Improving our Drivers, Roads, Speed Limits and Enforcement

vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
I believe that there are several issues involved in improving our highway network. I would like to discuss ways to improve:

1. Driver training and standards

2. Road engineering and funding

3. Speed limits and proper applicability

4. Enforcement of all laws to improve safety and compliance

all together in this forum.

Please note that there might be some overlap with some already existing boards but I think that one forum to deal with these inter-related issues in a POSITIVE manner to IMPROVE the aspects under discussion might be appropriate.

Please also note that merely describing what is presently wrong is NOT enough. There must be a definite effort with implementable suggestions to IMPROVE whatever aspect you might think need improving, and the proposed solutions must be relevant to the USA.

I look forward to a positive and productive dicussion with my fellow forum members. If this board dies because of a lack of participation, then that will teach me something important as well. :)


  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,234
    People seem to have short term memories when it comes to following the rules we already have in place. So, I would re-test everyone when they go in to renew their driver lisence. It would be an easy 10-15 minute test, (They could take it while waiting on their mug shot to be developed), that would focus on education and reinforcing using signals, coming to complete stop, not passing on double stripped lines, not driving while drunk or distracted i.e on a cell phone, etc etc. I estimate my proposal to save at least 200 lives a year, with a reduction of bodily injury cases in the thousands.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    That is a good idea about retesting every licence renewal. However, not all DVLA/DMV offices have an area where people could take their road re-test, so it would mean an extra step at a place somewhere else, adding to the hassle and costs. Also, the "mug shots" are now mostly taken digitally, so there is practically no delay.

    If the same people who administer the routine initial tests also administer these additional re-tests, how would that improve everyday driving standards? This would increase their workload manifold and increase wait times for new drivers to take their test.

    Would these trade-offs be acceptable?

    If the re-test is to be written only, how would this compare to the 4 hour "driver safety" course that is already available that gives a 20% insurance discount? Maybe this course should be made compulsory with the insurance companies' support?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Driving training is a JOKE in this country.

    Here's what I would do to improve it:

    Create TWO DIFFERENT driving courses for new drivers.

    Course 1 would be basic road rules, driver training, basically what we have now - but I would double or triple the written content, and increase the length of the road test - actually splitting it into 5 days of testing per student - and no one would pass without doing ALL of it well.

    Course #2 would be completely focusing on SAFETY and DRIVER COURTESY.

    Train young drivers about how to be courteous on the road. Show them graphic, disturbing videos of car crashes and dead people in cars. Take them to the hospital and let them see REAL dead bodies from car crashes, to impress upon them how their actions affect other people and themselves.

    Make sure that stressing BLINKER USAGE, STOPPING COMPLETELY AT STOP SIGNS ( no "California stops" tolerated ), stress to them that when they see a yellow light ahead to START SLOWING DOWN AND PREPARE TO STOP instead of speeding up to make the light.

    I would spend a whole half-day on the importance of not running red lights, not tailgating, and how to avoid becoming a road-rager.

    I would teach them that even in a parking lot, people want to know which way you are turning, so ALWAYS use your blinkers as a courtesy to other drivers.

    I would stress to them and teach them that driving is not something to put yourself on "auto pilot" but to be focusing constantly on the job of driving and paying attention to the cars and situations around you.

    I would teach them anger-management skills to help them avoid being a victim of or a perpetrator of road rage, which kills a lot of people.

    I would make sure that they understood WHY we have speed limits and that the speed limits are the UPPER LIMIT, not a RECOMMENDATION.

    I would show them the studies which prove that speeding to a location not only increases your chances of an accident or getting a ticket, but also only minimally IF AT ALL allows you to arrive there any faster.

    I would make them understand that a vehicle is not a toy, not an item to play games with, and certainly not for racing.

    I will add more stuff later as it comes to me. This is only the start of how I would change the system.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    These are good ideas no doubt.

    I have a question though: WHO teaches a new driver all this? Presently, after a learner's permit, any family member over 21 or any other licenced driver over 21 may do the teaching, and that may not be upto the standards required, and also form the basis of bad habits handed down from generation to generation.

    Much of what you say, which I mostly agree with, should already be covered, but is not under the present way of teaching new drivers. So the question of how all these goals you mention can be achieved depends greatly on who does the teaching.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    It would be the same people who teach driver's education now. It would just be mandated by the guvmint that they modify the classes in this manner.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    I like the idea of some kind of re-testing at certain intervals after you first get your driver's license. I got mine at 16 years and 1 day old and have not been tested since. Its been a number of years. Don't know if there is variation state-by-state in the U.S. if some states have regular retesting and others have none.

    Of course, restesting is an expense for government and somehow has to be paid. The cost should be paid per a fee charged to the llicensee.

    State DOT offices probably do not have the capacity or personnel available to do retesting on regular intervals. DOTs could collaborate if they like to design standardized training/testing packages. Hgih school or community college teachers could be certified to run these courses and do the testing. These courses would be classroom based to start with.

    We need some kind of person or organization such as, but not limited to, Obama Cabinet Transp Secty, MADD, IIHS, etc., to champion the cause of better driver training - classroom and road in the U.S.

    It is disgusting that we as a nation apparently accept approximately 800 deaths per week in traffic crashes. Add in the thousands of injuries, some putting people in wheelchairs. We would not tolerate terrorists or a war-mongering country attacking and killing/injuring our citizens to the numbers we accept. Apparently, traffic deaths/injuries do not rise to the level of national attention.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    xrunner2 says ,"It is disgusting that we as a nation apparently accept approximately 800 deaths per week in traffic crashes. Add in the thousands of injuries, some putting people in wheelchairs. We would not tolerate terrorists or a war-mongering country attacking and killing/injuring our citizens to the numbers we accept. Apparently, traffic deaths/injuries do not rise to the level of national attention. "

    Those are very good points. It is tragic that we allow it and accept it as OK.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I agree with this absolutely, that we as a nation have become somewhat de-sensitized to the number of traffic deaths and injuries.

    At the same time, merely making laws piled upon existing laws without proper enforcement mechanisms, or all sorts of people and organizations making noble statements without any intelligently though-out actions, is obviously not going to be enough to improve the situation.

    Safety, especially safety at speed, requires a lot of resources and has a lot of costs, both start-up as well as on-going. Any suggestions we make here need to have some thoughts related to how one can fund any related costs, direct as well as indirect.

    However, WE in this forum can attempt to start changing this. :)
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Wording is excellent, starting with "Improving", and is inviting and open-ended to allow readers/posters to freely express relevant ideas.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    something has to be done about the fact that highway patrol and local police officers have quotas for speeding tickets because they are required to generate revenue for their departments. We have to get these departments dedicated revenue streams on a national or at least statewide basis so that they are free to enforce all the driving laws rather than merely setting up the speed traps and red light traps they do currently,

    Perhaps this too should come from the gas tax, since it is directly related to driving and policing of the roads? I know they get part of their funds from there now, but it is a small part.

    I will echo the call for MUCH better, institutionalized driver training courses run by either DMV or DOT, that MUST be passed before one can test for a license. Bearing in mind that a license is a privilege, it would be OK to charge prospective drivers a fee to cover the costs of these courses.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Why thank you! :blush:
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Good points.

    We all need a well funded and well trained police force. One sure way to expose these valuable individuals to corruption is not to fund them properly at local, state and federal levels.

    However, given resource constraints, the funding can never be open-ended. Further, how do we ensure adequate funding for a small police force in a small mid-western town vs a big police force in a rich suburb on the coasts and every size and situation in between? And how does one keep out local politicians out of this process that will surely want in on this potential gravy train?
  • wesleygwesleyg Member Posts: 164
    Please let me throw in my two cents after 31 years of traffic enforcement. I would dearly love to say there are NO quotas anywhere, but then I lie. But, heres the good thing, at least I feel it is. Lets say department X has an unofficial, unwritten (they always are) quota of 15 traffic citations a week per officer.

    Now to take the cheap, easy way out that could be done with speed traps and other cheezy operations, but it doesn't have to be. All you gotta do is enforce dangerous, foolhardy, negligent violations, you can easily meet your quota and you are doing a valuable service to the motoring safety of the public.

    No officer ever has to feel he's cheap shotting the public by writing speed trap tickets at 8 MPH over on a dry street with no traffic. Simply do the above and enforce the real dangerous violations, I assure you they are out there in plentitude. Do the job, the real job. And the beauty of this is that no police department administration will find fault with this, the revenue stream is the same, so great, they're happy.
    The only possible damper in this is it is slightly harder work, but hell I feel good knowing I removed a selfish, reckless nut from the road for at least a short while.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Excerpt from the new budget, from:

    Page 91 and 92 of 146 (one table not copied):


    Funding Highlights:

    • Commits to better target surface transportation spending and explores options to make the Nation’s communities more livable and less congested, such as through road pricing.

    • Increases funding for public transit to support commuters, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gases.
    • Supports development of high speed rail networks across the country to link regional population centers.
    • Supports the Next Generation Air Transportation System to modernize the air traffic control system.

    Commits to developing Sustainable Solutions for Surface Transportation Programs and to improving Program Performance.

    Surface transportation programs are at a crossroads.
    The current framework for financing and
    allocating surface transportation investments is
    not financially sustainable; nor does it effectively
    allocate resources to meet our critical national
    needs. The Administration intends to work with
    the Congress to reform surface transportation
    programs both to put the system on a sustainable
    financing path and to make investments in
    a more sustainable future, enhancing transit options
    and making our economy more productive
    and our communities more livable. Further, the
    Nation’s surface transportation system must generate
    the best investments to reduce congestion
    and improve safety. To do so, the Administration
    will emphasize the use of economic analysis and
    performance measurement in transportation
    planning. This will ensure that taxpayer dollars
    are better targeted and spent.

    Initiates a New federal Commitment to high Speed Rail.

    To provide Americans a 21st
    Century transportation system, the Administration
    proposes a five-year $5 billion high-speed
    rail State grant program. Building on the $8 billion
    down payment in the American recovery
    and reinvestment Act of 2009, the President’s
    proposal marks a new Federal commitment to
    give the traveling public a practical and environmentally
    sustainable alternative to flying or
    driving. Directed by the States, this investment
    will lead to the creation of several high-speed
    rail corridors across the country linking regional
    population centers.

    Modernizes the Air Traffic Control System.

    The Budget provides approximately $800
    million for the Next Generation Air Transportation
    System, a long-term effort to improve the
    efficiency, safety, and capacity of the air traffic
    control system. The 2010 Budget supports moving
    from a ground-based radar surveillance
    system to a more accurate satellite-based surveillance
    system; development of more efficient
    routes through the airspace; and improvements
    in aviation weather information.

    Improves Rural Access to the Aviation System.

    The Administration is committed to
    maintaining small communities’ access to the
    National Airspace System. The Budget provides
    a $55 million increase over the 2009 level to
    the Department of Transportation (DOT) to fulfill
    current program requirements as demand
    for subsidized commercial air service increases.
    However, the program that delivers this subsidy
    is not efficiently designed. Through the budget
    process, the Administration intends to work with
    the Congress to develop a more sustainable program
    model that will fulfill its commitment while
    enhancing convenience for travelers and improving
    cost effectiveness.

    Makes Budgetary Treatment of Transportation Programs More Transparent.

    Budget authority for highway, transit, highway safety,
    and airport improvement programs usually has
    been defined as mandatory contract authority
    provided in authorizing legislation. However, the
    levels of contract authority have been, for the
    most part, controlled by obligation limitations in
    appropriations acts. Outlays from the obligation
    limitations have always been scored as discretionary.
    To more transparently display program
    resources, the Administration proposes changing
    the budgetary treatment of transportation programs
    to show both budget authority and outlays
    as discretionary. For 2009, the discretionary budget
    authority top line would be increased by approximately
    $53 billion, increasing DOT budget
    authority total from $17 billion under the typical
    presentation to $70 billion. Similar budget
    authority adjustments would be made for each
    outyear. The change would not affect outlays or
    the deficit or surplus—just more transparently
    convey to the taxpayer the real costs of supporting
    the transportation infrastructure our Nation
  • andres3andres3 Member Posts: 13,664
    I believe Accident causers are also the number one traffic and pollution causers as they disturb traffic flow which increases pollution.

    Therefore, as the self elected dictator of the USA, I'd immediately implement the following:

    Upon decision of a driver being at-fault in a vehicular accident with at least 1 other vehicle involved in damages, I'd do the followign:

    1. Fine them $1,000 for poor driving.
    2. Fine them an additional $5,000 if the accident impeded traffic flow causing the back up of traffic.
    3. Allow Officers to ticket (at-fault) drivers for violations at-will).
    4. Force the at fault driver to take a mandatory retest of a comprehensive road driving exam and also written test.
    5. Pay fees for the re-test.
    6. Pay excess insurance cost fees above and beyond raised insurance premiums.

    And for good drivers, that don't and haven't caused accidents:

    1. Ban officers from issuing citations other than reckless or negligent driving to them.
    2. Waive tickets that are not true safety issues, which pretty much needs to be a reckless or negligent driving act (running a red light at 40 MPH, not 1 MPH on a right turn, for example).
    3. Enforce left lane courtesy strictly. Meaning any slow pokes meandering along in the left lane impeding traffic will be ticketed.
    4. Teach all that the left most lane is for the fastest of traffic, and as you go right, you go slower. Slower traffic must yield to the right. I'd enforce this strictly because if this was obeyed there would be an elmination of 99.9% of road rage.

    Also, accidents due to varying velocities of vehicles in the same lane would be reduced significantly.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Did you also want to cover one-vehicle crashes (not accidents) where a speeder or reckless driver goes off the road and rolls over, crashes into utility pole or culvert, etc. and causes damage to roadway fixtures or private property as well as own vehhicle. Speeder or reckless driver might also kill or injure himself and/or his passengers.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    All noble ideas for sure, but given the lack of apparatus that you would have at your disposal at the self-styled dictator of the USA, not very likely to be implemented. :)

    But seriously: Assuming that you were the Transportation Secretary, how would propose implementation of these ideas, working within the bounds of our Constitution, given that the implementation mechanisms will involve local politicians and police forces, not to mention the training and habits of all US citizens of varying abilities and outlooks on driving?

    (Phew, that's a looong question. Did I just write that? :) )

    Also, what about the Insurance industry and their responses to your ideas? What be the the hikes in insurance premiums, and how would deal with a larger and larger number of uninsurable drivers?

    How about if the driver simply did not have the resources to pay the proposed fines? Please keep in mind that amongst the industrialized nations, we ALREADY jail a larger percentage of our population than any other on Earth. :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I would imagine so, since ALL types of reckless and even potentially dangerous driving behaviours should be fair game under the proposed plan of andres3.
  • andres3andres3 Member Posts: 13,664
    Also, what about the Insurance industry and their responses to your ideas? What be the the hikes in insurance premiums, and how would deal with a larger and larger number of uninsurable drivers?

    How about if the driver simply did not have the resources to pay the proposed fines? Please keep in mind that amongst the industrialized nations, we ALREADY jail a larger percentage of our population than any other on Earth.

    For today, I"ll answer the two issues above. Uninsured drivers would not be allowed to drive, have a license, and the penalties would be severe (more jail crowding if they choose to drive anyway).

    Driver without resources to pay would have their vehicle confiscated, sold, and the proceeds would pay off the fine with the remainder going back to the owner. No vehicle = no way to drive (sounds good to me since they are bad drivers anyway).

    They'd have to ride the bus, take a cab, walk, bike, jog, or run to wherever they needed to go. Carpooling would be an option but they'd have to be a passenger.

    I bet if jailtime for bad driving were a possible threat, it would work as a great deterant to the bad driving in the first place; which would reduce the need to build more prisons.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,729
    Another good idea for that plan would be mandatory extra education for problematic young drivers, and keep them off the road until this is completed. Stop them before they become problematic adults.

    Like the girl who ran a stop sign and broadsided my friend's babied 85 Monte SS which then had about 60K miles on it. He was getting the runaround to get the claim going, so he called her insurance company - they started giving him info, and it was about an at-fault crash she had 3 weeks before hitting him. She shouldn't have been back on the road.
  • vchengvcheng Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 56,729
    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 Member Posts: 56,729
    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 Member Posts: 13,664
    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.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • vchengvcheng Member 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 Member Posts: 56,729
    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 Member Posts: 13,664
    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.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • vchengvcheng Member 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 Guest Posts: 52,454
    "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)
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    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:


  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,729
    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 Member Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,729
    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 Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited June 2010
    GMAC Insurance Survey Finds 38 Million Drivers Unfit for Roads (Edmunds Daily)

    Green is good; red is bad.

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    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.....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Not all that topical, but it's a cool photo and I didn't know of a better place to put it.

    Pacific Coast Highway Turns More Pacific Than Highway, Collapses Near Big Sur (Straightline)

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    "Adapting a program they run successfully in Europe, Mercedes-Benz is bringing the Mercedes-Benz Academy teen driving program to the U.S. And while well-to-do teenagers hopefully thumb the keys to daddy's Benz dreaming of pulling off moves like Dan Edmunds (above), the course is actually an accredited instruction course with driving instruction that eclipses the basic requirements of the DMV."

    Mercedes-Benz Offering Teen Driving Academy in the U.S. (Straightline)
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