brown saying I got the country into it's current economic mess so I'll get us out of it is the same as Bomber Harris nipping over to Dresden and offering to repair a few windows.

Chaos, panic and disorder - my work here is done.

http://www.wildcrafts.co.uk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Technology
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 15:25 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 13:54
Posts: 1711
Location: NW Kent
Gatsobait wrote:

So what's the big attraction of GPS tracking or RFIDs and PINs?


In cynical mode I might suggest that it would make a lot of money for the companies that design, implement and maintain the system.

duncanmac wrote:
negative scrub radius steering geometry


I looked that up and learnt something new, thanks :)

_________________
Driving fast is for a particular time and place, I can do it I just only do it occasionally because I am a gentleman.
- James May


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.288s | 11 Queries | GZIP : Off ]