UK Motorway limit to be 80mph

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bobby
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Message 1158385 - Posted: 2 Oct 2011, 22:06:51 UTC - in response to Message 1158372.  

it may be that some substances have a generally beneficial effect; stimulants, for instance, may assist driver alertness.


I think you are out on a limb there young man! Uk motoring laws have fairly stiff rules about imbibing various substances prior to driving a vehicle. If you are referring to caffiene and similar stimulants, we all know that an artificially heightened awareness, can give way to a false sense of security.


Indeed, and that's why I suggest evidence be gathered prior to decisions being made.

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1158424 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 2:57:56 UTC

I'm already afraid of drivers on the interstates who think they are such good drivers that they can text on their phones while driving at 70mph. People generally just aren't aware of how fast things happen at those speeds.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
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Message 1158469 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 8:33:50 UTC

The Police Forces in the UK are now reporting a variation of the "texting" on their mobile while driving ...

People using smart phones (iPhone, etc) are now Facebooking and Tweeting whilst driving.

Is this the start of a new form of "driving while under the influence"?
It's good to be back amongst friends and colleagues



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Message 1158491 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 13:50:42 UTC - in response to Message 1158469.  

The Police Forces in the UK are now reporting a variation of the "texting" on their mobile while driving ...

People using smart phones (iPhone, etc) are now Facebooking and Tweeting whilst driving.

Is this the start of a new form of "driving while under the influence"?

I suspect the next generation of these devices won't function if they are moving over 10MPH for safety reasons.
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Message 1158492 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 13:52:07 UTC - in response to Message 1158469.  

The Police Forces in the UK are now reporting a variation of the "texting" on their mobile while driving ...

People using smart phones (iPhone, etc) are now Facebooking and Tweeting whilst driving.

Is this the start of a new form of "driving while under the influence"?


Given the decline in injuries on the roads over the period during which cell phone ownership has increased significantly, one has to wonder what distractions drivers had in the past. Did people do crossword puzzles while driving?

I do not doubt the police reports, and am glad to hear that the public at large is being warned of the danger, though I would caution against believing this type of behavior is widespread, until we have a systematic collection of data that shows this to be true.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1158502 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 14:55:26 UTC - in response to Message 1158492.  

The Police Forces in the UK are now reporting a variation of the "texting" on their mobile while driving ...

People using smart phones (iPhone, etc) are now Facebooking and Tweeting whilst driving.

Is this the start of a new form of "driving while under the influence"?


Given the decline in injuries on the roads over the period during which cell phone ownership has increased significantly, one has to wonder what distractions drivers had in the past. Did people do crossword puzzles while driving?

I do not doubt the police reports, and am glad to hear that the public at large is being warned of the danger, though I would caution against believing this type of behavior is widespread, until we have a systematic collection of data that shows this to be true.


Bob, various reasons why injury's involving vehicles has declined. Drink drive campaigns over the years have helped so wearing of seat belts too plus the great improvements made with the building of cars that now afford far better protection to the occupants. Reduction in road speeds, especially in urban areas, the siting of speed cameras plus the laying down of sleeping policeman has made it's mark on accident reductions too. Operating a mobile phone whilst driving involves multi-taking and current research, here and abroad, agreed on one thing, "The mind can not multi-task without splitting the minds concentration fairly equally across both tasks in hand. Further too this studies undertaken whilst people were driving a vehicle plus using a mobile phone at the same time showed the potential for accidents to occur - to rise very significantly. I used to cut corners years ago when going to work in the morning by shaving with an electric shaver whilst driving to work. I don't do this now because of the amount of times I reacted slowly to an event that caused me so many times to have to brake late and nearly have a bump. This was whilst driving and looking through the windscreen when shaving too. Yet you'd think I would see the hazard in front of me early because I'm looking ahead of me. Yes, I do see the hazard but my reaction to it is slowed up by my mind being split between these two operations...one driving the other shaving. So my own experience tells me that driving whilst also using a mobile phone will lead to more accidents. The results from research carried out so far I feel make it sensible that the using of mobile phones whilst driving should be nipped-in-the-bud now and stopped, the results will save lives. I have just spent a couple of minutes looking through my front door onto the road outside. Seven vehicle have passed by, one of these driver was using a mobile phone so there's definitely good reasons for concern here.
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Message 1158514 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 15:26:50 UTC - in response to Message 1158502.  

Drink drive campaigns over the years have helped


Actually, they've had no success and are a large waste of tax payer's money (if government supported). People still drink and drive now, if not more so, than when the campaigns started.

Operating a mobile phone whilst driving involves multi-taking and current research, here and abroad, agreed on one thing, "The mind can not multi-task without splitting the minds concentration fairly equally across both tasks in hand.


We better hurry and outlaw car radios too... wouldn't want people splitting their concentration by being tempted to sing along. Should probably get rid of advertisement billboards too, because reading them takes a certain level of concentration. And forget about talking to vehicle passengers too, as that splits the driver's concentration.
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Message 1158540 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 16:48:26 UTC - in response to Message 1158502.  
Last modified: 3 Oct 2011, 16:59:30 UTC

Bob, various reasons why injury's involving vehicles has declined. Drink drive campaigns over the years have helped so wearing of seat belts too plus the great improvements made with the building of cars that now afford far better protection to the occupants. Reduction in road speeds, especially in urban areas, the siting of speed cameras plus the laying down of sleeping policeman has made it's mark on accident reductions too. Operating a mobile phone whilst driving involves multi-taking and current research, here and abroad, agreed on one thing, "The mind can not multi-task without splitting the minds concentration fairly equally across both tasks in hand. Further too this studies undertaken whilst people were driving a vehicle plus using a mobile phone at the same time showed the potential for accidents to occur - to rise very significantly. I used to cut corners years ago when going to work in the morning by shaving with an electric shaver whilst driving to work. I don't do this now because of the amount of times I reacted slowly to an event that caused me so many times to have to brake late and nearly have a bump. This was whilst driving and looking through the windscreen when shaving too. Yet you'd think I would see the hazard in front of me early because I'm looking ahead of me. Yes, I do see the hazard but my reaction to it is slowed up by my mind being split between these two operations...one driving the other shaving. So my own experience tells me that driving whilst also using a mobile phone will lead to more accidents. The results from research carried out so far I feel make it sensible that the using of mobile phones whilst driving should be nipped-in-the-bud now and stopped, the results will save lives. I have just spent a couple of minutes looking through my front door onto the road outside. Seven vehicle have passed by, one of these driver was using a mobile phone so there's definitely good reasons for concern here.


No issues at all with advising drivers against performing activities that interfere with their ability to drive safely. This report from the US tells us that "Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves", though it doesn't tell us how that figure was derived (though it appears to be based on this report).

What the US report does state clearly is that in 2009 in the US:

# In 2009, there were 30,797 fatal crashes in the United States, which involved 45,230 drivers. In those crashes 33,808 people died.
# In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction (16% of total fatalities).
# Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)


So, cell phone usage was reported in 995 out of 33,808 fatalities, a little less than 3%.

While your observation of 1 in 7 drivers sounds high, the sample is small, the report for the US says:

# Nationwide, those drivers observed visibly manipulating hand-held electronic devices dropped significantly from 1.0 percent to 0.6 percent. [comparing 2008 with 2009]


Which may show that the message is being understood by motorists in the US. I'd hope that the same is true in the UK and elsewhere.

To make it clear, I am not arguing the usage of hand held devices of any type while driving is safe. Texting, twittering, facebooking and the like appear to be particularly distracting activities to undertake while driving, and a finding that they did not hamper a driver's ability to control their vehicle would be surprising.

The US report also notes:

# Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)


As far as I can tell the source is this paper, and while it does make the finding, it should be noted that the sample size for the experiment was 41. With such a small sample it is conceivable that was not representative of the population at large. The finding of a 4 times greater chance of an accident appears to be much more robust, and the additional comment on it provided by the authors here is worth a read.

The meta-analysis here suggests that "There was a similar pattern of results for passenger and remote (cell phone) conversations.", that is, having a conversation with a passenger is likely to be as distracting as having a conversation over a cell phone.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1158542 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 16:49:14 UTC - in response to Message 1158514.  

Drink drive campaigns over the years have helped


Actually, they've had no success and are a large waste of tax payer's money (if government supported). People still drink and drive now, if not more so, than when the campaigns started.


And the evidence for this is?

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1158546 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 16:58:59 UTC - in response to Message 1158527.  

Just because you don't listen to the radio, doesn't mean millions of other drivers don't, and yet we don't have millions of accidents. I don't think talking on the phone itself is such a major distraction compared to the other things I pointed out. Texting on the other hand requires more thought (well it does if you're like me and value proper spelling). Humans can successfully multi-task up to a certain point, but that point is different for each person, and as we advance as a race, that point may change over time.

And yes, it is too Big Brother-ish to automatically fine people for speeding and controlling their acceleration through microchips. Which brings me to my other question on why they build cars that can go over the speed limit in the first place. Why not just manufacture one car that can only go 70mph and make it the only street legal car in the world? Though I do terribly hate when everyone is forced to be the same and wear "identical bowler hats" (phrase taken from The Time Machine, the re-imagining of the original Time Machine by HG Wells).
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Message 1158550 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 17:06:36 UTC - in response to Message 1158546.  

Just because you don't listen to the radio, doesn't mean millions of other drivers don't, and yet we don't have millions of accidents. I don't think talking on the phone itself is such a major distraction compared to the other things I pointed out. Texting on the other hand requires more thought (well it does if you're like me and value proper spelling). Humans can successfully multi-task up to a certain point, but that point is different for each person, and as we advance as a race, that point may change over time.

And yes, it is too Big Brother-ish to automatically fine people for speeding and controlling their acceleration through microchips. Which brings me to my other question on why they build cars that can go over the speed limit in the first place. Why not just manufacture one car that can only go 70mph and make it the only street legal car in the world? Though I do terribly hate when everyone is forced to be the same and wear "identical bowler hats" (phrase taken from The Time Machine, the re-imagining of the original Time Machine by HG Wells).


At least some of the evidence I reference in my earlier post suggests that listening to the radio does not have as significant an impact as conversations with passengers or via cell phones. Do you have evidence suggesting otherwise?
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1158552 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 17:06:53 UTC - in response to Message 1158542.  

Drink drive campaigns over the years have helped


Actually, they've had no success and are a large waste of tax payer's money (if government supported). People still drink and drive now, if not more so, than when the campaigns started.


And the evidence for this is?


Here's one Op-Ed discussing the results of a study. Note that this is just one Op-Ed on several studies done, and not necessarily the Op-Ed that I base my view off of.
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Message 1158553 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 17:10:06 UTC - in response to Message 1158550.  

At least some of the evidence I reference in my earlier post suggests that listening to the radio does not have as significant an impact as conversations with passengers or via cell phones. Do you have evidence suggesting otherwise?


No. My only position is that there are many things competing for a driver's attention, so why focus all the attention on cell phones exclusively? In fact, I largely agree with your assertions.
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Message 1158556 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 17:17:31 UTC - in response to Message 1158552.  

Drink drive campaigns over the years have helped


Actually, they've had no success and are a large waste of tax payer's money (if government supported). People still drink and drive now, if not more so, than when the campaigns started.


And the evidence for this is?


Here's one Op-Ed discussing the results of a study. Note that this is just one Op-Ed on several studies done, and not necessarily the Op-Ed that I base my view off of.


While the advertising component of drink driving campaigns may not result in the desired effect, there is more to drink drive campaigns than advertising.

You also implied that drunken driving is as prevalent today as it ever was, do you have evidence to support this conclusion?
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1158561 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 17:29:33 UTC - in response to Message 1158556.  

Here's one Op-Ed discussing the results of a study. Note that this is just one Op-Ed on several studies done, and not necessarily the Op-Ed that I base my view off of.


While the advertising component of drink driving campaigns may not result in the desired effect, there is more to drink drive campaigns than advertising.


I'm sure there are, likely with the same amount of impact.

You also implied that drunken driving is as prevalent today as it ever was, do you have evidence to support this conclusion?


Only anecdotal evidence in that the population is always getting larger, binge drinking is up amongst the 16-28 age group, and most of the drinking does not occur at home, and few people use cabs or Designated Drivers.
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Message 1158565 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 17:50:05 UTC - in response to Message 1158563.  

Not acceleration, terminal speed.

...

Big Brother is already here mate! But my fault, should have been more carefull.


... and I feel that its a loss to all of our liberties. I know of at least one municipality in my area that has outlawed traffic cams citing illegal arrest without representation, and a fine case was made to indicate that these traffic cams are largely used to increase the income of police departments and makes no allowance for human mistakes that an officer could let you off on a warning (much like your experience you just shared).

Which brings me to my other question on why they build cars that can go over the speed limit in the first place. Why not just manufacture one car that can only go 70mph and make it the only street legal car in the world?


Oh come on, you can't be serious with that one, no way :-) Sorry ain't biting....


Of course I'm not serious. But I do fail to see the logic in building such amazingly fast cars if they are only allowed to do 70mph or less. Why allow for temptation to speed or human error (not paying attention) when it can be removed as a variable by simply putting a chip right into the "brain box" of any car that limits it's speed to an absolute maximum. Not that it will help much amongst the hacker community who will then sell flash programs that will remove the limits.

Mind you, I'm not proposing that any of this should be done. Just trying to take the logic of one side of the discussion and continuing it to it's conclusion.
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Message 1158566 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 17:50:39 UTC

At least some of the evidence I reference in my earlier post suggests that listening to the radio does not have as significant an impact as conversations with passengers or via cell phones. Do you have evidence suggesting otherwise?


While the advertising component of drink driving campaigns may not result in the desired effect, there is more to drink drive campaigns than advertising.

You also implied that drunken driving is as prevalent today as it ever was, do you have evidence to support this conclusion?


All posters here can easily carryout there own research here regarding what distracts them most whilst driving. For me it's having a conversation with someone or most distracting of all trying to manipulate something in my hand, be it my electric shaver or a mobile phone. Listening to the radio I find non-distracting but adjusting radio control naturally distracting in a serious way for it means I have to take my eyes momentarily off the road whilst I look for the necessary radio controls. What the drink-drive campaign has caused is an awareness of what alcohol does to ones mental and physical abilities in relation to driving. I, like many-many drivers drink and drive but most of us are aware of the effects of alcohol so make sure we stay within the legal limit. All people who drive are driving under the influence of alcohol whether they have been drinking alcohol itself or not?
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Message 1158569 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 18:13:39 UTC - in response to Message 1158566.  

you completely overlooked the texting and cellphone users that seem to slow traffic for no reason other than their need to feel important. IIRC Texting/cellphones are a bigger problem than drunk drivers now


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Message 1158576 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 18:40:25 UTC
Last modified: 3 Oct 2011, 18:41:41 UTC

The UK Coalition Government is proposing to up the speed limit to 80 mph, and suggest this slight rise in the speed limit will shorten journey times.

Back in 1995 the Labour Government brought in variable speed limits on parts of the M25. It was argued that slowing the speed limit from 70mph to 50mph means the traffic flowed better. Because of this better traffic flow the argument continued that the journey times were, therefore, shorter.

The ultimate conclusion of this policy was that when the traffic finally slowed to a stop, then you would have instantly shortened the journey time to nothing.

I remember the national broadsheets and red tops were banging on about this, but I have failed to find news comments on my tongue-in-cheek comment in the paragraph above.


A variable speed limit was introduced on part of Britain's M25 motorway in 1995 (on the busiest 14-mile (23 km) section from junction 10 to 16. Initial results suggested savings in journey times, smoother-flowing traffic, as well as a fall in the number of crashes and the scheme was made permanent in 1997.[28] However a 2004 National Audit Organization report noted that the business case was unproved; conditions at the site of the Variable Speed Limits trial were not stable before or during the trial, and the study was deemed neither properly controlled nor reliable. From December 2008 the upgraded section of the M1 between the M25 and Luton will have the facility for variable speed limits.[29] In January 2010 temporary variable speed cameras on the M1 between J25 and J28 were made permanent
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Message 1158586 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 18:56:07 UTC - in response to Message 1158576.  

The UK Coalition Government is proposing to up the speed limit to 80 mph, and suggest this slight rise in the speed limit will shorten journey times.

Back in 1995 the Conservative Government of Sir John Major (PM from 28th November 1990 until 2nd May 1997) brought in variable speed limits on parts of the M25. It was argued that slowing the speed limit from 70mph to 50mph means the traffic flowed better. Because of this better traffic flow the argument continued that the journey times were, therefore, shorter.

The ultimate conclusion of this policy was that when the traffic finally slowed to a stop, then you would have instantly shortened the journey time to nothing.

I remember the national broadsheets and red tops were banging on about this, but I have failed to find news comments on my tongue-in-cheek comment in the paragraph above.


A variable speed limit was introduced on part of Britain's M25 motorway in 1995 (on the busiest 14-mile (23 km) section from junction 10 to 16. Initial results suggested savings in journey times, smoother-flowing traffic, as well as a fall in the number of crashes and the scheme was made permanent in 1997.[28] However a 2004 National Audit Organization report noted that the business case was unproved; conditions at the site of the Variable Speed Limits trial were not stable before or during the trial, and the study was deemed neither properly controlled nor reliable. From December 2008 the upgraded section of the M1 between the M25 and Luton will have the facility for variable speed limits.[29] In January 2010 temporary variable speed cameras on the M1 between J25 and J28 were made permanent


Fixed that for you. While I'm sure Labour deserves much criticism, the introduction of variable speed limits on the M25 is not among them.

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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