From a van driver's point of view...

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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meic
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby meic » 9 Nov 2012, 2:36pm

I found it, you hover the cursor over the post's title in the subject window. :)
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kwackers
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2012, 2:42pm

meic wrote:I found it, you hover the cursor over the post's title in the subject window. :)

Handy as well if you want to link to a specific post in a thread without quoting it (from another thread I'd think would be the main use), since you can copy that URL and when clicked that post will be at the top of the page.
(Well, not necessarily at the top - but visible)

Mike Sales
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Nov 2012, 2:51pm

AlaninWales wrote:Mike I don't see the difference between what you are asking for and what hexhome said is being rolled out - self-policing speedometers (post 465 to which you've replied). Can you clarify what the difference would be?
One issue that will always occur is keeping the underlying map data up to date. Around here there are several roads with changed speed limits (mostly down, some up), which haven't yet made it to my (free to update) GPS mapping data.


If what hexhome says is being rolled out would provide good enforcement of speed limits then I would be quite happy. That is all I want to see. I was not arguing against his post, I was merely saying that there is plenty of technology available to make speed policing so efficient as to end the epidemic of law breaking on our roads.
It was you, I thought, who was trying to pick holes in my vague idea of how technology could do the job. I am not wedded to using any particular technology. I just think it would surely be technically straightforward. More technically informed minds than mine would be needed to devise exactly how.
You raise another objection, that limits change. I don't think this is insuperable either. A legal obstacle course has to be gone through to change speed limits. To add notification of changes to a central register which the makers of the hexhome (or Sales) speed limit enforcing apparatus are obliged to consult regularly should do the job.
The marine GPS which I use averages speeds pretty well. I can set the averaging period. Charts are changed regularly. Makers of the cards which go in marine GPSs offer regular online updates. Satnavs (I don't have one) are able to guide cars through complicated interchanges.
These things are fairly sophisticated, and if the systems hexhome mentions cannot do the job satisfactorily, adding a little more technology is quite do-able. That is all I was saying. To repeat, I was not really arguing for any particular system, just pointing out that if the political will was available, we could enforce speed limits.
You asked me about the difference between what hexhome described and the ideas I outlined. I hope I have answered this adequately. May I ask you whether you agree the problem with implementing such a system is technical or political? If you agree with me that it is purely political we can end this discussion.

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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby AlaninWales » 9 Nov 2012, 2:59pm

kwackers wrote:
meic wrote:You had me wondering how you could find the number of a specific post.


You can get the absolute post number, for example your post is post 601726.

:oops: - too many different forums, I just looked to the right and assumed that was the post number as it is elsewhere. Apologies!

Anyway, could you clarify how what you're asking for differs from what hexhome said is happening (lorries will "self police")? I can't see the difference :?

Cross-posted - I'll read your reply above then edit again
Now I've read it...
I agree it's coming. Something of the sort has been discussed for at least the last 20 years to my recollection. I think the technology to implement it is maturing fast, but genuinely hasn't been cheap/pervasive/reliable enough until the last few years. If you think back to how long it took GPS to be accepted in marine environment, where people expect to invest in position-finding equipment I think you must agree. Certainly a decade or so ago, people were still using RDF.

I wasn't picking holes, simply pointing out the remaining technical issues which will need to be dealt with - they can and will be. All that remains is rolling this out to the vehicles, which is likely to come via new vehicles entering the market. Will technology be our saviour? As a cyclist and pedestrian, I foresee great difficulty ahead with some of the technology coming up (for example, that shown on on BBC2's 'How Safe Are Our Roads' http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... Episode_2/); much of it makes the car occupants safer/more comfortable but potentially at the expense of the more vulnerable road user (if they are allowed to use the same roads).

Last edit re: "Satnavs (I don't have one) are able to guide cars through complicated interchanges. " :lol: :lol: :lol: err. no (I can see you don't have one). Never, ever trust a sat-nav on a complicated interchange! They rely on someone reading the map correctly (or a scanning device doing so) and making assumptions about which road has priority, where the lines are (often not mapped and frequently changed when they are) and are NOT reliable to tell you which lane to get into and when (especially in heavy traffic).
Last edited by AlaninWales on 9 Nov 2012, 3:57pm, edited 2 times in total.

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meic
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby meic » 9 Nov 2012, 3:00pm

Dont apologise, I learnt a new technique. :D

I also spent too long in Nottnam. :oops:
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Mike Sales
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Nov 2012, 3:03pm

AlaninWales wrote:
kwackers wrote:
meic wrote:You had me wondering how you could find the number of a specific post.


You can get the absolute post number, for example your post is post 601726.

:oops: - too many different forums, I just looked to the right and assumed that was the post number as it is elsewhere. Apologies!

Anyway, could you clarify how what you're asking for differs from what hexhome said is happening (lorries will "self police")? I can't see the difference :?

Cross-posted - I'll read your reply above then edit again


I think you are confusing meic and Mike.

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meic
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby meic » 9 Nov 2012, 3:09pm

scottmac wrote:http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-press-20121109a :?



If this was to occur alongside a GPS or other enforcement of the speed limits, I would not be too bothered.

I am not happy about having these speed differentials between vehicles on our rural roads.

Of course there is a third strand to all of this, the unrestricted roads are fast disappearing around here and being replaced by 50 and 40 plates which helps get rid of the differential in a better way.
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kwackers
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2012, 3:10pm

scottmac wrote:http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-press-20121109a :?

I have to say, that's amazing. I'm almost certain I've never seen a lorry only doing 40mph on a single carriageway (one with a higher speed limit at any rate). I'm pretty certain they all barrel along at normal traffic speeds...

Perhaps I'm doing them an injustice but I'll keep my eyes open next time and check the speedo.

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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Nov 2012, 3:17pm

meic wrote:
scottmac wrote:http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-press-20121109a :?



If this was to occur alongside a GPS or other enforcement of the speed limits, I would not be too bothered.



If this proposal to increase lorry limits to 45 mph or 50 mph is enacted, and the limits enforced it would mean a reduction in the actual speed of lorries on rural single carriageways. If the minister is correct that faster lorries boost productivity then this would reduce it. Of course in reality the law would mean no change in speeds.

kwackers wrote:I have to say, that's amazing. I'm almost certain I've never seen a lorry only doing 40mph on a single carriageway (one with a higher speed limit at any rate). I'm pretty certain they all barrel along at normal traffic speeds...

Perhaps I'm doing them an injustice but I'll keep my eyes open next time and check the speedo.


In my experience you are not doing them an injustice. I have checked the speeds of lorries on the A17 which I use often. I haven't noticed one obeying the law.

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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Nov 2012, 4:25pm

AlaninWales wrote:
Anyway, could you clarify how what you're asking for differs from what hexhome said is happening (lorries will "self police")? I can't see the difference :?

Cross-posted - I'll read your reply above then edit again
Now I've read it...
I agree it's coming. Something of the sort has been discussed for at least the last 20 years to my recollection. I think the technology to implement it is maturing fast, but genuinely hasn't been cheap/pervasive/reliable enough until the last few years. If you think back to how long it took GPS to be accepted in marine environment, where people expect to invest in position-finding equipment I think you must agree. Certainly a decade or so ago, people were still using RDF.

I wasn't picking holes, simply pointing out the remaining technical issues which will need to be dealt with - they can and will be. All that remains is rolling this out to the vehicles, which is likely to come via new vehicles entering the market. Will technology be our saviour? As a cyclist and pedestrian, I foresee great difficulty ahead with some of the technology coming up (for example, that shown on on BBC2's 'How Safe Are Our Roads' http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... Episode_2/); much of it makes the car occupants safer/more comfortable but potentially at the expense of the more vulnerable road user (if they are allowed to use the same roads).

Last edit re: "Satnavs (I don't have one) are able to guide cars through complicated interchanges. " :lol: :lol: :lol: err. no (I can see you don't have one). Never, ever trust a sat-nav on a complicated interchange! They rely on someone reading the map correctly (or a scanning device doing so) and making assumptions about which road has priority, where the lines are (often not mapped and frequently changed when they are) and are NOT reliable to tell you which lane to get into and when (especially in heavy traffic).


We are basically in agreement.
I'm not sure that "self policing" is the right name for what hexhome describes. After all, a speedometer enables self policing, but if the phrase means something more, what does it mean? Is a speed governer? I did not gather that. Is it a record from which infringements can be caught later? I don't think the police or any authority examine the record, perhaps I am wrong. Is it of a good enough standard for a legal prosecution? I don't know.
If this self policing system works it should be rolled out asap. As I keep saying, it certainly hasn't reached the roads I use.
When I raised this subject before I was assailed by technical objections from people who said it would not work. What with this, and the failure so far of hexhome's system to enforce the law I detailed why I thought that it ought to be possible to produce a legally effective system. As you say, any technical problems can be overcome. The political will is the real problem.
Marine GPS. I used the three Ls (lead, log and lookout) long after RDF and Decca were available, even to the impecunious owner of a small boat. I jumped straight to GPS when they became cheap. From the medieval to the space age in one leap! (I have used a plastic sextant).
Whenever I have told satnav owners that I prefer a map they have impressed upon me how good the things are. Thank you, my will to save the money has been crumbling. I shall stick to the road atlas.

Edited to add..
You "agree its coming", when it is cheap enough. It won't come in the form I am talking about until it is demanded by law, because its use will be part of enforcing the law.
Self policing does not work, and will not work. The technology is here. All that is needed is developing the software to use it. Waiting until it is "pervasive" enough is not the point. It needs to be legally demanded so that the law can be enforced. The huge amount of law breaking we have now shows that.
I quite agree that there are unforeseen problems with a lot of "safety" technology. Seat belts increased the rate of cyclist and pedestrian deaths. Effective speed limit enforcement would at least mean that drivers would hit you at a slower speed, and would make our roads feel safer. This should encourage more cycling and walking.

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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby AlaninWales » 9 Nov 2012, 5:00pm

I think it will come before the law is changed to require it, via insurance companies.

Law requires political will - the political will to make all (well, the vast majority of) our current vehicles illegal as they do not have the technology fitted. OK after-market devices will be available, but I don't think the will exists to amke such a purchase mandatory. Law also costs money to enforce.

Insurance companies are about money. Enforcement and aftermarket devices will save them money (or justify high charges to those not fitting them). 'Nuf said.

Then there's the uninsured. When they start costing big business serious money ("We're not getting money from these, just circulating it back and forth between our subsidiaries and still paying for the damage they do" - yes I know the money comes from those with insurance, but their rates have just been frozen as they have the devices fitted...) - then technology will e paid for and used to identify and remove these vehicles from the road (think everywhere that can get a payment from an insurance company by putting a barrier across the exit for vehicles not carrying a valid insurance black box).

It will happen. once it is seen where it's costing Profits.

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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Nov 2012, 5:16pm

You may be right that insurance companies will enforce this before the law changes. I do not underestimate the political difficulty.
Insurance companies have their own agenda which does not necessarily coincide with the public good of producing streets which are more welcoming to vulnerable road users, who do not take out insurance much, and when they do pay smaller premiums. As long as premiums are greater than payouts the insurance companies are happy to see more accidents, which mean a growth in business.
The Association of British Drivers like to accuse speed cameras of being a money making device. Perhaps effective speed limit enforcement would pay for itself in fines. In any case, it ought to save accident costs and be a net benefit to our national accounts. Even if it costs money it is certainly worthwhile to produce a more benevolent road environment.

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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby hexhome » 9 Nov 2012, 9:32pm

Mike Sales wrote:What are the problems with tachographs which make them unsuitable? I imagine they already have to conform to regulations which make them suitable as legal evidence. As for extra burden on small companies, don't lorries already have to fit them? I know GPS dongles can be very cheap, so used with a tachograph I imagine they could give evidence of position to be interfaced with speed quite easily.
The cost of this sort of device and its extra software spread over the nation's lorry fleet would surely be small. In any case, speeding lorries impose extra costs on society. Accidents, fear, deterring vulnerable road users, more road damage are external costs, not paid by the operators. It is reasonable to impose some extra costs on them in order to reduce the costs to society.
Modern electronics surely make solving the problems suggested above possible. The ingenuity applied to designing consumer electronics is astounding, why could it not be applied to making the roads safer?
The real problem is political will, which is even more of a problem because cars would also be made to slow down.
Once the technology is perfected it could be used on private motor vehicles. Present speed limits are so widely ignored that they are a mockery. The other technology which could be used to make speed limits effective is to link speed governors to radio beacons, perhaps installed in speed limit signs.


A brief description of current speed and location measurement devices in HGVs. Since 2006, it has been legal requirement for HGVs and Coaches to be fitted with digital tachographs. http://downloads.tachomaster.net/docs/D ... ograph.pdf Drivers must own and use a driver card which when inserted into the device on the vehicle, records; vehicle,location,date,time,speed,activity and driver. This information is stored on the vehicle as well as the driver's digicard. This data is a legal requirement and is admissible in court. In addition to this, many vehicles are also fitted with GPS which integrates with the vehicles management computer to add location information. The vehicles computer also adds information regarding driver behaviour and service issues. The operator gets a regular print out which highlights any driver behaviour issues and this information can also be transmitted at regular set intervals via GPRS. This information has also been admissible in court, an example here of both sets of data being used as evidence - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-s ... d-15690504 resulted in the driver being jailed for a year.

Data recording is now a large factor in improving the safe and economic operation of large goods vehicles. There is considerable evidence that speeding lorries are becoming fewer to the point of almost non existent on motorways, though the public perception often counters this evidence. The speed recording devices on these vehicles are extremely accurate and regularly calibrated, unlike car speedometers which usually read 5-10% fast. Many trucks are also fitted with a form of auto braking which prevents the speed increasing on descents when using the cruise control. They are all electronically limited to a maximum speed of 90kmh, and most are set a little below that speed. Coaches are set slightly higher.

There is absolutely no reason that this technology could not be fitted to all motor vehicles except as you correctly say, political will. In fact it is mostly already there, I am aware of at least one prosecution of a Range Rover driver based on the evidence of the vehicles computer.
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Nov 2012, 9:46pm

Wow, I thought it must be possible, its great to know it is and is already here.
If we really wanted to we could eliminate speeding by these lorries.
As I have said before in this thread, I have not yet met a lorry doing 40 mph on the single carriageway A road I use regularly. This argues that law breaking by lorry drivers is winked at. The media correspondence columns are full of abuse of cyclists, but the biggest ( most prolific and also physically largest and so most dangerous) lawbreakers are never mentioned. The reason is obvious.
As you say, this could be applied to cars too. Why is this so little known?
The only further development we need is a speed governor linked to radio beacons in limit signs.
And, of course, the political will.

Thank you hexhome.