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Driving, speed limits, and new tech

The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited June 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
Riffing off a tangent in chat, we got to talking about learner permit requirements and driver safety and... stuff.

So, I'm aware that drivers ed in the US is basically a horrible joke (some classes in high school, minimal supervision, and judging by the last few H/A threads I've read, pretty shit instruction quality. Don't bother arguing that last...), but tighter controls elsewhere don't necessarily produce awesome results, and often just make it harder for young drivers to gain experience.

For instance, in QLD and NSW (Australia), learners have be supervised by a sober someone holding an 'open' license at all times, and those under 25 have to fill out a supervised logbook, much like a pilots license. In QLD, its 100 hours, with 10 at night, and the first ten hours with a certified instructor counts as 30. You have a book in which you write down the start and end times, the odo readings, the license number and signature of your supervisor each time you drive. In NSW, its 120 hours now, and learners are banned from travelling >80k, which theoretically means they can't drive on highways but practically means that they're just outer-lane safety hazards. Once they've logged the hours and passed a practical test, there are two stages of provisional license, the first of which involves a restriction on high-powered cars and a curfew on carrying passengers. Both involve a BAC of zero at all times rather than 0.05. Learners and provisional license holders also have to wear tags on their vehicle.

European and UK requirements seem to be somewhere in the middle of the two above examples, but I'd appreciate any further input on that front. I think its safe to continue assuming that learning to drive in most less developed countries is basically a matter of finding a car and messing with the pedals until you stop bouncing off things? Still, input is good there too!

Anyway the Aussie system looks pretty good on paper and has resulted in some decreases in fatalities and stupid accidents, but its pretty hard on kids living outside suburbia, away from suitable supervisors, without a car of their own etc etc yada yada. So there's a lot of logbook faking and unsupervised learners sneaking about*, and still a hard core of complete fucking idiots who go thrashing their car with 4 mates at 140km/h on poor country roads at 2am after having a skinful. And dying horribly.

So, what's the forum thoughts on hardware speed-limiting cars? I'm really quite pro-speed-limiting anything driven by anyone under 25 to a max speed of 80 or 90km/h - even if they crash, the odds of dying are rather lower at that speed. It seems a sensible compromise here - 60 is too slow to let anyone on to a trunk road, let alone a highway, but I'm sure there are Germans having hysterics while reading this because of Autobahns.

My flatmate is a bit more hardcore, and wants learners capped at 60km/h and everyone speed limited by RFID signals coming from street signs and interacting with the car's computer. And he's a hoon with a fancy car who likes to drive fast, so you don't get to call him names.

I think that's theoretically a good idea, but a) there goes most of the police services' revenue and b) you can't speed-limit old cars easily (or at all, if they're old enough) without making major physical modifications. Plus, I think there should be more places where you can take your car and let loose, once you're on an open license. Because its fun.

So, thoughts? I'm especially excited to hear from the libertarian crew. You know I love you guys.



NB: I don't really care about gender differences in accident rates and severity or any of that shit, I'm just interested in less young people actually dying/killing others in cars. And, perhaps, very old people too.

* >.>

The Cat on
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Posts

  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Capping learners seems fruitless to me - you need to learn to drive well on the highway too

    but mostly because everyone I know drove like saints when they were learners then get plastered on a tunnel wall half an hour after getting the license

    RFID signals and computers sounds like an excellent idea

    especially since I love solving things with technology

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    80-90 kph is 50-55 mph, for those curious.

    Hardware locks are interesting, but there'd have to be a way to disable it if I'm sharing a car with my hypothetical teenagers. I've had to floor my car to get out of a dangerous situation and I'd hate for someone to not be able to do that

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Ah, thanks, I forgot you people still measure things wrong :P

    I'm sure they're disableable, but that's not really the point (and if speed limiters were common it would actually make it easier for police to spot such tomfoolery)

    your second issue came up in chat, and its certainly valid. I think a one-button emergency override on the limiter that works for, say, 30 seconds, would be a good idea. Any car with a decent on-board chip should be programmable to the point where it can exceed the speed limit where actually necessary without letting people abuse the function for funsies.

    t abydhius: most crashes caused by teens are about speed, but a lot of them don't take place on the highway. Highways are built to accommodate high speeds, generally - more space to maneuver, gentler curves etc. I'd argue that highway driving is way, way easier than driving in heavy traffic, or in 'busy' environments like inner cities.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    Capping learners seems fruitless to me - you need to learn to drive well on the highway too
    This. Drivers Ed around here includes getting on the highway.

    Also, the restrictions you mention about requiring a certain number of hours of practice and only being able to drive with a licensed driver already exists in every state in the US. We call it a learner's permit. Most states also prohibit driving with passengers (with some limitations) or during late hours before a certain age or experience level.

    You can say "don't argue about it" but it seems you have some fundamental misunderstandings about how it works in the US

    ed
    Additionally if you "cap" a car until a certain age you're giving them experience with a different vehicle than they would later drive. That does not seem a way to decrease experience based accidents.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    Capping learners seems fruitless to me - you need to learn to drive well on the highway too
    This. Drivers Ed around here includes getting on the highway.

    Also, the restrictions you mention about requiring a certain number of hours of practice and only being able to drive with a licensed driver already exists in every state in the US. We call it a learner's permit. Most states also prohibit driving with passengers (with some limitations) or during late hours before a certain age or experience level.

    You can say "don't argue about it" but it seems you have some fundamental misunderstandings about how it works in the US

    If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but as an example there's been a spate of H/A threads where people who ostensibly have a drivers license are learning to drive a manual car with almost no supervision or extra education requirements. This is Not Cool, especially since other, allegedly experienced US manual drivers are giving Very Bad Advice about safe driving practices in such cars. I'm glad to learn that you at least have proper learner's permits!

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  • OrganichuOrganichu Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    driver's ed here it pitifully easy

    since i'm >18, this is what my required education and tests boils down to:

    - an 18 question knowledge test, of which i must answer fewer than four questions incorrectly

    - parallel parking in a spot that i judge to be about 25 feet long (a little over 7.5 meters)

    - exiting the exam parking lot, circlig the block- so four left turns, and reentering the parking lot

    you get leeway on not stopping fully at signs, you get leeway at not spending too much time in the intersection while turning, you get leeway for not checking all mirrors and your blindspot... you can get points for all of them, but one or two i conjunction still make the exam passable

    basically the only way to fail this exam is to do like, everything i listed above, or actually have a collision

    the only thing i'm even slightly nervous about is parallel parking, and even there i'm just nervous it won't be a perfect, regulation approach. the spot is huge! i know i'll be able to do it

    seriously, it is crazily easily to get your license here

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Driving a manual poorly does not make you a death machine, it just makes driving behind you a pain in the ass. Why on Earth is learning to drive stick without "proper" supervision a horrible thing? You get licensed to drive cars, not a specific car. Hell, might as well test someone when they get a giant fucking SUV because they don't know how big the damned thing is and make 30 point turns all the time.

    I haven't done any reading, but I don't know if speed is a problem so much as weaving in and out of traffic is.

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  • YamiNoSenshiYamiNoSenshi Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Depending on where you are, you'll do your license test on a closed course vs. regular roads. IR and I both did ours in NJ on a closed course. Then again, NJ also puts drivers licenses at the bottoms of cracker jack boxes.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Driver tests are different in every state, as are learner permit restrictions. Hell, different DMVs probably have radically different tests.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Ok, that's more what I've read about. Closed course tests are stupid, as are the pathetic requirements listed by Organichu. That said, even here DMVs vary somewhat. I actually switched to a different one for the final test that I passed, partly because I moved across town, but also because the first one I tried was in a very congested area that was also full of roadworks. I think we can agree that the practical test isn't foolproof, but that it does vary in quality and thoroughness.

    As for unsupervised manual driving, its more dangerous than most people think. Not awful, but enough that I'm very happy that our license system demands an extra level of supervision and training even if you have your auto license already.

    Re: weaving, it probably is an issue with drivers overall, but speed is overwhelmingly reported as a deciding factor in youth driver fatalities, which is what this thread is mainly concerned with.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

    No, because learning to drive manual transmission is actually learning to drive a car and learning to drive automatic transmission is pretty much an exercise in steering. Cars with automatic transmission are sweet, especially for city driving. Teaching people how to drive on a car with automatic transmission however, simply shouldn't be an option and in many places isn't one.

    edit:
    Re: weaving, it probably is an issue with drivers overall, but speed is overwhelmingly reported as a deciding factor in youth driver fatalities, which is what this thread is mainly concerned with.

    City or highway? Your proposal was 80-90, I honestly can't even think of many places where one could reach such a speed in an urban area.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

    No, because learning to drive manual transmission is actually learning to drive a car and learning to drive automatic transmission is pretty much an exercise in steering. Cars with automatic transmission are sweet, especially for city driving. Teaching people how to drive on a car with automatic transmission however, simply shouldn't be an option and in many places isn't one.
    In the United States, automatic transmission is in 90+% of cars.

    ed
    zeeny wrote: »
    City or highway? Your proposal was 80-90, I honestly can't even think of many places where one could reach such a speed in an urban area.

    I've driven well over 80kph with traffic inside New York City (BQE and Cross Bronx Expressway), Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Philadelphia....

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I seriously hate that real driving vs fake driving argument. Its snobbery.
    Knowing what RPMs mean does not make me a safer driver.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

    No, because learning to drive manual transmission is actually learning to drive a car and learning to drive automatic transmission is pretty much an exercise in steering. Cars with automatic transmission are sweet, especially for city driving. Teaching people how to drive on a car with automatic transmission however, simply shouldn't be an option and in many places isn't one.
    In the United States, automatic transmission is in 90+% of cars.

    Pretty much the opposite in Europe, but really wasn't my point. Why is it better to be able to drive 90% of cars tan be able t drive 100% of cars?

  • ArkadyArkady Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I dislike this idea immensely. I want to shake every single person I encounter doing >5 mph under the speed limit. I especially want to choke people who do this while trying to get on the highway. Speed limits here are 70 on the highways, ergo speed limited learners stuck at 50-55 would more than likely cause more problems than the limiter solves due to them going hurr i need to use the highway and then endangering everybody with their fail merging. Sure, you could make it illegal to use the highway, but that just seems silly to me. First off, as someone else already mentioned, learning to deal with the highway is an integral part of learning to drive. And secondly, highway driving is the easiest damn shit in the world. Get on highway, drive in a straight line going with the flow of traffic, done. The only way to cock it up is to not pay attention to your mirrors or drive like an aggressive fuck, and a speed limiter will never stop teenagers from doing that.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    City or highway? Your proposal was 80-90, I honestly can't even think of many places where one could reach such a speed in an urban area.

    I've driven well over 80kph with traffic inside New York City (BQE and Cross Bronx Expressway), Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Philadelphia....

    Was that traffic flow or were you above the speed limit?

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Arkady wrote: »
    I dislike this idea immensely. I want to shake every single person I encounter doing >5 mph under the speed limit. I especially want to choke people who do this while trying to get on the highway. Speed limits here are 70 on the highways, ergo speed limited learners stuck at 50-55 would more than likely cause more problems than the limiter solves due to them going hurr i need to use the highway and then endangering everybody with their fail merging. Sure, you could make it illegal to use the highway, but that just seems silly to me. First off, as someone else already mentioned, learning to deal with the highway is an integral part of learning to drive. And secondly, highway driving is the easiest damn shit in the world. Get on highway, drive in a straight line going with the flow of traffic, done. The only way to cock it up is to not pay attention to your mirrors or drive like an aggressive fuck, and a speed limiter will never stop teenagers from doing that.

    Lets be constructive then. Would RFID tags on the speed signs be able to get around the problems you list (excepting the first one, which is you sucking at impulse control)? I agree that highway driving is much easier than busy traffic on non-highway main roads.

    Re: Zeeny and speeding on normal roads: really? really really? Its pretty easy to drive in a lethally unsafe manner anywhere that isn't a housing estate built in the last ten years or so (those windy narrow traffic-calming-ridden dendritic networks are the fucking devil).

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I would rather a system set up that allowed drivers to report drivers who are acting like total assholes (which includes those driving unsafely). If we could then have police keep an eye on for these cars and punish accordingly, that would be a dream.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    City or highway? Your proposal was 80-90, I honestly can't even think of many places where one could reach such a speed in an urban area.

    I've driven well over 80kph with traffic inside New York City (BQE and Cross Bronx Expressway), Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Philadelphia....

    Was that traffic flow or were you above the speed limit?
    With traffic. Speed limit would be 55-65 mph (88-104 kph), normal traffic pattern during light traffic times would be ~70mph (~112kph). Highways are a major part of US cities.

    ed
    I would rather a system set up that allowed drivers to report drivers who are acting like total assholes (which includes those driving unsafely). If we could then have police keep an eye on for these cars and punish accordingly, that would be a dream.

    Yeah it'd be nice except then you're giving drivers something else to be distracted by.

    And now for my commute

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

    No, because learning to drive manual transmission is actually learning to drive a car and learning to drive automatic transmission is pretty much an exercise in steering. Cars with automatic transmission are sweet, especially for city driving. Teaching people how to drive on a car with automatic transmission however, simply shouldn't be an option and in many places isn't one.
    In the United States, automatic transmission is in 90+% of cars.

    Pretty much the opposite in Europe, but really wasn't my point. Why is it better to be able to drive 90% of cars tan be able t drive 100% of cars?

    We should also make everyone learn how to drive a motorcycle, a tractor trailer, and a horse.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I seriously hate that real driving vs fake driving argument. Its snobbery.
    Knowing what RPMs mean does not make me a safer driver.

    Knowing the rpm's of your own car most certainly does, but not really the topic and I'm sorry I went on that tangent.

    Cat, why did you pick 80-90 as the lock speed for that proposal if it's a speed easily achievable in city? Because it's the current speed limit in most places, because you think it's a compromise between convenience and safety or because there is actual scientific study showing a significantly bigger jump in the risk factor going from 90 to 110 compared to 70 to 90?
    I've read several studies suggesting most of fatalities happen in the 0-60 kph range, but that's expected as most vehicles drive in that range.
    Also, again Europe, there really aren't that many places where you can go 90+ in city.

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I think most driving classes spend so much time teaching the rules of the road, they mostly ignore driving strategy.

    They always talk about how to be the super cautios driver, but that ignores alot of the aggressive driving techniques that are going to be needed by all drivers. This causes alot of problems as the kids are having to learn them on their own.

    Essentially only teaching the cautious driving style is like only teaching abstinence only education. Yes it works, but you cant expect young hormone fueled kids to follow it. You may as well arm them with the knowledge of how to properly handle a vehicle, and what to watch out for.

    So many people only drive in the right hand lane, which is where every other driver is trying to merge into or off of. Or they are trying to accelerate gently to the posted speed limit, while every other driver is roaring around them because they are already at the speed limit or 10% over (which is usually what the flow of traffic runs at).

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

    No, because learning to drive manual transmission is actually learning to drive a car and learning to drive automatic transmission is pretty much an exercise in steering. Cars with automatic transmission are sweet, especially for city driving. Teaching people how to drive on a car with automatic transmission however, simply shouldn't be an option and in many places isn't one.
    In the United States, automatic transmission is in 90+% of cars.

    Pretty much the opposite in Europe, but really wasn't my point. Why is it better to be able to drive 90% of cars tan be able t drive 100% of cars?

    We should also make everyone learn how to drive a motorcycle, a tractor trailer, and a horse.

    If the driving license gave them the right to drive a motorcycle or a tractor trailer, we most certainly should.
    Not convinced about the dangers of horse riding in city conditions though.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

    No, because learning to drive manual transmission is actually learning to drive a car and learning to drive automatic transmission is pretty much an exercise in steering. Cars with automatic transmission are sweet, especially for city driving. Teaching people how to drive on a car with automatic transmission however, simply shouldn't be an option and in many places isn't one.
    In the United States, automatic transmission is in 90+% of cars.

    Pretty much the opposite in Europe, but really wasn't my point. Why is it better to be able to drive 90% of cars tan be able t drive 100% of cars?

    We should also make everyone learn how to drive a motorcycle, a tractor trailer, and a horse.

    If the driving license gave them the right to drive a motorcycle or a tractor trailer, we most certainly should.
    Not convinced about the dangers of horse riding in city conditions though.

    I can rent a 26-ft truck without a CDL (commercial drivers license) and I can take the motorcycle test with what amounts to a bicycle with a motor on it. A big bike, even with an experienced rider, would have a hard time passing the test given the course you have to follow (based on one motorcycle test I've taken). You aren't getting tested on your ability in a specific vehicle, but rather your ability to safely follow the rules of the road.

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  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010

    We should also make everyone learn how to drive a motorcycle, a tractor trailer, and a horse.

    Motorcycle and tractor trailer are separate tests in the UK.

    Horse, however, you can ride without a license.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    I seriously hate that real driving vs fake driving argument. Its snobbery.
    Knowing what RPMs mean does not make me a safer driver.

    Knowing the rpm's of your own car most certainly does, but not really the topic and I'm sorry I went on that tangent.

    Cat, why did you pick 80-90 as the lock speed for that proposal if it's a speed easily achievable in city? Because it's the current speed limit in most places, because you think it's a compromise between convenience and safety or because there is actual scientific study showing a significantly bigger jump in the risk factor going from 90 to 110 compared to 70 to 90?
    I've read several studies suggesting most of fatalities happen in the 0-60 kph range, but that's expected as most vehicles drive in that range.
    Also, again Europe, there really aren't that many places where you can go 90+ in city.

    Bit of everything above, but my reasoning is probably influenced by local urban design - our cities are way, way sprawlier than Europe's, because they weren't founded or expanded around foot traffic. European cities mostly started in the middle ages or even earlier, not the 1800s, so their layout is very different.

    From reading around, most fatal crashes involving young drivers seem to occur at above posted highway speeds, like +120, particularly on non-highway roads rated at 60-80kms (you can easily hit excess speeds on local trunk roads anytime between around 8pm and 6am). Most trunk roads around here are roughly 70-80 km/h, so there's an issue with not interfering with the ability of young drivers to commute - that'll just encourage more lawbreaking anyway.

    With your stat about low-speed fatalities, it might be constructive to separate people dying in the car from people dying outside the car, and also to separate out things like level crossing accidents - its hard to find these datasets, though.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    I've never understood giving any kind of driving license to somebody unable to drive manual transmission.

    ...because you have other options... that are more common?

    No, because learning to drive manual transmission is actually learning to drive a car and learning to drive automatic transmission is pretty much an exercise in steering. Cars with automatic transmission are sweet, especially for city driving. Teaching people how to drive on a car with automatic transmission however, simply shouldn't be an option and in many places isn't one.
    In the United States, automatic transmission is in 90+% of cars.

    Pretty much the opposite in Europe, but really wasn't my point. Why is it better to be able to drive 90% of cars tan be able t drive 100% of cars?

    We should also make everyone learn how to drive a motorcycle, a tractor trailer, and a horse.

    If the driving license gave them the right to drive a motorcycle or a tractor trailer, we most certainly should.
    Not convinced about the dangers of horse riding in city conditions though.

    I can rent a 26-ft truck without a CDL (commercial drivers license) and I can take the motorcycle test with what amounts to a bicycle with a motor on it. You aren't getting tested on your ability in a specific vehicle, but rather your ability to safely follow the rules of the road.

    And those two things(if true, because both are false in the 5 countries whose legislation I'm familiar with) are good and not flaws, because.....?
    If for some reason you don't have driving categories in the US or they aren't observed by law enforcement, that's actually a problem, not a positive.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    I can rent a 26-ft truck without a CDL (commercial drivers license) and I can take the motorcycle test with what amounts to a bicycle with a motor on it. A big bike, even with an experienced rider, would have a hard time passing the test given the course you have to follow (based on one motorcycle test I've taken). You aren't getting tested on your ability in a specific vehicle, but rather your ability to safely follow the rules of the road.

    So your argument that US driving test standards aren't terrible is looking weaker by the moment :P I can't even drive our work F350 without extra training and the first level of truck license. There are several of those here, all of which involve extra instruction and tests, right up to road-train level. Motorcycle licenses are similarly staggered.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I'm having a really hard time drawing comparisons based on your local nomenclature.
    What are trunk roads and what's a level crossing accident?

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    I can rent a 26-ft truck without a CDL (commercial drivers license) and I can take the motorcycle test with what amounts to a bicycle with a motor on it. A big bike, even with an experienced rider, would have a hard time passing the test given the course you have to follow (based on one motorcycle test I've taken). You aren't getting tested on your ability in a specific vehicle, but rather your ability to safely follow the rules of the road.

    So your argument that US driving test standards aren't terrible is looking weaker by the moment :P I can't even drive our work F350 without extra training and the first level of truck license. There are several of those here, all of which involve extra instruction and tests, right up to road-train level. Motorcycle licenses are similarly staggered.

    This is fascinating.


    note: I'm not trying to say "America is the bestest", but rather supply the explanation for why things are as they are. That is why we don't test for manual ability, because we don't test for the vehicle unless it has been declared as decidedly different.

    What kind of issue do you Aussies have with uninsured and unlicensed motorists (often illegal immigrants), etc? I can't imagine any driving reform happening in America before that gets cracked down a bit.

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  • ArchArch HELLO YES THIS IS BUG Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I uh, am all for mandatory speed limitations on ALL cars. Ever.

    From what I understand, at speeds beginning at 70 mph (I think 110km/hr?) the likely hood of surviving a crash drops DRAMATICALLY. Semi-automagic statistics here:
    With each increase in the miles per hour over the prescribed speed limit, you are at a greater risk of meeting with an accident. According to certain statistics, every 10 mph that a driver drives over the speed limit of 50 mph, he increases his risk of dying in a car crash two times. For instance, if you are traveling at 80 mph the chances of dying in a car crash increases 8 times.

    More numbers
    Speeding is a factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, killing an average of 1,000 Americans every month, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which estimates the cost to society of speed-related crashes to be more than $40 billion each year.

    Now this quote is interesting, because I feel I have heard arguments against what I said based on this statistic. The common line goes something like "But only 31 percent of crashes are from speeding, that is not even half, ergo not a big enough deal to worry about, and no reason to limit cars."

    Right, right. That is a good point, but unfortunately only argues AROUND my own. The point I am trying to make ISN'T that speeding accounts for the majority of accidents, it is that WHEN accidents occur at high speeds, they are more dangerous than accidents occurring at low speeds. Ergo, in the interest of safety (and since people apparently can't self-regulate, the link above shows that 69 percent of people reported exceeding the posted speed limits) I believe motor vehicles should be speed-limited.

    Some more magical numbers
    that support this point, along with a slight refutation to another line of argument (that increasing the maximum legal speed is actually a SAFE move, and leads to better driving)
    When speed increases from 40 mph to 60 mph, the energy released in a crash more than doubles. (IIHS, 2003)

    Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that when speed limits were raised by many states in 1996, travel speeds increased and motor vehicle fatalities went up approximately 15 percent on Interstate highways in those states.

    And now the part of my post that is closest to trolling.

    Do you REALLY need to drive more than 70 mph in most circumstances? Is there a reason beyond "It is fun?"

    Assume, when answering this question that everyone around you is driving at 70 mph, and thus you don't need to 'keep up with traffic'.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yea, if everyone was limited there would be no real reason to need to go faster for safety reasons. I could be okay with a 70 mph cap. I'd also love to be able to afford a small and efficient car rather than pay through the nose for a Smart of Mini.


    rabble rabble freedoms etc

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    I'm having a really hard time drawing comparisons based on your local nomenclature.
    What are trunk roads and what's a level crossing accident?

    Trunk roads are basically main roads that aren't highways - so more than one lane in each direction (normally 3), but still full of traffic lights and side roads feeding directly on to them, etc

    level crossings are where railway lines cross a street. Which really shouldn't ever happen, but many cities have a few and they're also common in rural areas. Mostly because planners working before 1970 or so didn't seem to believe in rail bridges or tunnels...

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Man, we have rail crossings all over the place.

    The biggest difficulty in changing this type of stuff in America is that he car culture is so ingrained into our collective identity that you're fighting a massive uphill battle. It's almost a case of "this is what it is because this is what it was".

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  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Am I the only guy that feels like an asshole for obeying the speed limit?

    I mean people ride my bumper constantly if they can't get around.

    I go the max allowed by law but even cops pass me like I'm standin' still.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It depends where you live. I get honked at for slowing to turn into a parking lot. Sorry dude, but I don't want top flip my car.

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  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    80 km/h is such a frankly offensive nanny-state speed limit I don't even know where to start addressing it. It's too slow for modern cars. It's too slow for modern roads. It would make long distance travel take 20-30% longer.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    I can rent a 26-ft truck without a CDL (commercial drivers license) and I can take the motorcycle test with what amounts to a bicycle with a motor on it. A big bike, even with an experienced rider, would have a hard time passing the test given the course you have to follow (based on one motorcycle test I've taken). You aren't getting tested on your ability in a specific vehicle, but rather your ability to safely follow the rules of the road.

    So your argument that US driving test standards aren't terrible is looking weaker by the moment :P I can't even drive our work F350 without extra training and the first level of truck license. There are several of those here, all of which involve extra instruction and tests, right up to road-train level. Motorcycle licenses are similarly staggered.

    This is fascinating.


    note: I'm not trying to say "America is the bestest", but rather supply the explanation for why things are as they are. That is why we don't test for manual ability, because we don't test for the vehicle unless it has been declared as decidedly different.

    What kind of issue do you Aussies have with uninsured and unlicensed motorists (often illegal immigrants), etc? I can't imagine any driving reform happening in America before that gets cracked down a bit.

    'coo. Ummmm, immigration here is a lot more controlled. Island, arse end of nowhere, you know.

    there's a bit of a problem with taxi drivers, because there was a period a few years back where you didn't need your o/s credentials checked properly before being able to work as a driver. There's (anecdotally) a lot of taxi drivers around here who'd pretty much never been in a car before hopping off the plane from India or Somalia. And there's the usual jokes about asian drivers, which is not about race before anyone gets snippy! Its about learning to drive in an environment where road rules don't exist, eg Bangkok. Its a pity that those folks get lumped in with Asian-Australians who did learn to drive here and who are perfectly safe :/ And personally, I've noticed that women driving while wearing full-face veil have poor peripheral vision D:

    Apart from that though, cops are in the same boat as any other place - they'll certainly pick up people driving erratically, but the odds of getting caught while driving unlicensed/mislicensed or in an unregistered car are pretty low, unless you live in a small town where you went to high school with the cop and he knows you on sight :)

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