YVRLTN
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The Speed Limit Debate

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:22 pm

There are plans in the UK to raise the speed limit from 70 mph to 80.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-15706033

This limit in the UK was set in 1965 when many cars would struggle to get up there. Now, even the average family car is more than capable of 120 mph plus. Cars are now so much more able to stop as well as go and have so many safety features compared to the Morris Minor's and everything else that was around in 1965.

The argument here is that the faster you go, the more likelyhood of deaths. IMO, its not gong to make too much difference whether its 70 or 80, but there is always the risk of people taking advantage of relaxed laws and relying on safety features.

When I was in the UK, it was common for cars to be doing 80-90. It seemed to be the unwritten law that cops for the most part would be OK with up to 90, but anything over was a no no. If the limit increases 10 mph, will this "grace margin" also increase and people tend to cruise between 90 & 100? There are some nasty crashes in Germany, but for the most part the unrestricted authobahn's seem to work OK.

IMO, it should be addressed with better training / learning. maybe a mandatory advanced or motorway / high speed driving test. I also think this should be an obligatory insurance requirement prior to owning a high powered supercar like a Porsche.

What do you think?
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1337Delta764
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:41 pm

There are two states in the U.S. that have 80 mph maximum speed limits: Texas and Utah. Texas actually now legally allows 85 mph limits, although no highways have been raised to 85 mph yet.

The following states have 75 mph speed limits:
Arizona
Colorado
Idaho
Kansas
Louisiana (I-49 only)
Maine
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma (Turnpikes only)
South Dakota
Wyoming
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PlymSpotter
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:42 pm

I think most people were in favor of this idea, but the recent massive accident on the M5 has lead to a lot of opposition to this rise from road safety groups and this has made many motorists unsure if raising the limit is still a good idea. Especially as every reasonably common accident is now from page news on websites, just like ever minor aircraft incident is over zealously reported in the wake of a crash.

My personal belief is that the limit should be raised to 80, but that a lower limit (of 70, or even 60) should be applied for particularly bad weather conditions. Enough motorways now have programmable digital advice/warning signs for motorists to be made aware of when such a lower limit was in force. At the moment these advisory signs reporting 'Fog' or lower advisory limits like '50' are ignored by pretty much all motorists because they aren't updated when incidents/weather have cleared, which inevitably means when they are accurate you have a lot of people getting into dangerous situations because they have't adhered to the warning.


Dan  
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DeltaMD90
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:16 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
There are plans in the UK to raise the speed limit from 70 mph to 80

Does the UK still use mph or are you making it easier for us Americans? I thought they used kph by now!
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1337Delta764
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:30 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 3):
Does the UK still use mph or are you making it easier for us Americans? I thought they used kph by now!

Nope, the UK still uses Imperial measurements on highways. Everything else is metric though.
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LGWflyer
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:42 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 3):
Does the UK still use mph or are you making it easier for us Americans?

We use MPH, and it is staying that way!!!!!!!! MPH is so much easier and better, I don't even really know KPH...    
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DeltaMD90
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:44 am

Weird! Learn something new everyday. Now if yall only drove on the correct side...   
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LGWflyer
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:47 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 6):
Weird! Learn something new everyday. Now if yall only drove on the correct side...

Haha sorry what was that DeltaMD90... oh yes we do drive on the correct side!  
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sccutler
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:02 am

Fortunately, while it may make sense to expect scofflaws to exceed the new limit by as much as they exceeded the old one, research has shown otherwise. In fact, it is a actually more dangerous to set speed limits lower than the appropriate speed for the road, based upon it's alignment, condition and environment.

Assuming the higher limits are implemented on roads for which they are appropriate, you need not fear a bloodbath.

This will not, of course, stop the ignorant from spouting their blather.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:03 am

Best bit is that we design roads in meters and kilometers and then have to convert the distances into yards and miles to apply signage. Just one of those quirky British traits 


Dan  
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ltbewr
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:10 am

To me, raising the speed limits to much higher limits for cars in the UK, from the current 70 to 80, is a bad idea. If I am correct, by law, HGV's (trucks to us) and buses are limited to 55 mph to hold down excessive fuel consumption, excessive pollution, for safety and to conform with the rest of the EC. Having a greater difference in traffic speeds can cause a lot of accident risks. Let us not forget too that many really cannot drive safely at such higher speeds, especially if weak rules to qualify for and keep a license, are older, inexperienced or just too stupid to ever have got a license. Some have problems even at lower speeds. Too many vehicles are not properly maintained, have difficulty keeping up to speed due to small engines and would be a waste of expensive fuel. On high volumes roads, too many would drive too close, weave through traffic. I have driven several times in many areas of the UK from unmarked back roads to Motorways in 1986, 1993, 1996 and 2002 in modest rental cars. I must admit on some Motorways, I was driving 80+ MPH.

Even in the USA, I disagree with higher speed limits over 70 for the reasons I cited above for the UK. Some state limit speeds of trucks to 55-60, many trucking companies have policies, monitors and governors to limit max speed to 60-65 mph to hold down fuel costs as they have risen in recent years. Some states have lower speed limits at night for all drivers or for trucks.

Better might be to do like our state of Montana did during the 55 MPH era, for speeding up to 10-15 over the limit, it was a no points 'energy wasting ticket'. Let's say the limit is 65, allow up to 75 for an energy wasting ticket unless conditions are poor like rain, snow, ice, fog, and so on. For the UK, on the rural area M-roads, currently at 70 MPH, then anything over 80 = a ticket. Also, ban the 'speed cameras', they are a poor substitute for a human cop who can see drunk and dangerous driver even if under the speed limits and too much of the fines collected go to private companies that run the scamaras.
 
NWADC9
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:12 am

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 7):
Haha sorry what was that DeltaMD90... oh yes we do drive on the correct side!

Lies, we drive on the right side  
Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
IMO, it should be addressed with better training / learning.

At least in the US, driver's ed training is a joke. There's no structured training involved, and once you get the license, you're on your own. Compared to a pilot's license where every two years you have to either go for another checkride (add an instrument rating, etc.) or have a flight review. And what do we end up with? Stupid drivers with no regard for traffic law or basic technique.
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LGWflyer
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:22 am

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 11):
Lies, we drive on the right side

Haha, your telling lies. We are the correct side.    
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Zkpilot
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:54 am

I think its a great idea.
The only thing that needs to happen as a result of increasing speed limits is to provide more training/information to keep motorists aware of the dangers in bad conditions (ie if its foggy slow down to avoid massive motorway pileups like on the M5 recently).

This is one of my favourite articles... very informative about how many governments/law enforcement policies are ridiculous.

http://smh.drive.com.au/motor-news/s...-kill-says-benz-20100304-pjin.html
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BMI727
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:03 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
There are plans in the UK to raise the speed limit from 70 mph to 80.

Good for them.

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
The argument here is that the faster you go, the more likelyhood of deaths.

It's differential in speed that tends to make more of a difference.

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
IMO, it should be addressed with better training / learning. maybe a mandatory advanced or motorway / high speed driving test.

I think the US especially should beef up drivers ed. programs and modify the roads a bit and go unrestricted. There is no reason why 70-90% of the US should have a speed limit on interstates.

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
I also think this should be an obligatory insurance requirement prior to owning a high powered supercar like a Porsche.

That's already addressed via insurance costs. If insurance companies want to start their own optional training programs, good for them.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 2):
Enough motorways now have programmable digital advice/warning signs for motorists to be made aware of when such a lower limit was in force.

St. Louis used to have adjustable speed limits, which everyone ignored. Now it's adjustable advisory speeds, which everyone ignores. It doesn't help that people here drive like idiots. One raindrop and they decide that they have to go 40 on the interstate.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 10):
If I am correct, by law, HGV's (trucks to us) and buses are limited to 55 mph to hold down excessive fuel consumption, excessive pollution, for safety and to conform with the rest of the EC. Having a greater difference in traffic speeds can cause a lot of accident risks.

Germany seems to have no problems, and Illinois recently ditched their truck speed limits. Trucks just ignored it and did 65 anyway.
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flymia
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:31 am

Fine idea IMO. Spee limits are low. Here in the US any highway with a 55mph limit is a joke IMO because it has been 55mph since the 50s! If cars in the 50s could travel at 55mph how can cars now be limited to 55mph. I think every highway speed limit in this country should go up at least 5 to 10mph. 5 for urban highways with many exits and 10 for any other. There is a highway here in Miami-Dade County the 836 west and east bound it is straight with all exits to the right every mile and a half or so. No turns 3-4 lanes the speed limit is 55mph! I rarely do 55 on that road and have even past police officers going 15mph above it. (did not get stopped)

As for the grace debate thing I think it does go with it. Thankfully some highways here in Florida have 70mph limits. It is funny I was on one of those roads last night so many people were going under 70mph like they were scared. In a 70mph zone I see no problem going around 80-82mph and I honestly do not think the police care too much either for those speeds as they know there will be people going 95mph+ too.

Cars these days are so safe and so much better than in the 50s and 60s speed limits and many highways are way too low.
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sccutler
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:54 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 10):

Even in the USA, I disagree with higher speed limits over 70 for the reasons I cited above for the UK. Some state limit speeds of trucks to 55-60, many trucking companies have policies, monitors and governors to limit max speed to 60-65 mph to hold down fuel costs as they have risen in recent years. Some states have lower speed limits at night for all drivers or for trucks.

I note, from your profile, that you're from the eastern seaboard, and distances between cities are much less there, and congestion much greater, than we see in most of this part of the country.

There are plenty of places where 55 is too much - but on I-10, between San Antonio and El Paso, 80 mph is creeping.

Really.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Juncti...DqW6mCCXTlZnRlg&cbp=12,304.36,,0,0
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DocLightning
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:58 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 6):

Weird! Learn something new everyday. Now if yall only drove on the correct side...

You worded that incorrectly. It should have been "Now, if yall only drove on the RIGHT side..."

After all, if we drive on the right side, then it's only logical that they drive on the wrong side. Right is the opposite of wrong...
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DeltaMD90
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:55 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 17):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 6):

Weird! Learn something new everyday. Now if yall only drove on the correct side...

You worded that incorrectly. It should have been "Now, if yall only drove on the RIGHT side..."

After all, if we drive on the right side, then it's only logical that they drive on the wrong side. Right is the opposite of wrong...

I was saving that for the rebuttal, but someone else stole my thunder!  
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baroque
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:20 am

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 12):
Haha, your telling lies. We are the correct side.

So how do yall get on your horses - high or not? From the port side or the starboard?

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 9):
Best bit is that we design roads in meters and kilometers and then have to convert the distances into yards and miles to apply signage.

IIRC, while trying to find where I was on M4 at the end Sept while in a bus headed for Bristol, most signs were plain black, intersections signs were OK, and there were the "mileposts" but they seemed to be in kms. I was trying to SMS my rels to tell them where I was, and the blacked out signs were a real pain.

We have advisory signs on our freeways in Aus, but they seldom provide relevant or timely information. Mind with the F6 to Wollongong, one minute it can be thick fog and two minutes later clear as a bell. Much more variable than the UK. The signs are no help at all. So good luck with advisory signs.

A cousin of mine once remarked that up north in England - near Newcastle to be precise, I should keep close to 70 mph but that could gradually be increased as I went S and 85 would be best on the M25 - provided traffic was moving at all. It did seem that traffic got faster and faster the further S I went. Was that imagination, or are there changes in policing as you go from N to S?
 
Superfly
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:42 am

Raising the speed limit is always a good thing.  
Kudos to the UK.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 16):
between San Antonio and El Paso, 80 mph is creeping.

Sounds like the perfect stretch of highway to fly in a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible blasting your favorite ZZ Top 8track tapes.  
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:24 am

 
Stealthz
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:00 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 17):
After all, if we drive on the right side, then it's only logical that they drive on the wrong side. Right is the opposite of wrong...

Ah, you may believe you drive on the "right side" but that does differentiate you from those of us that drive on the "correct side"

Here in Oz there are many roads that could support speeds greater than the default 110kph(often100kph) but those insipid buffoons we insist on placing in office every few years will not make that call!
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bill142
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:34 am

Quoting stealthz (Reply 22):
Here in Oz there are many roads that could support speeds greater than the default 110kph(often100kph) but those insipid buffoons we insist on placing in office every few years will not make that call!

Unless you're in the Northern Territory where they set their speed limit at a sensible 130 kph
 
Stealthz
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:44 am

Quoting bill142 (Reply 23):
Unless you're in the Northern Territory where they set their speed limit at a sensible 130 kph

Recently downsized from a sensible...arguably, based on traffic density, unrestricted!!!
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PlymSpotter
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:19 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 19):
IIRC, while trying to find where I was on M4 at the end Sept while in a bus headed for Bristol, most signs were plain black, intersections signs were OK, and there were the "mileposts" but they seemed to be in kms. I was trying to SMS my rels to tell them where I was, and the blacked out signs were a real pain.

Interesting, how do you mean blacked out? As in signs weren't illuminated, or that the large displays at the side of the road weren't working? The latter sometimes are blank, generally though when not displaying advice/warnings they just give the expected journey times to a certain point.


Dan  
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baroque
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:06 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 25):
Interesting, how do you mean blacked out? As in signs weren't illuminated, or that the large displays at the side of the road weren't working?

I forget exactly how it goes, but after you have an intersection (and ??before it) you have a very large sign at about 5 m above the road, that gives the next four or five places (blue somewhere in the signs) and the mileages. When I saw them, they signs were there, but they just had matte black all over, no information at all. These were signs for going W, but I craned my neck from the bus and the E bound ones were the same.

They looked as if all had been repainted prior to putting up new notices. But it was a pest they had them all painted out. There are cunning little "mileposts" by the side of the road which would have been OK if I had been sure where they were from and to!!

And that was all the way from about 30 mins out of LHR to where we swung off to Bristol.

Then I drove the M4 eastbound a week later, and IIRC they were still out until close to where I turned off to Petersfield. All the signs on other roads were just fine. It was M4. And as I wrote, I was trying to give an exact location of the bus so my cousin's husband could get the timing right for his drive into the Bristol bus station - he is a physicist and you know what these rocket scientists are like about precision!!

Aside from the missing road signs, two things impressed me this time, the turbo diesel in the hire car, and once my niece had shown me how to use it, the Satnav for getting me to the car park at LHR in spite of the road design. With the diesel, it was astonishing belting along at 80 showing fuel consumption at so little I could barely believe it. I thought they fell off quite a bit at higher cruising speeds, in which case I wonder what they fell off from!!
 
CXfirst
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Of all the people I meet, the ones that I hear complaining about low speed limits are always the Brits!

Even though the official top speed limit in Australia (well most of it) is 110 kph, you won't get that on the freeways in the cities or close to the cities. In WA, 110 kph are only on the Highways that are in the remote areas. So, our basically "62 MPH" speed limit is much more worth complaining about (this should be raised really).

However, I have to say, I'm never been a complainer, as being from Norway, the most I'll ever be on is 90 kph (55 MPH), and those roads are few, most are max 80 kph (49 MPH). I think there is one road in the country that is 100 kph. Also, cops are very stringent, and will stop you even if you are only a couple over, and the fines and demerit points are HUGE.

As for which side of the road to drive on. I learned to drive in Australia, but have driven quite a bit in Norway. So, quite a bit on both sides, but not long enough for one side to become the 'norm'. What I have to say is that, both sides of the road feel just as natural, nothing against them. HOWEVER, the car should be Left-hand-drive, as it feels much better gearing with the right hand (when being new to both), and therefore, one should drive on the right.  

-CXfirst
 
flyingturtle
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:41 pm

News from here. In Switzerland, we'll try a 80 kph (50 mph) speed limit if there's much traffic on the autobahn in order to prevent traffic jams. The normal speed limit is 120 kph (75 mph).

Sounds ridiculous?

It isn't. According to the Nagel-Schreckenberg model of traffic, most traffic jams happen because people often brake without need. They travel at 75 mph, and when they see that the car in the front is uncomfortably close - they brake more than needed.

You could either train all car drivers to drive as fast as securely possible at all times, or you lower the speed limit to where most of the drivers feel comfortable with the proximity to the car in front. No needless braking anymore - and traffic jams are greatly reduced.
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Dreadnought
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:49 pm

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 11):
At least in the US, driver's ed training is a joke. There's no structured training involved, and once you get the license, you're on your own. Compared to a pilot's license where every two years you have to either go for another checkride (add an instrument rating, etc.) or have a flight review. And what do we end up with? Stupid drivers with no regard for traffic law or basic technique.

The reason higher speed limits work in some countries (including Germany) is lane discipline. If people religiously use the left lane only for passing, and never, EVER pass on the right, then it's not a problem. When the cops in the US start pulling over every car they see passing on the right, or hogging the left lane, then we'll start making progress.

And just think - higher speed limits will reduce the attractiveness of SUVs - moving those big walls of glass and metal starts getting expensive once you get to 75-80 or so.
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IH8BY
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:20 pm

I have to say the plan to raise the speed limit came as something of a surprise to me - I was expecting it to be lowered if anything... I have to say I'm not in favour. I'm not convinced most of our motorways are designed (or empty enough) to take it, I'm not convinced that it'll 'bring more drivers back in line with the law' (I expect people just to speed up), and I'm not convinced that the reduction in journey time is an adequate trade for the increased severity and likelihood of accidents (however 'good' a driver you may be, a longer stopping distance is a longer stopping distance).

I'm also not really keen on it from the point of view of fuel economy. Seeing as once the limit is 80 rather than 70 one will doubtless be expected to drive on or above the limit by other drivers, most of us will be realising anything up to a 20% drop in the efficiency of our vehicles. We can grumble as much as we like about fuel prices being artificially high, but it'll hurt us even more if this goes through...

On another note, the consequent increase in emissions, CO2 and others, makes a mockery of the government's 'green' credentials.
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Superfly
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:10 pm

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 30):
On another note, the consequent increase in emissions, CO2 and others, makes a mockery of the government's 'green' credentials.

Oh gosh.  
Glad to see the UK move away from the fundamentalist environmentalist sect.



Quoting IH8BY (Reply 30):
I'm also not really keen on it from the point of view of fuel economy. Seeing as once the limit is 80 rather than 70 one will doubtless be expected to drive on or above the limit by other drivers, most of us will be realising anything up to a 20% drop in the efficiency of our vehicles.

Those on a tight budget will continue to buy small fuel efficient cars and drive slow. As long as they understand that they need to yield to faster moving vehicles then everything should be fine.  
Quoting IH8BY (Reply 30):
I expect people just to speed up

Yes!   

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 29):
higher speed limits will reduce the attractiveness of SUVs - moving those big walls of glass and metal starts getting expensive once you get to 75-80 or so.

  
Agreed!
If I were to go fast in the English countryside, I'd like to be in a Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas, XK8 or a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or Corniche.  
I never understood the appeal of a SUV as a fashion statement.
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GBLKD
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:30 pm

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 30):
I'm also not really keen on it from the point of view of fuel economy. Seeing as once the limit is 80 rather than 70 one will doubtless be expected to drive on or above the limit by other drivers, most of us will be realising anything up to a 20% drop in the efficiency of our vehicles. We can grumble as much as we like about fuel prices being artificially high, but it'll hurt us even more if this goes through...On another note, the consequent increase in emissions, CO2 and others, makes a mockery of the government's 'green' credentials.

Strangely the onboard computer on my 1.6 Golf shows around 37-40 mpg at around 65 mph but if I wind it up to 80 (14 miles each way on the A14 to work each day, I come home a little quicker than I get there) it shows around 42-44 mpg.

Maybe the computer is way out but that's what it's telling me.

My "office" does around 11 mpg when sitting on the limiter.
 
baroque
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:13 pm

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 32):
Strangely the onboard computer on my 1.6 Golf shows around 37-40 mpg at around 65 mph but if I wind it up to 80 (14 miles each way on the A14 to work each day, I come home a little quicker than I get there) it shows around 42-44 mpg.

Where do the two speeds end up on the torque curve in top gear? Might be that and not a faulty computer????
 
racko
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:37 pm

Saw a documentary on Mercedes research regarding road safety recently:

Actually no speed limit can raise road safety, as it increases driver awareness. The same goes for curved highways by the way. In terms of highway driving safety, a long, straight stretch with a speed limit is by no means safer than a (relatively) curvy road without a speed limit.

The single most important issue regarding highway safety is a strict enforcement of the "drive on the right, overtake on the left" (vice versa for the UK) rule.

Regarding the emissions, most cars (at least here in Germany) are optimized for maximum engine efficiency at ~130 km/h in the highest gear. Of course the air resistance is also larger the higher the speed, but overall it shouldn't have too much of an impact. Constant braking/accelerating is what kills the efficiency than a few km/h more or less.

[Edited 2011-11-14 14:47:33]
 
LH526
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:55 pm

Dear world,
speed limit? What's that?

sincerely, Germany
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Flighty
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:44 am

Relatively few deaths occur on US "interstate" highways. The danger of driving an appropriate car at say 95 mph on interstate is very low.. But, most people have mal-adjusted cars (or more often, trucks) that are inefficient and not very safe at 95 mph.

So, I have no problem with today's speed limits. However, if I take one of my nicer cars at 90 MPH on that road, realistically it is NOT a danger to anyone... but the law will treat me as a reckless driver. This is a different attitude compared to Europe. I think it is more "reasonable and prudent" there, which is overall the more safety conscious attitude. In badly adjusted vehicles, 70 MPH is really very dangerous... but here we focus on the numerical speed, not the safety of it.

A European sport sedan with good brakes and tires... 100 MPH is not a danger. Even 120 can be ok, except for the unsafe merging/passing attitudes that prevail with other drivers.
 
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Aesma
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:14 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 31):
Agreed!
If I were to go fast in the English countryside, I'd like to be in a Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas, XK8 or a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or Corniche.
I never understood the appeal of a SUV as a fashion statement.

British country roads are twisty and narrow. What you need on them is a Lotus.

Quoting racko (Reply 34):
The same goes for curved highways by the way. In terms of highway driving safety, a long, straight stretch with a speed limit is by no means safer than a (relatively) curvy road without a speed limit.

That's very true. On a 550Km trip I do often, the first half is 130Km/h limited highway (autoroute), very flat and straight, I tend to go 150-160 on it, but you have to be very careful that you're concentrating on the road, because you'll easily veer out of your lane without realizing it. They even have used special paint now for the markings, that will make a noise when you drive on it. After that, the rest is 110Km/h highway (2*2 lanes "nationale" ), but much more hilly and twisty, and there keeping up with the limit can be difficult ! Yes, the car can do it, but you just don't feel that safe.
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YVRLTN
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:48 am

Thanks for the replies.

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 30):
I'm not convinced most of our motorways are designed (or empty enough

Maybe things have changed in the 6 years since I left, but roads I used to use regularly - and could cruise at 90+ (particularly non rush hour) were the M1 link to the A1M around Leeds, the M6/A74(M), M40, A50, M62/M180, M11 & M20. All were fast roads.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
That's already addressed via insurance costs. If insurance companies want to start their own optional training programs, good for them.

What I meant was it would be impossible to even get insurance unless you have a certain license, obtained through advanced training.

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 11):
At least in the US, driver's ed training is a joke. There's no structured training involved, and once you get the license, you're on your own

At least in BC there is the graduate driver scheme, where after passing your test you have to have an "N" sticker for a year, you are unable to carry more than one person under 25 unless a family member, zero alcohol limit and then you have to do another test after a year to get your full license.

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 29):
The reason higher speed limits work in some countries (including Germany) is lane discipline. If people religiously use the left lane only for passing, and never, EVER pass on the right, then it's not a problem. When the cops in the US start pulling over every car they see passing on the right, or hogging the left lane, then we'll start making progress.

So the greater issue is really training. Is it just a fact that the Germans are more disciplined than the rest of the world?   Witness only EC country not bancrupt and a profitable national airline who does not operate the 777      Seriously, if this discipline became part of a mandatory advanced test and the rules are enforced by police, we could get somewhere (literally!)
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A346Dude
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:55 am

In Ontario, speed limits are lower than reasonable so pretty much everyone does 10-20km/h over the limit at all times. For example, 10km/h over the limit on the highway is considered slow and you will get passed by almost everyone; 20km/h over is the average speed. Police rarely pull people over at these speeds and when they do, they often write the ticket down by 10km/h. So because the speed limits are artificially low, the speed limit is not really the speed limit. This is not unique at all and most Canadian and American jurisdictions are similar.

Wouldn't it make more sense to post realistic limits, then start writing tickets when people go more than 3km/h over? Co-ordinate the changeover with a huge, zero tolerance blitz. People would get the message quick and we would no longer have to guess what the de facto speed limit is for every road.

[Edited 2011-11-14 19:56:28]
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Superfly
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:04 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
British country roads are twisty and narrow. What you need on them is a Lotus.

In that case I'd rather have a Triumph TR-7 or a classic MG roadster.
I respect Lotus but their designs look too much like a toy.
Bring back the Concorde
 
baroque
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:26 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
British country roads are twisty and narrow. What you need on them is a Lotus.

He needs to try the cars he prefers on the roads around Bovington. And see what happens when he meets a:
http://www.militarypictures.info/armour/Challenger.jpg.html
or just a bit further north, where the old French and German trick of:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunken_lane
makes meeting a bicycle quite a challenge (without the "r")

Back in late Sept, there were a couple of times when my cousin's Honda Civic seemed all too huge getting from Lulworth up to Blandford Forum.
 
Starbuk7
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:47 pm

Every day on my way to and from work I see so many drivers that should not even be driving a car on the road no matter what the speed limit is.

It does not matter if they are on the Freeways or on residential roads they either can't maintain their lanes, are on phones not paying attention to driving, at stop lights they are reading books or eating and not paying attention to their surroundings, etc etc.

The speed limits are not the issue, it is the driving mentality for some that they should not be behind the wheel of an automobile period.
 
PanHAM
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:03 pm

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 39):
In Ontario, speed limits are lower than reasonable so pretty much everyone does 10-20km/h over the limit at all times.

Same here, contrary to popular belief, there are only a few thousand kilomteres on some Autobahns which are not restricted. Gnereally, peopl drive 10-20 km faster than the limiit and when trapped by radar, there is a similar discount.

points are issued only if faster than 20 kmh, otherwise it is a fine only. Unmarked or marked police cars are interested in speeders only if reckless driving is involved and the speed is more than 40 over the limit. These people get pulled over and will usually have to walk 1-3 months, plus penalty and points.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:49 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 10):
Having a greater difference in traffic speeds can cause a lot of accident risks.

Don't worry, it works. I mean the speed difference between trucks and cars. In several European countries there is a 40 km/h (24.86 mph for those preferring medieval units) difference in the limit. It doesn't seem to be a problem. The "same speed for everyone is safer" mantra used around here is dated and should be forgotten. But it won't be, since it's a good ground for excessive government regulation and source of extra income for the government.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
I think the US especially should beef up drivers ed. programs and modify the roads a bit and go unrestricted. There is no reason why 70-90% of the US should have a speed limit on interstates.

Oh, there is a good reason for the speed limit. Government income. Heck, many municipalities have speed fines planned as a part of their budget!

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 39):
Wouldn't it make more sense to post realistic limits, then start writing tickets when people go more than 3km/h over?

Yes and no. Yes to a realistic speed limit, as the current situation where basically the law enforcement's tolerance defines the speed limit is completely nonsense. No to 3 km/h tolerance, as one would have to watch the speed permanently. 10 km/h would be more realistic.
However, ideal would stop the "safe speed for everyone" nonsense and start educate people that they always have to adjust their speed to current conditions.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 43):
Same here, contrary to popular belief, there are only a few thousand kilometers on some Autobahns which are not restricted.

Well, few thousand km's, that's just about all Ontario has. I wouldn't mind to have them unrestricted 
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BMI727
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:26 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 38):
What I meant was it would be impossible to even get insurance unless you have a certain license, obtained through advanced training.

I don't think that's a good idea, having separate licenses and such. It's impractical and creates the serious potential for police discrimination.

Any such scheme would have to come through insurance companies. By the way, I hate Progressive trying to sneak big brother onto our cars in the form of a "discount."

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 44):
Oh, there is a good reason for the speed limit. Government income. Heck, many municipalities have speed fines planned as a part of their budget!

No kidding.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
N1120A
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:59 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):

There are plans in the UK to raise the speed limit from 70 mph to 80.

Good. Now they need to raise them again. The UK, in particular, should have truly reasonable speed limits, because they use those insipid speed cameras.

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
The argument here is that the faster you go, the more likelyhood of deaths.

Which isn't actually true.

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
There are some nasty crashes in Germany, but for the most part the unrestricted authobahn's seem to work OK.

There are nasty crashes everywhere. Germany is safer than the US and many other countries with speed limits.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 9):

Best bit is that we design roads in meters and kilometers and then have to convert the distances into yards and miles to apply signage. Just one of those quirky British traits

Believe it or not, the US does the same thing.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 10):
If I am correct, by law, HGV's (trucks to us) and buses are limited to 55 mph to hold down excessive fuel consumption, excessive pollution, for safety and to conform with the rest of the EC.

So what? Keep them in the slow lane and it doesn't make a difference.

Quoting flymia (Reply 15):
Here in the US any highway with a 55mph limit is a joke IMO because it has been 55mph since the 50s!

Wrong. In the 50s, the US had relatively few speed limits. The 55mph limit came into existence in the 70s, the product of Richard Nixon.

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 29):
The reason higher speed limits work in some countries (including Germany) is lane discipline.

Very few US states enforce correct lane discipline. Its sad.

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 29):
When the cops in the US start pulling over every car they see passing on the right, or hogging the left lane, then we'll start making progress.

They should do this tomorrow.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 32):
Strangely the onboard computer on my 1.6 Golf shows around 37-40 mpg at around 65 mph but if I wind it up to 80 (14 miles each way on the A14 to work each day, I come home a little quicker than I get there) it shows around 42-44 mpg.

My lamented M3 was quite similar.

Quoting racko (Reply 34):
Actually no speed limit can raise road safety, as it increases driver awareness.

Yep. Indeed, that is one of the major reasons cited by Texas in applying higher speed limits on its lonely, vast interstates.

Quoting racko (Reply 34):
The single most important issue regarding highway safety is a strict enforcement of the "drive on the right, overtake on the left" (vice versa for the UK) rule.
Quoting racko (Reply 34):
Regarding the emissions, most cars (at least here in Germany) are optimized for maximum engine efficiency at ~130 km/h in the highest gear.
Quoting lh526 (Reply 35):

Dear world,
speed limit? What's that?

sincerely, Germany

I love Germany.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 36):
A European sport sedan with good brakes and tires... 100 MPH is not a danger. Even 120 can be ok, except for the unsafe merging/passing attitudes that prevail with other drivers.

I feel safer driving 140 MPH in Germany than I do 80 in the US.

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 39):

In Ontario, speed limits are lower than reasonable so pretty much everyone does 10-20km/h over the limit at all times. For example, 10km/h over the limit on the highway is considered slow and you will get passed by almost everyone; 20km/h over is the average speed. Police rarely pull people over at these speeds and when they do, they often write the ticket down by 10km/h. So because the speed limits are artificially low, the speed limit is not really the speed limit.

Indeed, the province considered raising the de jure speed limit to 120km/h, but decided against it for that reason. My girlfriend got pulled over on the 401 once by some bored OPP for going 120 and she was so incredulous, he didn't write her a ticket.

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 39):
Wouldn't it make more sense to post realistic limits, then start writing tickets when people go more than 3km/h over?

It would make more sense to remove all speed limits and enforcing more serious safety laws.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 40):
Triumph TR-7

Those cars are cool, but absolute pieces of garbage mechanically. Anyway, both the TR-6 and TR-8 are better.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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kngkyle
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:41 am

I'm all for higher speed limits. Here in Florida the standard is 70 on expressways (not in the city) which means you can usually go 80 or so without any trouble. I laugh at the construction zones where they reduce the speed limit to 65. I'm sure that 5mph decrease is really going to make a difference. Not complaining though.

55mph speed limit on an expressway is a joke.

[Edited 2011-11-18 01:42:44]
 
Superfly
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:09 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 46):
Very few US states enforce correct lane discipline. Its sad.

The last thing the US is need is more enforcement of anything. There are too many rules, steep penalties and expensive court cost. Don't give our government anymore bad ideas.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 46):
Those cars are cool, but absolute pieces of garbage mechanically.

I agree. The Triumph was supposed to be my first car when I was in high school. A good friend talked me out of it so I bought a Ford Pinto instead.
Bring back the Concorde
 
JJJ
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RE: The Speed Limit Debate

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:38 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
The last thing the US is need is more enforcement of anything.

So what would you do with left lane hoggers?

Would you rather have people overtaking in zig zag?

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