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[see text] How many times would you check your speedo in the camera area?
5 or more times 13%  13%  [ 12 ]
4 times 20%  20%  [ 19 ]
3 times 37%  37%  [ 35 ]
twice 20%  20%  [ 19 ]
once 11%  11%  [ 10 ]
not at all 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 95
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 21:08 
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Assume the following conditions:

:arrow: Straight single carriageway A road, 50mph speed limit.
:arrow: This camera is positioned 100 yards before a crossroads.
:arrow: The camera is highly visible.
:arrow: Traffic is light, it's dry and daylight.
:arrow: No vehicles are turning or waiting to turn at the crossroads.
:arrow: The "area of the camera" extends from 100 yards before the camera to the cross roads. At 50 mph you will be in this (200 yard) area for just over 8 seconds.
:arrow: The car is registered to you. :)

How many times would you check your speedo in the camera area?

[this poll has no particular expiry date]

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 13:54 
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The results from this poll (incidentally, with a less than impressive 41 responses so far . . .) are interesting, but perhaps not for the reason the respondents expect.

Over a quarter of them claim that, in a 100 yard stretch, they would look at their speedometers 4 or more times. Idiots or what? Any competent driver knows the speed at which they are driving to within a few mph, so it would surely take even the most brain-dead petrol head only one look to check his/her speed? Or am I expecting too much of what I suppose we must reluctantly call their intellects?

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 18:34 
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rcartes wrote:
The results from this poll (incidentally, with a less than impressive 41 responses so far . . .) are interesting, but perhaps not for the reason the respondents expect.


I'm surprised at the small number of responses too. The web site gets about 1,000 visitors each day. The forums get about 100. Of the 100 forum visitors, about 30% are registered users, and about 15% of the registered users actually vote. I don't know what causes this. Perhaps it's partly due to the forums only having been running for a couple of months.

rcartes wrote:
Over a quarter of them claim that, in a 100 yard stretch, they would look at their speedometers 4 or more times. Idiots or what? Any competent driver knows the speed at which they are driving to within a few mph, so it would surely take even the most brain-dead petrol head only one look to check his/her speed? Or am I expecting too much of what I suppose we must reluctantly call their intellects?


Knowing your speed in miles per hour isn't necessary for good driving. I could drive safely for years on end with no speedometer and no reference to speed in miles per hour.

What we are seeing here is the way that real drivers respond to a substantial and immediate threat to 25% of their driving licences. We have to take speed cameras very seriously indeed because for many folk modern life and even employment is entirely dependent on the driving licence.

The nature of enforcement by speed camera is such that there is no room for error - and drivers respond by checking, adjusting and checking again.

I answered three times. I answered three times because that's what I do. I do it because I can't afford not to - I have to be certain.

If it's going to be effective, road safety policy must be based on real behaviour of real road users, not on some imaginary ideal behaviour.

Here we have real behaviour exposing the flaw in policy. It doesn't matter at all if checking the speedo three times is stupid. If that's what divers do, then that's what drivers do. Polcy makers should understand the full effects of their policies and have good evidence that the benefit outweigh the disadvantages. Presently their evidence is absolutely useless and the disadvantages are swamping the potential benefits.

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 21:20 
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rcartes wrote:
Any competent driver knows the speed at which they are driving to within a few mph,


I do know roughly how fast I am driving (more importantly I know how quickly I can stop), but it doesn't harm to double check, before and after.

Or does it......

As Paul says, my livelihood and possibly my life(style) as I know it may be on the line. With something as important as that I can't take the chance that I am wrong, even by a fraction.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 19:02 
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<< they would look at their speedometers 4 or more times. Idiots or what? Any competent driver knows the speed at which they are driving to within a few mph,>>

Situaction:

Just come off a motorway, steady 70 mph for an hour.

Onto a 40 MPH limit with cameras.

If you think for one moment you can estimate your speed within 2 mph, you live in dreamland.

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 13:49 
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rcartes wrote:
Or am I expecting too much of what I suppose we must reluctantly call their intellects?


Yes, you are expecting too much. People habitually drive above the limit. When they see the camera coming up, they have to use thier brains to lower their speed. After a few seconds the old habit returns and drives the speed up a bit to thier accustomed level of law breaking!

If they habitually drove at or lower than the limit, they would not have this problem. As more and more get punished, they will habitually lower thier speed, and not have this problem - that's the theory anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 19:08 
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On my daily commute I pass 4 cameras, 3 one way and 1 the other. I am confident that I know my speed is legal long before I reach each camera, but I still have to make a conscious effort to not check my speedo just before the markings and again while in the 'camera zone'. I definitely think this is part of the problem with cameras. The threat to my driving licence or even the threat of increased insurance costs is in the back of my mind each time I pass one, so of course I'm going to be tempted to check my speedo just to be sure.


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 10:54 
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Ok, let's do some maths.

Daily route: 3 cameras out, 2 back; sometimes do this route twice a day, let's say 2 days a week. 52 weeks in the year, 5 working days a week -- ignore hols as often drive same route at weekends, so assume they cancel each other out. With the totting up system, points count for 3 years.

Therefore, for this route alone, we have a ball park figure of 5460 camera passes in 3 a year period -- and I only have to slip up 4 times to lose my licence! Hell yeah, I'm gonna look at my speedo; even when I know I'm not speeding -- I am going to check -- I can't afford not to.


Kaz :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 13:17 
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rcartes wrote:
Idiots or what? Any competent driver knows the speed at which they are driving to within a few mph,


How about this analogy.

I am driving along the motorway, I have been very observant as usual and I know for a fact there is nothing in my "blind spot". I want to change lanes.

Using your logic I don't need to check before moving out?


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 17:47 
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Well, in the case of speed the actual numerical value doesn't matter enough for you to risk checking it in a dangerous area - you can see from looking straight ahead if you're travelling at a safe speed; it's just harder to tell if you're travelling within the speed limit. In the case of the motorway, though, it is absolutely imperative that you know for certain that nothing is in your blind spot, and so you must make the effort to check it beforehand. I think you're comparing two things that shouldn't really be compared, Homer.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 08:43 
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mike[F] wrote:
you can see from looking straight ahead if you're travelling at a safe speed


This link shows the general way that people overestimate thier abilities - it explains a lot of the muddle people get into on this issue.

The link is http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb03/overestimate.html

Many drivers overestimate how good they drive and how safe thier speed is; only when they end up in casualty do they realise!

Quote:

David Dunning wrote:
The tendency that people have to overrate their abilities fascinates Cornell University social psychologist David Dunning, PhD. "People overestimate themselves," he says, "but more than that, they really seem to believe it. I've been trying to figure out where that certainty of belief comes from."

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 17:03 
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So knowing their numerical speed will help with that?

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 18:11 
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basingwerk wrote:
This link shows the general way that people overestimate thier abilities - it explains a lot of the muddle people get into on this issue.

The link is http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb03/overestimate.html

Many drivers overestimate how good they drive and how safe thier speed is; only when they end up in casualty do they realise!


There's a valuable point in considering how drivers estimate their abiliities, and there's an opportunity to improve road safety by better appriasal and better advice to drivers about the dangers of mis-estimation.

But to suggest that this justifies a speed limit - AT ALL - is plain absurd. You'll be telling me next that 30mph is safe.

Your argument appears similar to giving the windows a really good clean because you don't like the view. IT ISN'T THE WINDOW'S FAULT.

30mph is a deadly speed. Let alone 70mph. The vast majority of accidents take place within the speed limit. What about those?

This may amuse some:

David Dunning wrote:
Some critics have faulted Dunning's work for methodological problems, saying that it overstates the degree to which people overestimate their abilities. For example, in a 2002 article in Personality and Individual Differences (Vol. 33, No. 4), Georgia Institute of Technology psychologist Phillip Ackerman, PhD, and colleagues assert that Dunning fails to account for "regression to the mean," a statistical phenomenon which finds that if people are on the low end of a distribution, they will naturally rank themselves higher simply because their perceptions of ability aren't correlated with actual ability.

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 23:28 
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well i do check my speedo!
why do i check it? well i know speedo's dont read the correct speed of the car, no one ever checks them and a simple change of tyres could well be putting me over the limit by 2 or 3 mph
but thats all it takes!

what with the speed cameras and the fuel prices it is becoming more profitable to sit at home and draw unemployment benifit!
tony


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 09:09 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
There's a valuable point in considering how drivers estimate their abilities, and there's an opportunity to improve road safety by better appraisal and better advice to drivers about the dangers of mis-estimation.


But what about aggressive drivers who couldn't give a hoot about all that hogwash? Easy answer - put in speed limits, fine them heavily and forget about the fancy ideas.

SafeSpeed wrote:
But to suggest that this justifies a speed limit - AT ALL - is plain absurd. You'll be telling me next that 30mph is safe. Your argument appears similar to giving the windows a really good clean because you don't like the view. IT ISN'T THE WINDOW'S FAULT.


I don't think 30 mph is safe, so we agree about that. I should be 15 mph near schools and 25 mph near houses. You could be right, in which case you will win out in the long term, but this is a political issue, and we are living with the effects of choices made years ago.

And while we are amusing each other:

Alan Jones wrote:
Dear Mr. Smith, I refer to your correspondence … addressed to the Chief Constable ... If it is your wish to challenge the statistical findings of the professor who independently carried out the research, we can arrange for you to debate the issues directly with him.


This is a habit - do you over-estimate your own abilities to rebut experts!

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 14:58 
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basingwerk wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
There's a valuable point in considering how drivers estimate their abilities, and there's an opportunity to improve road safety by better appraisal and better advice to drivers about the dangers of mis-estimation.


But what about aggressive drivers who couldn't give a hoot about all that hogwash? Easy answer - put in speed limits, fine them heavily and forget about the fancy ideas.


As I mentioned elsewhere, there's nothjing wrong with speed limits. But never make the mistake of thinking that cameras are identifying aggressive drivers. Quite the opposite appears to be the case. Try this:

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

basingwerk wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
But to suggest that this justifies a speed limit - AT ALL - is plain absurd. You'll be telling me next that 30mph is safe. Your argument appears similar to giving the windows a really good clean because you don't like the view. IT ISN'T THE WINDOW'S FAULT.


I don't think 30 mph is safe, so we agree about that. I should be 15 mph near schools and 25 mph near houses. You could be right, in which case you will win out in the long term, but this is a political issue, and we are living with the effects of choices made years ago.


It's what's really happening on the road and how we want to change it that matters. At 30mph impact 50% of pedestrians die. But the proportion of pedestrians who do die is tiny. We need to make more - much more - of the factors that affect impact speed. free travelling speed is almost irrelevant:

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

basingwerk wrote:
And while we are amusing each other:

Alan Jones wrote:
Dear Mr. Smith, I refer to your correspondence ? addressed to the Chief Constable ... If it is your wish to challenge the statistical findings of the professor who independently carried out the research, we can arrange for you to debate the issues directly with him.


This is a habit - do you over-estimate your own abilities to rebut experts!


I proved the Professor concerned to be a liar, an incompetent, a charlatan or a whore. He had to admit his errors on Radio 4. So far I have literally not lost any such "test". See:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/heydecker.html
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/moreorless.html
audio recording: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/moreorless.mp3 (4.5MB)

Incidentally, I replied to Sgt Jones accepting his offer, but the Professor declined. It was only later that I conspired with Radio 4 to catch him out.

See: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/brunstrom3.html

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 18:01 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
As I mentioned elsewhere, there's nothjing wrong with speed limits. But never make the mistake of thinking that cameras are identifying aggressive drivers. Quite the opposite appears to be the case. Try this:

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

These drivers they would be fine is they learned to obey the speed limits (and there is nothing wrong with them).

SafeSpeed wrote:
It's what's really happening on the road and how we want to change it that matters. At 30mph impact 50% of pedestrians die. But the proportion of pedestrians who do die is tiny. We need to make more - much more - of the factors that affect impact speed. free travelling speed is almost irrelevant:

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

I've said this before elsewhere - driver education is laudable, but there is a large hardcore of 'thumb in bum, mind in neutral' drivers on our roads who are learning the hard way that the speed limit is a hard limit.

SafeSpeed wrote:
I proved the Professor concerned to be a liar, an incompetent, a charlatan or a whore. He had to admit his errors on Radio 4. So far I have literally not lost any such "test". See:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/heydecker.html
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/moreorless.html
audio recording: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/moreorless.mp3 (4.5MB)

Incidentally, I replied to Sgt Jones accepting his offer, but the Professor declined. It was only later that I conspired with Radio 4 to catch him out.

See: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/brunstrom3.html


You seem enjoy your handiwork. I hope you are right. If you are wrong, you will have more than your fair share of responsibility for the "proportion of pedestrians who do die".

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:15 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The forums get about 100. Of the 100 forum visitors, about 30% are registered users, and about 15% of the registered users actually vote. I don't know what causes this. Perhaps it's partly due to the forums only having been running for a couple of months.


Or perhaps it's because you force your viewing public to go through the process of creating an account, validating their email address and then logging in to your board to help you.

Many of the people who vote on your poll who feel very passionately about it will register, vote, and then never come here again. Many will just not vote at all, because they can't be bothered to register.

I fell into the last category, but decided to register just so that I can share this point with you.

Also, people registering "throwaway" accounts means that you're going to have a lot of accounts where people only post one or two messages and then nothing more.

Think about it -- anonymous voting isn't such a bad thing, and neither is anonymous posting if you have energetic moderators that are looking after your forum for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:26 
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jola wrote:
Or perhaps it's because you force your viewing public to go through the process of creating an account, validating their email address and then logging in to your board to help you.


Yes, I'm sure you're right about this - to a large extent you're echoing my own thoughts. Thanks for taking the trouble to join up and post.

If these polls were central to the objectives of the web site or the campaign, I would clearly be well advised to find and install more flexible software. I can't simply allow anonymous voting in polls because anyone with an axe to grind could simply vote as many times as they wished (with present software). But the polls are not central to the objectives (and if they were, I'd still have a self selected sample and prove nothing) and although the software is compromised in terms of user friendlyness, I still think the results are interesting. I don't suppose the results would be more accurate with better software, although it is a possibility. On this basis, I haven't yet considered it worthy of my time to find and install different software.

It is possible for people to post anonynous forum messages, and although it leads to a lot of pretty pointless sniping, I think it's well worth it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:47 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Thanks for taking the trouble to join up and post.


I'm glad I did -- I've been reading through the forums since I wrote this and you all are a very well thought-out bunch of people who want to make the roads a better place.

I salute you all. :)

(Apart from people like Law Abiding Motorist and Another Guest, which brings me onto my next point...)

SafeSpeed wrote:
It is possible for people to post anonynous forum messages, and although it leads to a lot of pretty pointless sniping, I think it's well worth it.


I'm a moderator on another forum that has been building up slowly for about a year now (to do with next-generation mobile phones) and we allow anonymous submissions to all forums, and we find that the best way to tackle anonymous submissions is not to delete them, but to move them to the "off-topic" forum where, if they wish, they can carry on their discussion. We still regularly get asked why we allow anonymous submissions, but we find that the anonymous submissions (across all forums) work well for when people just want to share their 2p and don't get deterred by having to register, validate, and log in.

But yes, I know the reasons why you've made it registered-only. I'd do the same; it's easier, requires less policing and holds people accountable for their actions.

Anyway, you're in my bookmarks now, so I'll pop in when I get a chance in future, but I'd definitely advise either finding and installing or creating software that tracks votes by cookie and IP. It's not foolproof, but it's better than registering and validating.

:)

Cheers,

jola


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