Driving automobiles

Archive for May, 2011

DTel: The case for speed cameras destroyed in a flash

The case for speed cameras destroyed in a flash

By David Millward, Transport Correspondent

Daily Telegraph
(Filed: 29/09/2006)

Your view: has the danger of speeding been overplayed?

A review of the Government’s speed cameras policy was demanded
yesterday after official statistics showed that only five per cent of
crashes are caused by drivers breaking the speed limit.

Drivers who let their attention wander cause more than six times as
many accidents.

Speed cameras: under attack
Campaigners seized on the figures and demanded: "In that case, why are
there so many cameras?"

Paul Smith, of Safe Speed, which has led the campaign, said the
Government’s case for continuing to install cameras had been destroyed.

"Even those statistics are flawed, because they could include a
joy-rider who is going at 100mph and no camera will ever stop him," he
said. "They are spinning like tops to justify the camera programme."

Motoring groups called for a broader approach to road safety and a
revaluation of the £95 million camera project.

Edmund King, the chief executive of the RAC Foundation, said: "The
figures suggest that all drivers need to concentrate more on the road
rather than on their phones, passengers, music, food, drinks,
navigation systems and the clutter of signs."

Chris Grayling, the Tories’ transport spokesman, called for greater use
of police patrol cars, rather than cameras, to deal with the menace of
"rogue drivers".

There are more than 5,400 camera sites in England and Wales, which
raised £113 million in fines in 2004-5.

The Department of Transport insisted that, while driver error accounted
for 66 per cent of accidents, motorists going too fast for the
conditions, irrespective of the speed limit, accounted for 29 per cent
of crashes.

The analysis rekindled the speed camera argument and raised questions
over whether the Government would meet the road safety targets it had
set itself. The figures showed that the number of people killed on the
roads last year fell to 3,201, one per cent fewer than in the previous
year. The 28,954 people seriously injured represented a seven per cent
fall on 2004. The Government has said it wants the number of people
killed or seriously injured on the roads to be reduced to 40 per cent
of the 1994-8 average by 2010.

Its figures, based on information sent to the Government by police
forces, show that the tally has dropped by 33 per cent.

But analysis of hospital data sent to the Department of Health painted
a very different picture, suggesting that the drop in the number of
deaths had been minimal.

A study of the figures in the British Medical Journal said the gap
between police and hospital data indicated that the Government was
unlikely to meet its casualty reduction targets.

"It is hard to ascertain why there should be such a wide divergence in
these figures," said one of the authors of the article, Mike Gill,
professor of public health at Surrey University.

"There are two main contenders for the discrepancy in my view. First,
there is an unintended effect of drink-drive legislation.

"While one cannot avoid police intervention when there is a fatality,
when somebody is hurt it may be tempting to shuffle people off to
casualty and keep schtum.

"Also, dedicated traffic patrols have been reduced and therefore there
is less likely to be police intervention in all cases."

However, Prof Gill was reluctant to suggest that the study undercut the
case for speed cameras.

"We don’t know what the figures would have been otherwise," he said.

Andrew Howard, of the AA Motoring Trust, supported the Government’s
analysis and the speed camera programme. "Human beings make mistakes,"
he said. "So the only thing that can be done is to mitigate their
impact and that means slowing the car down."


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Re: Trademark Infringement

Scott en Aztlán wrote:
> I oughtta sue!

> http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=mffy59

Yeah, but do you have a 99.6% approval rating?  ;-)

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Re: WTF is it with Pennsylvania drivers?

- — -

Scott en Aztlán wrote:
> Found this rant in another group:

> KK <_…@furburger.net> said:

>> Okay, one of, if not *the* first thing you learn about highway driving is
>> "keep right, pass left".  Right?

>> I live about halfway between the Delaware and Hudson rivers that separate
>> NJ from PA and NY, so there’s a significant minority of PA cars on my
>> daily E-W commutes back and forth.  I’ll guess 5%-10%.

>> Here’s what I do when I’m in the left lane.  Tell me if I’m doing
>> something wrong:  First, if there’s nobody in a lane to my right, I get
>> out of the left lane.  If there *is* someone in a lane to my right, and
>> I’m not overtaking them, I will find a spot to the right when I can.

>> I am constantly aware of traffic behind me, and when I see someone
>> overtaking me while I’m in the left lane, I make sure to move out of their
>> way – and, unless it’s not possible, quickly enough so that they don’t
>> have to slow down.

>> Ideally, that’s what I’d expect when I’m the overtaking vehicle.  I
>> understand, though, that everyone who drives isn’t very alert, or aware,
>> and might even be a woman.  So I wait patiently behind them (not
>> tailgating) until they notice me, which is usually apparent.  At that
>> point, I expect them to try to get to the right.

>> Here’s where the behavior of PA drivers diverges from that of others.
>> Even without the universally-accepted-everywhere-but-here quick flash of
>> the high beams, PA drivers become much more defensively possesive of
>> "their" lane, and are much more likely to be the obstinate ass who refuses
>> to move, who slows down – either for the sake of slowing down or to match
>> the speed of other traffic to prevent passing – and, when a person gives
>> up and passes on the right, it’s the PA drivers who tend to swerve into
>> the right lane to prevent it, or who give the finger to the passing
>> person, or believes it’s the start of a race.

>> It’s not just Pennsylvanians with shitty cars, or slow cars, or fast cars,
>> or expensive cars.  Or the old, or the young.  They all seem to have no
>> idea that they’re supposed to get the fuck out of the way, and consider it
>> a challenge to their manliness if someone happens to be in more of a hurry
>> than they are.  

>> And I’m not talking about bumper-to-bumper traffic where there’s no point
>> in moving up a spot.  I’m talking about early-morning I-80 and I-78, where
>> there are more than a few cars but, except for these human speedbumps, the
>> left lane’s moving at 80-90MPH.  

>> I’ve repeatedly seen these retards indignantly sit in the left lane, at
>> the head of what looks like a train of 5 or 10 cars behind them, each
>> having to pass on the right, each getting a honk or an obscene gesture
>>from them, or a limp high-beam.  How many people have to go around them
>> before these thick-skulled retards realize they’re wrong?

Back in the 1970′s, the PA police would ticket people frequently for
hanging out in the left lane.  At the time, it was very unusual to see
anyone in the left lane at all.  The concrete and pavement in the right
lane would be noticeably worn in comparison to the left, in fact.  I
guess things have changed in 30 years.

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As expected mass murderer Russell Weller claiming simple case of "pedal error"


Lawyer: ‘Pedal error’ led to farmers market crash
Expert to testify in L.A. today for defense on phenomenon

The Associated Press
September 29, 2006
LOS ANGELES – Witnesses told police they heard the engine of George
Russell Weller’s car revving as he sped through the crowded Santa
Monica Farmers Market, running down everyone and everything in his

Weller killed 10 people and injured more than 60 others while
careening 300 yards at speeds up to 60 mph. His 1992 Buick LeSabre
finally hit a ditch and was dragged to a stop by a body lodged

Lawyer Mark Borenstein, who is representing Weller at his manslaughter
trial, said during opening statements of Weller’s trial earlier this
month that the carnage was caused when the old man panicked and
confused the accelerator with the brake in a phenomenon known as pedal

The condition "is insanely uncommon" and usually takes just a few
seconds to correct after it occurs, said Wade Bartlett, an expert in
mechanical forensics, in a telephone interview with The Associated

"Think of all the thousands and thousands of brake applications that
occur in our country every day and how rarely we hear about it,"
Bartlett said.


Goddam insane.  Stop coddling this killer.  Make him die in prison.

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Emergency Vehicles

Maybe things have changed since I learned to drive, but the way I was
taught was that when you saw an emergency vehicle on a call (i.e. lights
and sirens going), either approaching you from the opposite direction
(on an undivided road) or from behind, that you were to pull off the
road (or as far as practical) and stop untill the emergency vehicle
passed. Lately it seems as if most drivers ragard pulling over as an
option and not mandatory.

The last couple of days while out and about I encountered this twice;
first on a divided road the emergency vehicle (an ambulance) headed the
opposite direction was held up be some gear jammer who I guess just
didn’t want to get out of the ambulance’s way, second this evening where
on a two lane city street there was a fire truck approaching from the
opposite direction; I was the only one who pulled over to give him room.
In both instances, this was inspite of the emergency vehicle’s lights
and sitens going and the driver hitting that obnoxious buzzing horn that
they use.  Have the laws changed, or are more (or maybe better phrased
"most") people just assholes these days? (fwiw, I bet if one of these
people were the ones waiting for or other wise using these emergency
services, they would *expect* others to move over for them.)

F ascist
B rotherhood
I ncorporated

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Killer DUI sentenced to year in prison – Released after 4 days

Was this criminal coddling or was the judge bought off?  Anway,
another killer now is free.


Driver’s Jail Time For Manslaughter Lasts 4 Days

POSTED: 11:20 am EDT September 28, 2006

LITCHFIELD, Conn. — Four days after Paul Goodman was sentenced to a
year prison for driving drunk and killing a man, he walked out of

Litchfield Superior Court Judge Charles Gill suspended the Thomaston
man’s imprisonment and ordered him, instead, to begin serving five
years of probation.

Goodman, 62, was convicted of manslaughter and assault with a motor
vehicle for driving drunk prior to a February 2005 crash that killed
Richard Bassett, 55, also of Thomaston. Bassett was a passenger in a
car that collided with Goodman’s vehicle.

At the sentencing on Friday, Gill said Goodman had one bad act on one
side. The judge said, however, the other side was filled with good
acts. On Tuesday, Gill modified the sentence with no explanation.
Goodman must abide by several conditions — including an ignition
interlock system and a mechanical system with a Breathalyzer test that
prevents him from driving after he has been drinking.

The judge’s decision drew questions from many, including Mothers
Against Drunk Driving.

"We are looking into this because we have received a number of calls
asking why the jail term was reversed," said Michelle Lettieri,
assistant state director for MADD.

Goodman had been drinking at a Thomaston bar and was on his way home
when his car crossed the center line. Authorities said his
blood-alcohol level was 0.16 percent, twice the legal driving limit in

Goodman’s attorney, Timothy Moynahan, had asked the judge to modify
the sentence. He said the decision reflected the decades of good
Goodman has accomplished in his life. Several of Goodman’s co-workers
and his ex-wife spoke on his behalf Friday. They said he took in
foster children others wouldn’t take and helped strangers.

Bassett’s mother told both the judge and the Republican-American that
a prison sentence would serve little purpose. Goodman must live with
his actions, she said.

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I was told that Bugatti is more expensive than Ferrari and Porsche,
but, why Bugatti doesn’t get any fame in the modern F1 race?

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New CA highway videos & CA-33 photo

Hi All,

Just added to Videos of Worldwide Highways
(http://worldwide-hwys.calrog.com) are California Routes 33 and 132
(CA-33 and CA-132, respectively).  Both were documented in western San
Joaquin County, located south of Stockton and west of Modesto.

Also today, there’s a single update for Pictures of Highway Shields.  On
the Stanislaus-San Joaquin County line, you’ll a city mileage sign w/ an
improperly-placed diacritic.  That solitary mark (effectively) changes
the name of a large economic centre to mean "The Bathrooms":

Stay tuned to CALROG.COM for further research in Pennsylvania, as well
as its maiden research into Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia.


Carl Rogers
Calrog.com, Pictures of Highway Shields:  http://hwy-shields.calrog.com
Videos of Worldwide Highways:  http://worldwide-hwys.calrog.com
Concise, Sampled RSS Edition:  http://hwy-shields.calrog.com/phs-rss.xml
Highway Shield & Travel Literature: http://www.lulu.com/calrog-bookstore


< 1K

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You first signal, then brake, right?

I’m sick of the people who without apparent reason brake to a crawl and
signal. Inconsiderate assholes.

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Seattle to Minnesota – at Thanksgiving

I’m contemplating driving to Minnesota and back for Thanksgiving.  The
quickest route is I-90 to US 212 to US 85 to I-90 to US 63 to US 52.
The total distance will be 300+70+510+200+10+406+218+40 ~ 1760 miles.

I plan to do the first 670 miles to Bozeman, MT, in an afternoon
(about 9 hours) with the last 1100 miles in a day (about 14 hours).

US 212 is 210 miles; I-90 is 260 miles.  Assuming minimal speed
enforcement, US 212 will far and away be faster; however two mountain
passes are signed for chains (west of Busby and west of Ashland).

There are four major mountain passes on I-90: Snoqualmie (3022′, WA),
Lookout (4725′, ID/MT), Homestake (6375′, MT), and Bozeman (5760′,

How likely is it that the route will be impassable?  What are the
roadway conditions generally like in late November?  Will US 212
suffer from a lack of winter maintenance that would make it make it
much less desirable than using I-90 through Wyoming?

There’s already snow in the mountains, of course, and all these passes
have a potential for snow, but I’m guessing the I-90 route has to be
better than taking I-82/84 to I-80 and then back up and certainly less
troublesome than I-70, which traverses much higher passes in Colorado.
I’m also betting on it against I-94, simply because it’s colder in
North Dakota . . .

The return trip will be easier, since it can be done in two 12-hour
days with a stay in Buffalo, WY, or Sheridan, WY.

Scott O. Kuznicki, P.E.
Civil (Traffic) Engineer
Dedicated Highway Enthusiast
Driving Enthusiast:
’03 525i 5-speed
’90 Ninja 250R (cheap fun!)

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