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Police on the roads in April

By 8 May 2012 38

ACT Policing caught more than 840 drivers for speeding on Canberra roads as part of the traffic targeting campaign for April.

Police officers issued a total of 614 traffic infringement notices and 209 cautions. There were 19 drivers arrested and will be summonsed for speeding offences.

About 30 per cent of targeted drivers were caught travelling more than 15km/h but less than 30km/h over the speed limit.

Some 212 drivers were caught travelling more than 15km/h but less than 30km/h over the speed limit. A further five drivers were caught travelling over 45km/h.

Superintendent Kylie Flower said this was a disappointing result and drivers should have the message by now that speeding is dangerous.

“If you’re speeding, what may have been a minor collision if you were sticking to the speed limit could end up being much more serious. Drivers need to remember speed affects their ability to stop their car to prevent collisions,” Superintendent Flower said.

ACT Policing is focusing on seatbelts for the month of May.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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38 Responses to Police on the roads in April
#31
Felix the Cat12:15 pm, 09 May 12

Anna Key said :

smont said :

Seriously, WHERE exactly were these police who caught 840 drivers during Apr? I drive the roads of Canberra in peak hour for 30-40 minutes five days a week, and can honestly say I don’t recall seeing a single police car on the roads in ACT during the past month.

I see the nice red one every morning cruising around the big houses in Red Hill. Doubt if they do many traffic offences though.

That is Protective Services not Police (though technically PS are part of AFP)

#32
Mattenagger1:30 pm, 09 May 12

RaTTyRaTT said :

helium said :

Speeding is dangerous and apart from the obvious reaction times and stopping distances, it is about expectation and speed differential. If every driver did the (same) speed limit then
- merging would be easier,
- changing lanes might be possible,
- people wouldn’t need to tailgate
- traffic would spread out and not bunch up,
- we could concentrate on traffic not avoiding idiots.

So can we all relax, just stick to the limit (plus or minus 5) and get there with less stress and fuss.
And can the Police focus on those tools doing 110 in an 80k zone please, seen 5 in the last week, those who deliberately run red lights, and those on mobile phones,

Do tell. Please do tell the poor fetus’ who like to drive up onramps and when ‘everyone’ else is (or wants to) doing 100Km/h on the parkway, this poor whiny (boo hoo) wants to put his foot down and make his Mazda 3 do 60km/h and if people get angry, he hunkers down in his widdle car and drives slower. Oh and for those of us trapped behind him, working hard to avoid accidents while figuring out how to merge with through traffic from Tuggers (heading north) = we’ll be sure to wave, smile and thank him as we work to avoid getting killed by his RAMPANT STUPID IDIOTIC behaviour.
So, tell us please how you plan to assist us all in getting these people to drive either to conditions or the speed limit??? am ALL ears!

Cotter road onramp to Parkway (heading north) is another corker where so many sometimes end up on the verge, since they have forgotten that driving at 50 – 80km/h down the ramp does not “merging make”. Never mind the dip%#@%s who come off Cotter road at Adelaide avenue and… get this – two cars = the one merging slows down, the one on Adelaide…. yep…. SLOWS DOWN… everyone wins right?

Watching people merge in Canberra is hilarious, disappointing and dangerious all in one. We’ve dubbed watching most inept mergers as using the “Please God” approach. They simply shut their eyes, say a prayer and just hope to God that the come out alive at the other end. It’s gold!!

#33
jrsubs6:51 pm, 09 May 12

Innovation said :

jrsubs said :

Innovation said :

jrsubs said :

…..After being caught doing 61kph in a suburban through road (Stonehaven Cresc) that I assumed was 60k I have given up, and now switch off brain when driving at ludicrously low speeds simply because at such speeds it is impossible to keep concentrating. Greater danger to me and others but I can’t afford to lose my licence.

Streuth – you must be practically comatose in shared zones ….

In shared zones: a) they don’t go on for kilometres; b) the dangers are apparent and the environmnet is ‘busy’ with potential accidents and people so 10kph is a sensible speed and the brain is not numbed by nothingness and boredom.

Your response indicates I guess the same lack of comprehension of the reality of how people and their brains work that seems to be prevalent in road/traffic designers in Canberra. It’s a complex problem and not as simple as “slower is better”. If that were true we’d all be driving around at 1kph which, for obvious reasons, doesn’t happen. But where you set the limit has to take into account the negatives of slower speed; these are never discussed and the simplistic analysis doesn’t even know they exist.

Rubbish. If you can’t drive slowly and still safely on a road even when you yourself can’t detect any visible distractions then you shouldn’t be driving at all. You may not agree with a particular speed limit but that is still no excuse for voluntarily switching your brain off.

I don’t ‘voluntarily’ switch the brain off, I am describing what happens to real people in normal life. It is similar to the situation of pilots who have nothing to do, they can’t maintain concentration. Enormous work and massive procedural changes have been done to circumvent the pilot problem. I suggest you do some reading on ergonomics and the psychology of concentration on continuing tasks. Think about it a bit more.

Once again, I am not making a conscious decision to not concentrate, I am making a conscious decision to set speed according to sign posts rather than setting speed at ‘safe but active’ — sometimes called the natural speed — what works for reasonable focus and thus safety. As a result I know by observation that I lose concentration. It’s not deliberate, in fact I fight hard to stop it, but it happens just the same. Brains have to have something to occupy them otherwise they ‘wander off’ to other things. It’s just a fact about how we work, not my recalcitrance.

Much of what people recognise as bad driving boils down to brains that are not engaged on the task at hand. You see it all the time, people who are not thinking about their driving at all. Some people do this because they don’t give a stuff in the first place, they don’t have the insight or imagination to try to concentrate on their driving. Other people try and succeed much of the time, but when road speeds are too low for the conditions they WILL lose focus because the brain fills the void with other stuff. Do read up on this.

#34
Sandman7:14 pm, 09 May 12

What a ludicrous argument. You compare flying a plane in a straight line and having nothing to do with driving a car at the set speed limit? This theory of yours on “natural speed” is an intriguing one also. Speed limits are there because a large portion of the motoring public overestimate their driving abilities therefore a benchmark is needed to keep everyone in check. Some people and some cars may be capable of higher speeds but there’s no way of policing a sliding scale of safety based on the individual’s capabilities and the cars performance.

#35
Innovation8:09 pm, 09 May 12

jrsubs said :

I don’t ‘voluntarily’ switch the brain off, I am describing what happens to real people in normal life. It is similar to the situation of pilots who have nothing to do, they can’t maintain concentration. Enormous work and massive procedural changes have been done to circumvent the pilot problem. I suggest you do some reading on ergonomics and the psychology of concentration on continuing tasks. Think about it a bit more.

Once again, I am not making a conscious decision to not concentrate, I am making a conscious decision to set speed according to sign posts rather than setting speed at ‘safe but active’ — sometimes called the natural speed — what works for reasonable focus and thus safety. As a result I know by observation that I lose concentration. It’s not deliberate, in fact I fight hard to stop it, but it happens just the same. Brains have to have something to occupy them otherwise they ‘wander off’ to other things. It’s just a fact about how we work, not my recalcitrance.

Much of what people recognise as bad driving boils down to brains that are not engaged on the task at hand. You see it all the time, people who are not thinking about their driving at all. Some people do this because they don’t give a stuff in the first place, they don’t have the insight or imagination to try to concentrate on their driving. Other people try and succeed much of the time, but when road speeds are too low for the conditions they WILL lose focus because the brain fills the void with other stuff. Do read up on this.

If you continue to get speeding fines then thank you for keeping my taxes down. If you hurt or kill someone because of your inattention at the designated speed limit then let me know when you go to court so I can hear you use this excuse publicly.

If you genuinely want to improve your driving then develop skills to maintain your focus at what you perceive to be speeds that are too slow. I’m not a model driver but a friend once explained that he maintains his focus by making every second of his trip as smooth as possible. Another uses a juggling ball on the dashboard to monitor how erratic his driving is.

There is a description for those who repeatedly make the same mistakes and another for those who blame others for their mistakes. Do read up on this.

And, without having driven along Stonehaven in years, I presume that it is 50 km/h in which case you were 22% over the speed limit – which would be a serious disengagement of the brain.

#36
IrishPete8:15 pm, 09 May 12

Very Busy said :

Could we also have the figures for the number of drivers caught failing to indicate and using fog lights in clear weather?

Yes, NONE.

#37
IrishPete8:16 pm, 09 May 12

I heard this police officer on the radio the other day, and I swear her name is Cawli Flower.

IP

#38
jrsubs10:50 am, 10 May 12

Sandman said :

What a ludicrous argument. You compare flying a plane in a straight line and having nothing to do with driving a car at the set speed limit? This theory of yours on “natural speed” is an intriguing one also. Speed limits are there because a large portion of the motoring public overestimate their driving abilities therefore a benchmark is needed to keep everyone in check. Some people and some cars may be capable of higher speeds but there’s no way of policing a sliding scale of safety based on the individual’s capabilities and the cars performance.

The argument that lack of inputs causes inattention is the same in both cases. I agree people do tend to overestimate their driving capabilities which is one reason that attention wanders because they ‘feel’ safe (I’m a good driver I don’t need to pay too much attention here) when there is nothing to activate the watchful senses. I’m not saying that any of this is under conscious control, it’s a reflection of human behaviour.

Your last point is true too, it is impossible to allow for different capabilities by driver and vehicle … OR road conditions, OR current circumstances, etc. So the speed limit is arbitrary. Where should the limit be set? At the safest speed? This would be walking pace or less. At the most efficient speed in terms of getting maximimum throughput? At the speed beyond which the worst drivers become dangerous? At the speed beyond which the best drivers threaten safety? At the speed that is safe in the worst conditions? Best conditions?

I would argue that many current limits are ignoring some realities about how the brain works and mollycoddling drivers to the point that the majority switch off, lose concentration. This and other policies are removing the NEED to think any more to drive – intersections tell you which way to give way, lights have umpteen phases so there’s one for every possible flow, speed limits are so low that thinking is optional … nothing wrong with any of these in principle except that the combined result is people DO switch off. So drivers are not ‘on wavelength’ when something does goes wrong and accidents then happen, of a different type from those resulting from the original causes.

How should we set speed limits? Is the current policy working? I’m suggesting the balance is wrong and there are unintended consequences which are well known and which add new dangers.

Hindmarsh Drive is a fine example. People now travel in an orderly (but in some cases frustrated) procession at 75kph, in a tight bunch because no-one can overtake anyone else. The proximity of cars and the inability to spread out makes a new danger that is real. I suggest the added frustration of travelling significantly below the limit and in tightly constrained bunches adversely affects safety. Let’s see the results as accident stats accrue. And weigh that against lost time and added frustration for a proportion of drivers.

You (possibly) and innovation might argue that the latter shouldn’t count, that lost time is not important compared with safety and that frustration is the driver’s own fault. But if these don’t count then we should set the limit lower, because low enough will certainly be safer. At 30kph there will almost certainly be fewer accidents despite massive frustration and brain-deadedness. So why don’t we set the limit at 30? 20? 5? The answer is because efficiency, if not driver frustration, DOES count. Once we accept that setting limits is a balance and that efficiency is taken into account, then the argument properly becomes safety vs efficiency and I submit that a) efficiency is given too low a weight b) reducing limits too far (but not far enough to remove all chances of accident which would be way below any acceptable efficiency limit) actually has negative effects on safety. Many limits, including the limit on some suburban through routes like Stonehaven Crescent, need to be increased.

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