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Old 06-01-2012, 03:52 PM
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crisis crisis is offline
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Reconcile this garbage.

For those who don’t live in South Oz (count yourself lucky) a “creeper” is that most lethal of all drivers who exceed the posted limit by 4 or 5 kmh. I think…..

South Australia's new speeding laws aim to curb creepers
THE Motor Accident Commission says changes to speeding laws will target repeat offenders who are more concerned by demerits than fines.
This week, the Government announced the lowest level speeding offence expiation fee will fall from $260 to $150 but will now attract a loss of two demerit points.
The fine for the highest speeding offence, exceeding the speed limit by 45km/h or more, rises from the previous $671 to $900 plus a loss of nine demerit points.

Ben Tuffnell, the Motor Accident Commission's general manager of corporate affairs, said the new penalties were more likely to be an effective deterrent to speeding because of the threat of drivers losing their licence with the accumulation of extra demerit points.
"Drivers who can afford to pay expiation fees are more likely to be deterred by the possibility that the accumulation of demerit points will lead to a loss of licence," Mr Tuffnell said.
"Adding extra demerit points to the penalty means 'creepers' and repeat offenders will lose their licence more quickly."

He said of all the drivers and riders who were responsible for fatal crashes in 2011, 78 per cent had at least one previous driving offence, of which the majority of offences were speeding and drink driving.

So what has this to do with people who occasionally exceed a limit by 5ks? Is speeding exceeding the posted limit or driving at a dangerous speed?

Road Safety Minister Jennifer Rankine said a reduction of 5km/h in average travel speed would reduce rural casualty crashes by about 30 per cent and urban crashes by about 25 per cent.

Prove it.

"Speed is a critical factor in every serious crash and speeding was identified as a contributing factor in an estimated 36 per cent of fatal crashes in the past three years," Ms Rankine said.

Again, what is speed?

Acting Officer in Charge Traffic Support Branch Inspector Stuart McLean said the state's rural roads continued to be over represented in fatal crashes.

Where again “creeping” may manifest itself as doing 110kmh in a 100 zone. I would imagine these fatalities have nothing to do with that but they will never tell us.

"In 2011, 59 per cent of fatalities occurred on rural roads; this year 27 lives have been lost on rural roads," Insp McLean said.

Not in the metropolitan area where most of the speed traps are.

"Forty-three people have died on South Australian roads so far this year, while this is less than at
Failing to wear a seat belt was a key factor in many rural fatalities with 50 per cent of drivers and passengers who died in 2011 not wearing a seat belt.


So what has this to do with doing 110kmh in a 100 zone. You will probably die doing 60 in a 100 zone with no seatbelt.

Police estimate 72 per cent of fatal rural crashes are caused by driver distraction.

So not caused by doing 110kmh in a 100 zone.

"Distraction takes many forms including using a mobile phone, changing music, fatigue or simply being distracted by others in the vehicle. It only takes a second to be distracted, and sadly it only takes a second to die."

Agreed. This laws does nothing about that.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:14 PM
Badsight Badsight is offline
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wheels car mag did an article on one of your guys policy advisers.

the spin he put on crash stats would have been laughable if it wasnt so serious.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:18 PM
Badsight Badsight is offline
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Originally Posted by crisis View Post
Police estimate 72 per cent of fatal rural crashes are caused by driver distraction.
not paying attention.

considering how slow the speed limit is, im constantly astonished how people manage to lose it.

we get pathetic laws basically because we deserve them.

if people would stop being morons, the pollies wouldnt have a mandate.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:01 PM
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crisis crisis is offline
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Originally Posted by Badsight View Post
not paying attention.

considering how slow the speed limit is, im constantly astonished how people manage to lose it.

we get pathetic laws basically because we deserve them.

if people would stop being morons, the pollies wouldnt have a mandate.
Your right. Driving a car is the most dangerous thing 90% of the population ever do in their lives yet they give it the same amount of attention and concentration as cleaning their teeth.
However we get pathetic laws because too many drones seem to think it is as easy as “if you don’t want to get fined don’t speed”. Forgetting the whole question of what “road safety” is about. It is about revenue and the minimal amount of effort and though the people managing it have to put in to placate the public.
72 per cent of fatal rural crashes are caused by driver distraction yet we are increasing the demerit points for people driving a few ks over the speed limit. These two things are not related. They have one lot of evidence (no matter how ambiguous) and they respond with an unrelated response.
People are going to die in road accidents. That’s an irrefutable fact. All we can do is try to minimize these events. Those who profess to be in charge of road safety have basically been doing the same thing with the same result forever. People will be idiots, people will be inattentive and people will break the rules. We need to target the most serious offenders and have methods of removing them from the roads. We need to improve the roads, not make them worse. And we need to make driving less stressful, not more so and more confusing.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:48 PM
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Three questions... Is there a powerful insurance lobby in Australia? Is licensing a national issue or by state (as in the USA), and what is the level of driver training?

I guess a fourth question would be about culture... is driving a car thought of as a right or priviledge?
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:18 PM
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Not sure, state, not great, right.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:16 PM
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But i guess it's the same in every country. Here the fines are also ridiciously high and people get distracted too much too.. Near Rotterdam they have this section where they measure your average speed over x kilometres. The problem is, the speed is lower than all the surrounding roads. Because it is so boring and since they must slow down or they will get a fine for sure people are distracted. In some places it wouldn't be a bad thing to de-regulate. Like in Germany on the Autobahn; people are made responsible themselves. Want to speed? Sure, we allow it, but no insurance coverage..
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:26 AM
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henk4 henk4 is offline
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Originally Posted by drakkie View Post
Near Rotterdam they have this section where they measure your average speed over x kilometres. The problem is, the speed is lower than all the surrounding roads. Because it is so boring and since they must slow down or they will get a fine for sure people are distracted.
nonsense, the people in the 80 km sections are so frightened to get a ticket that they stick to 75. And the queus are caused by the fact that people brake too late, causing the famous harmonica effect.

And fines are not ridiculously high, someone playing with a smart phone should have his license withdrawn rather than getting a paltry 250 euro fine.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:10 AM
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There was a furore in the ACT recently when the law was changed so that speeding fines incurred in NSW also attracted the relevant Licence point loss as well as the fine.

This, on the other hand, smacks of pants-on-head reintardation (being reborn as an idiot).

It just smacks of wrecking a workable system to catch a problem that might be worth more to leave alone. If that makes any sense.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:16 PM
Badsight Badsight is offline
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Originally Posted by crisis View Post
These two things are not related. They have one lot of evidence (no matter how ambiguous) and they respond with an unrelated response.
The wonderfull alternate universe that is government in action.

People drive every day, & treat it as an everyday activity. That will never change. neither will crashes.

And just like the wild west will never be repeated, neither will relaxed driving laws. your future as well as mine has increased regulation & controls.

As long as the lowest common denominator is pandered too theres nothing we can do about it.

Last edited by Badsight; 06-03-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:05 PM
MilesR MilesR is offline
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Originally Posted by Badsight View Post
not paying attention.

considering how slow the speed limit is, im constantly astonished how people manage to lose it.

we get pathetic laws basically because we deserve them.

if people would stop being morons, the pollies wouldnt have a mandate.
Yes and no. I would not deny that people are clots, and can do some pretty stupid things. However, the speed limit is set so that someone who is paying attention will have time to respond, and avoid an accident. Speed limits are not actually slow. I think that it helps to have travelled near the speed limit without a car for protection, in order to appreciate just how fast the speed limit is. On a bicycle, 40km/h or 50km/h can feel quite fast, and 60km/h or above can be scary. This is because I find that I am painfully conscious of just how much damage I could do, to myself or to others, if I fall off, or hit something. In a car, 60km/h feels slow, but it is deceptive. The lack of the noise and feeling from the airflow, the padded cell providing protection and eliminating the roughness of the road, and the tunnel-vision that comes with looking straight down the road, through the windscreen, all act to remove the impression of speed. It is worse with modern cars, where the engine power and refinement result in more speed with less noise. There is also the psychological element: I believe that drivers only expect obstructions to occur on the road. They do not expect anything that is not on or obviously near the road to be able to interact with them. It creates a false impression that there is adequate time to respond to any hazard, and that if the road is clear now, no hazard could emerge within the next few seconds.

I am very firmly of the opinion that "Don't speed and you won't get fined". It is that simple. I believe that there is a contradiction in Crisis' opinion that there is no connection between attention and speed. If a driver is paying attention, they should be aware of their speed. If they are creeping over the speed limit, they are most likely not paying full attention. I also disagree that such rules are more for the purpose of revenue than safety. If the intention is to raise money, why has this policy just lowered fines for creepers, and increased demerit points? Wouldn't it be more logical to increase fines and reduce demerit points, to keep more drivers licensed and offending? I think that the direct benefits of a 5km/h reduction in speed may be small, but there may be significant indirect benefits, if it persuades drivers to pay more attention. If 72% of fatal rural accidents are caused by inattention, this policy may make a substantial difference.

A couple of small points of standards and interpretations: Australia has a culture where ownership of a car and a license is very much considered a right. Driver training in Australia is quite good, but the standard of the drivers depends partly upon the rigour of the license examiner, who assesses the learner-driver's skills. Once a license is in hand, however, Australians have a resentment of authority, and respond to any reminder that there are road rules with complaints of victimisation and revenue-raising. On the whole Australians are quite good at following the rules, but the acceptance of the car as a right means that they do treat it as something mundane, routine, and low risk. This attitude is evident in the driving habits and diligence of many drivers. This is probably true of drivers in many or most countries, however.

Also, it is worth noting that statistics quoted for accidents in percentages can be rather misleading. If 72% of fatal rural accidents are cause by inattention, and we reduce the rate of accidents by half, we might still find that 72% of them are caused by inattention, despite the total number now being smaller. The percentage does not indicate the overall risk, and does not necessarily reflect any improvements. If we reduced the rate of attention-related rural fatal accidents from 70% to 10%, we might find that speed-related accidents may increase from 30% to 90% of the total, without the risk of such accidents increasing. Also, note the qualifiers that go with it. That statistic does not include non-fatal accidents, or accidents that occurred in urban areas. There may be 100 times more accidents in urban areas, than in rural areas, 100 times more non-fatal accidents than fatal accidents, and if a 5km/h over-speed is a factor in 25%-30% of them, addressing this cause could have arguably greater overall benefits than addressing the 20 rural fatalities that can be attributed to inattention alone (according to Crisis' report).

My interpretation of these laws is that they will make no difference at all to law-abiding drivers, they will be to the benefit of occasionally-inattentive drivers, and detrimental to serially-inattentive drivers and deliberate law-breakers. The safety-revenue justification can be argued interminably, but the laws need to be introduced before we can know whether or not they will work. Then they can be judged and if necessary modified, based on their demonstrated merits.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:57 PM
Badsight Badsight is offline
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whilst speed is relative, 100 km/h is mind numbingly slow.

its so slow that you dont actually have to pay attention to what you are doing. people show that every day on every continent (also, modern cars handel so good that they virtually drive themselves).

license training in oz ? cant comment on that. here in NZ its based around law obedience rather than driving ability.

laws dont do squat to a persons responsibility level. which is far more important than the speed you drive when it comes to safety

btw, please dont call them accidents. accidents are rare. very rare. crashes tho happen every day
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:44 PM
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henk4 henk4 is offline
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whilst speed is relative, 100 km/h is mind numbingly slow.
it all depends where you do 100 kph. On the endless planes in Australia, the US Mid-West or Kazakhstan, it could be, but in densely populated areas with myriads of motorways, 100 might be well over the limit people can handle, especially when they bother to use all sorts of phones, music or even the inbuild GPS sysyem of modern cars.

So yes, speed is relatively and 100 can be very dangerous.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:51 PM
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Absolutely right, Henk.

Speed limits can often be arbitrary depending on the community, but where determined by traffic engineers, they're scientifically set after statistical analysis. Sections of roadway are measured for traffic volume and average speed under varied conditions and time of day. Typically, the speed at which 80% of motorists travel on any given road left to their own judgement is the optimum.

I imagine Australia to be similar to the USA in that it's a large country with open roads, there's a cultural history of the automobile providing freedom through mobility, and licensing is done by individual states. Those conditions contribute to a sense that driving a vehicle is a right, which of course it is not. It's a privilege accorded by qualifying and paying for a license to do so, limited and revocable by any number of offenses and/or conditions specified by the government that issues them.

The reason I asked about insurance lobbies in Australia is that government and private insurers have a monetary interest in regulation, sometimes onerous. In the USA it has meant laws prohibiting radar detectors (fines equal higher insurance premiums) but only in states that are cozy with insurance underwriters. Speed traps are common in communities between larger metro areas; where state or federal highways intersect secondary roads, posted limits may drop 30MPH in just 100 feet. Post a traffic cop to watch the area for small town $$$ ca-ching. It's a stereotype because they exist.

The USA's most serious issue is poor and inconsistent driver training. It's not regulated nationally, but by each state, and every one has different standards and requirements. Coupled with the popular misconception that driving is a right, the proliferation of electronic media as daily distractions and just idiotic self indulgent behaviour behind the wheel, it's small wonder that crashes are VERY common in certain demographic groups. Excessive speed is rarely the sole culprit.

So, I empathise with what crisis points out as the real problem. The issues raised with the fines scheme has little to do with speed, and everything to do with the state exploiting poor driver discipline and training to add another revenue source to the treasury. And probably, the insurance industry too.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:06 PM
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henk4 henk4 is offline
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Absolutely right, Henk.

Speed limits can often be arbitrary depending on the community, but where determined by traffic engineers, they're scientifically set after statistical analysis. Sections of roadway are measured for traffic volume and average speed under varied conditions and time of day. Typically, the speed at which 80% of motorists travel on any given road left to their own judgement is the optimum.

I imagine Australia to be similar to the USA in that it's a large country with open roads, there's a cultural history of the automobile providing freedom through mobility, and licensing is done by individual states. Those conditions contribute to a sense that driving a vehicle is a right, which of course it is not. It's a privilege accorded by qualifying and paying for a license to do so, limited and revocable by any number of offenses and/or conditions specified by the government that issues them.

The reason I asked about insurance lobbies in Australia is that government and private insurers have a monetary interest in regulation, sometimes onerous. In the USA it has meant laws prohibiting radar detectors (fines equal higher insurance premiums) but only in states that are cozy with insurance underwriters. Speed traps are common in communities between larger metro areas; where state or federal highways intersect secondary roads, posted limits may drop 30MPH in just 100 feet. Post a traffic cop to watch the area for small town $$$ ca-ching. It's a stereotype because they exist.

The USA's most serious issue is poor and inconsistent driver training. It's not regulated nationally, but by each state, and every one has different standards and requirements. Coupled with the popular misconception that driving is a right, the proliferation of electronic media as daily distractions and just idiotic self indulgent behaviour behind the wheel, it's small wonder that crashes are VERY common in certain demographic groups. Excessive speed is rarely the sole culprit.

So, I empathise with what crisis points out as the real problem. The issues raised with the fines scheme has little to do with speed, and everything to do with the state exploiting poor driver discipline and training to add another revenue source to the treasury. And probably, the insurance industry too.
talking about statistical analysis:
Last week the road police announced that they no longer use targeted methods to spot cyclists with no rear light in the dark (yes I know that there are only few countries where this might be relevant, but Holland is one of them and in a big way). The reason given for this was not that it was no longer considered to be dangerous, but that no figures had been colleted over the past, linking this sort of invisible driving with accidents and it was therefore concluded that the accident rate was about zero....
And for what it is worth we have a centralised driver education which is quite tough, but on the other hand there is a large number of morons on the roads.
The thing I like about the USA, at least the small sections of the country that I have corssed by car, is that virtually everybody sticks to the speed limit,even if it 55 or 60 mph. Here if the limit is 100 and while everybody should know that speed differences is what is slowing traffic down, there are those who thnik they have the right to "push aside" those sticking to the limit, constantly using the brakes if they cant get their way and creating unrest and not realising that their selfish behaviour results in slowing down of traffic and even creating traffic jams. And while you see surprsingly little lane hopping in the USA to get into the faster lane, this is the order of they day here, partly because we do not allow right side overtaking.
I think the introduction of speed limits is not to make life difficult for individual drivers but to allow traffic to flow as fluently as possible for ALL drivers. Of course there are circumstances where you can question a specific limit, but in general leaving the decision to what you speed you can maintain to individual drivers, will result in far more congestion that than when it regulated. So I am in favour of these limits and also in favour of strict enforcement.
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