Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Why on earth would you want that many gazelles anyway?

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enforcing Interstate speed limits
  (+7, -29)(+7, -29)(+7, -29)
(+7, -29)
  [vote for,

This idea is best used in highly populated areas.When I drive at the speed limit I watch most other cars pass me, some at an alarming rate. Most of these stretches are three lanes. If you could find two other people to drive their cars, the three of you could align with each, maintaining the speed limit of course, thus making it impossible for anyone to pass. I believe it would be perfectly legal and a demostration of the disregard of most to obey the limit. Of course you would anger a lot of people because you are preventing them from doing something that is against the law.
Bradw, Jul 06 2000

Cell phone safety. http://www.theonion...infograph_3629.html
Safety is an all hands effort. - USN slogan. No particular relevance. [Scott_D, Jul 06 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

for vavon http://www.halfbake...speeding_22_20roads
shameless self-promotion [mihali, Jul 06 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

prima facia speed law http://www.otsego.o...crc/speedlimits.htm
"Any person driving a vehicle on a highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed not greater than NOR LESS THAN is reasonable and proper" (emphasis added) [Klaatu, Oct 04 2004]


       Sounds like "road rage" bait to me.
eagle, Jul 06 2000

       If you and your friends had plenty of time on your hands and could afford to get pulled over, it would be interesting to see what would happen if you used this "barrier" technique in front of a police car. If the police car turned on his flashing lights, you'd be legally required to pull over, but provided you did so I can't think of any legitimate reason for the cop to cite you.   

       Of course, the cop could simply turn on his flashers, wait for you to get out of the way, and turn them off as soon as he was past. That would be the logical (and 'legal') thing for a cop to do. Actually, on some occasions I've seen cops use their flashers to things that would be illegal for ordinary paeons (such as drive up to a red light, turn on flashers, proceed through it, and turn off flashers). Logical, legal, and why can't I do that? >:*3
supercat, Jul 07 2000

       I'm pretty sure you could get cited for disrupting the flow of traffic, same as if you all went 25mph. Whether it'd stand in a court is another thing. I remember hearing a CA police officer say that if someone was going 65 in the fast lane, they could be pulled over for disrupting traffic, and if they were going faster than 65, they could be pulled over for speeding.
bookworm, Jul 07 2000

       Why don't you just shoot the speeders? It surely must be legal for a law-abiding citizen to use reasonable force in preventing someone from breaking the law.
Toss, Jul 07 2000

       I think the speed laws are stupid. I think that on many open roads with no dangers, with conditons permiting and a vehicle capable of safely traveling at speed, there should be no speed limits. Poplulated areas are a diffrent story, but I think there should be some kind of permit you could get to go faster, as long as you don't put anybody in danger. With some kind of sticker to let police know that your allowed to speed. Sounds like a half baked idea.
turboflier, Jul 08 2000

       you do that, and i promise i'll be one of the first to hire a large truck and approach you and your friends at speed. people chooose to disobey the law, they weigh up the advantages and consequences and decide it's worth it, you are not out there to uphold the law, it's their choice and if they get pulled over and fined for disobeying the law, then that's their own fault, but you have no right to decide that nobody can go faster than you. people may have reasons for speeding, ie being late for work, having a woman going into labour, rushing to catch a plane, trying to stop the love of their life from leaving forever - there is a huge array of possibilities - i wouldn't be suprised if someone successfully sued for losses/damages due to you holding them up.
Malcolm, Jul 12 2000

       Y'know I keep a paintball gun in my car, especially for people like you? Well I do.
HotBlackDesoto, Jul 13 2000

       I generally stay 4 to 5 mph above the speed limit on the freeway, since I like to use the cruise control on long trips - any slower and I end up boxed in - which makes me nervous. I would drive slower if everybody set their cruise control to, or maintain exactly the speed limit, but most people seem to exeed it by two to three mph.   

       My personal pet peeves are people who speed in city limits, particularly those who lack the awareness of what those little blinkenlites on the back if the car are for, and assholes in general who do not grasp the concept of the merge, or lane protcol- it is common in this area for a person to maintain the lane from which they expect to turn, i.e. right or left, even if this turn is ten miles away.   

       p.s. I seem to recall a more relevant idea to post the above link to, but can't seem to locate it - enjoy it anyway.
Scott_D, Aug 28 2000

       you might want to make an investment into some bulletproof glass, I'm from hicksville, and almost everybody around here keeps a shotgun behind their truck seat. (please contribute to the "Help me move out of Burton OHIO fund, care of...)
Hal-B, Dec 06 2000

       And it just sounds like plain ol' "road rage" to me.  
johno, Apr 05 2001

       I heard speed limits were established on the interstate to regulate oil consumption (1974) and were only left up to state governments a few years ago. In the few states that took the limits off thier open roads actually saw a decrease not only in traffic deaths, but (not ironically) the money they used to get from tickets... so they reverted back to speed limits.   

       Also, a recent Federal Highway Administration report showed that the slowest 5% of all drivers had the highest accident rates. The drivers who had speeds 10-15 above the posted limit were the safest group of drivers with the lowest accident rate.
andrewkorbel, Apr 10 2001

       whoa! hey, korbel, can you link that report?
absterge, Apr 10 2001

       Do planes, trains and boats are speed-limited? Of course not, only in dense areas. Why should not cars be allowed to speed freely en route then? That's the way they do in Germany and their accident rates are on of the lowest.
bobsharp, May 26 2001

       #1. what you are describing is called in lay terms(at least by people I know) "fucky-fucky". usually it is used by a couple of drivers with an asshole driver (not someone just going fast safely, but actually causing dangerous conditions) behind, and the front drivers stay in the way, together, and slow down to like 10-15 mph in the city. it is very fun to do to dickheads who are racing around cutting everyone off, etc.   

       #2. in cop terms, this is called "contest and comparison" i.e. racing. you are racing the guy next to you to see who can go the.. uh.. same speed. it is illegal just like racing to see who can go faster, because you are paying attention to the other car and not the rest of the world like you are supposed to.   

       #3. this is more dangerous than simply going faster than other drivers on the road. what if someone came up behind you going 85 in a 60 with his pregnant wife bleeding all over the place in the car? you wouldn't know that, you'd just get pissed off, and try some shit like this. well, i'll tell you something, if i was the guy with the bleeding wife, and you tried to block me off or managed to get in my way on purpose, i'd fucking bash your car right off the road and into oncoming traffic. it's not your job to decide who gets to go fast and who should go what speed.   

       #4. you are probably the kind of person who goes slow or the speed limit in the passing (left) lane. why does it bother you that other people are going faster? is it because you have such high regard for a law against something that's not hurting anyone, or because you are too pussy to try it and they are getting away with it?   

       #5. granted, my comments come from someone who drives a race car, drives awarely, doesn't talk on a cell phone in the car or try to eat while driving, and knows driving etiquette and correct practices. i go much faster than the speed limit on a regular basis, and i know it pisses some people off, but it's only because i am bursting their little dazed bubble, not because i did anything unsafe anywhere near them. i hate reckless drivers probably much more than you do, but driving fast and driving recklessly are not the same thing. personally i think there should be no laws about speeding on highways, but reckless driving laws should be rigidly enforced. that includes giving tickets for obstructing traffic by going too slow, cruising in the passing lane, not using turn signals, wandering into other people's lanes, talking on a phone while driving, driving with only parking lights on, etc. there are plenty more morons driving slow than there are driving fast, and they are just as dangerous because they are not really there. driving while too old to see, too short to see over the steering wheel, and while stupid should all be punishable by impounding the car.   

       and malcolm, i'll get a truck too and come right along with you.
tekniq, Jul 17 2001

       tecniq: re #5 - penalising reckless drivers rather than speeders. I'm *entirely* with you.
Unfortunately in the UK the emphasis continues to be on speed rather than safety. Additionally, police are now allowed to keep a percentage of the revenue gained from speed cameras, encouraging them to put cameras up in places which will maximise revenue rather than prevent accidents.
st3f, Jul 17 2001

       I reccomend that everyone drive 30 miles over whatever the posted limit is so that you're all out of the way when I get on the road. Also I recommend that we subdue and capture the three fellows who would put on this proposed car barricade and we should make them walk the plank. They'll be singing a different tune about speeding as they slowly sink to the bottom of Davy Jone's Locker.
talamunda, Jul 18 2001

       Mephista: I believe that driving at a speed inappropriate to your situation is most certainly reckless. If you give thought to, determine and drive at the speed that you consider to be safe I don't believe that you can be considered reckless, even if that speed is not considered legal by the authorities.
st3f, Jul 18 2001

       queke: I find it unsettling that the government can make any "law" and expect us to obey it. After all, didn't we put these people in power to do things in our best interest? We don't personally approve these laws and I'm sure that you would find more than a majority of Americans wanting the limits to be raised. These laws are put in place by people who don't even drive their own cars, by people that don't know what it's like to deal with being boxed in, in slow traffic.
talamunda, Jul 19 2001

       Mephista: Isn't it amazing that you're entire picture of me is based on the words that I have written (and some of tekniq's as I have agreed with one of his points). I wonder how you picture me. But enough of this. Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps me to fit another piece in my portrait of you. I was expecting there to be a multiple car pile up at the end of the story and consider it more valuable for the lack of it.   

       There is one sentence that I consider very significant and I hope you won't mind if I pull it apart.
//It was downright embarrassing, and I had to pull over at a pullover point to let them all pass, and watch half of them give me the finger.//
Embarrassing? It shouldn't have been. You made a decision on the grounds of safety and if you were not impacting on the safety of others you should not be embarrassed to make that choice. (This can be taken to extremes but I hope you take my point)
"I had to pull over..." - No, you didn't have to, but the fact that you did and more that you felt a compulsion to do so speaks for the empathy and respect that you have for others. Thank you. If I were remotely religious I would say, "bless you."
"...and watch half of them give me the finger." - That speak volumes about their respect for the freedom of others.

       I only have one criticism of your driving - that you feel that the posted speed was necessarily the appropriate speed for the situation. That kind of thinking can lead to people going too fast in an area where they should exercise more caution simply because the law allows them to. This is reckless.   

       I also have one criticism of your analysis of me - to quote, "...just because the freedom of others means little to you." You are free to hold that opinion of me and you are free to express it, just as I am free to tell you that you have hurt me by saying so and that I believe that your forming that opinion of me based on the words that I have written belittles you, not me.
st3f, Jul 19 2001

       The best way to determine how fast you should go is not by reading a sign but to actually ignore them and see where you feel comfortable with your car. As long as their are signs that tell you what kind of terrain is coming up you should be ok. By posting signs the government has effectivly split the population into two groups. One group that feels the government knows best and does their best to do what the government thinks is best and a second group that feels they know what they are capable. As long as drivers are made aware of the dangers (kids, falling rocks, sharp turns, hiddin driveways, hookers) then people will drive more informed which produces safer drivers. Also, the amount of driver training should be much more then it is today, at least in the US where many kids have their own cars by the time they are 17 or 18. The training should be much more experience based than classroom. Plus, many speed limits were set years ago when cars were not capable of as much as they are today, and the cost of re-evaluating the effectiveness of posted speeds would be enormous compared to the money saved if the limits are left alone.
Vavon, Jul 19 2001

       [waugs]: The UK speed limit is 70 mph unless a lower limit is posted. This was introduced during the 'fuel crisis' of the late seventies; previously there was *no* limit on unrestricted roads.
I would be happy if this limit were increased to 80 or 90 and rigidly enforced, but 70 is a ridiculous limit on most motorways.
angel, Jul 19 2001

       I don't have a problem with the government as far as their role. I have problems with people that choose to follow the government without thought. People need to think for themselves. If the government has recommend speeds instead of limits it would be better. I would rather be pulled over because I was driving recklessly or foolishly than I would if I happened to go a few mph faster then the limit. The key should be safety. The government should be like a cookbook. It tells you how you should bake your cake, but you can bake it anyway you want because you have to eat it.
Vavon, Jul 19 2001

       <looking at clipboard> hmmm...well, we've covered the speeding thing pretty well and now we're moving into the anti-government rants, so can we just have a couple of volunteers to add gun control and the death penalty? then we'll throw in a little custard and some explosions, and that'll be a wrap. ok people...places! and...action!
mihali, Jul 19 2001

       This is sooo ANTI-cyclists. I can't beleive your totally not respecting my feelings. I'm elf-aware... isn't anybody else?
lewisgirl, Jul 19 2001

       In the Uk the speed limit on Motorways (freeways) is 70 and if you drive at 70, well then you become a rolling road block and a threat to other drivers.   

       I tend to drive at around 80-85 mph, and this is the normal speed for most drivers in the UK when on an open motorway.   

       This speed when driven on a clear road in fine weather in a well maintained car by a healthy, aware, driver is perfectly appropriate and safe to all reasonable extent.   

       I feel, however that it would be inappropriate to drive at 70 (the legal limit) if the road was wet, and I would slow down to a speed I felt was comfortable and safe.   

       Accident are not caused by speed alone. They are caused by drivers falling asleep, driver not paying attention, drivers driving recklessly, drivers not maintaining vehicles properly.   

       The problem we need to deal with isn't speed, it's stupid poeple.
CasaLoco, Jul 19 2001

       Presumably some division of the government designed and built the roads, therefore, I would think it's entirely likely that they would know what the safest speed to drive on them is, and entirely appropriate for them to post that speed.   

       I think waugsqueke is right about this. Certainly there are a few skilled drivers out there, but the limits must be set for the poor and average drivers. Don't forget, nobody thinks they're a bad driver, so if you don't have a legal limit, everyone, good bad and average will go as fast as they want, and the majority of the time it will be too fast for any given driver simply because that driver thinks he's a good driver when in fact, he isn't.   

       No matter how skilled you are, if you are driving significantly faster than the flow of traffic, you are creating a potentially dangerous situation, and so by definition you are a BAD driver.
PotatoStew, Jul 20 2001

       The same proposition applies if you are driving significantly slower than the flow of traffic. A bad driver will drive badly at 70 (or 60 or 30), a good driver will drive well at 100. Bad driving (including *inappropriate* speed) should be prosecuted, not speed per se. Setting limits for poor and average drivers is all well and good, but it's the poor drivers who are most likely to exceed the limit at inappropriate times.
angel, Jul 20 2001

       [Mephista]: If you want to debate with me please do so. If you want to put words in my mouth, argue against them, insult me and then move on, please find yourself another punchbag.   

Back to the debate: I have two points:
Background: I am commenting from the UK where the maximum motorway speed limit is 70mph and the common urban speed limit is 30mph. The emphasis of the police and the courts is to catch speeding drivers as very little effort is made to catch those that are driving unsafely without going over the speed limit.
And the points:
1) I believe that the government is wrong to impose the current speed limits, but not for any reason that I have seen stated here. The reason that I believe that they are wrong is that they have not reviewed these speed limits in 30 years. They should be examined and debated.
2) I believe that the emphasis of the police is wrong in focusing almost totally on speeding. I believe that there is much dangerous driving that is within the speed limit and would like to see some more emphasis catching and prosecuting people who endagered people by their negligence.

1) Variable speed limits on motorways. Part of the M25 (Motorway arond London) already has variable speed limits I would like to see this scheme expanded to a longer section of motorway and to try raising the speed limit when the weather is clear and the road is dry and uncongested (as well as lowering it when the road is wet or there is traffic congestion ahead).
2) Relax speeding prosecutions. Don't change the law yet but let's take a tolerant approach. Assess the danger of a situation when applying speed fines. For example if the speed limit on a stretch of road is currently 70mph and the police prosecute at, say 80mph. Raise this to 90mph on sunny days, but keep it where is is when it's raining.
3) Overturn the latest speed camera legislation. A bill was just passed allowing police to keep a percentage of the fines raised from speed cameras as revenue. This will lead them to place cameras where they will earn money rather than where they will slow traffic prior to a hazard (e.g. sharp blind corner).
4) Use the overhead video cameras in cities to gather information on dangerous drivers and prosecute them. The next time you pull out infront someone without looking and cause them to do an emergency stop expect a fine and points on your licence, even if no accident was caused.
st3f, Jul 20 2001

       In another 'forum' - albeit, more localized as to my ummmm location... my nic is 'GreenMeansGo'... how often the words "See, that (honk) thing up there Mother$#^@&*? (honk) It's a (honk) signal! It means - 'Get the (honk) $#^@ (honk) out (honk) of (honk)my (honk) way'!" have passed from my lips as I sit behind a car at a green light is beyond the range of even Vernons proposed superchip processor equipped computer.
thumbwax, Jul 20 2001

       angel: agreed, about inappropriately slow driving. I only singled out fast driving because the majority of the people here (and at large) already seem to have grasped the idea that driving too slow presents a hazzard, but can't seem to extend that thought in the other direction.   

       //but it's the poor drivers who are most likely to exceed the limit at inappropriate times//   

       And so by posting a hard and fast speed limit, the police then have a quantitative standard to pull them over and penalize them. "Bad driving" is too qualitative a measure in many cases. Besides, I'm sure that there are many many more average and bad drivers than good drivers (a bell curve wouldn't surprise me) therefore, if someone is speeding, chances are they are not a good driver and therefore shouldn't be doing it. So, to do the right thing in the majority of situations, the police have to occassionally snare the good driver as well.
PotatoStew, Jul 20 2001

       i think you are all missing the point of driving at a "safe speed". when i learned how to drive, we were taught about driving defensively. that includes determining a safe speed for the conditions. what that really means is figuring out how easy it would be to stop your car without hurting anyone in case of an emergency. i'm not going to go through the math here becuase i trust most of you can figure it out for yourselves, but i'm sure you'll all agree with me that it takes significantly more distance (9metres at 145kph vs 113kph, assuming one second to realise something is wrong, move your foot to the brake, and apply pressure) to stop your car from a higher speed. add to that the fact that the force of impact increases with the square of velocity and it all adds up to bad news if you're involved in a crash.   

       if you think you're a good driver, you're not. we all make mistakes. the attitude that "i should be driving faster because i'm a good driver" just doesn't cut it. there's lots of people on the roads, fast, slow, partially blind, whatever, and they're all unpredictable. so what is the safe speed for those conditions? you may think "great, the left lane is open and i'm going to floor it. but you never know if someone in the lane to the right is going to move into yours and cut you off. i've seen that happen all too often. maybe he was swerving to avoid a collision, maybe his tire blew out, or maybe he just changed lanes without paying attention. either way, you've got 9 metres less to think about it so you'd better hit the brakes now.   

       motorcyclists are taught the same thing: look out for everyone else. this is important because they are more vulnerable to injury than drivers. but it applies to everyone on the road. even if you think you're the best driver in the world, there's someone out there who could really ruin your life because they didn't watch out for you. so drive as fast as you want, just don't do it on the road that i'm on. driving is a privilege, not a right, and i don't want that taken away from me because some twit thought that "the conditions" were good for the speed that he was travelling.
mihali, Jul 20 2001

       [Stew]: You're more likely to be pulled for doing 80mph safely than you are for doing 60mph unsafely because it's a lot easier to get a conviction. You tripped the camera, here's the evidence, you're nicked, no argument. Doing 80 on a straight, flat, deserted motorway in perfect visibility is an offence; doing 60 in the rain, in fog, at night, in traffic, is not. You *could* be done for careless driving, but unless an accident results, you won't be.
angel, Jul 20 2001

       Everyone keeps complaining about fast driving, what people need to keep in mind is the frame of reference. Fast down a straight road could be 100 mph while down a curvy road it could be 25mph. What makes the difference in fast is the condition of the road, not the posted speed limit. What maybe fast to someone in a station wagon is nothing as compared to someone in a BMW. So really the safety issue of speed should be based on your car and your driving skill. Maybe they have special driver licensees that give certain people the right to drive faster because they are better skilled and have better cars. Anyone that has driven a high performance car knows that it can handle so much more than a normal car, with this in mind, it should not be limited by poorer performing drivers and cars. I understand the necessity of the law, but I disagree with the implementation of it. BTW I'm not an anarchist.
Vavon, Jul 20 2001

       vavon, what you just described sounds a lot like my electronic toll "speeding" roads idea. see link.
mihali, Jul 20 2001

       Consider this: If you had several groups of cars doing this in regular intervals, wouldn't it eliminate the "caterpillar effect" where the traffic comes to a stop and then speeds back up for no apparent reason? It would sort of herd everyone along at a steady pace. Of course, it would take dozens of cars working together to achieve this effect, so it wouldn't be very practical to do all the time.
nathandrea, Jul 20 2001

       mihali has made an excellent argument, and pretty much said what I was trying to say, only better. Higher speed = more danger simply because it takes longer to stop, not everyone on the road drives sensibly, and unexpected things *will* happen. Go ahead and have your "special" speeding licenses, but unless *everyone* on the road is qualified (as per mihali's linked idea) you are going to be creating a dangerous situation. I don't see why people don't get that. I don't think I have anything else to add to this.   

       nathandrea: if you mean the original idea here, you're probably right. There's a link to an essay about traffic waves somewhere on the halfbakery which talks about similar concepts.
PotatoStew, Jul 20 2001

       This whole chain seems to be getting a little off topic. I just have two words to add. Neither of which (in my feeble mind) represent anything other than self importnaceand maybe a superiority complex. I don't think that joe knuckledragger would take kindly to your solution.   

       pas·sive-ag·gres·sive (psv--grsv) adj. Of, relating to, or having a personality disorder characterized by habitual passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in occupational or social situations, as by procrastination, stubbornness, sullenness, and inefficiency.   

       vig·i·lan·te (vj-lnt) n. One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands. A member of a vigilance committee.
Chudwik, Jul 20 2001

       You do realize that 'passive agressive' and 'vigilante' is THREE words. I love it when people try to act smug and superior and screw up...
StarChaser, Jul 21 2001

       Use better technology and driving to reduce acidents rather than increase speed limits...
RobertKidney, Jul 21 2001

       passive-aggressive is hyphenated. You must really love your smug self . . . dolt
Chudwik, Jul 23 2001

       And where do hyphens go? In between two words, unless one word is split on a line. 'Passive' and 'agressive' are two words. For extra credit, try 'annoying wank'. Here's a mirror to help.
StarChaser, Jul 23 2001

       Jeez kettle, you sure are black! . . . . don't have many friends do you? I think "my-mother-beat-me-repeatedly" would be "a" word worth researching. Might be good therapy. Nice rip by the way. Stay out late thinking those up?
Chudwik, Jul 23 2001

       No, they just come naturally when confronted by someone like you.
StarChaser, Jul 23 2001

       Can we mark annotation for deletion?
centauri, Jul 23 2001

       Surely whether or not speed limits were imposed on roads for any given reason is irrelevant - the important thing is that now we have a pollution/global warming problem, and a speed limit is a relatively inexpensive way of controlling fuel consumption and car pollution. (it would also encourage public transport; a 150mph train beats a 60 mph car)   

       Also, new roads are often modelled on computer, to assess traffic flow, safety etc, so exceeding speed limits means you are now operating at levels which may render the built-in protection (walls, kerbs, fences etc) useless.
Pallex, Jul 24 2001

       For goodness sakes you people! This debate about who thinks what might be what is pointless. They have been researching this stuff for over 40 years. The relationship between driving speed and car crashes is this:   


       It is a curvilinear graph. If you go slower or faster than the surrounding traffic you increase your crash risk. It doesn't matter if someone thinks they can go as fast as they like or someone else thinks that slow is always safe damnit that's the way it is! Traffic speeds have to coordinate or the components collide.   

       Roads are designed for a certain speed but speed limits are often set up to (note I said "up to" not "always") 30kph lower. The basis of road design is engineering standards. Traffic engineers job is to design them for a particular speed. The basis of speed limits is politics. They move up and down depending on the political climate. Governments and their departments decide the speed limit.   

       Research indicates that minimum crash risk occurs at the speed 85% of traffic is moving at or below so the reality is that most people are reasonable judges of an appropriate speed for the conditions.   

       Nevertheless I'd suggest that if you can't handle the road at the speed that surrounding traffic moves at then you are functioning at the level of someone who is blind rotten drunk. For goodness sake give up your licence voluntarily before you kill someone. Sure it is inconvenient but wouldn't killing someone be worse? Alternatively , if there is no health problem involved, maybe further training might improve your skill and allow you to keep up and safely join the traffic system. Training programs for elderly drivers have met with some success.   

       The idea that artificially low speed limits protect the lowest common denominator sounds like a plausible theory - if you are completely unaware of the research. What can be said is that theory is completely debunked by the research. A speed limit sets people too low gets people killed. Research on raising and lowering speed limits always finds increased compliance and reduced crashes when a speed limit is raised to match the optimum driving speed. Incidentally the optimum driving speed that people feel comfortable at (ie. the speed at which 85% of traffic moves at or below) usually 'coincidentally' matches the speed roads were originally designed for. Again if there's one thing drivers can usually do its pick an appropriate speed.   

       Flowing traffic is a system. It isn't about having more time to avoid an obstacle dropped from the sky or a mysterious obstacle that a driver going at a speed which keeps them alert hasn't managed to notice in time. (Although of course suicidal people playing chicken with concrete abuttments, and those too high on dope or too drunk to stay alert for pedestrians or slow down for a curve will fit into your theory.) It is the slow vehicles in the system that the traffic is flowing around (described as moving road blocks in the literature) and the fast cars weaving in and out of traffic unexpectedly and driving too fast for the conditions that people either colide with or crash trying to avoid (or which lose control if going too fast).   

       If speed limits are set correctly traffic speeds are less dispersed because people can legally drive at a speed which feels comfortable and law enforcement targets most of the categories of drivers described in between the brackets in the previous paragraph.   

       Drive safely an
MicB, Sep 09 2001

       As Bart Simpson said when his father Homer got the wrong subliminal tape to sleep with, and went on a mad "safety promotion trip":   

       "OK dad, so you lower the speed limit to 50 MpH, and save a few thousand lives...   

       But millions will be late to work!"
pashute, Nov 04 2002

       If a road may be safely driven at a certain speed during dark, rainy, foggy, snowy, or icy conditons, it may almost certainly be driven safely at a faster speed during bright (but with the sun not near the forward horizon), clear, and dry conditions.   

       Since most roads may be safely driven at posted speed during moderately-unfavorable conditions, it would follow that during perfectly favorable conditions there is generally no safety risk going a fair bit (10-15mph) over. The one major exception is when a stretch of road has a significant likelihood of unpredictable objects coming into a driver's path. Even here, however, most drivers have a pretty good innate sense of safety, and instinctively slow down whenever they see anything or anyone that might cross their path.
supercat, Nov 04 2002

       I actually like the rebel side of it. Very Hell's Agelsy.
sidi, Jan 22 2004

       And you will get a ticket for obstructing traffic under the prima facia, or "basic speed law". <link>
Klaatu, Jan 22 2004


       The biggest myth of all time! . . . Speed Kills!   

       According to the 1998 NHTSA Fact Sheet only FOUR percent of ALL fatal collisions are "speed related". And just what is a "speed related" collision? It could mean speeding... driving to fast for conditions... driving too SLOW for conditions... improper lane usage.... illegal turn... running a red light or stop sign... or just about anything else. Not just speeding.   

       Speed never kills. NEVER! Think about it like this... A guy decides to go skydiving. He goes up in a plane. He jumps out the side. His parachute... didn't! He falls... fast! REALLY FAST!!!!! Does he die? (Tune in tomorrow to find out). No. He's just fine. (Okay, he's terrified)... But, he's doing an excellent job of falling. At least until... that pesky ground stops his fall. He dies. Why? Falling too fast? NO! He died because he stopped too quickly. If he would have just slowed down.... before impact. He'd be fine. BUT NOOOO!!! He just had to stop the quick way.   

       The same thing is true for driving ...
sts, Aug 24 2004

       No it isn't.
ChewTheBeef, Aug 24 2004


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