The government has produced a new ad for television.
It is a very good ad about the dangers of speeding. It is extremely well done. It is an expensive ad. The special effects are so realistic and horrifying, they can only show it after 9pm.
It is a waste of money.
On the news last night, they showed a group of school kids who were being given a demonstration of cars trying to do an emergency stop at 80 kmph. On kids reaction was that “he thought they’d be driving faster than that”. He was disappointed. He wasn’t there to see the dangers of speeding. He was there to see fast cars. Tosser.
There are essentially two types on the road who speed.
There are the boy racers who think they are playing some kind of Playstation game. They love speed. They love overtaking. They love showing off [“Jayzus, Lads. I gorrup to 190 on de Arklow Bypass today. It was great”]. They are at their worst when they have passengers to whom they can show off. Ads aren’t going to affect them as they are pretty much brain dead anyway.
The other type is the company executive in his fancy company BMW. He is much too important to slow down. He is on his way to a board meeting and has a right to drive as fast as he likes because he is so important. The ad won’t work on him because he sees the ad as being for the plebs.
There is a solution to the mayhem on our roads.
It would cut down on speeding. It would drastically reduce congestion. It would cut road deaths to a fraction of their current levels. It would drastically reduce the cost of insurance even, because there would be much fewer accidents and car crime. But it would be controversial and expensive.
Suppose all vehicles were converted so that a pass-card was required for them to function? To get a pass-card, all would-be drivers would have to pass stringent tests, much along the lines of qualifying as a pilot.
To qualify as a pilot, you have to do something like 60 hours flying time with an instructor. You have to pass several exams. It is expensive.
I’m not saying that driver qualification should be quite so stringent, but the principle should be the same. To qualify, you would have to prove that you can drive in all circumstances – city traffic, rain, open road, motorway, snow, ice, fog, whatever. That can be done on a simulator. The simulator can even throw emergency situations at you to test your reaction.
I would say that a huge majority of our drivers would fail.
And if you get your licence with its embedded chip, and are convicted of a traffic offence, the chip can be deprogrammed. Back to square one!
If you combined the chip system with bio-recognition door locks, the whole thing would be virtually fool-froof.
We seem to think we have a divine right to drive a car. We don’t.
Only safe drivers should have that right.
They can’t deal with the driving “test” backlog at the moment. What happens when they have to do an actual useful test where you actual go over 30mph?
It is quite a good idea indeed but sadly like almost all good ideas it will never be taken on board as it were. The reason?
It would make too much sense!
They can’t deal with the backlog, so what do they do? They let anyone with a provisional licence out on the roads for as long as they like.
And a provisional licence only means you’ve paid the money – it does not mean you can drive.
Car manufacturers should be penalised for making the cars capable of these excessive speeds. If the cars were unable to reach the high revs then the ‘boy- racers’ and maniacs would have to take it easy.
I don’t know about regulating speed at the car end. It is legal to drive at 120 kmph here and I know in France that goes up to 140 kmph. However, a car should have a bit of reserve in excess of that for emergency manoeuvres. So a car should be capable of doing [say] 160 kmph anyway.
Grandad, there’s a hell of a difference between 160kph and 200+kph – cars can regularly be seen traveling at 120mph+ (roughly 180kph+) on the M1 and M7 when the roads are quiet…
I completely agree Elly. I have seen them many times myself.
But it is the driver at fault – not the car.
I think that everyone should have to drive a Peugeot – maybe a 107, with less than a 1000cc’s. The top speed of the 107 is 100kmph. It’d be faster to get out and walk. 🙂
Of course, this would only be viable, if I could drive a Porsche 911 Turbo, while touring the countryside. 🙂
You forgot van drivers. I was bitching about them this morning.
Another group I truly worry about are the young females in small cars. (I say female, because the males tend to somehow get their hands on more powerful machines). They seem to think they can drive in the same fashion they’ve seen their parents do. The problem is, the parents have larger cars which have better road holding.
I have often gulped in fear watching a young woman speed into a corner – brake while IN the corner, not before – and not notice that one wheel has actually left the ground.
When these drivers end up in a ditch they weren’t speeding. Oh no, it was the road conditions. It was the sun in their eyes. The car developed a fault.
Well sorry girl, but you were. If daddy’s 2l Merc can take corner X at 50km/h then your Micra will likely take it at only 40km/h. It doesn’t matter if the speed limit sign says 80 – you were speeding.
I hate this PC shite where, while the young males are the biggest problem, the young females cannot do anything wrong.
I didn’t forget anyone, Sneezy. ALL drivers are included. Anyone who currently, or wants to drive a vehicle of any shape, form, engine capacity, carrying capacity, colour or creed. Anyone who wants to carry passengers, concrete, deliveries, kids, shopping, the dog or a grudge.
I include myself [though I’d probably fail]
And Jefferson – the vehicle of choice for everyone has to be this
There are serious cultural issues.
Germany has a considerably higher number of vehicles from Mercedes and the Bayerische Motoren Werke and has stretches of autobahn without limits, but has a much lower mortality rate:
Isetta 300’s for all. My first car was a 1966 FIAT 600D.
A very good friend of mine is a commercial pilot and come to think of it a cousin of mine is also a commercial pilot.
Both of these guys tell me horror stories about what they go through to be able to fly. They must re-qualify on whatever airplane they drive every year and have to undergo a rigouros physical every six months. If there is any problem found they are grounded for 90 days.
Personally I think that’s a bit too much. I like my idea for reducing congestion. First, we reduced the number of cars on the road by half. No more allowed. Secondly, I get to choose who can drive and who can’t!! Yea, I like that idea.
But do you know what their testing regime is like? I have always argued that speed is not the killer; it is the standard of driving. A driver can speed if the situation allows for it, and if the driver is experienced at anticipation. Look at the police driving schools where they are taught how to drive safely at high speed, even through built up areas.
In this country, people fail in the test and then legally they are allowed to drive.
I read about this today in the paper, and all that could come out was random consonants.
I’ve said my piece on the issue a while back, and it would only put me in a bad frame of mind to repeat that.
Have you seen the facilities the AutoBahn has? A manager at a previous company I worked for (German owned) crashed at very high speed on the Autobahn. He was in hospital for months after with collapsed lungs, lots of broken bones and who knows what else.
He maintains that the only reason he’s alive is that there was a Helicopter at the crash site in under 5 minutes with full paramedics and all the facilities they needed. Try getting an Ambulance in Ireland within 5 minutes. Even if you crash outside an Ambulance Depot, you could still be waiting.
I read last year (in some one of the tabloids, but still) that an ambulance in Dublin had a speed limiter installed that limited it to 50mph. This on a vehicle that we actually *WANT* to speed! Can’t find a link to confirm this, but will look this evening.
I agree with you about the testing. I have a friend who failed the only test he took in the early-80s, but got a full licence when they had a backlog of applications and handed out licences. He moved North and swapped his licence for a full Northern one; he is a truly awful driver and drives an Audi A6.
We travelled from Lille in northern France to Zell am See in Austria in a day two years ago – 650 miles, most of it on the German A8. There is a culture of safety, if the flashing sign says 80 kmh, it is for a reason and they all slow to 80 kmh. If trucks exceed the speed they are alllowed on a particulars stretch there are suddenly blue flashing lights and polizei. Have you ever seen a truck here stopped for anything? I read that in the UK they account for 2.5% of vehicles, but are involved in 30% of accidents.
Do the roads suck that bad in Ireland and Europe? I think of a days drive as 800 to 1000 miles here and no I don’t drive at 120MPH. Every year I go to Camp Perry in Ohio. It’s about 750 miles and it takes me less than 9 hours. That is cruising at 75 to 80. Maybe I’m spoiled by the highway system here.
Twice a year we drive the 1,200 miles from Pennsylvania to Florida.
It takes us two 10 hour days at an average of 60 MPH. (We do take rest stops) We travel on Interstate Highway 95,one of the busiest roads in the country.
Believe me, we average 60 but must usually drive between 70 and 75 to keep up with the rest of the traffic. It is like being on an out of control roller coaster!
Every type of vehicle is on that road barreling along. Giant new car carriers with 6 to 10 cars strapped down with chains, huge recreational vans , trailer trucks in all sorts of condition, throwing large pieces of retread tires all over the road, huge pick up trucks towing boats, and don’t forget , weaving in and out of this mess, you have the ever popular BMW guy trying to do 90 and beat the red Mustang who is challenging him for the lead.
Grandad, after a few hours of this you find yourself promising God anything in exchange for your life.
The EU has an area less than one-half of the US (not sure how it compares with just the lower 48) and has a population of 456 m as against 298 m in the US. We are competing all the time for space!
We have a provisional system here. As, young drivers are our significant problem when it comes to accidents (and small Chinese women driving four wheel drives whilst talking on their mobile phones but they just hurt others cos they have a bull bar on the front!). License at 17 years, three year provisional licence (2 with no points credit – third year, they wear ‘green’ P plates and have 2 points). Under 21’s are not allowed to drive modified cars or V8’s and insurance for under 25’s is about $3000 – still this doesn’t stop a load of them travelling together, drunk and disorderly, with one designated driver and more often than not a fatal encounter with a telegraph pole.
I sent one of mine onto a ‘defensive driving’ course 1 year after she got her license . . . they taught her how to do 360’s and hand brakey’s. Not quite what I had in mind.
The problem in Ireland is there is a very long waiting list for driving tests. So to keep the pressure off, they allow people to drive unaccompanied without a full licence. As long as you fail [yes – fail] your test, you can keep getting provisional licences. The only benefit of a full licence as far as I can see, is cheaper insurance.
And every now and again, just so the statistics don’t look too bad, they hold an amnesty, and anyone who has a provisional licence is granted a full licence without even doing the test!
The standard of driving in this country is appalling. The government can’t complain about the carnage, because they are the ones who are allowing untrained, inexperienced drivers run riot on our roads.
I’ve never agreed with the Republic’s provisional system. I think its dangerous and stupid. It doesn’t work like that in the North and the cops are ultra strict on young drivers.
Even around the border its getting strict.
However, it doesn’t explain why there are still so many fatalities in the North due to speeding.