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Reform of Speeding Laws

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by dan, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. I'm always having thoughts around how we could make our roads safer with turning us into speedo watchers, and this site seems to be somewhat in line with my thinking.

    Interesting read.


    also - http://www.roadsense.com.au/

    I'll just quote a few of the best bits IMO, for those who couldn't be bothered reading the whole thing...


  2. brain hurts... from the rare absorption of common sense... need relief.. must... watch... 'wipe off 5 add'... ahh... mindless revenue raising policy that hits the spot.

    I'm considering blacking out the windscreen on the car so the road doesn't distract me from the speedo.
  3. bawahahahaha :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    Thats funny

    :eek: Acutally I just realised how sadly true.

    Speed does NOT kill.
    The wrong attitude does. We seem to have an epidemic of bad attitude, lack of training and lack of competence.

    :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
    I'd better quit now otherwise I'll be on and on all night about how driving at 150 in Europe was safer than driving at 100 here blah blah blah
  4. also the following:

  5. Interesting article in UK bike magazine recently, that pointed out some salient facts; that for many years road engineers (that is, trained and experienced transport specialists, not politicians or opinionated but untrained bureaucrats) set "optimum" road speed limits, based upon thr "85th percentile" principle.
    This stated that on any given road, 85 per cent of users would choose to travel at or below a particular speed (ie. this speed was the one at which 15% would travel faster ), and that AT that speed, fewer accidents occured than for those who travelled faster, and importantly, also fewer than for those who travelled slower. The engineers also realised that setting a speed lower than the observed 85th percentile often resulted in MORE accidents, albeit less serious than those above the 85th percentile.
    In recent years, local governments have abandoned the principles established by years of serious study, to re-set limits based upon either the personal opinion of an empowered individual (often a local government employee) , or the popular assumptions of vocal community groups (whether minority or majority).
    In Australia, the recent experience has been that a simplification of the findings of MUARC research has led many "authorities" to adopt a basic "slower is better, and slowest is best" mantra.
    New UK research has shown that lowering speed limits too much can actually increase the incidence of road trauma. The reasons, like in many things in life, are complex. They have to do with the ability of drivers to concentrate in conditions where their minds are apt to wander, the behaviour of pedestrians in what THEY perceive to be low threat environments, etc. etc.
    This agrees with other European studies that led the Italian government a couple of years ago, to actually increase speed limits in some areas.
    While I applauded this at the time, I secretly assumed that the argument was really being led by fun-seeking agenda on the part of the Italians. I was wrong. There is real research to back up. It is a complex formula, but there ARE places where an increased speed limit will actually save lives (and also some where it needs to be lower to do the same). It's also about many other factors than speed, but most have to do with people paying appropriate attention, and taking decisions for their own good rather than expecting those decisions to be made for them.
    Just don't expect it to happen in Australia anytime soon.
  6. While no doubt the author had good intentions, his resulting paper is in my opinion flawed.

    Start witht he statement that drivers handle bad things(whatever) on the road. Who the hell else would it be? The passengers?

    This shows the rest of the paper for what it is. A popularist pile of rubbish.
    The author forgets that roads were built many years ago, before the advent of the modern car and so may not be in condition to take greater speeds.

    How is this for a stupid idea. Good drivers can drive faster. Idiot really.

    Imagine. You are driving on the highway etc and cars go flashing by as they are good drivers. That is exactly what causes the current accidents. Overtaking is the biggest killer. It starts with tailgating and so on it goes.

    If you can remember back that far, P platers were restricted to 80k. Heavy trucks were restricted to 80k. This was rightly seen as dangerous. Now some twit wants to have a whole raft of different drivers driving at different speeds.

    I read in this forum, and others, how many people say they were speeding, yes, but going with the traffic flow and so not presenting a danger. How does that go with this author.

    I'm sorry, but his treatice is seriously flawed in many ways. Sme points might be good, but as a whole, bin it.

  7. I think he is alluding to the fact that speed limits don't mitigate dangers, drivers do.

    On the contrary, he argues for higher speed limits where the road conditions can sustain it. Also, the site recognises that the capabilities of vehicles will be a limiting factor for any speed limits.

    Easy to brush off as a silly idea, but it's true. Drivers with advanced skills can drive faster safely. But I don't think he's advocating no speed limits. He's saying they need to be raised above 'idealogical' limits to realistic ones, and to not be so rigidly enforced by fixed cameras that don't take into account the traffic situation.

    You may think overtaking vehicles is dangerous, but you should know as a rider that sitting behind someone who is a danger, being too afraid to overtake because you'll break the speed limit can be just as deadly. He's not talking about you doing 200 when everyone else is doing 100. That's inappropriate use of speed, which the site does not mandate. Whether or not you are a good driver is irrelevant, it's whether the speed your'e doing is appropriate. A skilled driver on an empty freeway is a great place to do 200, heavy traffic is not. This is also why he is advocating the increase of traffic police patrols with descretion to decide whether a speed is unsafe, rather than a camera deciding that a driver doing 10kph over at 3am is unsafe, but a group of 8 cars ten inches from each other doing the limit are 'safe'.

    Drivers should be able to travel at a safe speed relative to the traffic and road situation, that is his point, not some idea where 'good drivers' can fang around as fast/slow as they want and cause accidents. I'm sure under this system going too slow would be just as offensive as too fast.

    Britain have put in thousands of fixed cameras as a panacea with the belief that if every driver does the speed limit, that will reduce accidents. Road deaths and accidents have increased in Britain over the last few years, where in Germany, which has miles of speed unlimited motorways, they are decreasing steadily.

    It does have some flaws, but it goes some way to reversing the brainwashing we have undergone over the last 15 years, that speed kills, full stop. Speed kills when used inappropriately, not as a rule.

  8. Dan

    It is inappropriate sped that kills. You can die at 10k.

    The report goes on about special drivers. Who is to decide that? I see P platers that have just come on the road. They know all the rules. I doubt if I would know half. They have just shown they can drive in a safe manner. What do a fair % of them do? Speed like idiots. I see, every morning, at least 10-12 cars exceeding the limit, even in fog, and guess who they are? P platers and at least 75% are females.

    How many times have you seen on tv a car wrapped around a ploe? The cry goes up 'remove the poles'. Rubbish, the poles could have been people. What about the cars hitting houses? Speed - inappropriate speed.

    What about the overtaking? Look at the roadside berements. Most on double lines. Lots of bingles are due to overtaking.

    The problem as I see it is twofold.

    One is attitude. This ranges from the idea the driver is capable, when in fact he is not. The only way we have of changing drivers attitudes is fines etc. Until we can come up with something else, fines have to stay.

    Two, is inflexible speed limits. All our freeways should have flexible speed limits. 100k is plenty in peak hour, but 100 on the Eastern at 3am when there are only few cars around is grossly slow. We have the technology for variable speeds. On the country roads, 10-15 over is ok if the driver can show a court that there was no other traffic around.

    I look at my road. 2 cars wide, 100k. I look at the Princes f'way, 2 massive lanes and sealed shoulders, 100k. rediculous.

    The report does not address these types of issues.

    Comparisons with German/European autobahns with Britains roads is wrong. The autobahns are big, really big roads. The M type freeways Britain has are only short roads. You will find their urban speeds are similar, even to ours.

    The idea of having these trained up drivers has been shown to fail. I saw a report from NSW that showed extra trained drivers in fact crashed harder. That is because of say, they are trained in a skid pan, they then go out and drive faster because they think they can handle it better. When they fail they fail hard.

    No, I think the report is best left with the others.

    Change drivers attitudes first, then change the controls and we will see an imrpovement. Until then, we will continue killing people because of rank stupidity, carelessness, negligence and piss poor attitude. The roads and cars do not kill. The loose nut at the wheel does.

  9. Agree with brian on a lot of that.

    One thing to remeber about good driver's and so on is that currently when you have driving lessons/go for licence... you are NOT tought how to drive sefely/wisely....you ARE tought how to pass the test....these 2 things are not the same

    first off i think all drivers should have to pass a driving course prior to obtaining their P's.

    rather like what motor cyclysts have to do before their L's and P's. At lease then they can at least react to situation better.

    As for speed limits....110Km on the calder, heavy fog, pouring rain, strong wind and i've slowed to about 95 cause i can't see more than about 150 metres.....and i get passed numerous times by people doing about 120+ sliding sideways in the wet adn wheels spinning all over the place. Our driver attitude in general is attrocious...there is no respect on the roads......


    right i'll stop for a bit.
  10. I think the idea has merit, but I do share your concern over who would get these special rules, and who would be limited. This idea is on the right track to recognising mature road attitudes, but probably needs a bit of work - again, if the 'advanced licenced' drivers are displaying behaviours like this, then they should be targets for enforcement.

    I agree with that for the most part for cars, for bikes it can be tricky, eg WRB, they pose no risk until the rider loses control, and that can be for reasons other than speed. I do agree though that where hazards like this exist, it should be signed, and people should slow down!

    I agree with that - those lines are there for a reason, an overtaking on doubles should still be taboo...

    Spot on - If anything i think fines should be increased, they are the best deterrant - but they need to be applied with genuine safety assessment principles relevant to the situation - this can only be done by a human (police officer/monitored camera) with descretion, not via cameras.

    Totally agree with you there - that is the crux of the issue, is that we have blanketed a speed limit on certain types of roads. Some roads are downright dangerous to 100 on, yet thats what they are signed!

    If the point you are making is that driver training instills false confidence, then that well may be - these drivers are taking the wrong message away from the training if that's the case. I think advanced training needs to be more than just handling skills too...

    Well said.
  11. Yep Drew, You've got it.

    We had fog the other day, Monday I think, and visibilty was down to 50 metres. Trucks and cars were passing me at speed in 100, 90 and 70k areas while I was on the limit. They are mad. And of course I didnt have to go far, there was a semi and a car. Luckily both drivers could be seen discussing the matter.

  12. Last time i was on the Calder in heavy rain....about 2 weeks ago , i was being passed by idiots in Commodes (no its not a spelling mistake!) who would pull up be hind you get irate, pull out and tramp the foot. Problem is when you do that in the wet with a Commode, the back slides out...these guys were passing me SIDEWAYS!!! talk about scaring...not to mention the rain and wind added to the mix.

    Was a poor guy on a bike too..full leather getting drenched everytime one of these idiots surged passed him
  13. Brian and Drew,

    What you guys have mentioned is a prime example of why the speed limits don't work. How can sitting 4 metres from someones bumper doing 100 in a 100 zone in low visibility wet conditions be considered legal, as opposed to 120 in a dead straight 100 zone in dry conditions with no other traffic?

    It's ludicrous - were sending the message to society that they can be safe on the road as long as they do the speed limit - it's just not the case - and now we have a whole generation of tailgating speedo watchers, and government wonders why the road tolls aren't going down.
  14. Dan i can see your point but driver attitude is more of a problem...the fact that these jerks think its cool/safe/normal to put everyone at risk just so they can overtake is horrific!! and the fact that in these condidtion they CAN'T see if there is oncoming trafic or not is worse....doesn't mater if the limit is 50 or 150.
  15. No No Dan

    The bit about the sitting 4 metres behind is both illegal and f ( and I really hate it) ing stupid. These idiots have to be the worst. ailgaiting even at 10 k is stupid.

    The problem with tailgaiting is that the front driver takes his concentration from the front to the rear.

    As per my other missives, I do disagree with some speed limits, but in the absence of my knowing what is going on in your head, how can I agree that you have enough wisdom to know when breaking the limits is appropriate? That is the conundrum. Which driver should be allowed to excedd and when? Who is to say.

    Lots of drivers say 'Oh I know what I am doing'. Yeh? And when they are crashed, what does that say for them?

    BIIIIIG problem.

  16. Brian
    I am aware that tailgating is illegal - see this thread for seperate whinge - https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6723&highlight=tailgating+epidemic
    I suppose my point was to highlight how travelling along like sardines seems reasonable to the general populace - police so rigorously enforce speeding (and not tailgating which causes more crashes) that people think they are safe just because they are doing the limit.

    Knowing when to break the speed limit isn't the point - the speed limit isn't the point (your post about people going to fast but legal speeds proves that) The point is what speed is safe for the situation. If you are doing an unsafe speed (too fast or too slow) for the conditions/situation - then you are in the wrong. My point is we shouldn't be flogged because we were travelling at a demonstrably safe speed that happens to be over the limit - remember that speed limits does not equal safe speed.

    As for wisdom - your post about all those people travelling too fast (but still legal speeds) in the wet proves that speed limits don't take into account situations - only drivers can do this.

    Lot's of speeding drivers say this - and lots of drivers doing the speed limit when that speed is wrong for situation also say this. My whole point again is that speed limits do not imply safety either above or below them.

  17. This is another interesting case study; Montana in the US:

    "The National Maximum Speed Limit was repealed in December of 1995. Montana returned to the use of Reasonable and Prudent speed limits on its federal and state highways. "

    "For the last 5 months of no daytime limits in Montana, the period after its Supreme Court had ruled that the Reasonable and Prudent law was unconstitutional, reported fatal accident rate declined to a record low. Fixed speed limits were reinstated on Memorial Day weekend 1999. Since then, fatal accidents have begun to rise again."


    More interesting articles here: http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/p-sl.html
  18. me thinks a copy of the above to MUARC Vicroads and the Minister for Poleece, Crime and WRBS ...would be a good move
    with a request for them to comment on the article
    maybe even a copy to that bloke on radio...whatshisname Mitchell?
    another news story for him :p

  19. I don't care. I've given up on anything remotely pragmatic coming from the Australian government in regards to real road safety. Wipe of 5, HA!, wipe my ass.
    Instead, I'm saving for a monster truck with flip up rego plates so I can drive over all you #$%* & your speed cameras!