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Improving our Drivers, Roads, Speed Limits and Enforcement



  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Most of the things that you mention should already be in place. However, we all know that real life is quite different.

    Increased enforcement would be good, I agree. However, just a simple "lock'em up!" strategy won't work. Our society, for better and worse, is totally car-based, especially in a wide swathe of the country away from the coasts. Taking away a person;s mobility will surely remove them from the ability to have even a minimum wage job, further increasing the overall burden to society.

    If we implement these proposals, the driving experience for the rest of us would surely improve, but the overall costs to provide alternate public transport services would be prohibitive. Not doing so would dramtically increase a potential underclass, who simply will not be able to deal with the increased costs and punishments of stricter enforcement. Enough of a disenfranchised underclass, and we would have wider issues with law and order, I fear.

    Please note that I am no bleeding heart liberal. :)
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    I think all young drivers are woefully inadequate, in large part to our lax driver training standards. Your point is well-taken, but why not reduce greatly the need for such remedial action by imposing much higher standards to begin with?
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    Your post about driver training in Germany on the radar board is a good read to get ideas that might be implemented here.

    But, mindset of many American drivers is no doubt different than European drivers. I have always had the sense that many European drivers (generalizing) aprreciate fine handling vehicles and expert drivng skills. American drivers, for the most part, are mainly interested in an appliance with cup holders, a bluetooth, navi and mp3 socket.

    Mindset is perhaps reflected in the motorsports that Europeans follow vs the Americans. They follow Formula One road races and off-road rallye/races while Americans watch cars going around in circles or cars(?) accelerating in a straight line.

    With these mindsets, would Americans balk at having to possess driving skills similar to in Germany? Would they ask why they need anything more than already required to siimply drive down an intersate or surburban road ?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    I am afraid that any efforts to improve driver training standards will so enrage the "cruise control and cellphone and latte down the road" crowd that it will be very difficult to effect any meaningful changes.

    I once read an article about how the German passion for driving contributed to its engineering excellence, not only in the motoring world, but elsewhere as well. Germany is the #1 exporter in the world of high tech eengineered goods, not Japan or the USA for good reason I think.

    (at least it was until last before the proverbial excreta hit the round air circulatory device all around the world) :)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Someone will always slip through the cracks, no matter how intense the training. Those people need to be spotted early. Young driver with multiple at fault accidents in a short reason to be right back on the road.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Most Germans take driving very would take a massive shift in mentality to bring that here, probably not possible. In Germany, yapping on the phone while driving isn't simply illegal, it's a social faux-pas. As with most of Europe, not knowing how to drive a manual is something to be scorned and ridiculed. Appearing incompetent, which seems to be a sport here, isn't smiled upon there. The LLC mentality doesn't exist.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    I think I might like the Germans. I certainly like my 06 Audi A3 built and assembled by the very competent hands and machines at a factory in Germany.

    Maybe I should disown the USA and move there :P. If only I knew the German language.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    The proposed European CVIS system has many features that are also proposed for our own OBD3-GPS, but appears to be far more comprehensive.

    It has much potential, both for good and bad, I think.

    from: x

    Big Brother is watching: surveillance box to track drivers is backed

    Privacy row brewing over surveillance on the road

    Box could reduce accidents, pollution and congestion

    Paul Lewis in Brussels

    The Guardian, Tuesday 31 March 2009

    The government is backing a project to install a "communication box" in new cars to track the whereabouts of drivers anywhere in Europe, the Guardian can reveal.

    Under the proposals, vehicles will emit a constant "heartbeat" revealing their location, speed and direction of travel. The EU officials behind the plan believe it will significantly reduce road accidents, congestion and carbon emissions. A consortium of manufacturers has indicated that the router device could be installed in all new cars as early as 2013.

    However, privacy campaigners warned last night that a European-wide car tracking system would create a system of almost total road surveillance.

    Details of the Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems (CVIS) project, a £36m EU initiative backed by car manufacturers and the telecoms industry, will be unveiled this year.

    But the Guardian has been given unpublished documents detailing the proposed uses for the system. They confirm that it could have profound implications for privacy, enabling cars to be tracked to within a metre - more accurate than current satellite navigation technologies.

    The European commission has asked governments to reserve radio frequency on the 5.9 Gigahertz band, essentially setting aside a universal frequency on which CVIS technology will work.

    The Department for Transport said there were no current plans to make installation of the technology mandatory. However, those involved in the project describe the UK as one of the main "state backers". Transport for London has also hosted trials of the technology.

    The European Data Protection Supervisor will make a formal announcement on the privacy implications of CVIS technology soon. But in a recent speech he said the technology would have "great impact on rights to privacy and data".

    Paul Kompfner, who manages CVIS, said governments would have to decide on privacy safeguards. "It is time to start a debate ... so the right legal and privacy framework can be put in place before the technology reaches the market," he said.

    The system allows cars to "talk" to one another and the road. A "communication box" behind the dashboard ensures that cars send out "heartbeat" messages every 500 milliseconds through mobile cellular and wireless local area networks, short-range microwave or infrared.

    The messages will be picked up by other cars in the vicinity, allowing vehicles to warn each other if they are forced to break hard or swerve to avoid a hazard.

    The data is also picked up by detectors at the roadside and mobile phone towers. That enables the road to communicate with cars, allowing for "intelligent" traffic lights to turn green when cars are approaching or gantries on the motorway to announce changes to speed limits.

    Data will also be sent to "control centres" that manage traffic, enabling a vastly improved system to monitor and even direct vehicles.

    "A traffic controller will know where all vehicles are and even where they are headed," said Kompfner. "That would result in a significant reduction in congestion and replace the need for cameras."

    Although the plan is to initially introduce the technology on a voluntary basis, Kompfner conceded that for the system to work it would need widespread uptake. He envisages governments making the technology mandatory for safety reasons. Any system that tracks cars could also be used for speed enforcement or national road tolling.

    Roads in the UK are already subject to the closest surveillance of any in the world. Police control a database that is fed information from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, and are able to deduce the journeys of as many as 10 million drivers a day. Details are stored for up to five years.

    However, the government has been told that ANPR speed camera technology is "inherently limited" with "numerous shortcomings".

    Advice to ministers obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act advocates upgrading to a more effective car tracking-based system, similar to CVIS technology, but warns such a system could be seen as a "spy in the cab" and "may be regarded as draconian".

    Introducing a more benign technology first, the report by transport consultants argues, would "enable potential adverse public reaction to be better managed".

    Simon Davies, director of the watchdog Privacy International, said: "The problem is not what the data tells the state, but what happens with interlocking information it already has. If you correlate car tracking data with mobile phone data, which can also track people, there is the potential for an almost infallible surveillance system."
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    They just need to implant RFID chips at birth and get it over with. That's the ultimate desire of the globalist surveillance lover.

    Why the sector of society that has done nothing properly in perhaps a century should be trusted with this is beyond compehension.

    "enable potential adverse public reaction to be better managed". = "have mercenaries ready to fire upon the plebes should they become fed up and march against their inept controllers".

    The EU vision of government needs to be sent to a fiery hell.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    There are some misguided and miseducated people proclaiming that because people drive 80 when speed limits are 65, that making the speed limits 85 will make everyone drive 100.

    Those same people probably believe that even though statistics show lengthening yellow lights by just 1 second DRASTICALLY reduces the amount of red-light runners, that if you lengthen yellow lights, people will "learn" and modify their driving practices to adjust for the longer yellow and start running red lights 1 second further into it.

    The truth is that there is no "learning effect" from modifying yellow lights. The NMA has done studies to this affect and it shows that if the yellow is lengthened, it has a significant and PERMANENT effect on safety by reducing red light runners more then cameras or photo enforcement ever could. People do not run red lights or alter their driving because yellows are made to last longer.

    Also, not everyone will be driving 100 MPH just because it is legal to do so. People in general drive a speed that is reasonable and prudent. Mostly, it is frustrated drivers from being behind people going way too slow or holding up traffic that are forced into speeding even more to catch up to their "reasonable and prudent" speed. Having to weave out of the fast lane in order to go a reasonable speed in the slow lane is a big problem. People will learn better lane courtesy through effective strong enforcement of that rule of law saying slower traffic MUST yield to the right.

    The truth is most people will maintain their current freeway speeds whether or not the speed limits are reduced to 55, or increased to 105 from the current standards of either 65 or 70. People don't really CARE what the speed limits are, because they are artificially low, and don't pay any attention to them anyway except to avoid tickets by cops enforcing NON saftey hazards.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    For each stretch of road, speed limits should be determined at the 85th percentile of free flowing traffic, and these limits must be assessed periodically.

    It is as simple as that. With technological improvements, the limits can go up. With dumb drivers content on yapping on their cell phones, the limits can move down.

    However, real life is NOT that simple! :)
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,999
    "The basic speed law in California does not say you are guilty just because you were over the limit as long as your speed was safe and prudent for the conditions. On the other hand, in California if the officer used radar and the prosecution cannot justify the posted limit, the officer violated the law by using an illegal speed trap," said Geo. "

    Fighting the Tickets for Revenue Scam (Straightline)

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    There's a slippery slope though - proving to the judge that your speed in excess of the posted limit was "safe and prudent". Would I want to waste a day of my vacation time from work to pursue that defense? Probably not unless it was going to raise my insurance rates.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,999
    Talk Back Tuesday: Top 10 Differences Between German and American Drivers (Karl on Cars)

    May as well spoil it - you know what the #1 is:



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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Fun article

    In Europe, LLCing is seen as a social taboo rather than a god-given right.

    Lots of well-hidden cops in Germany though, especially in urban areas...they blend in more than those in NA. The speed trap mentality isn't as big, enforcement actually centers around problem areas rather than revenue enhancers.

    The roads are vastly superior, but that's one reason fuel costs twice as much. The US would have to tax fuel similarly to avoid the second world conditions which are quickly approaching :sick:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I think what we will ultimately see is these mileage-based charges for registration renewal be put into effect, while KEEPING the existing fuel tax, thereby raising revenue generation to the point where it is enough to properly maintain the roads.

    I have NO HOPE that there will ever be enough popular support for improving driver training in the U.S. to actually make it happen. LLC will continue to be the norm.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    I can see revenue generation being raised by some kind of mileage scheme...but where the revenues go, I am not so sure. We might all pay more to get the same, or even less. There's a lot of catch-up work to be done before the roads are in a state where they can be maintained to a competent level.

    I agree about the driver training. This is, after all, the land of the lowest common denominator :lemon:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,999
    edited June 2010
    GMAC Insurance Survey Finds 38 Million Drivers Unfit for Roads (Edmunds Daily)

    Green is good; red is bad.


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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I got a 90 on the quiz. Can I keep my license?! :-P

    I am amused to see this is one of the few places that California comes up red. But California drivers being unfit to drive more than the average doesn't surprise me at all.....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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