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New rules for younger drivers are being discussed
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Posted March 26, 2013 at 1:13PM
The rising number of accidents involving younger drivers is a matter of concern to all of us. Hardly a week passes by it seems without the media containing harrowing details of yet another young driver, or passenger, killed or severely injured in a smash. (For some reason today I am unable to include the link to the item as normal so here it is in full) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21937188
Authoritative discussions are now taking place that would place restrictions, yet to be finalised, on future young drivers. I hope the result of these discussions will help to ensure safer and better motorists in due course.
My suggestions are: After passing the test, perhaps a form of tamper-proof tachograph to be fitted for twelve months, or a speed restriction plate (50mph limit say) highly visible at the rear of the vehicle so other motorists would know it contained a younger driver. It would be very interesting to here your views on this serious matter. TC.
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Posted March 28, 2013 at 9:38AM
"I think that we should have a man walking in front of every car with a RED FLAG "
Are you suggesting that women are incapable of carrying out this vital safety task? You may be surprised. Some women have proved quite adept at carrying out important tasks.
There are women unemployed as well, you know.
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Posted March 28, 2013 at 9:51AM
morddwyd sorry but that was tried and more time was spent arguing over the shade of red they should be carrying as it clashed with their outfit.
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Posted March 28, 2013 at 10:08AM
To save all the time and arguments, perhaps government should force the public to use public transport (after all, its subsidised enough) and nothing else, except possibly a 'registered' push-bike. Then any accidents or claims would be easier to deal with :O)
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Posted March 28, 2013 at 5:59PM
Time to weigh in with some points, methinks.
It's already technically feasable to restrict certain drivers. I believe ford have been experimenting with cars that have different performance characteristics depending on which key is inserted into the ignition. So mum and dad can have an unrestricted key while junior has a limited one. Admittedly, you have to keep the unlimited key out of sticky mitts, but perhaps various incentives could be used, either by legislation or the insurance industry. Which reminds me that BMW used to make a specially limited power bike for their domestic insurance market. It was the R45, a 450cc air cooled boxer twin with about 25 mousepower. I rode one once. But only once.
Inexperienced drivers (a catagory not just confined to the young) suffer from two major handicaps; insufficient understanding of hazards and potential hazards on the roads today, and a lack of moment to moment awareness of their surroundings. The former is a problem because they do not realise what they are getting themselves into. The latter is a form of 'tunnel vision', as they do not realsie the problems they cause other road users.
Speed limiters. Be very, very careful what you wish for. Because not only are they useless on any other than the highest speed limit roads, but if the EU get their claws into the idea then we will probably end up with cars that not only will not reach the national speed limit, but will hover at some odd speed somewhere below it, such as 68mph. (HGV's are limited to 56mph on motorways, despite the limit being 60. You need to look at these speeds in kph for them to make sense, then ask who legislates in metric speed limits). Then they will need inspecting and calibrating, probably at MoT time, so more expense.
Doing 'hairy' things. We've all done them, and certainly I'm no exception. To a certain extent I'm still doing them, and it's only through a combination of skill and experience that I'm succeeding. I certainly wouldn't have got away with some of the things I've done when I was fresh out of driving school! Not illegal, just hairy. And no, I'm not going to say what. But ply me with beer and I might just let something slip!
Police drivers. I would be more impressed if they practised what they preached. Suffice to say, there is a huge variation in standards. It's tempting to rationalise this by saying that local patrol officers aren't trained to the same standards in their vans and small cars as the motorway responce people in their big powerful german cars, but sadly thats not the case. I'd dearly love to take pictures of them on their phones, but knowing my luck I would end up with a ticket for using a handheld device etc.
Remember when a laden truck would pass you downhill on a motorway at 90mph! Sorry QB, If I'd know that was you I would have waved!
Ex forces drivers. I'm limiting my comment to truck drivers. Specifically those who have opted to take a hgv driving course as part of their discharge. Sorry guys, I appreciate what you're trying to do (really I do!) but thats one steep learning curve you've got in front of you! Civvy truck driving is totally unlike military driving. Each have their own skills and requirements, and not all of them are compatable. But stick at it.
Black box monitoring. I get a cautionary letter automatically generated whenever I reduce my speed by 5mph in 1 second. No facility exists for me to give account of my actions. I once asked the person whose job it is to issue these letters if they saw the car pull out in front of me. When they say no, I reply that it's a good job I did then! My point being that they are not as good an idea as some may think.
Speed limits. Seems like everywhere I look there are 20mph signs. Seems like they are spreading like a rash. Ok on side streets etc, but I think misused on main roads through residential areas. Coincidentally, they seem to be popular with mobile speed camera operators. (cynical? me?). But if the people who promote this kind of thing continue unchecked then I can quite easily see a return to those red flags that have been touched on.
Skid training. Are you kidding me? This is very high on the list of fun things you can do with your clothes on! Educational too! Recommended. But start out in a car first, ok?
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Posted March 28, 2013 at 7:31PM
Some other points:-
Why do we allow cars that have speeds far in excess of any speed limits to be on the public roads, anyway? Why not have all cars manufactured to a max 70mph? (I realise Clarkson and his juvenile compatriots would leave the country - but hey , that's a bonus!).
You say you are still, knowingly, doing 'hairy' things in your vehicle, but are getting away with it through your own 'skill and experience'!! Pardon me if that gives me no confidence in your driving whatsoever, sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Are you not driving a possibly heavily laden wagon when you are doing these hairy things? Do you not appreciate any risk to others when you do it?
I also think your disparaging remarks about ex-military drivers most condescending - contnuing your ongoing theme of "Only I deserve to be on the road". You take a pop at police drivers - in the main much better trained than HGV drivers - and seem to disagree with speed limits.
Glad you're not in the Government!!
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Posted March 28, 2013 at 9:00PM
Why not have all cars manufactured to a max 70mph?
Bad idea. If vehicles are limited to the speed limit then people will simply drive on the motorway with the foot to the floor. If you think trucks cause a problem bunching up then thats nothing compared to the number of cars that will be bunching up, with only the difference in tyre wear making any variation in speed. Now limiting to, say, 90, and you might have something.
Had you seen some of the places I've had to deliver to you might want to rethink your assessment. 25 years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of reversing 2 miles up a winding single track road after a farm delivery in deerbyshire with no place to turn an artic (thanks to a transport office not passing on the request for a rigid vehicle). Or reversing a tanker uphill to it's parking place, between 2 buildings in Bury with about 2 feet clearance either side, in the dark, with floodlights shining in your mirrors and a 20 foot drop on one side and a mill pond on the other after clearing the buildings. Or taking a fully freighted truck (44 tons) down a long steep hill with tight bends, in the snow and ice without demolishing assorted parked cars an buildings in ramsbottom that didnt get out of the way in time. Or fording rivers to a farm in the lake district that are too deep for the farmers landrover. And so on. Over the years I've been to some out of the way places and done some strange things with a truck that most people have no idea goes on. And I'll keep on doing it, because the kind of work I do isn't just driving up the motorway from one warehouse to another. It's not illegal. But it is challenging.
I stand by what I said regarding ex military drivers. Don't forget I'm ex military myself. It's a completely different world. As for police drivers - I'm calling it as I see it. I spend a lot of time on the roads, so I see a lot. Maybe you see different things, maybe not. But police drivers arent trained better than hgv drivers, merely differently. And thats not my assessment, but that of an ex met policeman I work with on and off, who decided to try his hand at truck driving after 20 years on the job, who admits that it's just as challenging in its own way. But police drivers are people too. they have their faults and foibles just like others do.
Speed limits. Yes I have problems with them. Specifically the 20 limits that are being applied to main roads. And I question the motives of the people applying these blanket limits. I don't simply accept things without question, like a good little sheep. I am suspicious of official motives and explanations. so I question them.
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