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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 16:41 
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An idea that occurred to me following the 'removing NSL' thread amongst others.

The NSL sign has no number on it, drivers are supposed to know what maximum legal limit applies to the type of road they are on, more importantly it tells them that they must use their own discretion in selecting an appropriate safe speed which may be much lower than the limit on certain roads. Of course the road may be safe at over the legal maximum but that is not the point I am trying to make for the moment, the thread I mentioned above covers this topic already.

Though many of us see speed limits and the rigid enforcement of them a blunt and potentially/probably/definitely/ dangerously[*] poor safety policy there does appear to be a consensus that speed limits provide a useful guideline to inexperienced drivers and may alert an experienced but non-local driver to a hidden hazard.

Could we therefore in urban areas have signs which rather than give a set 'target' speed inform the driver of type of environment they are in and what range of speeds they are likely to have to use to be safe.

Slow urban - Shopping centres, schools, minor residential roads etc. Appropriate speeds usually in the range 0 - 25mph : Extreme care should be exercised at all times.

Urban - Wide residential and feeder roads. Appropriate speeds usually in the range 20 - 35mph : Careful observation for pedestrians and cyclists who may pass into your vehicles path with little or no warning should be a priority.

Fast Urban - Very wide possibly dual carriageway with no or restricted access to pedestrians. Appropriate speeds are usually in the range 30 - 50mph : Cyclist may also be using this road, slowing for side junctions is often necessary.

Yet another alternative would be that there is simply Urban with modifiers to indicate slow or fast conditions, e.g no centre line means slow, red centre line means fast, SLOW on road is a temporary drop one category etc.

Do you think making drivers consider an appropriate speed given clues from the environment rather than giving them a fixed target would work for the majority of drivers?


What could be used as a check where speed could no longer be used as a measure?
It occurs to me that it could still be used either in the simple sense of driving at a speed well in excess of anything sensible at a specific site (weather conditions?) e.g. 50 where 85th % is 30. Speed measurement backed up with video and an officers judgement call may lead to prosecution or mandatory training depending on the severity at lower but still unsafe speeds. In thinking about this sort of thing I always have the problem that if the decision on your driving must take account of the the prevailing conditions then it is difficult for this not to involve a subjective judgement by another person at the scene. The nature of this means there is going to be a variation in this judgement from officer to officer no matter how well trained they are never mind the drivers viewpoint. In some respects this uncertainty may make drivers keep their speed well onto the safe side then again I could see this leading to massive complaints about unfair judgements.

Sorry, starting to ramble a bit there, given that the areas and speed ranges I suggest above are only illustrations rather than firm points what do you all think?


[*] Pick your chosen adjective

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 17:12 
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toltec wrote:
The NSL sign has no number on it

That is because it signifies the end of a speed restriction order for the road they were on. The national speed limit order/s apply to all roads, even if they have other speed limit orders upon them. (Strange things happen re: 30mph vs street lamps, even stranger in Scotland.)
toltec wrote:
drivers are supposed to know what maximum legal limit applies to the type of road they are on

And the legal classification of the type of vehicle they are driving.

Sorry, just trying to show how complicated it is. ;)

Well, if most people know what a safe speed is for the conditions while they are driving, do they not have a reasonable idea of what is a safe speed for others to be driving at?

Sensibly set advisory maximum speeds, like on bends, could well be useful in places, but not everywhere.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 09:24 
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Ziltro wrote:

Sorry, just trying to show how complicated it is. ;)

Well, if most people know what a safe speed is for the conditions while they are driving, do they not have a reasonable idea of what is a safe speed for others to be driving at?

Sensibly set advisory maximum speeds, like on bends, could well be useful in places, but not everywhere.


If it was easy we would not have ended up with speed cameras.

I was really musing on an idea concerning speeds for urban areas rather than NSLs and what we could replace a fixed limit with and how poor driving could be picked up and corrected. Are you suggesting that it should be relatively easy for safe driving to be enforced because there would be a strong consensus? Though fixed target speed enforcement is a poor method of encouraging safe driving I think we should not only be campaigning against it but trying to come up with an alternative.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:33 
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Ziltro wrote:
Well, if most people know what a safe speed is for the conditions while they are driving, do they not have a reasonable idea of what is a safe speed for others to be driving at?



Thinking about this again...

Do you mean speed measurement is not necessary because an officer should just be able to simply state that a vehicle was travelling too fast for the conditions?

The officer would be accredited as having sufficient training and experience to make this judgement and this would be taken to be unarguable.

Depending on the level of 'offence' the driver could be reprimanded on the spot, reprimanded and details noted, required to attend training, prosecuted for careless/dangerous.

... more ideas flinging, sorry.

I am all for scrapping cameras and having the Police detect bad driving, however how exactly could this be made to work in a way that the majority of drivers would not only accept but support. Modern H&S thinking seems to be all about setting specific and easily measurable rules with no allowance for common sense or personal judgement - can you tell I have been reading 'Scared to Death'? To replace this with a system where an experienced but personal judgement would be both legally and socially accepted is not going to be easy. It occurs to me that the government is quite aware that cameras etc. are not the most effective solution in terms of safety, however if you do a calculation based on how many lives would be saved against how much it would cost to implement 'best practice' driving then cameras are cheaper.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 23:53 
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I was thinking about a situation where there were any number of people who witnessed the event. If they drive themselves then their opinion on what is dangerous would probably be fairly accurate, even without any training, because they know how to drive in a non-dangerous way.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 08:44 
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Ziltro wrote:
I was thinking about a situation where there were any number of people who witnessed the event. If they drive themselves then their opinion on what is dangerous would probably be fairly accurate, even without any training, because they know how to drive in a non-dangerous way.


I see what you mean, that is something like the 85% for setting a speed limit in some respects, how could this be applied to improving the driving of someone they consider to be driving badly?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 20:38 
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toltec wrote:
An idea that occurred to me following the 'removing NSL' thread amongst others.

The NSL sign has no number on it, drivers are supposed to know what maximum legal limit applies to the type of road they are on, more importantly it tells them that they must use their own discretion in selecting an appropriate safe speed which may be much lower than the limit on certain roads. Of course the road may be safe at over the legal maximum but that is not the point I am trying to make for the moment, the thread I mentioned above covers this topic already.

Though many of us see speed limits and the rigid enforcement of them a blunt and potentially/probably/definitely/ dangerously[*] poor safety policy there does appear to be a consensus that speed limits provide a useful guideline to inexperienced drivers and may alert an experienced but non-local driver to a hidden hazard.

Could we therefore in urban areas have signs which rather than give a set 'target' speed inform the driver of type of environment they are in and what range of speeds they are likely to have to use to be safe.

Slow urban - Shopping centres, schools, minor residential roads etc. Appropriate speeds usually in the range 0 - 25mph : Extreme care should be exercised at all times.

Urban - Wide residential and feeder roads. Appropriate speeds usually in the range 20 - 35mph : Careful observation for pedestrians and cyclists who may pass into your vehicles path with little or no warning should be a priority.

Fast Urban - Very wide possibly dual carriageway with no or restricted access to pedestrians. Appropriate speeds are usually in the range 30 - 50mph : Cyclist may also be using this road, slowing for side junctions is often necessary.

Yet another alternative would be that there is simply Urban with modifiers to indicate slow or fast conditions, e.g no centre line means slow, red centre line means fast, SLOW on road is a temporary drop one category etc.

Do you think making drivers consider an appropriate speed given clues from the environment rather than giving them a fixed target would work for the majority of drivers?


What could be used as a check where speed could no longer be used as a measure?
It occurs to me that it could still be used either in the simple sense of driving at a speed well in excess of anything sensible at a specific site (weather conditions?) e.g. 50 where 85th % is 30. Speed measurement backed up with video and an officers judgement call may lead to prosecution or mandatory training depending on the severity at lower but still unsafe speeds. In thinking about this sort of thing I always have the problem that if the decision on your driving must take account of the the prevailing conditions then it is difficult for this not to involve a subjective judgement by another person at the scene. The nature of this means there is going to be a variation in this judgement from officer to officer no matter how well trained they are never mind the drivers viewpoint. In some respects this uncertainty may make drivers keep their speed well onto the safe side then again I could see this leading to massive complaints about unfair judgements.

Sorry, starting to ramble a bit there, given that the areas and speed ranges I suggest above are only illustrations rather than firm points what do you all think?


[*] Pick your chosen adjective


Im not poo pooing your comments but the HC and speed limits are part of an IDIOT CHART to many experienced road users. I think the HC is excelent, simple any easy to apply. Speed limits also are clear and very easy to understand (even though some are not really thought out or fair) nevertheless easy to use. The problem is the road user, the way they think/behave and apply what they think they know and the way they apply the wrong thing. Your ideas are thoughtful but to apply something like this would be like asking someone who has just fluked a gcse to take a phd with all the work written in japanese when they cant read or speak it. People have difficulty using judgement which is why many road users follow others like sheep. Even with clear signs and limits you will get 100 drivers dealing with it in 100 similar but different ways. Your ideas could only work if all road users were brought up to a much much higher standard of skill, judgement, knowledge and understanding than they are right now. If I give the impression that I think most road users are a bit thick when they take to the road, its not meant to be an impression, its meant to be a deliberate statement that I do think it. :D what you suggest requires a level of intelligence and ability , Im sorry to tell you that you are unlikely to find much on british roads.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 22:08 
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Herbie J wrote:
Your ideas could only work if all road users were brought up to a much much higher standard of skill, judgement, knowledge and understanding than they are right now. If I give the impression that I think most road users are a bit thick when they take to the road, its not meant to be an impression, its meant to be a deliberate statement that I do think it. :D what you suggest requires a level of intelligence and ability , Im sorry to tell you that you are unlikely to find much on british roads.


Dragged back from the dead. :)

Theoretically, using IQ as a measure, most of the population is a bit thick when compared to me, however this is not the impression I form of most people I meet thankfully. I think this is because most everyday tasks, of which driving is one, do not really require the application of much intelligence to perform well or competantly, learnt skills and behaviour suffice. Higher intelligence may well increase the learning speed and the ability to learn through observation and experience as well as promote performance at the highest level. This does not mean that it is necessary to aquiring the skill to drive competantly if adequate training is applied, if anything the intelligence is needed by the trainers so they can find a way to get the information across effectively.

Of course it may just be that I am unwilling to accept that road safety has to be geared to the lowest common denominator. Far too depressing to contemplate.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 00:34 
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toltec wrote:
Herbie J wrote:
Your ideas could only work if all road users were brought up to a much much higher standard of skill, judgement, knowledge and understanding than they are right now. If I give the impression that I think most road users are a bit thick when they take to the road, its not meant to be an impression, its meant to be a deliberate statement that I do think it. :D what you suggest requires a level of intelligence and ability , Im sorry to tell you that you are unlikely to find much on british roads.


Dragged back from the dead. :)

Theoretically, using IQ as a measure, most of the population is a bit thick when compared to me, however this is not the impression I form of most people I meet thankfully. I think this is because most everyday tasks, of which driving is one, do not really require the application of much intelligence to perform well or competantly, learnt skills and behaviour suffice. Higher intelligence may well increase the learning speed and the ability to learn through observation and experience as well as promote performance at the highest level. This does not mean that it is necessary to aquiring the skill to drive competantly if adequate training is applied, if anything the intelligence is needed by the trainers so they can find a way to get the information across effectively.

Of course it may just be that I am unwilling to accept that road safety has to be geared to the lowest common denominator. Far too depressing to contemplate.


I dont consider many people to be lacking intelligence or having a reasonable IQ but where driving is concerned is the only focus of my 'thicky' comment. It matters not the intelect/formal education/professional quals or even IQ when it comes to driving. The combination of skills/judgement/awareness/concentration and understanding the required knowledge and having the will to apply it consistantly is what makes people from all walks of life become a bit thick or incompetent when driving. From experience , often the most difficult to teach, are demanding/ unwilling self believers and the very well educated.Higher intelligence or education doesnt always generate a will to learn things that are of little importance to them nor does it show a will to learn correctly. Many brainy people only do enough to get a licence as they feel they already know :roll: :? :lol: You cannot change a clever dick with training if they do just enough to pass then do what the hell they want, can you? After all many just want a car to get to Uni or as transport for their high rolling promotion etc. Im not suggesting all bright people are like this but I have come across enough to know there are many who are.

The lowest common denominator is far more common that you might think, I witness poor driving in abundance every single day and lousy and dangerous driving at least once or twice a day depending on how often Im on the road ( :lol: that sounds funny, Id better stop doing it :D )..if you dont see the lowest common denominator as often as I do , please tell me where you live cos Id like to move there :D

You may have a point about instructors though as I have seen enough of them over the years to ,in some way,agree with your point, but not all are in that catagory. You can teach an individual way beyond the requirement, but you cannot mind meld like Mr Spock nor can you tell what an individual will decide to do once they have that pass cert. people have freedom of choice, if they choose to be a thicky, they will be.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:37 
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I understand what you are getting at Herbie, rather than being thick then perhaps lack of awarness, lack of knowledge, laziness and stubborness are more apt. On the training side I was meaning post test as well as the L plate lessons.

As much as skill, experience and knowledge come into play to make a competant driver, since joining this site I have come to the conclusion that above all attitude is key. Your post above is pretty clearly about attitude, as you point out it is not something than is amenable to simple assessment let alone change. My OP was about how we could possibly remove the easy markers i.e. speed limit signs to encourage drivers to take note of and think about their environment. The difficulty being what could we use as a measure for safe/unsafe driving that would be accepted as fair and objective.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 20:09 
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toltec wrote:
I understand what you are getting at Herbie, rather than being thick then perhaps lack of awarness, lack of knowledge, laziness and stubborness are more apt. On the training side I was meaning post test as well as the L plate lessons.

As much as skill, experience and knowledge come into play to make a competant driver, since joining this site I have come to the conclusion that above all attitude is key. Your post above is pretty clearly about attitude, as you point out it is not something than is amenable to simple assessment let alone change. My OP was about how we could possibly remove the easy markers i.e. speed limit signs to encourage drivers to take note of and think about their environment. The difficulty being what could we use as a measure for safe/unsafe driving that would be accepted as fair and objective.


I agree, I too am guilty of attitude being a little abrasive sometimes but its not meant to offend, Im just passionate about some subjects. Your Idea is a good one toltec , I for one would be happy to see that happen but I feel you and I both know it is unlikely. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 09:40 
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Herbie J wrote:

I agree, I too am guilty of attitude being a little abrasive sometimes but its not meant to offend, Im just passionate about some subjects.


I am hardly Mr Perfect, my faults are many, I just try to recognise and correct them and this site has been great for helping me to do that in my driving. I seldom find posts offensive, the medium means it is all too easy to misread emotive content, when someone disagrees with me I like to first assume I have either failed to make my point clearly or failed to consider the point they have raised.

The difference in opinion between Safespeed and Brake should be one of how we get safer roads and yet though most on here, I think, accept that Brake have good, if misguided, intentions it would seem Brake just consider us to be part of the problem. In relation to my original suggestion perhaps I and possibly Safespeed looks to get road safety based on the best of human behaviour whereas Brake only wants to assume and control the worst.

You are probably right in that my idea is unlikely to happen, however despite being by nature pessimistic (or a realist ;) ) I prefer to look to the optimistic, brighter side and hope the better side of human nature will win.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 08:07 
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mmmm yes glad you had a nice time at school :wink:
[note to add: spam deleted, S]


if we need to be marking roads with effectively indicators of typical hazard density then we're already seriously lost !

surely this risks the same problems as reliance on speed limits, driver relaiance on marked hazard levels taking away the need / responsibility for them to think and adapt appropriately ("well i was in fast urban so wasn't expecting that woman with the pram to be crossing the road...").


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:17 
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ed_m wrote:
if we need to be marking roads with effectively indicators of typical hazard density then we're already seriously lost !

surely this risks the same problems as reliance on speed limits, driver relaiance on marked hazard levels taking away the need / responsibility for them to think and adapt appropriately ("well i was in fast urban so wasn't expecting that woman with the pram to be crossing the road...").


Which is the rationale behind the Dutch idea of having totally unmarked roads in urban areas - makes all road users think about the situation

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 21:59 
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toltec wrote:
Slow urban - Shopping centres, schools, minor residential roads etc. Appropriate speeds usually in the range 0 - 25mph : Extreme care should be exercised at all times.

Urban - Wide residential and feeder roads. Appropriate speeds usually in the range 20 - 35mph : Careful observation for pedestrians and cyclists who may pass into your vehicles path with little or no warning should be a priority.

Fast Urban - Very wide possibly dual carriageway with no or restricted access to pedestrians. Appropriate speeds are usually in the range 30 - 50mph : Cyclist may also be using this road, slowing for side junctions is often necessary.

Yet another alternative would be that there is simply Urban with modifiers to indicate slow or fast conditions, e.g no centre line means slow, red centre line means fast, SLOW on road is a temporary drop one category etc.



Quote:
Which is the rationale behind the Dutch idea of having totally unmarked roads in urban areas - makes all road users think about the situation


This is what I'm aiming for. Appropriate speeds are set by road width and whats beside the road. Remove the centre line altogether, except where overtaking is not possible and put slow on the road only where high level of speed drop is needed, they are too common and don't have the same effect as if they were put were they were only needed.

By risk homeostasis having a narrower road (and instead of using islands to separate the lanes, use ghost islands to push cars closer together) should mean increases risk and lower speed, so can control speeds by road width. The optical width of the road has a huge effect also so use that to our advantage (as gateways do).

Or use one of Jeremy Clarkson's ideas:
"Instead of having an airbag in the steering wheel, have a massive sharp spike"
How fast would you drive if you knew a small accident and you would have a spike in your chest :bighand: ?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 22:45 
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Mind Driver wrote:
Or use one of Jeremy Clarkson's ideas:
"Instead of having an airbag in the steering wheel, have a massive sharp spike"
How fast would you drive if you knew a small accident and you would have a spike in your chest :bighand: ?

I find an explosively propelled canvas bag aimed at your face quite scary enough...

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 22:49 
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ed_m wrote:

if we need to be marking roads with effectively indicators of typical hazard density then we're already seriously lost !


I see it as more of an aid for less skilled or inexperienced drivers, any competent driver should not need them.

ed_m wrote:
surely this risks the same problems as reliance on speed limits, driver relaiance on marked hazard levels taking away the need / responsibility for them to think and adapt appropriately ("well i was in fast urban so wasn't expecting that woman with the pram to be crossing the road...").


I imagine the opposite, by not having a nice target number to stick to a driver has to observe and assess the hazards themselves, the markings simply indicate that a level of potential hazard exists. Drivers would be taught that if they cannot see why a road is in a particular category they are missing something and need to look harder. This of course would require the markings to have been set correctly in the first place.

in the first post I wrote:
Fast Urban - Very wide possibly dual carriageway with no or restricted access to pedestrians.


Meaning the driver should only reasonably expect to see the woman with the pram at a controlled crossing as any other position would mean circumventing a safety barrier for instance.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 23:00 
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Mind Driver wrote:
Or use one of Jeremy Clarkson's ideas:
"Instead of having an airbag in the steering wheel, have a massive sharp spike"
How fast would you drive if you knew a small accident and you would have a spike in your chest :bighand: ?


I think what we need is cars that are safe, but do not feel quite so safe.

Similarly, as you say above, making the road appear less safe without actually making it so should slow drivers down - if that is what is needed. I had a disagreement with an scp project manager as to the effectiveness of planting trees to obscure sight lines, while this may slow drivers down reducing injury severity it possibly also makes the likelihood of a collision higher.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 23:11 
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Sight lines I would be wary of. I would reduce the sight lines of the main road (preferably through the use of hills and valleys if possible) but I would want the sight lines on a minor road/major junction to be as far as possible.

"Self explaining roads" is something I didn't get to look into properly but will at some stage in the future. They seem to have the right idea, just like to put my own spin on them!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 06:43 
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Quote:
I think what we need is cars that are safe, but do not feel quite so safe.


Or cars that don't isolate you from the environment so much.

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