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Old 12-04-2007, 04:13 PM   #1
BigM555
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I can't drive 55!....and apparently shouldn't have to.

There are some interesting statistics in this article.

The problem with speed limits is that they are too low

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Originally Posted by The article
Following the 1973 oil crisis and the U.S. government's imposition of a national 55 mph (88 km/h) limit, statistical analyses indicate highway safety worsened. And when Congress finally repealed federal speed limits in November 1995, to much caterwauling from the "speed-kills" crowd, with dire predictions of 6,400 increased deaths and a million additional injuries, the actual effect was diametrically opposite. Traffic deaths dropped to a record low by 1997, including in the 33 states that had immediately raised their speed limits. Meanwhile, Americans saved about 200 million person-hours in terms of less time spent on the road, with a reported net economic benefit of higher speed limits of $2 billion to $3 billion a year. A U.S. National Research Council panel pegged the cost of the 55-mph limit at about one billion person-hours per year.
Hmm, fewer accidents but more severe when they do happen.

Discuss.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:25 PM   #3
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Germany has the lowest traffic accident rate in the industrialized world. End of argument.


Let us drive faster and everything (for the most part) will be okay.



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Old 12-04-2007, 04:27 PM   #4
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The flip side to that coin: a German driver's license is really hard to get. They have a 100 question multiple choice exam, a 100 quesiton traffic sign identification exam, and an in car exam. You need to score at least 85% on all of them. Most people fail the first time out. These tests are the culmination of two years of in class and on the track instruction, covering the full range from learning to drive to accident avoidance. The police target tailgaters, drivers who pass on the right, and non-attentive drivers (using cell phones, eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, etc). In Germany, the driver is someone you don't converse with, because they dedicate all their focus to controlling the vehicle.

They maintain safety the real way, through education rather than regulation. Implementing their way of doing things would be an enormous undertaking. We would have to start by implementing the education system, and then slowly up the speed limits as the licensed drivers of the old system slowly drop off due to aging and death. We would require the same level of DOT infrastructure, monitoring the entire interstate highway system with cameras to identify accidents, traffic jams, weather patterns, road failures, etc as they occur, dynamically imposing speed limits as required. Our police would have to recieve new training and new areas of focus. The German Autoban system is completely computerized and automated. They highways are stuffed full of electronic signs that are constantly changing to keep the driver abreast of what to expect ahead.

They are so far ahead of us that it is staggering. It is like comparing our military technology to that of Iraq.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:32 PM   #5
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...and most of Germany still has speed limits.

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:34 PM   #6
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...and most of Germany still has speed limits.


Only the Autoban is fully open, and that is not in all areas, and it changes based upon conditions.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:49 PM   #7
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Germany has the lowest traffic accident rate in the industrialized world. End of argument.
It's also illegal to stay in the passing lane and you get a huge-ass fine which kicks ass.

One thing that I don't like about driving in Europe is that there isn't a gas station every 5 miles

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:55 PM   #8
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germany makes good cars..

question: you get to drive when you are 16 right? how does that affect traffic accidents? its 18 over here.

also a high price might encourage people to study for a hard test. i have no statistics of accidents in norway, but a final test is about $250 here, and most people fail it once or twice. thats expensive even for a swede

and autobahn is amazing.. i was abit scared goin on it the first time but it really is awesome, it leaves you with a feeling that ".... this is such a practical well made and smart sollution.. its crazy that its not implemented all over the western world really."

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
The flip side to that coin: a German driver's license is really hard to get. They have a 100 question multiple choice exam, a 100 quesiton traffic sign identification exam, and an in car exam. You need to score at least 85% on all of them. Most people fail the first time out. These tests are the culmination of two years of in class and on the track instruction, covering the full range from learning to drive to accident avoidance. The police target tailgaters, drivers who pass on the right, and non-attentive drivers (using cell phones, eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, etc). In Germany, the driver is someone you don't converse with, because they dedicate all their focus to controlling the vehicle.

They maintain safety the real way, through education rather than regulation. Implementing their way of doing things would be an enormous undertaking. We would have to start by implementing the education system, and then slowly up the speed limits as the licensed drivers of the old system slowly drop off due to aging and death. We would require the same level of DOT infrastructure, monitoring the entire interstate highway system with cameras to identify accidents, traffic jams, weather patterns, road failures, etc as they occur, dynamically imposing speed limits as required. Our police would have to recieve new training and new areas of focus. The German Autoban system is completely computerized and automated. They highways are stuffed full of electronic signs that are constantly changing to keep the driver abreast of what to expect ahead.

They are so far ahead of us that it is staggering. It is like comparing our military technology to that of Iraq.


Saying we should have higher limits because it works for Germany really isn't the answer. We need better education for drivers, and far stricter requirements.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:16 PM   #10
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They also take care of their roads, not to mention build them much better. It's a deathwish driving fast out here.



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Old 12-04-2007, 06:06 PM   #11
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also, i've read that when Europeans drive, they ONLY drive. due to gas costing so much more over there, they drive to drive. they don't eat sandwiches, drink gigantic sodas, or talk on cell phones while doing 80mph. they drive 90mph and enjoy every mile of it.

...at least, that's what i've read

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It's also illegal to stay in the passing lane and you get a huge-ass fine which kicks ass.
German traffic fines are not fixed rates. They are a sliding scale based on income. So, a ticket doesn't wreck the poor guy's finances, and the rich guy actually gets pissed off because of what he has to pay. The History Channel special I was watching on the Autoban said that the typical millionaire pays around $50,000 for a tailgating ticket.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
German traffic fines are not fixed rates. They are a sliding scale based on income. So, a ticket doesn't wreck the poor guy's finances, and the rich guy actually gets pissed off because of what he has to pay. The History Channel special I was watching on the Autoban said that the typical millionaire pays around $50,000 for a tailgating ticket.
Holy .....
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:41 PM   #14
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On the flip side, fuel economy decreases sharply after 60mph.

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
German traffic fines are not fixed rates. They are a sliding scale based on income. So, a ticket doesn't wreck the poor guy's finances, and the rich guy actually gets pissed off because of what he has to pay. The History Channel special I was watching on the Autoban said that the typical millionaire pays around $50,000 for a tailgating ticket.
Nice the it should be
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
German traffic fines are not fixed rates. They are a sliding scale based on income. So, a ticket doesn't wreck the poor guy's finances, and the rich guy actually gets pissed off because of what he has to pay. The History Channel special I was watching on the Autoban said that the typical millionaire pays around $50,000 for a tailgating ticket.
That's ....ing awesome!
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:50 PM   #18
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Oh, and I completely agree about education being necessary.

We constantly hear and witness here in NA that drivers are getting worse. The technology and solutions are out there our Govts just refuse to implement them.

On a less serious note I think the implementation could be pretty quick. No need to wait on the old folks to kick it. The ranks will thin themselves.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:17 PM   #19
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....in Europe. Why do they figure this .... out while I have to live in fear of Trudy the soccer mom who's half-baked on anti-depressants while driving her 5 ton SUV and using her cell phone as a vibrator?

Anyway the real downsife to better driver's ed is that most schools, around here at least, don't even offer it. You have to take it from private driving schools. So somehow somebody would have to pony up the dough to get it back in the schools. Of course we can't do that might cost somebody a ....in nickel.That's your tax dollars needlessly spent. So my hopes aren't up.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:56 PM   #20
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I agree with how the Germans make it hard to get licences, when I took my test in South Florida I couldnt believe how easy it was, a 12 year old could do it! Thats why there's so many BAD drivers down here, because they hardly test you on anyhting and people that dont completely understand the traffic rules, or dont care to understand. are more likely to be really bad drivers......

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Old 12-04-2007, 10:14 PM   #21
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Everything Dave has said is true, and therefore I have nothing else to add to this thread

Also, somebody asked about the driving age in Germany, I think it's 18. Germans correct me if I'm wrong
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
also, i've read that when Europeans drive, they ONLY drive. due to gas costing so much more over there, they drive to drive. they don't eat sandwiches, drink gigantic sodas, or talk on cell phones while doing 80mph. they drive 90mph and enjoy every mile of it.

...at least, that's what i've read


I actually think that those activities could be illegal in some countries.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:37 PM   #23
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i know that in some states, New York i'm aware of, it's illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:27 AM   #24
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In South Africa, it's illegal to talk on your cellphone while driving. Of course, no one cares, because there's - and I am guessing here - about one traffic cop for every 10000 drivers. So, basically, you can do what you want, and there's an excellent chance you can get away with it. Traffic enforcement is a bit of a joke, unfortunately.

But it's their fault as well, because we some really inane laws here. There are some truly RIDICULOUS speed limits. I don't know what things are like elsewhere, but here we have dual or triple lane pseudo freeways which have a speed limit off 60 km/h, which is what, about 35 miles per hour? You know how hard it is to drive THAT slowly on a road that is 3 times the size of our national highways? I'm telling you, it's HARD

Like it was said above, traffic fines are meant to be a deterrent. Here, it's nothing about a money making scam. We have these arbitrarily low speed limits in places where, quite frankly, you CANNOT drive that slowly. I mean, when you're going to work on a Sunday morning, and you're in the middle lane of a totally empty triple-lane bloody road, I don't think it's unreasonable to go a bit faster than 60 km/h. But it's funny how the traffic cops always seem to appear at times like these, as opposed to rush hour when the taxi's and pedestrians are a law unto themselves. Strange that.

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:37 AM   #25
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It's a money making scam in Virginia as well.
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