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# Momentum Limits

evening the odds for smaller cars
 (+12, -3) [vote for, against]

Not my idea, but a good one none the less. Instead of speed limits we institude momentum limits. Given the fact that no amount of laws will prevent people from doing stupid crap on the road and getting into accidents, we should at least even the odds. For example, on a given road a Ford Juggernaut, Chevy Titan or GM Gigantor could only travel at 20mph, whereas a smaller car, say an Opel Peewee or a Honda Itsybitsy would get to travel at about 400mph. I haven't quite figured out the enforcement aspect yet...
 — jiggersplat, May 29 2002

The momentum limit should be measured on the fly by factoring in the weight of the passangers when they sit down. When the car goes over the momentum limit, a momentumming ticket is printed in the glove compartment, and a radio signal of the ticket is sent to the police so that they can duley enforce fines.
 — [ sctld ], May 29 2002

 — po, May 29 2002

I get the concept. Interesting idea but I doubt that a Honda Speck is going to be built with the same braking capacity as a Ford Excess.
 — half, May 29 2002

 — NickTheGreat, May 29 2002

[half]: how about a system based on braking capacity? It could be re-evaluated every yearly check
 — yamahito, May 29 2002

 I'm not sure how a light car (say made from recycled beer cans) will survive a 400mph impact with anything, especially a tank moving at 2 mph.

on the other hand, when you're in a hurry it can be: sorry fatso, out of the car, gotta make time!. Couriers would hire based on weight, like horse jockies.
 — rbl, May 29 2002

Ravenswood: The official unit for momentum is the kgm/s, although i favour the 'Oomph'.
 — [ sctld ], May 29 2002

 I believe the equation for momentum (or is it kinetic energy?) is: M = 1/2 mv^2

 so the velocity is a much bigger factor than the mass. In my calculations, a 2-ton car going at 60 mph would have the same momentum as a 3-ton car at 49 mph.

One could argue that this is half baked since we already have lower speed limits for large trucks. But I've never been a fan of "one size fits all" laws so I give it a croissant anyway.

SB: no, that's KE. momentum is p=mv.
 — yamahito, May 30 2002

 That would work fine except that it would slow down average speeds. Who wants to get stuck behind a Ford Juggernaut going 20mph? It would also be expensive because each car would have to have updated electronics that calculate the speed limit.

 I think they should levy heavy taxes against Juggernaut vehicles because they are unfit for the road, because of their extreme momentum hazard. Either that or they should be illegal altogether. People can buy pick-up trucks if they really need the cargo room. The same way that people have to pay luxury and gas guzzler tax, they should have to pay a momentum tax. This should not apply to cargo trucks.

Or, each time a Juggernaut crushes a Pinto, killing or severely injures an occupant, the Pinto driver should get \$300,000 automatically ontop of any other judgements. That would raise the insurance rates enough to be even more of a deterrent than a heavy tax.
 — jamesxi, Oct 12 2002

Great idea... My kid will be able to break the speed of light on his skateboard.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 12 2002

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