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 Post subject: Yet Another Problem
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 05:09 
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This topic relates to the Safe Speed page: "Yet Another Problem".

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/problem2.html

The Safe Speed page explores the bizarre proposition that reduced speed limits and higher levels of enforcement might lead to less time for drivers to react.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 09:58 
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Good points, In addition I believe that slower speeds cause drivers to travel closer together which further limits their view. There is a dual carriageway near me that I travel regularly. The limit was reduced from national to 50. Here drivers generally travel at 70ish mph until they reach the inevitable camera where they will brake - often to 45. However at this point the cars will bunch up closer together and often maintain this closeness as they accelerate back up to 70+. It is possible to see drivers becoming frustrated or angry, this doesn't help road safety.

The other problem I have seen is on single carriageway A-roads, many that have had new speed limits put in past houses. Often drivers will travel at 45 through a 'village' (40 or 30limit) and continue at 45 through the next national section. Quickly a queue will build up behind but at 45 and the gaps between cars will be small - too small to safely overtake into. Most drivers wont overtake (Speed Kills). This leads to other drivers overtaking 5, 6 or more cars in one go and a much longer TED (time exposed to danger). Again I am sure that frustration and anger will be involved, a real negative for safer roads.

Tony

Spin Kills


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:44 
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Location: Hyde, UK
Tony, I think you're absolutely right about the bunching, and think that this is the MAIN problem with slowing traffic below a naturally safe speed.

It's evident anywhere that the limit is lower than necessary, where there are cameras, and where one driver chooses to drive too slowly for the conditions.

It is also very dangerous, and I believe is a danger factor caused DIRECTLY by the craze for speed reduction and cameras.

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Jim Brooks
Hyde, UK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 02:27 
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Location: The North
On the question of learning to look further ahead, perhaps it is related to
geometry and the rate at which our visual system can acquire a stable image.

If one looks sideways out of a car or train window, close objects appear
blurred because they whizz across ones field of view too quickly for the
eye to follow or the brain to process. Further out objects appear more
stationary as the angle change per second is reduced even though
of course the displacement change per second is the same.

When driving we see a range of objects both directly ahead and to the
side of the road: road signs, junctions, other cars etc. Suppose at a given
speed there is some minimum distance (regardless of stopping distances
etc) where all this information can comfortably be absorbed. At higher
speeds this point would move further out. A driver accustomed to travelling
at higher speeds may become used to looking further ahead and continue
to do so under all conditions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 00:28 
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Hmmm! For the debate! Some musings!

Also trying to incorporate some of the musings from around rest of the clan as well. So to my boss if you are reading this - NOT ME - GUV!

Gonna get some stick from the the gang but .................. have to say it!

UK952 - not heard of saying "Only A Fool Breaks The Two-Second Rule" It applies at lower speed just as much as at higher speed :wink:
Ignoring it causes the bunching you describe! That is why accidents can happen at lower speeds as well as at high speeds. It is part of the looking ahead. I f you are bunched, too close to cars in fron - your overall vision is impaired! And so is your reaction time to the hazard.

"Gaps will be too small in line of traffic at 45mph?" Again two-second rule. If you leave the space - you have the better line of vision to negotiate the "TED" for any overtakes. And ideally if you all allowed the Space - you would have the space to get in lane - to allow for oncoming traffic :roll: . Called COAST (Concentration, Observation, Anticipation, Space and Time) . Should be applied whatever speed you blinking well drive at!

Also this braking to unnecessary low speed smacks of poor observation skills and autopilot syndrome. Braking to 45mph to be sure of speed limit suggests that you have not noticed a speed limit lollipop. They are plainly visible - you know big round things - usually in pairs! :roll: Same applies to the muppets who drive 45mph through the village and continue doing so into NSL zone.

That is one part of the equation - and cannot be ignored. The question really is:

Is it that they just do not notice because they are driving at too low (or too high in some cases) a speed to concentrate - or because they are on autopilot? Personally - go with "autopilot" as too many of you lot are complete numpties!

Now the WildCat on PH has ranted off somewhere about the Pavlov dog effect - she suggested to a BiB on PH that perhaps drivers are training themselves to brake immediately on sight of speed camera - "and as rule of thumb - make sure it is 30mph - cos it usually is!" :roll: That a valid point? Perhaps - because of the general tendency towards numpty behaviour! :wink:

But she could be on right track here - when we began to think more seriously about that off the cuff post of hers on "the other channel." The constant conditioning and mantra of "Speed Kills" and fear of the penalty points from a missed Gatso could just be making some drivers focus on the hazard of the yellow box and not the fuller picture. In other words instead of looking farther ahead for all hazards - they could just be concentrating on looking for just the one closer to home! (Back to the old Speedo gawp argument- Paulie! :wink: )

(By the way - seen the "Soap Box" column in "Autocar" - On about driver distractions - and mobile phones - still number one spot followed by "totty" in second!) Funnily enough the speed camera and traffic signs were classed as distractions by many of those polled! :roll:

Oooh a great read! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 02:36 
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I agree with the proposition about lower enforced speeds inhibiting learning the 'look ahead' skills, but the following will also decrease the 'look ahead' time for real hazards:
1) Rigid enforcement of speed limits cause attention to be diverted from looking for driving hazards to looking for speed cameras/ Talivans and speed limit changes with obscured signs, and to speedo watching.
2) Blanket speed limits discredit those that actually indicate a hazard, thus people never learn to recognise and so anticipate real hazards.
3) Driving at a 'natural' speed will fully occupy your attention, hence keeping you fully alert. When crawling at an enforced lower speed, your attention wanders, boredom sets in ( this is recognised by the aviation industry as 'BILOC', or Boredom Induced Loss Of Consciousness - i.e. falling asleep on the job! Being fully occupied with driving will discourage you from indulging in other distracting activities , e.g. Mobile phone/ texting, talking with passengers etc.
[/quote]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 04:36 
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Location: Victoria, Australia
The post I made from New Zealand supports this proposition in terms of the final effect (deaths & injuries).

The graph shows clearly that since the introduction of rigid enforcement deaths have shown a genuine increase and injuries have increased dramatically.

Other than the rigid enforcement directive there appears to be no other causal factor that could lead to such a dramatic increase.

It follows from Paul’s graph that the effect of this rigid enforcement could in fact be having all of the effects documented in his post.

The other post I made today about the woman who used the fact that she was under the speed limit and therefore was daydreaming and not looking ahead as a defence for the charges laid over a pedestrian death. She simply did not see the pedestrian.

The current political message screams "drive under the speed limit and you are safer" with the spin-off message, although unsaid, "drive under the speed limit and you do not need to worry about concentrating on the road because you are safe!".

All of the effects proposed are obviously happening NOW but the politicians are too focused on the revenue to see what is happening right in front of them.

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Ross

Yes I'm a hoon, but only on the track!!!!


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 Post subject: 20 mph High Street
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 22:28 
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Location: Essex
Not sure ifthis is the best place for this - Paul, feel free to relocate.

Yersterday we visited a place that took us via Colchester High Street. This used to be a busy 30 zone, but is now a busy 20 zone.

I do not remember it as a difficult road for either motorists or pedestrians from when I last drove it and walked it (a few years ago). However, yesterday, no fewer than FOUR people on separate spaces on the road, crossed betyween the car in front of me and me, forcing me to brake on one occasion (but causing a foot up - left - about-to-go-down - no need - right - down gently movement on the other three). They didn't do this to others as I was the only one that I could see (fore and aft) leaving a sensible gap. I was not drawn to closing order - although I daresay if others were regular users of the road, their motive for the tailgating was to avoid the possible pedestrian front-on collision.

Not sure how much, if at all, the 20mph limit is causing this pedestrian bravado - and in truth I doubt the traffic would have been going any quicker than the (almost exactly) 20 mph that it was doing, given the crowded nature of the plavements. However, there is no doubt that something is encouraging this daredevel crossing of the road - four in different places is too coincidental. There are pelican crossings and a zebra too I think. These incidents all occurred well away from the crossings.


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 13:17 
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I have been driving for the last 35 years and until last year fortunately never received a NIP. Since getting this I feel that my driving is worse. I used to look fairly far ahead up the road and along the footpath now I am looking much closer to the front of the car than I used to, I do still look ahead but then worry about missing that speed trap or the talivan. I also find that I am frequently looking at my speedo which distracts me from looking at what is going on around me. I do not speed and try to keep within the limits. However, driving is now laborious and I feel that instead of maintaining a safe speed, I know when it needs less than 20mph and when it is safe to do 30, 40, that good judgement is replaced by a feeling of uncertainty that something/someone is just waiting to slap the next 3 points and £60 fine on me.

COAST is far more safe than looking at my speedo every few minutes to check I'm not going to get a NIP.


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