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Another road discussion!

By 00davist - 22 July 2012 63

So, with the recent discussions surrounding the fatal crash in Chifley, and the eating of pie while driving in conversation, I have been left again with the thought, ‘What can be done?’

In the end, I thought that might be something to throw over to everyone, and see what ideas are out there.

To help kick this off, here’s some of my thoughts:

I agree with the idea of power limits for younger drivers, yes, there is the argument that even smaller cars can hit high speeds, but more powerful cars and cars with turbo’s etc, can be easier for inexperienced drivers to lose control.

Trucks are (meant to be) fitted with speed limiters, and other devices, why not look into devices that can be fitted to the cars of repeat offenders, such as phone signal jammers for those who have been caught on the phone, speed and rev limiters for hoons, or traction control that can’t be disabled for those caught doing burnouts.

I realise a number of these things could, and would be overridden by those intent on breaking the law, but like disabling the speed limiter in a truck, that would become an offence in itself.

There is a lot of technology already in use for other purposes, which could be put into use for the protection of other road users.

Most modern cars have chips inside the keys that will not allow the car to start, unless a scanner in the car recognises the key, this helps prevent theft by forcing the lock, or cutting another key, could similar technology not be applied to licences in some way?

The issues that irritate me most:

    1)      Young drivers, and high speeds, they become out of control flying steel death traps.

    2)      Older drivers, and low speeds, if it’s a sunny, dry day, and you’re doing 50 in an 80 zone, you are a dangerous obstacle to the flow of traffic.

    3)      Over cautious drivers, they become very unpredictable and erratic.

    4)      Drivers who don’t understand rules and courtesy’s surrounding lanes, merging and roundabouts.

    5)      Tailgating, it is a problem that seems (by my observation) to be big in the ACT.

Does anyone have any bright ideas, other pet peeves, steam to vent or comments to make about road safety in the ACT and Surrounds?

What’s Your opinion?


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63 Responses to
Another road discussion!
bundah 6:02 pm 22 Jul 12

So what will it take to slow drivers down and behave themselves on the roads? I would suggest the most effective and immediate method would be to instill a “fear of consequence” within the perpertrator.Yes that would require a heavy handed approach but it’s clearly obvious that the current system in place has done practically nothing to modify the behaviour of recidivists or those inclined to adopt the attitude of “fark you i’ll do what i want”!

Pork Hunt 5:48 pm 22 Jul 12

KB1971 said :

bd84 said :

Thirdly, proper police enforcement of the road rules with additional funding. Speed cameras restricted to high speed accident locations only and widely used combined with red light cameras at intersections.

Yep, the speed cameras didnt stop the dick in the NSW registered Audi R8 from balsting past me at double my speed this afternoon on the Tuggeranong Parkway. I ended up reporting him after I saw him again heading north at Bonython, I could still hear his engine valve bouncing despite the fact he was on the opposite side of a 4 lane road & I had my window up.

Dobber

Deckard 5:35 pm 22 Jul 12

bd84 said :

First, most fatal accidents happen about 60 kph.

Stats to back this up? Or just a wild guess to suit your self?

KB1971 4:55 pm 22 Jul 12

bd84 said :

Thirdly, proper police enforcement of the road rules with additional funding. Speed cameras restricted to high speed accident locations only and widely used combined with red light cameras at intersections.

Yep, the speed cameras didnt stop the dick in the NSW registered Audi R8 from balsting past me at double my speed this afternoon on the Tuggeranong Parkway. I ended up reporting him after I saw him again heading north at Bonython, I could still hear his engine valve bouncing despite the fact he was on the opposite side of a 4 lane road & I had my window up.

I-filed 4:49 pm 22 Jul 12

00davist said :

-10 hours adverse weather

Not with an el nino coming from next year!

KB1971 4:48 pm 22 Jul 12

farnarkler said :

run their cars around the circuit to show how easy it is to get out of shape with a road car.

This, driver education is pitiful in this country. There is no way that a P plater is well enough equipped in their early years of driving.

I think this is a better starting point rather than dumbing cars down so people dont crash.

Electronic stability in cars really takes the skills away from you as a driver. My current 4by has traction control, ESC, ABS and hill descent control. I jumped into my brother in laws 100 series live axled Cruiser a couple of months back & had to concentrate again. My new car has made me lazy.

Not saying its not safer as it is a much better car to drive on the dirt as a result, it just means that if things go pearshaped its highly likely that it will be at a higher speed as all the electronics allow you to do it.

A driver who has been taught proper car control can compensate for little slides & emergencies much the way the ESC does. I was lucky, I learnt to drive in the country & we lived on a dirt road. I am just as home on the dirt as I am on the tar, I even know how to pass cars properly, a skill that seems to either be ignored or not taught.

00davist, you forgot road infrastructure, a lot more could be done to fix the road infrastructure. I dont mean dual carraigeways but looking after the surfaces, adequate overtaking lanes on roads BUT this still does not take the responsibility away from drivers to drive to the conditions.

Driving tests every 5 years.

bd84 4:33 pm 22 Jul 12

Power or speed limiting drivers are the most idiotic suggestions and knee jerk reactions to trying to minimise road deaths. They do NOTHING to save lives, and the latter is likely to take more lives. Why? First, most fatal accidents happen about 60 kph. 99.9 percent of vehicles on our road can do that speed. It does not matter whether the car can get there in 4 secs or 10 secs. Speed limiting drivers just promotes a generation of inexperienced drivers who have never been taught how to safely handle a car going above 80kph and first legally drive a car above that speed when they get into the car by themselves for the first time.

There’s only a few things that will assist in reducing road deaths. First is proper and comprehensive drive training for new drivers, none of this mum and dad teaching bad habits, must have a minimum number of hours with a professional instructor in all conditions. Second, driver retraining at a minimum every 10 years, regularly with those with poor driving records. Thirdly, proper police enforcement of the road rules with additional funding. Speed cameras restricted to high speed accident locations only and widely used combined with red light cameras at intersections.

farnarkler 4:25 pm 22 Jul 12

And you’re going to try and make someone who has a restored 55 Chev or EH Holden or E-type Jag put this kind of technology in their cars?

All good ideas but not going to happen. I was at Wakefield park yesterday watching a bit or racing. Now there is an ideal circuit that can be driven on with registered cars. Plod should hire the circuit, get WIN, Prime and Ten onboard and get a few of these rev heads to run their cars around the circuit to show how easy it is to get out of shape with a road car.

c_c 2:01 pm 22 Jul 12

“Most modern cars have chips inside the keys that will not allow the car to start, unless a scanner in the car recognises the key, this helps prevent theft by forcing the lock, or cutting another key, could similar technology not be applied to licences in some way?”

It’s called near field communication, a contactless chip in the plastic handle of the key, but also increasingly a pocket device that allows the car to be opened and started with push buttons within a certain distance without even touching a key.

So the answer is yes, the technology exists. And yes, the NFC could be built into licences with minimal cost and without making it noticeable larger or heavier. You’d just swipe it near a point on the dash board.

But the car would need to know whether a licence is valid or not, and there’s no shortage of pencil neck geeks out there who can circumvent the technology already, no doubt making a buck out of it along the way.

My thought is Australia needs to hurry up with getting new road safety technology in cars. It’s ridiculous seeing the technologies in US and British cars become fairly common years ahead of Australia.
It took years for dual front airbags to be made standard, years for ABS to become common.

Traction Control and ESC should be made mandatory, they should have been long ago.

We’re only no seeing blind spot detection, correcting steering (via yaw breaking) and so on.

Car makers need to include more technologies like Volvo’s city-safe which can now detect even pedestrians. These are expensive technologies so perhaps some government subsidy required, I mean they’re raking in enough from ‘safety’ cameras.

Lardman 1:53 pm 22 Jul 12

On Power limits:
Power limits account for sweet shit all, really. Considering a Golf TSi isn’t a sports car and has 114kw? Or a Gen4 RX-7 has about 120kw? Still plenty to get in trouble.

On Rev limiters/Speed limiters:
You do realise how ludicrously easy it is to circumvent any of that? A Cobb AccessPort or similar is only a few hundred bucks.

On offenders removing them:
Also, how are you going to police it? Most cops don’t know what a turbo upgrade looks like, let alone ‘hey, lets check this ECU programming!” There’s no easy way of getting that info unless you download the cars tune and check it – and it does take quite a bit of knowledge to learn all those variables.

Additionally to that, rev limiters? Sure, that might work for any N/A or Rotary, but most cars make their peak torque around 2k rpm all the way through to redline nowadays.
And finally, Traction control: You can just unplug the unit. And when was the last time a burnout ‘killed’ anyone. You’re talking about safety and now you’re complaining about burnouts.

License chips:
Yeah, and if someone else ever wants to drive your car? You’re also talking about a lot of underlying IT stuff to make it happen. Not going to, for our population.

1: High speeds and young drivers? What about every middle aged woman in her SUV doing 20+ and talking on the phone? Oh wait, she’s got kids and is middle aged, she can’t POSSIBLY be breaking the law.

2: Older drivers, agree there.

3: Over cautious drivers, agree there. At the same time if they stay in the left lane and actually exercise that caution properly, no problem.

4: Yep: Drivers who don’t understand rules and courtesy’s surrounding lanes, merging and roundabouts.

5:Tailgating – it’s a problem everywhere. Not much you can do about it.

Inspections I agree with, or maybe policing some of the dumber things about? Lack of functional headlights/tailights, etc – instead of saying “oh no, your car is 99mm! defect!”

I suppose it’s wishful thinking to ask for a bigger skidpan facility and maybe a local track – wakefield gets mighty expensive.

00davist 1:48 pm 22 Jul 12

I agree with the idea of having a track, I personally would be unlikely to use it, but there are people out there who have a passion for performance machines, and giving them a legal option to enjoy their hobby seems like a good idea to me.

I’m personally not to sure about using highways for Darwinism, simply because you need to remember that the level of stupidity we are talking about here would probably still find its way to killing others, however for major interstate routes I agree with higher limits, there are some roads that could definitely and safely handle the speed, and for those roads it could be beneficial to fatigue.

Highways in many area’s do need more division between the two directions, regardless of speed increase.

I personally think that we need a mix system for learners, log book based, however the requirement should be for your log book to show a diversity of experiences as a learner, lets say a log book requiring 120 hours, which must be a mix of:
-10 hours with an professional instructor
-20 hours outside the ACT (diversity of roads)
-at least 2 different people training you, aside from the instructor
-10 hours night
-10 hours adverse weather

Perhaps a few other requirements for diversity of experience would be good too.

P-Platers, 2 stages:

P1 18 months, 90KM limit outside residential, 50KM in residential, 10 hours under professional instruction, any demerit points means 6 months more, 6 demerit means start over as learner.

P2 18 months, 100km limit, 10 hours professional instructor, demerits as for P1.

After that, licences should be tested every 10 years, and for full licences, 3 or more demerits in any 6 months should put you on a 6 month probation requiring a test at the end, and 5 hours with an instructor during that 6 months.

Henry, strangely, i agree with you, simulators could be used to add more diversity for learners, and none of those things should be overlooked in a test.

Innovation, I agree with everything you have there, I particularly feel vehicle inspections should be brought back, I have seen some shocking cars driving around, tires bald to a racing slick, or even to the threads, nothing but high beams still working and plenty of bits missing!!!

Innovation 12:50 pm 22 Jul 12

I love the OPs idea re licenses. Perhaps there is technology out there to install chips on licenses and the cards need to be inserted in a reader before the car would operate. Determined people would still bypass the system but it might help reduce the numbers driving without a license, on a suspended license, on an expired license or outside the terms of their license (eg some people aren’t allowed to drive at night or outside a certain radius of home). It also might cut down on the number of thefts.

Pie in the sky but, as well as my comments re P platers in the other thread:

1/ GPS technology in cars that identifies correct speed limits in all areas (and possibly even overrides the car’s speed if the driver speeds for too long or too often). Government’s could be penalised (and drivers compensated) if the Government doesn’t have the correct road speeds recorded for GPS systems.

2/ Regular license testing (user pays) eg every five years would weed out a lot of poor drivers or encourage them to improve their skills. Obviously it wouldn’t help those who knowingly are idiots on the road but know how to behave when tested (or when police are visible).

3/ Bring back motor vehicle inspections (eg every two years) – there are a lot of unsafe cars on the road.

4/ Possibly new license and registration classes for .. people who drive very underpowered vehicles (eg, there is a big gap between an electric bicycle with 250 watts – top speed on the flat around 25km/h) and …. all for vehicles and people who only drive very short distances (eg to the closest major bus stop).

My biggest pet peeve is not indicating (or at least not indicating early enough) especially when I am a pedestrian. Another one is pedestrians who push the button to trigger the lights and then walk on the red anyway.

HenryBG 12:19 pm 22 Jul 12

Wanon said :

Put up road dividers on all the highways, remove the speed limits and then let all the dickheads remove themselves from the gene pool without killing other drivers at the same time.

Either that or just make licenses much, much harder to earn. It seems rather hard to believe everyone who has a license is mature, and skilled enough to drive a deadly weapon.

I think a few dozen hours of simulator testing should be compulsory – this would allow you to test them for all situations before allowing them anywhere near the road on Ls even..
Fail to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle? NO LICENCE.
Fog lights on when there’s no fog? NO LICENCE
Clogging up the fast lane for no good reason? NO LICENCE
Frigging with your iPhone? NO LICENCE
etc…

Wanon 12:04 pm 22 Jul 12

Put up road dividers on all the highways, remove the speed limits and then let all the dickheads remove themselves from the gene pool without killing other drivers at the same time.

Either that or just make licenses much, much harder to earn. It seems rather hard to believe everyone who has a license is mature, and skilled enough to drive a deadly weapon.

pezza 11:56 am 22 Jul 12

I tend to agree with OP’s points, so I’ll throw in the contentious one – provide somewhere that these activities can be enjoyed in a more controlled manner that doesn’t put the rest of Canberra’s road users at risk. Take away the excuse that “there’s nowhere to have fun legally so I’ll do it where I want”.

Driving around Canberra can and should be an enjoyable experience, much closer to a leisurely drive through the countryside than you can get in any other Australian capital. It’s such a shame we have the small handful that insist on ruining it.

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