Driving automobiles

Archive for June, 2010

Merging redux (onramp, lane reduction, junction)

So many drivers don’t seem to understand how to merge properly… meaning
that either they are trying to aggressively cut in front of thru traffic, or
else thru traffic is trying to aggressively run merging traffic off the

I’ve seen these problems daily during my commutes to and from work even when
they don’t actually happen to me. This also seems to occur at any speed,
regardless of whether the traffic speed is single-digit speeds in
bumper-to-bumper traffic, or free-flowing at (or above) the posted speed

So, let’s review–merging due to an onramp, lane reduction, or freeway

It’s clear to me that when traffic is merging from the right or the left due
to a junction, onramp, or lane reduction…

The thru traffic car must–

Maintain their current speed as much as possible without sudden speedups or
slowdowns, while at the same time, if they cannot pass a merging car in
safety before the merge point ends, they must back off and allow the car to
merge in front.

(However inconvenient it may be, *someone* has to even allow
the sloth merger in at some point.)

The merging car must–

Maintain a constant acceleration as much as possible without sudden
acceleration surges or slowdowns, while at the same time, they must not
attempt to cut in front of thru traffic when the merge point ends if a
suitable gap exists to merge behind the thru traffic car.

(This means that the sloth merger should not be cutting in just as soon as
the solid line ends and becomes the dashed line if there is more room to use
the merge lane until it starts to force-join into the thru traffic lane.)

In both cases, for both the merging car and the thru traffic car–

If either car is forced to suddenly change lanes or suddenly bail out over
to the shoulder of the road, because the cars become almost parallel to each
other and would otherwise collide, then the blame is as follows:

* If the merging traffic car’s rear bumper was ahead of the thru traffic
car at the point the merge lane lines ended, then the fault is with the thru
traffic car that tried to run the merger off the road. Since it could not
complete a pass in safety, it must back off.

* If the merging car’s front bumper was behind the thru traffic car at the
point the merge lane lines ended, then the fault is with the merging car
that tried to cut in front of the thru traffic car. Since it could not
complete a pass in safety, it must back off.

And then–

There’s the additional scenario of a car in the next lane over trying to cut
into the same gap that merging traffic is moving into, in that case, it is
perfectly clear that the fault goes 100% to the lane changer who merged into
the open gap that merging traffic was entering, since merging traffic
already has to deal with thru traffic.


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Another big shot charged with EXTREME DRUNK DRIVING

3 1/2  times the legal limit!!  Charged with a misdemeanor which is a
joke.  DUIs are killers and maimers.  DUI is the one drug crime that
should always be a felony and with mandatory prison.


Wife of gubernatorial candidate charged with DWI
10/21/2005, 12:53 a.m. ET
The Associated Press    

BEXLEY, Ohio (AP) — The wife of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, a
Democrat running for governor in 2006, was arrested and charged with
driving while intoxicated Thursday night, authorities said.

Frankie Coleman hit a parked pickup about 9 p.m. in this Columbus
suburb, police said. No one else was in her car.

Officers who arrived on the scene said the mayor’s wife had "an odor
of alcohol about her," said Bexley Police Sgt. Robert Cull.

Coleman failed a field sobriety test, Cull said. A blood-alcohol test
given to Coleman at the Bexley police station measured .271 — more
than three times the legal limit of .08, Cull said.

Police charged Coleman with three misdemeanors: operating a vehicle
while intoxicated, failure to control and operating a vehicle
intoxicated "per se," which says that a blood-alcohol content of 0.08
or higher is considered evidence, Cull said.


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Big Cars Must Drive Slower

The bigger the vehicle, the lower it’s speed limit.  Compact cars could
drive twice as fast as luxury lemos.  After all, the larger the car,
the greater threat they pose.

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Re: I fixed an asshole tailgater

This is why you should always keep a nice rock under the driver’s seat.

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1961 Ford Thunderbird power window motors/cranks/wiring


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Re: Muffler fell off

On Sun, 23 Oct 2005, Al Bundy wrote:
> Police don’t seem to enforce the noise ordinances on cars like they
> used to. Perhaps it’s because so many of the newer cars have loud
> systems.

Not from the factory, they don’t! Most all newer cars have very quiet
systems from the factory. Certainly there are VERY few new cars (I can
think of exactly one, the Dodge SRT4 don’t-call-it-a-Neon) that have
factory exhaust systems even beginning to approach the noise levels
routinely emitted by brand-new muscle cars in the late ’60s and early

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Accused DUIs demand right to examine breathalyser software

This may have implications for elections also since many citizens are
demanding that the makers of electronic voting machines disclose their
source code too.


Friday October 21, 2005 by Edward W. Felten

Lawyers for 150 Floridians accused of drunk driving have asked a court
to order the disclosure of the source code for software running in the
breathalyzer machines used by police to analyze their blood alcohol
level, according to a Tom Sanders story on vunet.

The defendants say they have the right to examine the machines that
accused them, and that a meaningful examination requires access to the
machines’ software. Prosecutors say the code is a trade secret.

The accused are right that one needs the code to understand fully how
the machines work. The machines consist of sensors, a user interface,
and control software. The software is the “brain” of the machine, and
it is almost certainly involved in the calculations that derive a
blood alcohol value from the sensor readings, as well as the display
of the calculated value. If the accused have the right to fully
examine the machines — and the article says that they do under Florida
law — then they should see the source code.

Contrary to the article and some other commentators, this is not a
dispute over whether the software should be open source. The accused
aren’t seeking to open the software to everybody; they only want it
opened to their legal teams.

There are standard practices for handling trade-secret information
that must be turned over in court cases. A court will typically
establish a protective order, which is a kind of nondisclosure
agreement covering secret material that is turned over by one side to
the other. The protective order will require parties to keep the
information secret and to use it only for purposes related to the
court proceedings. Typically the information can be turned over to a
limited number of expert analysts who have also signed the protective
order. Documents containing secret information are filed under seal,
and testimony about secret matters may take place in a closed

So this issue is not about open source, but about ensuring fairness
for the accused. If they’re going to be accused based on what some
machine says, then they ought to be allowed to challenge the accuracy
of the machine. And they can’t do that unless they’re allowed to know
how the machine works.

You might argue that the machine’s technical manuals convey enough
information. Having read many manuals and examine the innards of many
software systems, I’m skeptical of such claims. Often, knowing how the
maker says a machine works is a poor substitute for knowing how it
actually works. If a machine is flawed, it’s likely the maker will
either (a) not know about the flaw or (b) be unwilling to admit it

If the article’s description of Florida law is correct, this seems
like a pretty easy decision for the court.

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Is Handicapped Parking also Commercial Parking?



DEL MAR, CA – Apparently since he was just in the striped area, he
didn’t feel it was part of the handicapped spot, or that he was
obstructing the view of a narrow driveway.

I never used to see businesses hijacking handicapped spots, but over
the past few months it’s become quite commonplace in the San Diego
area.  Is this a new trend, or did I just never notice what
inconsiderate jackasses people are?


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Light Timing?

Had to go out early and get a couple of items. I pass 5 different traffic
lights. I timed the yellow on all 5. Four ran between 3-3/4 and 4 seconds.
One only held yellow for 2 seconds. Is this the way the red light cameras
are timed? This intersection has had quite a few accidents and cameras are
being discussed by the city council.

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Ping: Laura Bush murdered her boyfriend

Have you heard the news about DHMO??

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