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A cure for slow drivers? The Left Lane Drivers want to sell you a sticker.

 
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:25 pm
And, Set, a lot of speed limits are in fact arbitrary. In several states I've lived in, the legal speed limit in most urban areas was 25. In MA it's 30--are we safer drivers? Hell, no? Are our city streets better engineered? My god, no. It's arbitrary.

For years the national speed limit was 55. It wass an arbitrary reduction on roads largely engineered for 65 due to the first oil crisis, since that 10 mph reduction resulted in a disproportionately great mpg increase. But people widely and flagrantly disregarded the limit for decades. So eventually the feds gave in and raised it back to 65 in most areas.

Some roads are engineered. Some roads just happen. And some are arbitrary. Used to be in Waycross, Georgia, you hit an arbitrary point and the limit suddenly dropped 10 mph. And there was always a cop waiting behind a tree just beyond it to nab you and take you immediately before a JP to pay your I think it was $35 at the time. It was how town government paid for itself. Arbitrary.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:28 pm
@Setanta,
You're exaggerating, Set. Not everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere. In Vancouver there are many immigrant drivers, many elderly drivers, many young drivers, and many preoccupied drivers, all of whom can cause problems unrelated to speeding.

Anyway, I'm in Calgary now, where there are numerous, wide, flat highways and there are still accidents galore. They get snow every year (unlike Vancouver) yet the first day they had a significant dump (15 cm), there were 250 accidents. You'd think they'd a) be prepared (drive defensively), and b) had their snow tires on, which help.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:28 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

It's hardly my fault that the traffic engineers in Canada are lame. All the on-ramps and off-ramps i've seen in Canada are short, inadequate nightmares.

Although i do suspect that you must have brought traffic engineers in from other countries--obviously, your highways were not designed by people who knew that Canadians will inevitably drive as fast as they can, whenever they can.


If the Cdn traffic engineers are lame, why tout them as if they know what they're doing so we should listen to them?
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:32 pm
That there are speed traps is not evidence that all speed limits are arbitrary. That the speed limit was reduced after the Yom Kippur War was not arbitrary, and one can hardly blame engineers who designed highways for 65 mph traffic if government reduced the speed limit by 10 miles per hour. Some states ignored it, and apparently traffic engineers disagree about the safe speed for the potential traffic load of their roads. The speed limit in Michigan is 70 mph. In Ohio, it's usually 65 mph, but on most of I75 in Toledo, it's 60 mph. People start to seriously accelerate in the north end of Toledo, long before they get to Michigan.

But none of that is evidence that speed limits are determined in an arbitrary and capricious manner, no did i ever say that speed limits were set at any particular speed because people are inherently good drivers.

Canadians, for example, and to revert to an earlier example, by and large don't turn or change lanes without signalling, and generally stay out of the left lane unless they're passing. If a highway has three or more lanes, semis are not allowed to drive in the left lane.

And the posted limit is 100 kph--almost nobody in Canada drives at or under the posted limit, and it's just a question of to what extent they will speed.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:35 pm
@Mame,
Quote:
If the Cdn traffic engineers are lame, why tout them as if they know what they're doing so we should listen to them? [//quote]

At no time did i tout Canadian traffic engineers.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:38 pm
Just so's ya know, Mame . . . i'm havin' my fun with the Canajun drivers . . . take it easy, darlin' . . .
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:38 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Quote:
Secondly, these speed limits are arbitrary. Who says that 60 mph is the safest speed? Why are you so willing to be led around by the nose by those in authority?


Where did you come up with that crap? Have you ever heard of traffic engineers? The traffic lights on city streets are designed by traffic engineers to assure, as much as will be possible, the smooth flow of traffic. On expressways, the speed limits are determined by the available traffic load of the roadway. That these systems are now strained, because drivers (in Canada, as well as in the United States) are out there, one person per vehicle on highways built in the 1950s and -60s is just good reason to slow down, not speed up.



You don't consider that touting?? Huh.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:40 pm
@Mame,
No, i don't. In fact, i had American highways in mind when i wrote that.

And, to repeat, i've been poking fun at Canadian drivers and highways . . .
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:40 pm
Wow.

Yall sure do get all pissy about driving. jesus christ.

Im agreeing with MP to a certain extent. Speeding isnt necessary unless in an emergency. It is a choice. And it is a choice that DOES make driving for others more dangerous... but so is picking your nose. So is talking on your phone. So is adjusting your rear end in your seat. Anything you are doing behind the wheel .. even watching other drivers , makes you pay just that much less attention. Its human. Do i think that people should be fined out the ass for it? Eh..Kinda. But it is a certain type of driver I am picturing in my head when I think about this.. and not just the person who is driving faster then the speed limit in a lane that is empty.
Im talking about the wanna be speed racers. The real dog **** assholes. But to say that I only want ONE type of 'speeder' ticketed is pure bullcrap.
The rules need to be the same for everyone.

But.. this is coming from someone who DOES NOT use the left hand lane.
Someone who DOES use the lines and marks in the road to time herself at 3-5 seconds from traffic. Someone who DOES leave early in the morning or any time for that matter .. so that I dont HAVE to speed.
And from someone who knows how traffic lights are planned.

Think about traffic lights this way..

Pour some water in to a cup. But dont let it spill over.
You have to stop pouring.. to empty the cup... to keep pouring.
That stopping? is traffic lights.
If they were not timed to SOMETHING.. traffic would be impossible, dangerous and just not practical.
One speeder, or even a hand full of speeders dont make a big difference.
Its people whos ego get in the way that make the difference.
The ones who take being passed personally.. or take someone trying to get around them as some kind of attack.

just drive. Move when you need to. be polite.. and stop thinking that everyone elses behaviors are allllll about you.

When I was in labor with Jillian, someone pulled in front of our car on the highway and blocked us being just as out right rude as he could be.
I just dont get it.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:46 pm
Wal,there's nuthin better than reclinin' the back of your seat, pullin' your Stetson over your forehead, your right cowboy boot up on the passenger dashboard, steering with your left knee, having a long pull on your Molson Canadian beer, patting your shotgun at your side, all while going 50 kph over the limit. Yeah.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:49 pm
@shewolfnm,
My whole point on this thread has been that folks should let the cops worry about the unsafe drivers, and pay attention to their own driving.

The whole attitude about wanting to make everyone else follow the rules seems really petty and holier-than-thou.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 03:57 pm
@Mame,
I'm with ya darlin' . . . although they pulled some joker over on the 401 (Ontario) a while back, doin' 220 kph . . . i suspect he had both hands on the wheel . . .
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 04:00 pm
@shewolfnm,
shewolfnm wrote:
Speeding isnt necessary unless in an emergency. It is a choice. And it is a choice that DOES make driving for others more dangerous... but so is picking your nose. So is talking on your phone. So is adjusting your rear end in your seat. Anything you are doing behind the wheel .. even watching other drivers , makes you pay just that much less attention.

I know someone who considers herself a safe driver, because she never speeds, yet has been in three accidents because she stops on mother effing entrance ramps.
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 04:04 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
Driving at the consensus speed is what actually works best and produc es the smoothest traffic with the fewest dangerous surprises. And here that's over the speed limit virtually all the time.


Thank you! I agree 100%!!!
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 04:14 pm
@Bella Dea,
Works best for who?

I doubt you're suggesting that higher speeds work fine for people who get into an accident? Or how about pedestrians? Bicyclists?

I guess the only people I can think of who it works fine for are oil companies, and people who value the 2 minutes extra time they gain at work.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 04:16 pm
@maporsche,
I'd bet you dollars to pesos that on my 20 mile drive work, if the speed limit were reduced from 45/50 to 25/30 I would lose less than 5 minutes each way.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 04:52 pm
Ah, I have much enjoyed speeding - but as I've cottoned on to my peripheral vision problemo, which I have had as long as I can remember, so, sixty years (I just didn't know I was different in childhood ...)
To deal with this, I look around and use mirrors more than most other drivers, or use the person in the passenger seat.
Anyway, I've grown to be more responsible.

Mostly I've stayed, life long, with traffic flow. I remember back in gas crisis #1, or #1 in my lifetime, California put its speed limit down to 55 instead of 65 mph.

I think there was some fair benefit to that re numbers of fatal accidents, but I'm not doing the research right now. Soon enough that crisis was over and we were back to 65, which in much of CA means 75, just as 55 meant mostly 65.

I've tended to avoid I-5 in CA since for big stretches the speed of all is around 90 mph, and the person behind and aside you is a semi (limit, if I remember, is 70, maybe 75). I'm not exaggerating, but perhaps the whole stretch of I-5 isn't like that. (I've also avoided it since I find 101 much more interesting, though I've also gone 90 on 101 in no-cars-to-be-seen lengthy stretches. You can catch yourself doing that if you don't have cruise control. I suppose that in those stretches my comfort zone is in the seventies.
I'm sure I hit 90 if only for the odd minute on my drive from CA to New Mexico.

My favorite kind of driving was through upper CA 101, which involved mildly curvy well designed roads though redwood forest areas. Hardly any other cars, and the speed limit was fine, made sense re the road... as most of the posted limits do, I think. You can beat the speed limit and get by, but the limit is the result of testing for safety. That was a kind of dream driving, and I didn't exceed limit by much on those drives.

Interesting, as when I would do the curlies, the drive through very windy forest areas while followed by speedos or logging trucks.. it could get hairy re the people behind you. The limit might be 15, I'd be going 23, the others on my car tail in apparent rage. Seconds may be money for loggers, or maybe some distain going on..

I've known a few really fast drivers. Three, off hand, but maybe more if I thought a while. One designed the Vector; one was a physician on his way to a moonlighting job in his Porsche; one of them is Dys. He has been a model driver on the streets, despite his long time fast driving ability.






ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 04:54 pm
@ossobuco,
After that posting escapade, I have to say I mostly agree with MaPorsche.

And don't get me going on pedestrians, forgotten lambs.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 04:58 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:
Soon enough that crisis was over and we were back to 65, which in much of CA means 75, just as 55 meant mostly 65.

I've tended to avoid I-5 in CA since for big stretches the speed of all is around 90 mph, and the person behind and aside you is a semi (limit, if I remember, is 70, maybe 75). I'm not exaggerating, but perhaps the whole stretch of I-5 isn't like that.


It's still that way and all of I-5 is speeding. Maposche better stay out of California Very Happy. The cops mostly don't stop anyone who drives under 80 mph. That's freeway only - on local roads it's prudent to obey the speed limit.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 05:08 pm
@CalamityJane,
To me that was almost always a high tense drive. Plus, y'know, bad food.
 

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