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Have you eaten a sandwich while driving?
Yes, I have and I expect to do it again 70%  70%  [ 45 ]
No, I never have and never will 16%  16%  [ 10 ]
I have in the past, but I won't in the future 13%  13%  [ 8 ]
I never have, but I might in the future 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 64
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 14:29 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
In Germany, the car park attendant TRUSTED ME to have a good reason and waved me through with a smile.


Did he? Were you driving a hirecar or a UK registered one? In the case of the latter he might just have decided it was the easier option than trying to engage in a conversation with a foreigner. On the other hand, if he thought he was dealing with a fellow national, you appear to be asking why his UK equivalent can't act with similar discretion.

So, let me tell you another anecdote then, when I was acting as a carpark attendant myself.

Every year RAF Cosford runs an airshow, its the biggest event in the local area and is often a lockout because there simply isn't enough space to accomodate all the cars that want to park. I did carparking duties two years running, the cars were arranged in double rows in the standard format for such events.
We were warned that people would try to occupy a double row to themselves so that they could lay their picnic stuff out behind their car. We were to explain that there just wasn't enough room, our instructions were to fit as many vehicles in as possible and that a seperate picnic area was provided nearby.
After politely explaining this for the umpteenth time my patience with the selfish, bloody-minded British public hit an all time low. I had my name taken on more than one occaision by arrogant pricks who thought that, whilst the rule was fine on the whole, it obviously should not apply to them. By the end, I was so sick of people having a go at me I'll admit I probably overlooked a couple of instances where I could have given the request a bit more thought but all the whingers had worn me out so the others suffered.

So, I'd wager a UK counterpart to your pleasant German carpark attendant (or someone carrying out any other such job) would have their aimiable demeanour ground down by having to routinely deal with ignorant people and his ability to sift out the genuine cases worthy of waiving the rules for, would be minimal if not zero.

We get the society we deserve Paul and we are over-run with selfish, ignorant piss-takers who try the patience of authority and make the whole system a pain in the butt for the everyone.
Now, if we could weed those out I'd be more open to the idea that we should trust people to get on with things as they see fit. But unfortunately, the more inches you give them, the more miles they take.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 16:16 
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BB - you are not alone.

Then again I am also, at times, strongly drawn to Rigpig's view below.

Rigpig wrote:
We get the society we deserve Paul and we are over-run with selfish, ignorant piss-takers who try the patience of authority and make the whole system a pain in the butt for the everyone.
Now, if we could weed those out I'd be more open to the idea that we should trust people to get on with things as they see fit. But unfortunately, the more inches you give them, the more miles they take.


I have a feeling that members of Brake think about us (SafeSpeeders) in pretty much Rigpig's terms.

Rules can be initially useful for people with little experience and possibly useful in the long term for people of little intellect or of a less motivated disposition. I am not being elitist just trying to express that rules can be modified and experience/skill is an appropriate tool to do so.

Not eating in the car makes a good rule but a bad law, what is wrong with DWDC&A? The key being due care, it may be difficult to enforce but so are laws against theft and we do not see laws specifically about stealing televisions as opposed to jewellery based on the fact that jewellery is easier to hide.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 19:27 
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toltec wrote:
Not eating in the car makes a good rule but a bad law, what is wrong with DWDC&A? The key being due care, it may be difficult to enforce but so are laws against theft and we do not see laws specifically about stealing televisions as opposed to jewellery based on the fact that jewellery is easier to hide.

Indeed, and I don't think anyone is arguing that eating in the car should be made a specific offence. But it remains sound advice that in general it's a bad idea and likely to cause distraction, and I am concerned that some here seem to think that except in rare circumstances it's OK.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 19:48 
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PeterE wrote:
.......... eating in the car ......... it's a bad idea and likely to cause distraction, and I am concerned that some here seem to think that except in rare circumstances it's OK.


This has been one of the 'great' threads and everyone has made excellent and relevant points.

The thing I struggle to understand is the implication that we spend much of our time at, or near, full capacity as far as risk management is concerned.

I don't believe it!

If that were true, how could we manage to navigate in an unfamiliar town? Looking for directions is not, strictly speaking, part of driving. We can't chose when to look at signposts.

It sounds sanctimonious, but if anyone wants to raise capacity for risk management - ride a high-performance motorcycle. :yikes:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 20:00 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
The thing I struggle to understand is the implication that we spend much of our time at, or near, full capacity as far as risk management is concerned.

I don't believe it!


I'm with you there.

Now I'm thinking about how the risk level changes over time. The dogmatic road safety view clearly imagines that risk jumps from near zero to near max 'when someone pulls in front of you'.

But the real world is going to be very different with much more gradual rates of change of risk. That's how we routinely find ourselves with time to react. As risk tends to rise we tend to increase space and reduce speed to restore risk levels.

Of course if we aren't paying attention then sometimes we'll suddenly notice a risk and our perception might be that risk rose very quickly. But you have to be a bit of a bad driver for that to happen very often. So there's a fair chance that our (society's) dogmatic risk model has been falsely defined by the experience of bad drivers...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 20:44 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
The thing I struggle to understand is the implication that we spend much of our time at, or near, full capacity as far as risk management is concerned.


I'm certainly not implying that at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 21:20 
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Rigpig wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
The thing I struggle to understand is the implication that we spend much of our time at, or near, full capacity as far as risk management is concerned.


I'm certainly not implying that at all.



Well, we have those that think driving should only consist of driving functions, and those that believe we can safely handle other activities.

The truth is, we all safely do loads of things not directly connected with driving.

If eating a sandwich is too big a risk to add on, then the implication is that our capacity to manage risks will be stretched too far.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 21:35 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
If eating a sandwich is too big a risk to add on, then the implication is that our capacity to manage risks will be stretched too far.


This is what I'm saying, I think you'll find it is quite different to the implying that sarnie eating is too big a risk.

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewt ... 130#129130

After the second quote.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 23:13 
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Rigpig wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
In Germany, the car park attendant TRUSTED ME to have a good reason and waved me through with a smile.


Did he? Were you driving a hirecar or a UK registered one? In the case of the latter he might just have decided it was the easier option than trying to engage in a conversation with a foreigner. On the other hand, if he thought he was dealing with a fellow national, you appear to be asking why his UK equivalent can't act with similar discretion.


I've managed to deduce I was driving my own car with UK reg. I'd flown out, hired a car, then flown back to pick up equipment and driven out the second time. Since I had the kit in the boot, it must have been my own car.


Rigpig wrote:
[...]
We get the society we deserve Paul and we are over-run with selfish, ignorant piss-takers who try the patience of authority and make the whole system a pain in the butt for the everyone.
Now, if we could weed those out I'd be more open to the idea that we should trust people to get on with things as they see fit. But unfortunately, the more inches you give them, the more miles they take.


That's a 'reap what you sow' situation to me. I don't understand why you don't see society as, in large part, a product of its governance. What else could it be a product of? (Serious question!)

And if it's getting worse - which it is - there's only one place to point the finger.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 23:57 
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Rigpig wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
If eating a sandwich is too big a risk to add on, then the implication is that our capacity to manage risks will be stretched too far.


This is what I'm saying, I think you'll find it is quite different to the implying that sarnie eating is too big a risk.

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewt ... 130#129130

After the second quote.


I have read all your posts with great interest, but I didn't quote from, or refer to you in my initial offering.

I used a quote from PeterE as an example of where I felt the implication was present. Whilst I know eating may be a distraction, I believe the degree of risk is highly over-rated for the reasons I have given.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 00:04 
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Rigpig wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
If eating a sandwich is too big a risk to add on, then the implication is that our capacity to manage risks will be stretched too far.


This is what I'm saying, I think you'll find it is quite different to the implying that sarnie eating is too big a risk.

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewt ... 130#129130

After the second quote.

I'm still not satisfied with the QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS bit.

Millions of drivers add a little to their driving risk daily by using an in-car music system.
Should we ban them?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 00:11 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
I used a quote from PeterE as an example of where I felt the implication was present. Whilst I know eating may be a distraction, I believe the degree of risk is highly over-rated for the reasons I have given.

Well, I don't think I said that either.

I have certainly never said or implied "that we spend much of our time at, or near, full capacity as far as risk management is concerned."

However, when driving, the amount of capacity required can vary significantly within a short space of time, and unpredictably. Therefore, in my view, it is not a good idea to do things such as eating a burger which involve a continuous physical distraction. I can only see that as being reasonable in very predictable, low-risk, quiet situations which might occur on desert roads in New Mexico but not usually in the UK. If you do need to do brief but potentially distracting tasks such as retuning the radio then it makes sense to do them at moments of relatively low risk.

And, while I am well aware that hard cases make bad law, this chap obviously thought he could cope with a distracting activity but was proved wrong with fatal results:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1490329.stm

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 00:23 
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PeterE wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
I used a quote from PeterE as an example of where I felt the implication was present. Whilst I know eating may be a distraction, I believe the degree of risk is highly over-rated for the reasons I have given.

Well, I don't think I said that either.

I have certainly never said or implied "that we spend much of our time at, or near, full capacity as far as risk management is concerned."


Fair enough, but it's my interpretation of why eating should be considered a high-risk activity. If we can't manage the extra risk we must be close to high capacity. I simply don't believe that situation exists, except very rarely.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 01:39 
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Like Scanny- i'm one of the 69% - it's called a motorway lunch.sarny in one hand, wheel in other - you take a bite, place sarnie back in box and keep on driving. In my case usually done around 2 am.
Locally i see taxi drivers with mike in hand /police pandas with radio in hand- i've been there ,and got the t shirt - so where does that place me - sitting on the motorway, folowing mr pratt in middle lane - weaving all over with two hands (and no brain ) on wheel.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:08 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
That's a 'reap what you sow' situation to me. I don't understand why you don't see society as, in large part, a product of its governance. What else could it be a product of? (Serious question!)


I could answer that. I could point to cultural influences, the consumer society, media and celebrity influences. But I won't. I could also point out that I have an unanswered question about repsonibility still hanging from a page or so back. But I won't bother with that either.
All we ever do in these discussions is steer our way around the points the other brings up and address them in a way that fits our own view of the topic. You'd answer my question in a way that fits your perspective, and I'd answer yours in a way that fits mine. Eventually we loop back to the start with nobody having budged an inch, but thats people for you. If we were all the same it would be a bloody boring world :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 13:27 
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Rigpig wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
That's a 'reap what you sow' situation to me. I don't understand why you don't see society as, in large part, a product of its governance. What else could it be a product of? (Serious question!)


I could answer that. I could point to cultural influences, the consumer society, media and celebrity influences. But I won't. I could also point out that I have an unanswered question about repsonibility still hanging from a page or so back. But I won't bother with that either.
All we ever do in these discussions is steer our way around the points the other brings up and address them in a way that fits our own view of the topic. You'd answer my question in a way that fits your perspective, and I'd answer yours in a way that fits mine. Eventually we loop back to the start with nobody having budged an inch, but thats people for you. If we were all the same it would be a bloody boring world :lol:


I reckon it's you causing the trouble... :)

Seriously, yes, cultural, media and celebrity influence. BUT if those things are causing (let's say) serious social problems then they immediately become a proper issue for governance.

The one thing we cannot do is 'blame the people for not being perfect' (for whatever definition of 'perfect' suits).

This is looking a bit like the old Conservative / Labour arguments. Labour said you can't create wealth without workers. The Conservatives said you can't create wealth without management.

I always had the Conservative leaning thinking that workers need factories, but the workers wouldn't inspire the factories - only well motivated management could make the factories in the first place, so in my view the management drive wealth creation.

Looping back, I hold goverance (in the broad sense) responsible for social change.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 14:33 
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I think the poll needs more options. I would only eat something that I can grab and put into my mouth without the slightest distraction or fumbling, such as a malteser or a crisp. This is completely safe. Eating something like a large sandwich is ludicrous when moving, but may be safe when stopped at a red light. It's just to complex to reduce it down to a black and white rule.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 14:43 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Looping back, I hold goverance (in the broad sense) responsible for social change.


And yet if government tries to intervene, it gets accused of creating a nanny state.

Probably the most obvious example of government influce is the Thatcher years. Her mantra was for people to look after themselves, to own their own homes and rely less on the state. She gave people what they wanted, put money in their pockets, and it worked.
Well to a certain extent because the legacy she left is an undercurrent of greed and selfishness that lingers on today. So, you cannot always give people what they want without affecting the system in another way.


Last edited by Rigpig on Sat Mar 17, 2007 15:17, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 15:04 
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Zamzara wrote:
Eating something like a large sandwich is ludicrous when moving, but may be safe when stopped at a red light.

Indeed, but some people here seem to be saying that eating a sandwich or burger when on the move is entirely reasonable behaviour provided it's not in an especially risky location.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 15:23 
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Zamzara wrote:
I think the poll needs more options. I would only eat something that I can grab and put into my mouth without the slightest distraction or fumbling, such as a malteser or a crisp. This is completely safe. Eating something like a large sandwich is ludicrous when moving, but may be safe when stopped at a red light. It's just to complex to reduce it down to a black and white rule.


The poll was designed to link a recent news story with a potential hard and fast rule. I placed it in the past tense ("have you ever eaten a sandwich while driving") to try and eliminate subjective judgements about what one might do. I'm quite pleased with it really, and it was carefully crafted.

<some other poll> might illuminate further questions. If you think a vital point is being missed, then let's have another poll.

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