Monday, 2 September 2013

But it's not about "road safety", is it?

There's a good summary at Sky News about the pro's and con's of the EU's proposal for automatic speed limiters i.e. they are a load of nonsense.

Before they start lecturing us about "road safety" they might like to think about learning from us how to get road deaths down to half the current European average (one of the things of which we in the UK can be rightly proud, I think).

But the article misses out the most fundamental point, which is behind two-thirds of EU proposals, and that is that some lobbying body somewhere has spotted a gap in the market.

If they can persuade the EU to pass such a crackpot Regulation or Directive, then some large corporate somewhere will be able to earn itself silly retro-fitting 250 million motor vehicles with these gadgets.

Even if they can only charge €10 a pop, and it will probably be more like €100, that is still a shed load of money, with no chance of a refund as and when it turns out they cause more accidents than they prevent.


The Stigler said...

Having just returned from France, I can bear witness to the fact that a lot of the French drive like total twats. They speed up right behind you, overtake and then pull right in front of you. Even on an Autoroute where it's completely unnecessary.

But I suspect the biggest cause of death is kids on little moped like things, who seem to have a death wish.

The whole idea is crazy. I've broken the speed limit for good reason. An ambulance behind me on a main road was coming up on me very fast, I couldn't pull over, so I hit the accelerator and was doing 80mph on a 70mph road.

My guess in these situations is that it's really about something else, and this is the "unreasonable desire" that then gets compromised to what is really wanted (like satellite tracking of cars).

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, satellite tracking is a bonus from their point of view, but in this country they can already do this with surveillance cameras and automatic number plate recognition.

Lola said...

Right. That's it. I will finish the rebuild on my 100% mechanical (i.e. no 'puters) car I first built in 1978. There is no way they can fit speed limiters to that. Nor could they to any of the thousands of other 'classics' - at least not reliably.

Actaully thinking about it, they could force the replacement of the ignition points with an anctuator thingy coupled to a rev limiter. But what I'd then do is to get it tested with a very low final drive ratio that I'd then switch to a higher one when said tech has been installed.

Plus I bet none of this would apply to 'official' cars.

Welcome back to the Zil lanes.


Bayard said...

Lola, it might interest you to know that I did a project on a 100% mechanical speed limiter back at the start of the 80's when I was an engineering student. The thrust of the project was to limit speed without limiting acceleration.

It's all bunk anyway, as anyone who has been re-educated, sorry, on a speed awareness course knows, that the fast roads are the safest ones. The vast majority of accidents happen on minor roads where you can't easily exceed the speed limit, but can easily drive too fast for the road conditions.

Anyway, a better way of improving road safety, as Mark has pointed out, is to mandate and enforce the "two-second rule" and have that instead of a national speed limit.

Bayard said...

Apparently, it's all made up by the press. There was no EU proposal for automatic speed limiters in the first place.