What Are They Doing?

OK, so, reducing the speed limit to 20 mph around schools and in urban areaws. Snore, zzzz. Reduce the average speed of urban traffic even more, there does come a time when that trade off kills more people than the number not killed by cars travelling at faster speeds.

No, I\’ve no idea what that speed is, but insist that the trade off is there. Anyway, they then make this absurd proposal:

In addition to more 20mph zones, measures are likely to include a lower drink-drive limit, six penalty points for serious breaches of the speed limit and harsher penalties for not wearing seatbelts.

If you actually want people to drive more slowly and more carefully then the last thing you want them to do is buckle up. What you really want is the banning of seatbelts and the installation of the Tullock Steering Wheel.

Now that really would make peopple more careful.

12 thoughts on “What Are They Doing?”

  1. “…harsher penalties for not wearing seatbelts.”

    Why is this even in there? Is there a sudden surge in the non-seatbelt-wearing population, and if there is, what harm is it doing anyone other than themselves?

  2. Reduce the average speed of urban traffic even more, there does come a time when that trade off kills more people than the number not killed by cars travelling at faster speeds.

    Mechanism? I can see it’s true for speed bumps, which prevent ambulances and policemen from getting through, but struggling to see where it goes otherwise…

    Tim adds: Well, to be absurd, average of 1 mph would lead to deaths from boredom at the very least.

  3. If I can make a suggestion: Stop making new sodding traffic laws and put police in cars to enforce the ones we have. Every day on my commute I pass dozens of people driving dangerously, talking on phones, etc, etc. But why should they stop? Maybe 1 day a month I see a traffic cop on that journey. The only thing that most drivers are likely to get busted on is speed cameras, for everthing else it’s a free for all. Lowering the speed limit won’t lower the ACTUAL SPEED that people travel at because they have no reason to obey it, and the more ridiculous the limit the less likely people are to obey it. I bet there is a huge percentage increase in the number of people exceeding a 20mph limit instead of a 30mph limit and by more than 10 mph as well.

  4. Removing street furniture, sidewalks, crosswalks, most signs and traffic lights – i.e. greatly increasing the risk factor for both cars and pedestrians and reducing visual clutter – has been tried in several countries including England in high traffic volume residential and shopping areas, though only in a small way and as an experiment. People become very careful and surprisingly polite, and both speed and the number of accidents drop.

    Not rocket science, but too difficult (or too great a leap of imagination) for the living brain donors who are running things at the moment.

  5. Eva spot on!

    I notice in the town here every time there is a power outtage which takes out the traffic lights, somehow people just manage to make things work a lot better than when the lights are working. You think it would be chaos but it works and the traffic flows a lot better…

    In South Africa there are a lot of crossroads type junctions which have no right of way, this means you have to watch out for cars coming from all directions no matter which direction you are coming from. Again you might think this would lead to chaos and loads of accidents, but it does not seem to…

    The problem here is (soclialist) governments making up legislation without having the slightest grasp on human nature and what people will do as a result of that legislation. (For instance it doesn’t seem to have occured to the one eyed c&%t that the countryside of this country is going to dissapear into one enormous fly-tip when he brings in his Bin tax. Mind you he obviously doesn’t give a toss about the countryside of those of us that live in it).

    Z.

  6. There’s a problem with generalising from one-off experiments (which, as Eva says, have shown a cut in accident rates), though.

    In the pilot studies, British drivers go through those areas and through broken traffic lights very… very… carefully… because they’re so different from what they’re normally used to. But if they were rolled out everywhere, they’d no longer be a novelty, and everyone would revert to treating them as ‘normal’.

    The fact that South Africa has 25 road deaths per 100,000 population while the UK has 1.5 is, err, perhaps indicative that the whole traffic lights, pavements, crossroads thing isn’t /just/ socialist nonsense…

  7. Sigh.

    You have to understand the intended purpose.

    You’re all barking up the wrong tree by thinking that the intention of these regulations is improved safety or something silly like that.

    Once you appreciate that the intention is to make driving as unpleasant and inconvenient as possible, then it all makes perfect sense.

    The authorities are not stupid, but you need to look at things from the correct viewpoint.

  8. Not “one-off” but still “unusual” – a series of one-off experiments, if you will.

    Also note that in the small Dutch town which is the only really long term comparator, all the traffic lights have been converted to roundabouts (not just removed and reverted to South African standards).

    This is all well and jolly in a small town, but in busy areas traffic lights have a much higher throughput than roundabouts…

  9. “in busy areas traffic lights have a much higher throughput than roundabouts”: where I live, the mini-roundabouts give me the impression of shifting more traffic than the traffic lights. On reflection, the traffic lights are often at junctions where there wouldn’t be room for a mini, or where the road alignment might be unsuitable.

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