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Higher speed limits for safer drivers

Allow better drivers to travel faster on special highways
  (+2, -3)
(+2, -3)
  [vote for,

Instead of building, say, a four-lane highway, build two two-lane highways right next to each other. One has the standard speed limit (say, 65) while the other has a much higher speed limit, say 150.

However, only drivers who pass a special test and can prove their skills get to drive the faster highway. Also, their car would have to be certified safe at the higher speeds. Drivers would have to retake the test every two years, and any tickets or accidents would revoke the privilege.

Entry onto the faster highway could be enforced by toll booths that read a magnetic stripe on your license with the added construction costs offset by test fees.

flarosa, Jan 24 2003

UK Dept of Transport Statistics http://www.transtat.dft.gov.uk/roadtraf/
Only if your feeling really bored... [DrBob, Oct 04 2004]


       Time for some calculations.

-There are 370,000 kilometres of road in the UK.
-There are currently 32 million license holders (although only 25m cars).
-The cost of adding an extra lane in each direction to the M4 is estimated at £53.1m for a 6km length. About £9m/km

Assuming that the M4 costs are untypically high, let's use half of the cost/km as our construction figure for flarosa's scheme. This works out at a total of £1,665,000,000,000 to add 1 extra lane in each direction to every road in the UK. Assuming that all license holders pay for this, not just the good drivers, that's £52,031.25 per person. Not very cheap. If we say that only 20% of the total number of license holders manage to get through life without having an accident, thus qualifying as 'good' drivers, then that pushes the cost up to £260k/person.

Nobody is going to pay that sort of money so let's assume that only the trunk roads (highways in the US) are included in this scheme. There are 15,OOOkm of these in the UK, about 4% of the total. So that reduces our cost per good driver down to a mere £10.4k/person. Assuming that the construction cost is spread over 20 years (a little short but a nice round number) then every two years, the 'good' drivers would have to a pay about £1,040 to retake their test. Of course, you can get this down to £200 if you make every license holder pay every two years and you can get it down to £100 if everyone in the country has to pay. Good luck getting the legislation through parliament flarosa!
DrBob, Jan 24 2003

       We've already done this at least once already.
snarfyguy, Jan 24 2003

       i think this idea would be better if you provided some way to pay for the construction of these roads and a way to maintain them, since obviously, the whole american public wouldn't be able to use them. can't use taxes to pay for something not everyone can use.   

       i improved on this idea by way of a toll road. check it out tell me what you think.
lolzcakes, May 21 2006

       I only wish we could get something like that going. Get places faster, safer? Hell yes.   

       Unfortunately, as lolzcakes points out, funding the construction of something about one in five americans can use (assuming there are even that many good drivers...) would be difficult, at best.
eahenle, Sep 04 2006

       how bout good drivers use the regular already built roads, and bad drivers have to buy brush bars and plow down nearby dirt roads... maybe even blaze some new trails...
rascalraidex, Sep 04 2006


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