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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 17:22 
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Happened to me a little over 14 days ago, waiting until now to post for reasons that will become obvious, on the M6 northbound in one of the many :50: roadworks sections enforced by SPECS cameras.

I'm in the outside lane, since I have a GPS and thus can accurately stick to 50, middle lane is more like 48 and the left lane at 46. A familar situation to many, I am sure. Slightly ahead of me in the middle lane is a Volvo 940 estate that had not yet triggered my idiot alert. Half a car length behind me is an Audi A4 that has triggered my idiot alert for several very obvious reasons (tailgating, front fog lights in the daytime, mobile phone)

Up ahead is one of those big metal barriers that close off the right hand lane, and stick-on green lane markers have appeared that shuffle everyone to the left a bit, ie. L1 moves into the hard shoulder, L2 into L1 etc. etc.

As I reach the barrier, the Volvo's front bumper is now level with the rear passenger door and my idiot alarm is going off. I quickly figure out what is going to happen and hit the loud pedal. Gearbox kicks down, turbo spools up and I unleash 6 cylinders of planet destroying fury to propel me to a child-killing 65mph and negotiate the lane shuffling that marks the start of the roadworks.

I start easing off the speed look in my rear view mirror and what do I see? Yup, it's the Volvo, now in my lane and very close to my rear bumper. The driver looks up, sees me, and gives me the middle finger.

Then I have to slow down to 45 for a bit to bring my average speed down to 50, "for safety purposes".



Why am I blaming the SPECS zone for this:

1) If the Volvo driver hadn't had to concentrate on his speedo so much, he would have seen the lane changes marked.
2) If I hadn't had to concentrate on my speed so much, I would have overtaken him faster and not risked being along side someone when the lane changes happen.

On a more positive note, if that had been on gatso lines rather than a SPECS zone, then things would have been a lot worse, as I'd have a choice of a fixed penalty, a side impact from the Volvo or a rear end impact from the tailgating Audi.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 18:15 
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yep, nothing quite so safe as sticking to a lowly speed and concentrating on ones speedo.....NOT!

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 20:20 
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Lum wrote:
1) If the Volvo driver hadn't had to concentrate on his speedo so much, he would have seen the lane changes marked.
2) If I hadn't had to concentrate on my speed so much, I would have overtaken him faster and not risked being along side someone when the lane changes happen.


not sure you can vouch for point 1... who knows what planet he was on.
maintaining speed once you've set it really isn't very tricky.

we have a similarly entertaining swerve after a bus lane & 'gate' was put in:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... 5&t=k&z=19
sure enough 50/50 people in the LH lane go straight across the markings to the middle lane across the lights and you either make sure you're not overlapping or have been seen and have a nose ahead to prevent carnage... and much gesticulating either way :roll:

mind you... specs enforced roadworks surely are the lesser evil than either no enforcement (assuming active roadworks or reduced safety measures actually require it) or discrete cam enforcement ?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 20:30 
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ed_m wrote:
not sure you can vouch for point 1... who knows what planet he was on.
maintaining speed once you've set it really isn't very tricky.


Well it's always about possibility. He could've been asleep anyway, though it's worth noting that his 940 was in bloody good condition rather than a battered dented tank like most of them are.

ed_m wrote:
mind you... specs enforced roadworks surely are the lesser evil than either no enforcement (assuming active roadworks or reduced safety measures actually require it) or discrete cam enforcement ?


There wasn't a roadworker to be seen, and no I disagree, if it was a gatso then normal observation applies, people see the gatso and hopefully just adjust their speed once if necessary and only the unobservant get caught out. With SPECS it encourages you to be unobservant, because you need to keep your speed in check constantly.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 21:12 
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Does anyone know if the 10% + 2MPH still applies with these?
In other words do they only prosecute if your average is 57MPH plus?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 16:05 
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I was going through some 50mph SPECS roadworks and one the big illuminated signs was saying "Narrow Lanes - For Your Safety" ????????

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 22:49 
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prof beard wrote:
I was going through some 50mph SPECS roadworks and one the big illuminated signs was saying "Narrow Lanes - For Your Safety" ????????


I have seen that sign too. How is less space safer?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 03:38 
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adam.L wrote:
prof beard wrote:
I was going through some 50mph SPECS roadworks and one the big illuminated signs was saying "Narrow Lanes - For Your Safety" ????????
I have seen that sign too. How is less space safer?
Narrow lanes make it easier and more likely for other vehicles to make you feel threatened by their proximity.
Drivers feel crowded and boxed in sooner, and respond by choosing slower speeds sooner than if they were under the impression that they had more 'wiggle' room.
It also tends to lessen the likelihood of lane changes, by much the same mechanism.

Ever driven on the New Jersey Turnpike? The lanes are usually at least twelve feet wide, as opposed to the ten foot lane width most other roads feature. Average speeds are faster, it tends to jam a little later, and unjam a bit sooner than most other major highways, and, from time to time, drivers pass between two other vehicles while straddling both their lanes, if you get my meaning.
After all, you can easily fit three vehicles in the width of two NJT lanes - even three 79" wide Chevy Caprice Classics.

When lanes are narrower than ten feet wide, three motorcycles abreast in two lanes becomes uncomfortable.

Notice that I never said that it makes anything safer. Those who imposed narrow lanes are GUESSING that drivers will behave more safely, out of apprehension.

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The Rules for ALL ROAD USERS:
1) No one gets hurt
2) Nothing gets hit, except to protect others; see Rule#1
3) The Laws of Physics are invincible and immutable - so-called 'laws' of men are not
4) You are always immediately and ultimately responsible for your safety first, then proximately responsible for everyone's
Do not let other road users' mistakes become yours, nor yours become others
5) The rest, including laws of the land, is thoughtful observation, prescience, etiquette, decorum, and cooperation


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 02:41 
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Which is of course less safe as any small lax in concentration and any small mistakes can all lead to an accident - easily.

I agree the perception of danger can concentrate the mind for a short time, but people get bored at the monotony and turn off as a false sense of safety encompasses people. They learn to cope then gain (false) confidence too !

Engineering is a matter of psychology and I can understand street environments, but to deliberately create on a wide road, a narrow one, is questionable.
I can understand that to slow drivers by type of road, changes behaviours but it creates reactive responses too and will have positive and negative effects. That needs to be fully researched, understood and considered very carefully that no other option is better.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 18:35 
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ed_m wrote:
mind you... specs enforced roadworks surely are the lesser evil than either no enforcement (assuming active roadworks or reduced safety measures actually require it) or discrete cam enforcement ?

No.

No, no and no again.

Specs enforcement has more adverse effects than almost any other enforcement, and certainly makes a road more dangerous than no enforcement at all. I could write why for 5 minutes and still be in full flight with all the dangers of SPECS, most of which are subtle but very very real.


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