Life and death in the fast lane — 21 Comments

  1. Furiously agree Groandad … I think there’s a misconception about Risk among public policy people and researchers.

    They seem to have an end-point in mind where a human being gets up in the morning and goes to bed that night with no risk taken in between.

    Life itself is a risk … does that mean everybody should be killed in order to produce a drop in statistics?

    I like the German Autobahn view – drive as quick as the roads and conditions allow but in the event of an accident the speed you were doing counts against you in the courtcase afterwards.

  2. Couldn’t agree more Grandad.
    In any case it’s not the speed that kills – it’s the sudden stop….

  3. Just to state the obvious, the cars in all types of racing are travelling in the same direction and at approximately the same speed. The vast majority of fatalities and serious injuries are caused by cars going in the opposite or a least tangential directions.

  4. How many councillors are rate payers? In Dublin none I guess (just like down here). Gombeen idiots making it up as they go along. They have no real power, no real budgets, so they apply their feeble minds to implementing stupid lilliputian laws.

    Good to see a fellow car lover. Let’s keep writing about the State’s offensive on the motoring popilation.

  5. Paulo makes a fair point. Also, the faster you are travelling; the more damage your shit driving will cause. Common sense really. I thought everybody in Ireland got around by horse drawn pikey waggons?

  6. Cap’n – Furiously agree?  Heh!  I like it.  Actually, I would be interested in the opposite – if they manage to remove all the risks, so no one dies, what happens then?

    Mick – I thought that video was dead.  [They removed the English language version as the server was being overloaded].  Did you regenerate it, or find the original?

    Pedantic Paulo [& TT]- I like the name.  Of course I agree with you, to an extent.  Racetracks are not like normal roads, but racetracks have their own hazards such as chicanes and sharp bends.  Conversely, I’m not suggesting that everyone should try doing 300 mph through their suburbs.  What I am saying is that a good driver can drive quite safely at speed, just as a good driver will drive way below the limit – it all depends on circumstances and experience.

    Kerryview – Motorists?  Smokers?  We are just flavour of the month, alas.

  7. Ah, and there was me thinking it was fresh! Nope, just plugged in your mugshot and the hero was born!

    Was reading today that Minister for Transport (Noel Dempsey) was distancing himself from the Dublin limit. Apparently it’s a local council decision. Now had it had a great big welcome would he be so reticent? Nope, he’d have his fog lights on and be saying ‘me me me’ !
    .-= mick´s last brainfart .. South Side Irish Parade =-.

  8. pedantic paulo1

    Just to state the obvious, the cars in all types of racing are travelling in the same direction and at approximately the same speed. The vast majority of fatalities and serious injuries are caused by cars going in the opposite or a least tangential directions.

    That being so .. why then on British Motorways, when all vehicles are travelling in the same direction (on the 3 lanes allocated to your side of the Motorway) and at approximately the same speed, is there an arbitrary speed limit of 70 Mph ?

    The answer is simple & cynical .. to wring even yet more money from the cash-cows known as Motorists ..

  9. Grandad it seems to be creating backup problems already. This morning my bus which goes through the city centre was much later getting to my destination (job). This evening (same bus route) we were stuck in traffic just by Bus Arras I’ve never experienced before. Did no one consider the traffic flow problems this speed limit was going to cause all over the city. Where’s the traffic engineers, consultants, etc. now? Out to lunch???

  10. Another old person (75) ploughed/plowed? into a building today and killed people. A casino in Nevada believe it or not. Killed someone on a one armed bandit. Again because of PC nothing can be said about the driver’s age. Apparantly he had a “medical episode.” So, speed on its own may not kill but had the old fart been doing 90mph he would have killed a lot more people. Having said that, I do get and pretty much agree with your point. For once. God I’m bored. I need a vacation. Cancun’s looking good right now.

  11. Mick – Your comments about Dempsey are very cynical and so very very true!

    Welcome Lupus!  They claim [HAH!] that the lower limit is supposed to speed things up.  If you can follow that logic, then you are ready to believe anything this shit government and crap councils are going to spout out.

    TT – If the poor bugger is going to have a ‘medical episode’ [and at 75, that’s on the cards] then he shouldn’t have been driving in the first place, so his speed is irrelevant.  Are you commenting because you are bored, or are you bored of commenting?  Take a break.

  12. So you actually tried driving around at 30?

    Okay, assuming you’re talking about kph when you say that and since 30 kph = 18.6 mph…

    18.6 mph??!? You got to be kidding. I’m going faster than that before I’m halfway down my driveway (and even faster if I’m driving the car).

    And I agree, speed doesn’t kill. Idiots in the drivers’ seat do. The apathetic human robots at the Department of Motor Vehicles who give out licenses to idiots who end up in the drivers’ seat do also. But not speed.

    I remember somewhere back around 1974 or so the government decided to lower all highway speed limits to 55 mph on the idea that it would save fuel and increase safety. Around 1986 they raised the limit to 65 since studies showed that the actual decrease in speed had done neither and most drivers were violating the limit anyway while most states were turning their back on violators. In 1995 the government removed all government imposed limits and let the states go back to setting their own limits so out highway speeds range from 65 to 75 depending on which state you’re driving in.

    Our traffic fatalities have dropped by significantly more than half since 1966 so no…speed does not kill.

    Now I should be able to end this comment on a clever note but I seem to have lost track of what I was saying.
    .-= Kirk M´s last brainfart .. Blogging belongs to those over 30? =-.

  13. Captain Haddock – possibly the difference is that race car drivers are in an almost impregnable cocoon of high tech materiels, are wearing Kevlar full body fire proof suits and are being paid massive amounts of money to take the risk they choose to face. None of that applies to me, my wife and the three kids laughing in the back seat when some drunken asshole decides he can pass safely face-on into my lane.

  14. Pedantic Paulo- good point but then shouldn’t there be a law against drunken assholes wandering into the opposite lane?

    In fact there are such laws. Doesn’t stop it happening though. There’s a misconception that in order to stop a certain behaviour one has to pass a law.

    Then everybody sits back and goes ‘thats that sorted’. Unfortunately not.

  15. Groandad “Cap’n – Furiously agree? Heh! I like it. Actually, I would be interested in the opposite – if they manage to remove all the risks, so no one dies, what happens then?”

    Its a Catch-22. We’d all die of ennui and boredom. Its no accident, if you’ll forgive the pun, that interest in extreme sports has soared as the ‘elf and safety mob have started making life as dull and safe as possible.

  16. Hi Paulo ..

    It matters little how much drivers (racing or otherwise) are paid ..

    The materials they’re wearing are of little importance either ..

    I’d suggest that my Land Rover Discovery is about as “protective” as anything on the road, without Armour plating ..

    On a race track in the event of fog .. the race gets cancelled .. the Motorways however remain open for use ..

    As someone said earlier .. its not speed per se which kills .. its the person behind the wheel, driving in a dangerous manner .. in the same way that the most lethal part of any gun is the nut behind the trigger ..

    Speed restrictions & Speed Cameras are all very well .. but they only detect one type of offence .. they don’t catch vehicles which are dangerously overloaded, they don’t catch vehicles which are badly maintained or in a dangerous condition, they don’t catch drivers overtaking on the inside etc ..

    They simply catch those whose prosecution will be the easiest to ensure & the offence which generates the most income for the Government ..

  17. Kirk M – 18.6 mph indeed.  It is a fucking rediculous non-speed.  Try driving at that sometime and see how it feels!


  18. I do agree. Basically, a lot of the speed limits are in place to provide revenue, just like speed cameras. However, I also agree with those who said the faster you’re going when you hit something, the more damage you’ll do.

    On a motorway? I’m a little torn, but basically I agree that if you’re all going in the same direction, there are no learner drivers and there’s sufficient space and good road conditions, 70mph can be a ridiculous limit. We need to do something about probationers and foreign drivers though, because either of those could bring down an experienced driver by doing something idiotic. I have to say, it seems a little dumb to me to allow someone to drive at 70mph in a huge truck on our motorways when they’re not used to driving on our roads with our rules – not without some kind of competence test anyway. But I guess it’s all about the money again.

  19. Jay – It’s true that the faster you hit something, the more damage you do, but surely it is better not to hit something in the first place?  You have a valid point about inexperienced and foreign drivers, but surely the onus is on society to provide some means of restricting  just them and not the vast majority?

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