Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Blue light special

Limits strictly enforced today
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Apparatus: Sign post; Solar recharged battery; Blue light flashing each second; Key-lock for turning on and off.

Here in the U.S. its widely acknowledged that you can violate, with impunity, the limits by about 10 mph (or at least 5 mph) if the posted limit is 55. Just try driving the limit some day and you'll see that about 95% of the motorists do this. However, driving at lower speeds is known to improve a) fuel economy; and b) safety. Its a rather expensive proposition to change the speed limit signs (as was done here in Texas about 3 years ago). More importantly, there are times when driving slower would enhance everybody's quality of life, and perhaps make people aware that driving a care is not a God given right. Some possible 'threat' periods might be: a) war immiment in an OPEC nation; b) strikes and civil unrest in an OPEC nation; c) mysterious 'wrath of Allah' in an OPEC nation; d) burst oil pipelines; e) sudden thaw of the Antarctic icecap; etc.

Proposal: give the governor of each state (province, prefecture, etc.) power to 'enforce the speeds strictly', wherein the police force would, in 24-hours, switch the blue lights on (or off) to indicate that all should follow the convention of STAYING BELOW THE POSTED LIMIT. Notice could be made more CONSPICUOUS by having local radio programs announce the new status along with the weather. As a side note, it would be a convenient way to balance the state budgets, which at the beginning of 2003 are woefully underfunded.

The system would pay for itself during the first week of implementation: a) increased ticket/citation revenue; b) improved fuel economy.

If you wanted to really get harsh, a F#$@ ANOTHER OIL EMBARGO ! setting could be arranged wherein the blue light no longer flashes, but stays on solid. Essentially prohibiting the use of SUVs except for commercial non-commuting use. I pray it doesn't come to that.

pathetic, Feb 09 2003

Hubbert Peak http://www.halfbake...dea/hubbertpeak.com
Geologist's forcast a maximum oil production level, followed by decades of decaying production [pathetic, Oct 04 2004]

Blue light (deja vu) http://www.halfbake...m/idea/Blue_20light
Wow! I just noticed this link 15 minutes after I posted mine. Uncanny. [pathetic, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       Well somebody already gave me a fishbone. It would be nice if people would offer constructive criticism (or at least a humourous rebuttal) before 'dinging' each idea. I suppose that increases in gasoline cost will tend to make this stuff self-enforcing. Still the roads are made, maintained and governed by the government -- maybe people just don't like the idea of having to live under a common set of laws.
pathetic, Feb 09 2003
  

       google site - auto boner   

       take no f***king notice   

       sorry, read idea in morning..
po, Feb 09 2003
  

       //constructive criticism//
Ok here's a shot. If you have a light that indicates when the laws are going to be enforced "strictly", one effect is going to be that folks are going to violate those laws even more when the light is not on. So I think while you might have the effect you desire when the light is activated, I think it will make the highways even worse in other times.
krelnik, Feb 10 2003
  
      
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