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Police are to use a new Speed Gun
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bigfatjohn
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Joined: Oct 29, 2003
Posts: 114
Location: Market Harborough

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well spotted. But it was an "independent" report commissioned by government minsters to academics at University College London, a group whose funding and livelihood is determined by the same government ministers. No conflict of interest there then. :D

The late brakers need not necessarily have been speeding. I've followed some of them at legal speeds, but once they see a camera they just push the brake pedal on panic reflex action to the consternation of all behind them. It's more often the unexpected that causes accidents rather than pure speed.
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timtim
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Joined: 23/05/2003 15:15:15
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Location: Staffordshire

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair do's - statistics can prove/disprove anything.

Regarding your 2nd point, one has to ask why the panic reflex action?

If they weren't speeding, saw a camera and felt the need to brake, drivers were demonstrating that they were unaware of:

1. The speed they were travelling

2. The speed limit on the road

If they were aware of both of these and still braked hard, they weren't using their mirrors and didn't know what was behind them, causing a collision which wasn't their fault but still could have been avoided, which is still bad driving.

I must say that when I was in the job, in 99.5% of cases 'the unexpected' arose from poor road observations linked with inapropriate speed and/or road position. At the risk (to some poster's ears) of sounding patronising, every 'accident' I attended occured because one or both of the drivers involved

1. Exceeded the speed limit
2. Failed to observe/identify the hazards around him
3. Failed to predict what might reasonably be expected to occur, because of poor observation links

There is very little of the truly unexpected on the roads, and there are no "dangerous roads", only dangerous drivers, maybe not intentionally so, but dangerous nonetheless.
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bigfatjohn
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that your reasons for people suddenly braking are the correct ones, but then the roads are full of muppets and I don't think it matters why they do things like that. The problem is that they Do do it. Of course it's bad driving, but surely any system that makes things more difficult for them is a bad one.

I really do have problems with the "exceeding the speed limit" argument. Who sets the limits, and on what basis? Surely you couldn't argue that every speed limit is sensible? We've all seen silly low limits on wide dual carriageways, thirty limits extending well beyond the confines of built-up areas, etc etc.

I cannot see how a limit that was appropriate when cars had cable brakes on one axle can possibly have any relevance today. The difference in stopping distances is enormous.

Your second two reasons are more like it and both boil down to the same thing - bad driving. How will speed traps control that?
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timtim
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to contradict you and say that I think it does matter why they do brake suddenly - I you know why drivers brake suddenly you're in a better position to predict when they could do it again.

I presume that the local authority sets speed limits on the basis of the type of area the road goes through, and there are some limits set that I do think are unneccesarily low, but that said, I do stick to them (shouts of "goody-goody" & "Liar"). The Magistrate won't look kindly on you if you offer a "I didn't agree with the speed limit" defence.

Cars have developed braking systems that are much more efficient than they used to be, but a human's speed of reaction has remained pretty much the same since the stone age.

Speed traps won't improve a bad driver but if they drove at the speed limit they are less likley to kill someone if something does go wrong.

Incidentally - had to laugh - just heard on the news of a driver who was photographed speeding and was sticking two sets of V's up at the camera. Not only prosecuted for the speeding offence but also for having both hands off the wheel and not being in proper control of his vehicle (tee-hee) Happy
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timtim
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Location: Staffordshire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to come straight back on, but just found this on a link from this site to one selling speed trap detectors. It's a bit long but worth thinking about:

Distinguished medical experts have written detailed post-mortem reports on crash victims. The primary reason for the report was to reduce fatalities by making cars safer, more crash proof. Out of it have come recommendations for safety belts, different types of steering wheel etc. But out of the report has also come something else; the terrifying picture of what happens to steel and glass, to flesh and blood in those last split seconds when a human being is hurled into eternity.

This is a slow motion, split second reconstruction of what happens when a car traveling at 55 mph, crashes into a solid, immovable tree;

1/10th OF A SECOND: The front bumper and chromium radiator grille collapse. Slivers of steel penetrate the tree to depths of one and a half inches and more.

2/10th : The bonnet crumples as it rises, smashing into the windscreen. Spinning rear wheels leave the ground. The radiator disintegrates. The wings come into contact with the tree, forcing the rear pads to splay out over the front door.

In the same second tenth of a second: The heavy structural members of the car begin to act as a brake on the terrific forward momentum of the body, but the drivers body continues to move forward at the vehicles original speed. This means of force of 10 times gravity his body weight 3200. His legs, ramrod-straight, snap at the knee joint.

3/10th : The driver's body is now off the seat, torso upright, broken knees pressing against the dashboard. The plastic and steel frame of the steering wheel begins to bend under his terrible death grip. His head is now near the sun visor, his chest above the steering column.

4/10th : The cars front 24 inches have been completely demolished, but the rear end is still traveling at an estimated speed of 35 miles per hour. The driver's body is still traveling at 55 MPH. The engine block crushes into the tree. The rear of the car, like a bucking horse, rises high enough to scrape bark of low branches.

5/10th : The driver's fear frozen hands bend the steering column into an almost vertical position. The force of gravity impales him on the steering column. Jagged steel punctures lung and intercostal arteries. Blood spurts into the lung.

6/10th : So great is the force of impact that the driver's feet are ripped from his tightly laced shoes. The brake pedal sheers at the floorboards. The chassis bends in the middle. The driver's head smashes into the windscreen. The rear of the car begins its downward fall, with spinning wheels digging into the ground.

7/10th : The entire, writhing body of the car is forced out of shape. Hinges tear. Doors spring open. In one last convulsion the seat rams forward, pinning the driver against the cruel steel of the steering column. Blood leaps from his mouth. Shock has frozen his heart. He is now dead.


TIME ELAPSED - SEVEN TENTHS OF ONE SECOND

If anyone thinks I'm a bit obsessive about this speed business I HAVE SEEN COUNTLESS ACCIDENTS LIKE THIS LIVE - FOR REAL - IN THE FLESH, and had to tell relatives the news. But hey it won't happen to any of you out there will it? that's the other guy - you all know just what youre doing.
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dunno
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Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've skipped though this post so i haven't read everything ,but you guys here in the UK get away with murder, regarding speed , in south Africa they have cameras the size of a normal camera with extremely thin lines & they put them everywhere and anywhere they like , and the last time i went back they had semi permanent cameras that judged your speed /distance & if you were overweight , i used to go though at lest 1 trap a day & i have been here 7 years & i reckon i have seen +- 10 excluding those permanent ones ,
and i believe australia is even worse

just saying my 2 cents worth here :D
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BoxsterBoy
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Joined: May 31, 2004
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is probably worth noting is that the fines in South Africa are around R200 (About 16) and you don't get your licence endorsed - speeding can be bought by those who can afford it! In the UK the 3-6 points you will be awarded will massively increase your insurance premiums.

If the UK Traffic Police were to concentrate on drivers with defective vehicles and driving without insurance I think they could achieve far better results than just concentrating on Speed.
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robpow
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Joined: 02/04/2003 10:21:29
Posts: 20
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If people feel so strongly that the speed limits are wrong or that they are not signposted clearly, why do you rather go and spend hundreds of pounds on (sometimes) ineffective detectors, diffusers and other toys instead of starting a petition? Write to your MP if you think it is wrong or unfair. Stop winging about the police doing their job and accept that you can or will get caught if you have to break the law.
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