'Smart' Motorways, an accident waiting to happen?

Niamac

GCM
The A9/M9 has average speed cameras on it and this has made the driving less fraught. It is funny to see porkers in Range Rovers come barreling on to the road like Jehu and then remember the control and go back to 70.
 

mcphee1948

Old-Salt
A lot of "accidents" on motorways and other roads, seem to result from cars being driven at excessive speed.

Wouldn't it be possible to install, in every car, a mechanical or electronic device that made it physically impossible to go faster than say, 50 or 60 mph? Speeds of that magnitude would seem sufficient to complete most journies in a reasonable period of time. And if, for a really long journey, it wasn't sufficient, you could take a faster train, where the risks would be much less.
 
Does anyone know if the cameras can detect the different speed limits for the various types of vehicle? So a truck gets zapped exceeding 56 but obviously not a car.

Yes happens all the time

We regularly get speeding tickets for vans and lorries breaking their respective speed limits even when not exceeding the car limit for the road concerned.
 

Londo

LE
Few people bother. The number of obviously new drivers I see steadfastly hogging the middle lane is ridiculous.
One of my pet hates . Also one I have seen several times when I used to drive about in the early hours with very little traffic about is those that come down the slip road , join the motorway and then cross over to the right hand lane and stay there for mile after mile for some strange reason .
 
I hate it when it's referred to as slow lane, cruising lane and fast lane, it's lanes 1 2 3 etc, unless it's smart motorway, then it becomes LBS1 LBS2 etc. (lane below signal)
 
Yes happens all the time

We regularly get speeding tickets for vans and lorries breaking their respective speed limits even when not exceeding the car limit for the road concerned.
So in effect every vehicle is clocked all the time and then checked against a database. Allowing for false details I wonder if they are reducing the number of untaxed and uninsured vehicles.
 
Few people bother. The number of obviously new drivers I see steadfastly hogging the middle lane is ridiculous.
TBH anybody with half a brain cell in them, knows that you stay in the slowest lane (left or right - depending on the country) unless overtaking - it's not rocket science. I never got a lesson.
 
One of my pet hates . Also one I have seen several times when I used to drive about in the early hours with very little traffic about is those that come down the slip road , join the motorway and then cross over to the right hand lane and stay there for mile after mile for some strange reason .
I like the French system for that. Been a while since I drove through French France, but they always had the solid white line for some distance before and after the entrance/exit slip road. My mate who I used to doss with in Paris told me it was to stop people doing exactly what you just said by making it a ticketable offence.
 
So in effect every vehicle is clocked all the time and then checked against a database. Allowing for false details I wonder if they are reducing the number of untaxed and uninsured vehicles.

No it isn't
Speed cameras do not analyse the MID or check the road tax status.

ANPR systems are only capable of looking for a certain amount of criteria in one hit.
 
TBH anybody with half a brain cell in them, knows that you stay in the slowest lane (left or right - depending on the country) unless overtaking - it's not rocket science. I never got a lesson.
Unlike the US where it is basically a free for all on the road. FYI DFW officially has the worst drivers/most accidents in the USA. The insurance industry say that Texas as a State is the worst State, and then within Texas DFW is the worst conurbation.
 
Unlike the US where it is basically a free for all on the road. FYI DFW officially has the worst drivers/most accidents in the USA. The insurance industry say that Texas as a State is the worst State, and then within Texas DFW is the worst conurbation.
TX maybe the worst, but MI, has the highest insurance premiums in all of U.S. - I should know, I paid them.

TX barely made it to top 10.

 

NSP

LE
Nope, because there are parts of the country where you're over an hour from the nearest motorway.
Under my two-part test idea they could drive non-motorway. If you want the big tomoley take Pt.2. Can't be arsed to make the effort; your choice. Welcome to the adult world.

Yes, I already know that I'm a complete James Blunt.
 

NSP

LE
A lot of "accidents" on motorways and other roads, seem to result from cars being driven at excessive speed.

Wouldn't it be possible to install, in every car, a mechanical or electronic device that made it physically impossible to go faster than say, 50 or 60 mph? Speeds of that magnitude would seem sufficient to complete most journies in a reasonable period of time. And if, for a really long journey, it wasn't sufficient, you could take a faster train, where the risks would be much less.
You could put in a GPS based system (you might have noticed that your sat-nav displays a speed limit sign with the limit for the section of road your're on?) that is linked to an engine governor that keeps you within the speed limit.

The problem then is that you generate another unsafe condition. For example, I was in the right-hand lane on the M4 at the limit circa 2006, overtaking a line of nose-to-tail cars with no safe gap to pull into when I got the flashing blues in the mirror. Seeing a gap six or seven cars ahead I opened the taps and ramped up the speed until I reached the gap, pulled in and adjusted down to match the middle lane speed, Plod 2-up unit motored past with a wave of thanks from the left-seater. No ticket, no other unit coming up, finding me and pulling me over for some "stern words of advice" for exceeding the limit.

Mind you, with three lanes of traffic all pegged at 70mph by technology Plod would have probably been zooming up the hard shoulder, anyway, so...
 
I've got a triangle and a handful of lightsticks in my boot, the idea being that in the dark approaching traffic will wonder what is ahead and lift off the loud pedal, if deployed a decent distance behind the car.

Lightsticks arranged thus in the same way as traffic cones taper at beginning of lane-closure roadworks. Another red on the centreline a couple of meters aft of the car, an orange alongside it, a green 10m or so ahead in the middle of the lane.

View attachment 446186

There's a purple lightstick in the pouch to hang from my old chap, too.


Haven't tested it yet but the theory seems sound. Thoughts, anyone...? The only problem I can see is running about on the motorway - but there's only one of those around here and I don't use it much. Main threat is unlit, twisty B-roads (and similarly shaped A-roads!).
1. The sticks will roll down the camber.
2. Wind or slipstream will reorganise the sticks into a random pattern.
3. A vehicle crushing an errant stick will cause an errant glow that you won't be able to reposition.
4. Drivers won't know the significance of the different colours.
5. It's probably illegal.
6. You'll get run over while putting them out.
7. You'll get run over rearranging them.
8. Somebody will get run over collecting them.
9. Being dim and on the road surface, it's likely that they won't be seen.
 
1. The sticks will roll down the camber.
2. Wind or slipstream will reorganise the sticks into a random pattern.
3. A vehicle crushing an errant stick will cause an errant glow that you won't be able to reposition.
4. Drivers won't know the significance of the different colours.
5. It's probably illegal.
6. You'll get run over while putting them out.
7. You'll get run over rearranging them.
8. Somebody will get run over collecting them.
9. Being dim and on the road surface, it's likely that they won't be seen.
Apart from that...
 
So what’s the difference between a broken down stationary vehicle on either?
On a dual carriageway, drivers only have to be aware of what's happening in two lanes. Providing that drivers use their mirrors, they should be aware of the presence of vehicles in their (singular) blind spot, even though they can't see them. If a driver has to change lanes suddenly, an inconvenienced driver can only do one thing to avoid a collision - brake.

On a motorway, a driver can't easily process what is happening in three or four lanes. He has two blind spots which, regardless of how often he looks in his mirrors, may contain a vehicle that he hasn't seen (having been masked by other vehicles). If he changes lane suddenly, avoiding drivers are faced with more options - brake, move left or move right - and the delay while they process the options. His choice of action triggers the same process for the driver that has to avoid him.

If Autobahns really have fewer collisions than UK motorways (and, having seen a few, I'm not convinced of this), it may be down to a combination of not requiring as much spatial awareness (generally fewer lanes) and there being a more precise set of rules governing how to behave. Both of these promote a faster reaction.
 
You could put in a GPS based system (you might have noticed that your sat-nav displays a speed limit sign with the limit for the section of road your're on?) that is linked to an engine governor that keeps you within the speed limit.

The problem then is that you generate another unsafe condition. For example, I was in the right-hand lane on the M4 at the limit circa 2006, overtaking a line of nose-to-tail cars with no safe gap to pull into when I got the flashing blues in the mirror. Seeing a gap six or seven cars ahead I opened the taps and ramped up the speed until I reached the gap, pulled in and adjusted down to match the middle lane speed, Plod 2-up unit motored past with a wave of thanks from the left-seater. No ticket, no other unit coming up, finding me and pulling me over for some "stern words of advice" for exceeding the limit.

Mind you, with three lanes of traffic all pegged at 70mph by technology Plod would have probably been zooming up the hard shoulder, anyway, so...
What hard shoulder? Smart mo....
 

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