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Is it time for all motor vehicles to be fitted with a black box?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by S-Man, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. MartinC

    MartinC pfm Member

    I beg to disagree... you get a Prius (sorry Prius owners) driving 5 MPH below the posted speed limit on a road perfectly safe to drive on 10 MPH above that limit and 20 car drivers behind getting frustrated this is far more likely to cause an accident. Most speed limits are based on vehicle technologies from the 1960's with commensurate braking distances and handling. In our area 5 MPH above the posted limit is pretty normal and IMHO safe. When you have a vehicle travelling 10 MPH below the normal traffic speed there is a problem. I would far prefer concentration of enforcement on vehicles running red lights or veering around while texting both of which are far more dangerous than marginally exceeding posted limits.
     
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    37% is a big number! It is a huge contributor, no denying this & speed cameras will have reduced this figure down. It’s really simple don’t speed & look where you are going, the two combined will massively reduce fatalities.
     
  3. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    There comes a tipping point though, where obsession with not speeding means you spend a disproportionate amount of your attention on monitoring the speedo, which inevitably means a smaller proportion on looking where you’re going, scanning for hazards, and checking your mirrors. It’s not a simple argument. If you had a black box and knew a ticket would follow if you put a toe over the line, wouldn’t you fixate on that aspect, to the likely detriment of others?
    For example, in the 50mph restrictions mentioned upthread, these are usually monitored by average speed cameras. I know I do find myself fixating on the speedo on the longer sections. And to judge from the number of people who drift out of their lane, so do many others.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  4. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Very true, I see that quite often though not a Prius (whatever a Prius is) normally a tractor as this is a very rural area, you'll get someone driving right up there backside and then can't see to safely overtake, then you'll get more idiots driving too close until it forms a queue resulting in cars pulling in and out trying to see to overtake.
    The speed limits in general are there for good reason, the difference between the damage done when a collision happens at 20 mph vs 30 mph is staggering, a pedestrian getting hit by a car a 30 mph will most likely result in a fatality.
    The use of mobile phones when driving is despicable and shows absolutely no respect or consideration for other road users, right up there with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs IMHO.
     
  5. Guinnless

    Guinnless pfm Member

    I see loads of people on mobiles but speed cameras don't pick these up and there are no police about to stop them, if there was then they wouldn't risk 6 points.

    Only recently I had to brake very hard as a car pulled out of a lay-by from where it was parked behind a speed camera van. The police in the van did nothing, obviously.
     
  6. Paul L

    Paul L coffee lounge for me

    Interesting point Martin, I usually think differently on this and often think it reflects the reaction time of drivers and consequences of impact on those vulnerable in that area. I often drive country lanes in my area with 40/50/60 mph speed limits and no question many cars can handle it, however driver reaction and damage means sensible speed is more like 20/30 in many cases and I’m only talking one vehicle not the doubling of two vehicles.
     
  7. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    There are two elements to the ‘stopping distance’: ‘reaction distance’ (generally distance travelled in 2/3 of a second) and ‘braking distance’. The latter has, roughly, halved since the figures in the Highway Code were set in the 50s or 60s. Thank: servo disc brakes, ABS, and low profile radial tyres.

    What this implies is two things: first that collisions may more often be prevented, second that even if they occur, the closing speed will likely be lower than it would have been back then. So that kid who runs out, in the 1960s you’d do emergency braking and maybe lose 5-10mph before you hit them, now that’s likely to be more like 10-20 mph reduction. From 40, that gets you down to where my dad’s old Ford Anglia would have got to from 30, at a rough guess.

    FTAOD, I’m not advocating for an increase in urban limits, just making the point that safety has improved without a drop in limits. The casualty figures bear this out, too. So this fixation on speed and speeding is another government distraction/red herring. Because they don’t want to fund proper traffic policing.
     
  8. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    Many thousands of people are stopped and fined each year. It’s just an attitude of “I’m safe to do this” that OKs it in people's minds.
     
  9. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Yes, surely. But purely from my observation, the number caught is but the tip of the iceberg.
     
  10. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I think that it's more a matter of whether or not we agree with the notion of PCNs & FPNs and other penalties that are issued without any attending officer. If then, you agree to a black box in your car, then you might be liable to a whole host of penalty notices too. On my last job, I ended up with a £750 fine, because the system hadn't updated my staff parking permit. I had no recourse to challenging this & had to pay it. I f it were just me, then I'd say it was my own fault, but no, I wasn't the only one. With respect to the increase in fines issued from local authorities, I'm convinced it has little to do with road safety & more to do with raising revenue because of lack of funding from central government.
     
  11. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    If we reduce speeds everywhere to 5mph we'd solve the problem completely! :p

    You're right that as a contributory factor (not the sole cause) - and let's not forget 'excess speed' isn't 'speeding', it can be inappropriate speed for the conditions - it does have a bearing on fatalities. However, per my earlier point there were 'only' <1600 deaths on the road last year compared with nearly 80,000 from smoking. Are the actions and punitive fines against drivers for speeding proportionate with the potential outcome of casualty reduction that could be achieved?

    As I say, if all these rules and actions being taken under the pretence of 'saving lives' then surely a smoking ban would achieve 50x the lives saved immediately. Heck, we're seeing around 200 people a week (10-11,000/year) die from Covid at the moment yet we've just removed ALL restrictions on the prevention tools we had in place. Re-imposing those could save more lives than abolishing all car use entirely would - so why isn't that being done?

    It's easy to say, "stopping speeding saves lives" but the number of fatalities is already astonishingly low given the number of vehicles on the roads and the number of journeys they make. The punitive punishment is about raising revenue, not saving lives. 2.6m tickets were issued in 2019, raising c.£260,000,000 in revenue. It's all about the (easy, automated) money.
     
  12. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    The tip of the iceberg analogy is true for just about everything to do with lawbreaking, surely?
     
    tiggers and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  13. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Pretty much sums them up tbh.
     
    Guinnless likes this.
  14. Kraus

    Kraus Member

    Your driving doesn't include speed limits, etc?
     
    tiggers likes this.
  15. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    The Institute of Advanced Motoring (which used the police’s own ‘Roadcraft’ manual as its basis) advocates ‘driving to the conditions’. This means that when conditions are bad, you may well decide the speed limit is too fast and moderate your speed appropriately; but conversely, if conditions permit, there is nothing inherently wrong with exceeding the speed limit. Part of the training is, AIUI, to help you better make those sort of assessments.

    Caveat: I’ve not done the training, this is just what I’ve heard from friends and colleagues who have.
     
  16. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    If there’s a lot of info to take in, I slow down. If a police car is behind me, I slow down just to be awkward. If I’m at a red light and a fire engine appears behind me, sirens on the go, I wait for the green light. I just have these fail safe settings that keep me out of trouble, and if following traffic doesn’t like it, tough, they won’t be taking my points or paying my fines.
     
    Woodface and Funk like this.
  17. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    I confess, many years ago when programming ECUs, to finding a little spike of positive timing as load dropped above 5k5 rpm would lead to nice flames on gear changes for those that ran a full decat :) All the latest German sporty cars have mapped in effects.

    I think part of the problem is the power that can now be created from an engine is so far higher than in the 80s and 90s. In general suspension and diff controls have also advanced…but the latter can be switched off…and is there anyone who does not think they are an above average driver…and therefore wants to switch it off? There were always idiot drivers, now they have much faster machinery to display this.

    i then think more the powerful vehicles has lead to an overall reduction in speed limits to try and contain things. I’m still dumb enough to drive one of the fastest point to point cars available, but have limited opportunity outside of a track to really exploit it unless being stupid. I’m sure I’d have much more fun in the old MK I Mexico of my youth :)
     
  18. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    Your approach is the right one; breaking the law to allow an emergency vehicle through will see you with the points and fine if caught. Emergency response drivers are trained not to pressure other road users into doing so.

    One tip I was taught is to leave a car length space if you're at the front of a queue of traffic at a red light (rather than pulling right up to the line); this will allow you to pull forward and to one side without crossing the red light which may be sufficient to allow an emergency vehicle through.
     
    Tony Lockhart and Stuart Frazer like this.
  19. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    For pure fun, our 100bhp Peugeot 106 Rallye was spot on. In a similar vein to the Mexico, but certainly not as iconic.
     
  20. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    It does. I assume that you are happy driving 20mph everywhere then?
     

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