Print 101 comment(s) - last by Perry Tanko.. on Sep 16 at 6:21 PM

  (Source: Wallpaper Den)
Bye bye autobahn

Europe has been known as the birthplace of some of the world's fastest cars with luxury-minded speed-demons from Italian brands like Volkswagen AG's (ETR:VOW) Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., German brands like Daimler AG's (ETR:DAI) Mercedes-Benz, or the UK's Bentley Motor Group Ltd. (also a Volkswagen property).  Indeed, perhaps no highway system is as famous as Germany's autobahns, where there is no enforced speed limit.

But all of that could soon be changing.

The European Union's Mobility and Transport Department -- a branch of the EU's market regulatory body, the European Commission (EC) -- is preparing an extreme proposal to counter auto fatalities in the region.  UK newspaper Telegraphcites the office of Patrick McLoughlin, the UK's Transport Secretary as warning of the controversial proposal.

EU speeding
The EU is looking to pull the plug on drivers travelling over 70 mph. [Image Source: Porsche]

Reportedly the EC approached Mr. McLoughlin with a pending proposal that sought to use an Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) scheme to prevent any new vehicles sold in the EU from going over 70 miles per hour.  The EC officials argued that the proposal was necessary to curb the over 30,000 drivers who die each year on Europe's streets.

But Mr. McLoughlin blasted the proposal; with a "government source" close his office commenting:

This has Big Brother written all over it and is exactly the sort of thing that gets people's backs up about Brussels.  The Commission wanted [Mr. McLoughin's] views ahead of plans to publish the proposals this autumn. He made it very clear what those views were.

An EC spokesperson confirmed that talks about new speed regulation are pending, remarking:

There is a currently consultation focusing on speed-limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses.  Taking account of the results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things

Aside from the more basic free market and cost issues, another problem with the proposal arguably is the fact the EU member states vary greatly in traffic fatalities.  Out of Britain's thirty eight million motorists, there are only 1,754 fatalities in 2012 -- a 0.0046 percent death rate.  By contrast Germany's forty-five million motorists in 2012 got in 3,657 fatalities -- a 0.0081 percent death rate (almost twice as high).

This controversy may be laid to rest -- or further ignited -- when self-driving (autonomous or semi-autonomous) cars hit the market.  Google, Inc. (GOOG), General Motors Comp. (GM), and Nissan Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7201) are among the companies working to bring self-driving car technology to the market.

Source: Telegraph

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RE: scary proposal.
By EricMartello on 9/5/2013 11:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, DT misreported the story so this is not actually an EU idea. The original story was about introducing cameras in cars that could read speed signs (had nothing to do with changing speed limits already in place).

Pretty sure this had nothing to do with speed limits whatsoever and was reported as being an arbitrary physical limitation on a vehicle's top speed.

Also, don't be complete stupid. Driving too fast, whether it be on some dirt road in the sticks or a multi-lane highway is dangerous.

Driving fast when conditions are not optimal for high speeds would fall under the "irresponsible driving" category. When conditions are optimal and the vehicle is capable, driving 100, 150 or even 200 MPH can be perfectly safe. The key point here is that driving responsibly means knowing when it is safe to drive fast and when driving fast poses an unreasonably high risk to yourself and other motorists.

Fortunately all those nanny state inventions like seatbelts, airbags, and (let me hear you scream) car safety regulations and testing have reduced the fatality rate a lot.

Unlike the "war on speeders", seatbelts and airbags are effective safety devices that have been proven to reduce injury in a collision.

Car safety regulations are necessary to an extent, however I do believe that a lot of them go too far or attempt to give people a falsely elevated sense of safety. Driving is risky and if you choose to drive you should be aware of the risk.

It just hasn't done much good for pedestrians who insist on not wearing government mandated full body armour when walking outside.

Peds are responsible for following some basic procedures when crossing a road, which involves looking both left and right before stepping onto a road. This means pulling headphones out of your ears and looking up for your derpphone.

This will clearly shift most fatalities away from high speed areas into pedestrian heavy areas like residential zones, towns, city streets and one's driveway (where blind spots leave pets and kids alike susceptible to being rolled over by a reversing vehicle).

Well, considering that collisions resulting exclusively from "high speed" are minimal there isn't much to be shifting. THe other things you mentioned, like kids getting hit by their parents backing out of a driveway, happen a lot more often.

Feel free to continue imagining the left-wing Europe you feel in your gut must exist somewhere though.

You do realize that America was founded by Europeans to get out from under the thumb of the left that still infects Europe. The people who stayed behind are political masochists - they have a need to be dominated and oppressed.

RE: scary proposal.
By Nephiorim on 9/7/2013 11:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that America was founded by Europeans to get out from under the thumb of the left that still infects Europe. The people who stayed behind are political masochists - they have a need to be dominated and oppressed.

I'll enjoy my multiparty system where I actually have a choice, thank you very much :)

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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