30kmh – making streets liveable

Shootist
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby Shootist » 13 Jan 2013, 8:57pm

hexhome wrote:To turn the whole thing on it's head, are you therefore saying that a good driver doesn't need speed limits as they will always drive within their own perceived abilities?


Assuming that their own perceived abilities are to a sufficiently high level, then why not? Already there are many roads in the UK that have a 30mph limit but on which it would be foolish to try even for 20mph at certain times of the day. Likewise, there are dual carriageways where I have driven quite safely at 130mph. Do you know of any road where driving at, say, 70mph is perfectly safe, but 71mph is lethal?

Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the blind obediance of fools.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

thirdcrank
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby thirdcrank » 13 Jan 2013, 9:22pm

IMO speed limits can only ever be a a rather crude answer to the dangers from inappropriate speed. Unfortunately, we've not yet devised anything better. To quote another saying, "Time is money." And another "A pound saved is a pound earned." Put together you have the motivation for most speeding, the economic greed of saving time. There are, of course other reasons, like showing off, making a fast getaway after robbing a bank, but an awful lot of it is just saving time.

Then going back to what I've been saying about the criminal justice system, enforcement based on judgment alone is never going to work if one side has to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. In the absence of a collision, who's to say that 500 mph isn't safe? "Safety" on many of our roads is only achieved through a rational decision by many people, or their parents/ carers, to stay off the roads altogether.

Mike Sales
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby Mike Sales » 13 Jan 2013, 9:34pm

Shootist wrote:
hexhome wrote:To turn the whole thing on it's head, are you therefore saying that a good driver doesn't need speed limits as they will always drive within their own perceived abilities?


Assuming that their own perceived abilities are to a sufficiently high level, then why not?

Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the blind obediance of fools.


Trouble is, many drivers overestimate their abilities. Many of us would put ourselves in the category of "wise men" but unfortunately the vulnerable road user might not agree, and would certainly be ill advised to trust in the marvellous skills of those who exceed the speed limit. That is why so few children are allowed any freedom these days.

http://road.cc/content/news/73654-childrens-independence-outside-home-has-dramatically-dropped-over-last-40-years

Shootist
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby Shootist » 13 Jan 2013, 10:03pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Shootist wrote:
hexhome wrote:To turn the whole thing on it's head, are you therefore saying that a good driver doesn't need speed limits as they will always drive within their own perceived abilities?


Assuming that their own perceived abilities are to a sufficiently high level, then why not?

Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the blind obediance of fools.


Trouble is, many drivers overestimate their abilities. Many of us would put ourselves in the category of "wise men" but unfortunately the vulnerable road user might not agree, and would certainly be ill advised to trust in the marvellous skills of those who exceed the speed limit. That is why so few children are allowed any freedom these days.

http://road.cc/content/news/73654-childrens-independence-outside-home-has-dramatically-dropped-over-last-40-years


If the test standard was raised to at least the police 'standard' driving test of my days (5 week residential course, as opposed to the current 'standard' test), which exceeded considerably that of the IAM, then the drivers would be a damned sight 'wiser' than they are now. Especially if instead of a 6 month totting ban they had a ban followed by a very stiff test to get their driver's licence back.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

Mike Sales
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby Mike Sales » 13 Jan 2013, 10:13pm

Shootist wrote:If the test standard was raised to at least the police 'standard' driving test of my days (5 week residential course, as opposed to the current 'standard' test), which exceeded considerably that of the IAM, then the drivers would be a damned sight 'wiser' than they are now. Especially if instead of a 6 month totting ban they had a ban followed by a very stiff test to get their driver's licence back.


If my aunt had balls he'd be my uncle.
Drivers who were trained to a high standard would not be breaking the speed limit anyway.

hexhome
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby hexhome » 13 Jan 2013, 11:27pm

Shootist wrote:If the test standard was raised to at least the police 'standard' driving test of my days (5 week residential course, as opposed to the current 'standard' test), which exceeded considerably that of the IAM, then the drivers would be a damned sight 'wiser' than they are now. Especially if instead of a 6 month totting ban they had a ban followed by a very stiff test to get their driver's licence back.


I think that many of us have had interesting experiences with cars displaying little red badges! I had a recent discussion with a senior examiner for the IAM who told me that cyclists should be banned from the roads completely and be relegated to the pavements as it would remove risk and delay to motorists. Don't get me wrong, I am all for a high level of driver training and have undertaken some myself BUT that doesn't guarantee a safe attitude. 'Progress' within the 'system' is still the number one aim in advanced driver training and the message of 'progress' is what most 'advanced' drivers come away with. Certainly it seems to be the basis of your suggestion regarding training rather than speed limits.

It is a public road system which caters for people of differing abilities. If we don't have rules, then there can be no basis to set standards by. Sadly IMHO, your idea which does have merit, will not work. During your 130mph blast down the dual carriageway, how did you plan avoiding any pedestrians who happened to be crossing?

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squeaker
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby squeaker » 14 Jan 2013, 11:44am

hexhome wrote:'Progress' within the 'system' is still the number one aim in advanced driver training and the message of 'progress' is what most 'advanced' drivers come away with.
Quite: and, especially where there are residential or retail properties adjacent to the highway, that can mean an unpleasant, if not unsafe, environment for those not insulated in metal cages. As a pedestrian on a, frequently narrow, footway, anything over 20mph is not nice :evil:
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Shootist
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby Shootist » 14 Jan 2013, 12:25pm

hexhome wrote:It is a public road system which caters for people of differing abilities. If we don't have rules, then there can be no basis to set standards by. Sadly IMHO, your idea which does have merit, will not work. During your 130mph blast down the dual carriageway, how did you plan avoiding any pedestrians who happened to be crossing?


An interesting question. Let me first ask another in response, to illustrate the fallacy contained within the question.

An average human being can run at about 10 mph for a reasonable distance, faster if sprinting for a short distance. That's about 15 feet per second. The average A road width in urban areas in the UK is 11.2 metres (36 feet). Let's assume a generous pavement width of 12 feet. So, to reach the centre of the nearest lane from the centre of the pavement a pedestrian would have to travel 15 feet, which he could do in one second. A car travelling at 30 mph will cover 44 feet in one second. The thinking distance for an alert driver will be 30 feet. If the pedestrian decides to dart out in front of your car and gets the timing right (wrong) you cannot avoid hitting him. So, whenever you are driving down a normal urban road where there are pedestrians on the pavement, in normal light traffic flow conditions, do you slow down to 20 mph, or 15 mph in case a pedestrian decides to do something stupid, causing a collision it would be impossible for you to avoid?

In my case, the road was for all practical purposes empty. It was daylight, visibility was good, weather was fine. The locale was agricultural, with no likely location for pedestrians to appear. By maintaining a very high level of concentration I could anticipate and thus observe in good time any likely hazard to a sufficient degree as to be sufficiently safe to drive at the speed I did.

But we can all bring our bag of whatifs. as you, and now I, have illustrated.

I do actually accept that speed limits, sensibly set, are a necessary evil, but they shouldn't be regarded as the perfect solution. The only complete solution is a much higher standard of driving. And for those who have suggested that the primary goal for advanced drivers is to make progress, I would point out that it is correctly stated as to make progress where is is safe to do so.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

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squeaker
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby squeaker » 14 Jan 2013, 12:48pm

Shootist wrote:The only complete solution is a much higher standard of driving. And for those who have suggested that the primary goal for advanced drivers is to make progress, I would point out that it is correctly stated as to make progress where is is safe to do so.
On the last point: safe for whom? (More importantly, who makes that judgement call?)
Getting back to the high speed thing, whilst it may have been 'safe' to drive at a high speed, what if the majority of 'society' had decided that 'high speeds' were anti-social (due to high fuel consumption, pollution - gaseous and noise, vastly increased kinetic energy to be dissipated in a collision, etc.)? IMO just because something is judged 'safe' doesn't automatically make it 'acceptable'.
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hexhome
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby hexhome » 14 Jan 2013, 1:16pm

Shootist wrote:
hexhome wrote:It is a public road system which caters for people of differing abilities. If we don't have rules, then there can be no basis to set standards by. Sadly IMHO, your idea which does have merit, will not work. During your 130mph blast down the dual carriageway, how did you plan avoiding any pedestrians who happened to be crossing?


An interesting question. Let me first ask another in response, to illustrate the fallacy contained within the question.

An average human being can run at about 10 mph for a reasonable distance, faster if sprinting for a short distance. That's about 15 feet per second. The average A road width in urban areas in the UK is 11.2 metres (36 feet). Let's assume a generous pavement width of 12 feet. So, to reach the centre of the nearest lane from the centre of the pavement a pedestrian would have to travel 15 feet, which he could do in one second. A car travelling at 30 mph will cover 44 feet in one second. The thinking distance for an alert driver will be 30 feet. If the pedestrian decides to dart out in front of your car and gets the timing right (wrong) you cannot avoid hitting him. So, whenever you are driving down a normal urban road where there are pedestrians on the pavement, in normal light traffic flow conditions, do you slow down to 20 mph, or 15 mph in case a pedestrian decides to do something stupid, causing a collision it would be impossible for you to avoid?

In my case, the road was for all practical purposes empty. It was daylight, visibility was good, weather was fine. The locale was agricultural, with no likely location for pedestrians to appear. By maintaining a very high level of concentration I could anticipate and thus observe in good time any likely hazard to a sufficient degree as to be sufficiently safe to drive at the speed I did.

But we can all bring our bag of whatifs. as you, and now I, have illustrated.

I do actually accept that speed limits, sensibly set, are a necessary evil, but they shouldn't be regarded as the perfect solution. The only complete solution is a much higher standard of driving. And for those who have suggested that the primary goal for advanced drivers is to make progress, I would point out that it is correctly stated as to make progress where is is safe to do so.


After re reading the above very carefully twice, I found what may be your question if not the fallacy in there. My answer - 20 or less because pedestrian injury would be minimised, and for what it's worth, I have undergone extensive advanced driver training. I am very concerned that you really believe that you can safely drive a car on a public road at 130mph as it was not likely that pedestrians would appear! You say that the locale was agricultural, the inference being that it would not therefore be populated. It is not so long ago that I was early on the scene of a car v pedestrian in exactly the location you describe. The car was doing 70mph and failed to avoid a man and his dog. If you had seen the result, I hope that it would change your attitude.

You my friend are exactly the type of person who needs to be restrained by speed limits and the law!

Shootist
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby Shootist » 14 Jan 2013, 1:59pm

hexhome wrote:After re reading the above very carefully twice, I found what may be your question if not the fallacy in there. My answer - 20 or less,

I mean no disrespect when I say I simply do not believe you. If what you say is correct then I suspect you may be one of a handful of motorists who would slow down for such a reason. Are you suggesting that anyone who maintains a perfectly legal 30mph in such condition is driving dangerously?

hexhome wrote: and for what it's worth, I have undergone extensive advanced driver training.

As have I, including police advanced driving.

hexhome wrote: I am very concerned that you really believe that you can safely drive a car on a public road at 130mph as it was not likely that pedestrians would appear! You say that the locale was agricultural, the inference being that it would not therefore be populated. It is not so long ago that I was early on the scene of a car v pedestrian in exactly the location you describe. The car was doing 70mph and failed to avoid a man and his dog. If you had seen the result, I hope that it would change your attitude.

By your standards then it is clear that 70mph is an unsafe speed, and the driver was at fault. Is that the case? Are we to limit all roads, be they motorways or country lanes, to 20mph or less, at which the majority of pedestrians will survive a collision with a car? And what of the car driver's 'failure to avoid the man and his dog? Why not instead question the stupidity of the manner in which they tried to cross the road? Or are we back to the "Two wheels good, four wheels bad" school of thought here? I have also seen and dealt with enough road gore to understand consequences.

hexhome wrote:You my friend are exactly the type of person who needs to be restrained by speed limits and the law!
Please do not make unwarranted and unsought assumptions upon my friendship.
Last edited by Vorpal on 14 Jan 2013, 9:19pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: clarify quotes
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

hexhome
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby hexhome » 14 Jan 2013, 2:24pm

Whether you believe me or not is immaterial. The fact remains that you believe that you are trained to such a high standard that you can maintain 130mph on public roads with unrestricted access safely. You certainly would not have learnt that on any Police driving course in the last 20 years!

The facts are that if you should be unfortunate to hit a pedestrian at speed, the outcome for the pedestrian is poor. Public opinion is calling for 20 mph limits on residential, high density urban and school locations. I support this wish as I believe it is right for those areas. No new laws are needed, they already exist.

Your argument for better driver training is a good one, but not if you truly believe that it should replace speed limits.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby [XAP]Bob » 14 Jan 2013, 4:14pm

Well, in theory perfect training would be able to replace speed limits - but since that training would need to be revisited daily I think we can get away with merely "much better" training than we have and remind people that they are a limit not a target.
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Mick F
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby Mick F » 14 Jan 2013, 4:25pm

Shootist wrote: So, whenever you are driving down a normal urban road where there are pedestrians on the pavement, in normal light traffic flow conditions, do you slow down to 20 mph, or 15 mph in case a pedestrian decides to do something stupid, causing a collision it would be impossible for you to avoid?
Yes.
Don't you?

Apart from the danger, it's impolite and rude to go past peds at 30mph. Treat them with respect and kindness. Treat them in a manner you would like to be treated.
Mick F. Cornwall

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meic
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Re: 30kmh – making streets liveable

Postby meic » 14 Jan 2013, 4:48pm

Why not instead question the stupidity of the manner in which they tried to cross the road?


Here we have a bit of a Catch22. The pedestrian is to blame because they fail to negotiate a crossing of a high speed road with the caution needed to cross a high speed road. Yet speed in itself is not dangerous.

As a pedestrian it is normally safe and easy to cross a road where cars are doing 20mph (or even 30mph if you are street wise) but 70 or 130mph is pushing your luck even in light traffic.
Yma o Hyd