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  (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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scary proposal.
By chromal on 9/3/2013 7:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
70mph is surprising conservative, and I can't help but wonder how much of this is a backdoor way of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, since a lot of the energy spent maintaining vehicle speed over 55MPH is "wasted" on aerodynamic drag.

What percentage of 30,000 or so fatal auto accidents involve one or more vehicles exceeding 70 MPH, anyway?

I find both the prospect of vehicles speed limited to 70mph as well as driving being restricted to automated machines as absolutely mortifying, I get a great deal of enjoyment driving sporty cars around the mountains where I live, something I certainly don't intend to give up voluntarily in the next two or three decades.




RE: scary proposal.
By Flunk on 9/3/2013 8:04:05 PM , Rating: 1
You have a point there it sets a bad precident. I too enjoy driving cars through mountains, I just can't afford the sporty kind.


RE: scary proposal.
By maugrimtr on 9/4/2013 8:45:50 AM , Rating: 5
The proposal is obviously some informal report to the EU that hasn't been acted on, or it's been completely made up, or DT has reported it wrong. 70mph is in imperial units. Europe officially uses the metric system. Doh!

Seriously, 70mph equates to 112kph. Good luck convincing Europe on that. Ireland, Spain & Portugal have a motorway speed limit of 120kph, Germany's autobahns have no enforced limit, French motorway limit is above normal at 130kph (but in dry weather only).

Who has a 70mph (112kph) limit? The UK. Because it's a good round number in imperial.

If DT reported on the facts, they'd see the proposal was for a camera system that would read speed limit signs and impose the speed limit. It's a stupid idea in a world where GPS tracking is ubiquitous and would be far more efficient at tracking speed limit zones by location. It's not, however, an EU wide 112kph limit as this article implies - Germany's autobahns are safe.


RE: scary proposal.
By Jeffk464 on 9/3/2013 8:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
You could actually tie the system into the navigation system so the car can't go more than 10 mph over the speed limit no matter what road you are on.

By the way driving a sporty car around the mountains is fun, commuting to work in the city is a chore.


RE: scary proposal.
By CaedenV on 9/3/2013 9:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
This is a much better idea. Perhaps have a global speed limit of say 80mph so that no matter how you hack your car you can't outrun the cops, but for in-town driving there should be a floating limiter based on local speed limitations.

Rather than a 10mph speed limit, then maybe a 15% limit? Going 30mph in a school zone is a bit out of line, but 23 is not. Similarly, if you are on a small country freeway then you may need more than a 70mph bump if you need to pass a slow poke without worrying about oncoming traffic.

... Still, I would rather not have such limitations on my car. But if we are going to have limits then lets have limits that make some sense.


RE: scary proposal.
By silverblue on 9/4/2013 2:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
The police safety camera vans can get you for doing 10% + 2mph over the limit round these parts (35, 46, 57, 68 and 79 for 30 to 70). That limit of yours would work for 35 and 46, but you'd end up with a nice letter at the other speeds.


RE: scary proposal.
By Solandri on 9/5/2013 5:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
Every time I read about artificially limiting a car's top speed to prevent people from breaking the law, I'm reminded of a story from when Mt. St. Helens blew up. One of the survivors said he was doing 100 mph down the mountain road to get away from the pyroclastic flow. He passed a couple doing 70 mph in a station wagon. He lived. They died.

Yeah, I know volcanoes are exceedingly rare events. The point is that occasionally situations arise where the need for that extra speed is more important than any law.


RE: scary proposal.
By Devilboy1313 on 9/4/2013 1:15:08 AM , Rating: 3
Just curious ... how would you pass a car that is going under the limit? Wouldn't that extra 10 mph result in way more time in on-coming traffic?

Maybe that's just me but when I pass a car, I pass as fast as I can and get back in. Screw the speed limits, I'd rather temporarily break the speed limit than increase the chance of a head-on collision at highway speeds.


RE: scary proposal.
By ShieTar on 9/4/2013 2:40:04 AM , Rating: 2
You do not drive on the opposite direction lane on a European highway. Highways have almost exclusively several lanes per direction, and a steel separation between the two directions. Also, the time you can spend on the opposite direction without accidents is about 0.05 seconds.

What you are thinking of are one-lane state roads. There already is a speed limit on those, e.g. 65 mph outside of settlements, 30 mph inside of settlement for Germany.

The law wants to reduce the number of accidents caused by people going 150 mph on the highway because they "know" they are a great driver.


RE: scary proposal.
By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2013 2:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, divided highways save more lives then speed limits. People suck at passing, seen people screw up way to many times.


RE: scary proposal.
By TSS on 9/4/2013 9:02:11 AM , Rating: 3
I don't know how it is in other europian countries but here in holland it's allowed by law to break the speed limit for a short time only in case you have to overtake another car.

Say the limit is 120 km/h, and another car is going 110 km/h, then you basically *have* to speed up to about 130 km/h to pass that car in a timely and safely manner. The law recognises this and it's allowed.

In fact large trucks can only go 80 km/h and aren't allowed to pass eachother on the highway just for this fact. When they do it takes such a long time for them to pass eachother there's a real risk of "Ghost traffic", where you end up in a traffic jam and at the end speed up out of it again without ever having passed a accident or road construction or whatever. Becuase of the ripple effect of 2 trucks going 80 km/h blocking the passenger cars going 120 km/h.

For reference, 70 mp/h is about 112 km/h, while the passenger car speed limit here is 120 km/h on most highways while being 130 km/h and 80 km/h on a few select ones. So there's no way these regulations will fly because there's too much variation in local laws.

This is just the brussels gravy train trying to look usefull. The plan will get shot down and once again they'll have spent about half a year working and staffing another plan that'd never work in the first place. Did you know that just this year, with "austerity" gripping the continent, brussels asked for a 8% increase in budget?


RE: scary proposal.
By TheEinstein on 9/4/2013 12:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
80km/h? I would go stark raving mad! I thought California was bad with their 90km/h in a zone where autos go 118km/h.

And no passing? Yeah that makes me cry. Today I have 10,000 pounds of cargo and ahead of me is a good half dozen mountain climbs. Getting stuck behind a truck going 35km/h where I can easily get 100km/h up the same... insane!

did you know my truck model gets the same fuel economy at 100km/h as it does 112km/h? That is because the way the gearing works in the CAT Engine I have. It gets more efficient at higher speeds.


RE: scary proposal.
By Nephiorim on 9/7/2013 11:18:02 AM , Rating: 2
Well take into consideration the Netherlands is about as flat as a country gets. No mountains. Also the no overtaking rule for trucks is only in effect in certain locations on the highway and only during certain hours. Add to that the fact that we don't have the monster trucks like the US has... It's not too bad really :). Also looking at the Netherlands from west to east it's about 130-140km across, so traffic permitting you won't spend more than 2 hours driving from the port of Rotterdam to Germany.


RE: scary proposal.
By PrinceGaz on 9/5/2013 11:32:47 AM , Rating: 2
If large trucks are limited to 80 km/h, the best solution to avoid accidents is to limit everyone to 80 km/h. You've solved the overtaking speed-differential problem, improved the fuel efficiency of all road vehicles generally therefore reducing pollution, and reduced the risk of accidents.

Anyone who is in a hurry to get somewhere else can always catch the train (or plane for international journeys).


RE: scary proposal.
By Stuka on 9/3/2013 9:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely a good point. If we are gonna go this far, why stop short? Just make the maximum speed 30-40mph. There is really no need to go faster and the increase in safety would be huge.

But this won't happen. Not because the voting public doesn't want it, but because sales/use tax revenue and vehicle registration revenue would plummet. Without the need to sustain high speeds cars could be made much cheaper. Goodbye to nearly all luxury vehicles, hello 1.8L Camry with leather interior. Even richies with cash burning their pockets will not buy an Aventador that tops out at 70mph. lol


RE: scary proposal.
By chromal on 9/3/2013 11:50:18 PM , Rating: 2
In a perverse way, it would be interesting if this happened with new cars. It'd make my SAAB 900 turbo and mazdaspeed3 like wolves in a pack of sheep on the highway.


RE: scary proposal.
By tamalero on 9/3/2013 10:26:16 PM , Rating: 3
I also wonder why they dont want to tackle the #1 cause of deaths by driving.. ALCOHOL.


RE: scary proposal.
By mmntech on 9/3/2013 10:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it's not alcohol anymore. At least not here in Canada. Distracted driving has surpassed drunk driving as the leading cause of automobile fatalities.


RE: scary proposal.
By Stuka on 9/4/2013 1:10:51 PM , Rating: 4
Both are misnomers for IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE. It's the human being's lack of care, intellect, respect, and responsibility that cocks the hammer on that pistol every time they start the car. It is not some mysterious amalgamation of miscellaneous circumstances. People are thoughtless dicks. Good luck legislating that though.


RE: scary proposal.
By JediJeb on 9/5/2013 3:09:09 PM , Rating: 1
Start making the penalty for traffic violations start at $1000 per offense with loss of license then require taking the written and driving test over to regain the license and you would cut down on those not paying as much attention as soon they would be broke. So many people I know now just laugh if they get a ticket and never change their attitude towards how they drive.


RE: scary proposal.
By Reclaimer77 on 9/5/2013 4:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't there a cop who was pulling over women just to hit on them in the news recently?

I'm sorry but your idea is WAY too prone to being abused. It's like you want to destroy peoples lives for minor harmless infractions. Give me a break!

I want you fined $20,000 for jaywalking. What do you think about that? Something everyone does, but is technically illegal.


RE: scary proposal.
By thurston2 on 9/10/2013 1:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe we should put them in prison for a year. We should increase the penalties for all crimes to ridiculous levels then no one would break the law.


RE: scary proposal.
By M'n'M on 9/3/2013 11:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
70mph is surprising conservative, and I can't help but wonder how much of this is a backdoor way of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, since a lot of the energy spent maintaining vehicle speed over 55MPH is "wasted" on aerodynamic drag. What percentage of 30,000 or so fatal auto accidents involve one or more vehicles exceeding 70 MPH, anyway?

Both good points ! And of those accidents exceeding 70 MPH, how many involve some other actually stupid activity, like being drunk or tailgating or texting or ...
And which countries do they occur in ? I wonder what the death rate is in Bulgaria compared to Germany. And if the local population there is "happy" with that rate and willing to go that fast, why does Brussels feel the need to tell them otherwise ?


RE: scary proposal.
By ShieTar on 9/4/2013 3:11:42 AM , Rating: 2
I Germany, 40% of the lethal accidents involve proven excessive speeds (over the allowed limit), while only 9% involve alcohol. Honestly, all accidents on a German Autobahn will involve speeds over 70 mph, nobody goes that slow unless he is driving a large truck. Other distractions don't even make it into the statistics, participation in German traffic is generally much more stress full and requires much more attention than the "cruising" used on many US roads. Many German drivers greatly enjoy driving in the US for exactly this reason.

One thing the proposed law does not consider is the fact that less than a third of lethal accidents (at least in Germany) occur on highways. Federal roads ("Bundesstraße") have a much higher risk, even though they already have a 65 mpg speed limit.

But one important reason for speed limits is the fact that now 60% of casualties are not actually the drivers of the involved cars, but rather pedestrians, bicyclists and bikers. The insides of cars have gotten much safer, but for other people in the traffic, nothing much has changed.

As for other nations, fatality rates are pretty much the same in all European countries (and Canada, Australia, Japan), with Poland and former Russian nations (Ukraine, Belarus etc.) having almost twice the fatality rate capita, and Russia itself going much higher than that again.
Interestingly, Europe and Canada manage half the fatalities as the US with a similar Car density, while the Ukraine get to the same fatality rate as the US, but only needs half the automobile density to achieve it.


RE: scary proposal.
By kslavik on 9/4/2013 4:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
When you compare fatality rates, you have to take into account number of miles driven for one fatality, and average # of passengers inside an average car. Comparing fatality rates per capita is pretty useless in itself.

The best statistic to compare is # of fatal accidents (not even total fatalities) per 1 billion miles driven. But only few countries would actually have this data readily available.

Once you start comparing apple to apples you would see a different picture.

Consider that in USA people drive much more miles per capita than in any Europian nation.


RE: scary proposal.
By integr8d on 9/4/2013 2:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure 'Drive 55' was adopted during the 70's gas crunch, when cars had the aerodynamic efficiency on an elephant in mud.


RE: scary proposal.
By Suspicious on 9/4/2013 5:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, elephants are not that bad aerodynamically. Putting them in mud doesn't change that.


RE: scary proposal.
By fic2 on 9/4/2013 11:33:47 AM , Rating: 3
Just spent 4 weeks in Europe. A lot of the highways that I drove were 130kph (78mph) and a lot (maybe most) were going above this so I don't think it would fly.

I saw two accidents during the 4 weeks there. Both in cities. This would have prevented neither.


RE: scary proposal.
By EricMartello on 9/4/2013 5:11:13 PM , Rating: 2
Leave it to Europe to find more ways to use government to oppress people with their "we know what's best for you" mentality. I can say with a high degree of certainty that high speeds are not the "culprit" in auto collisions or crashes as much as irresponsible/stupid drivers are.

If you're going to be "oppressive" than how about boosting the standards for getting a drivers' license in the first place? Require people to take a road course test that forces them to prove that they know how to handle their vehicle. Also increase the annual fees for maintaining a license so that poor people and their old, slow sh1tty cars stay off the roads. They shouldn't be driving; they have public transportation options.

Instead, an arbitrary limit of 70 MPH is what they propose...and it's not going to fix anything. I doubt this would pass because even as left-wing as Europeans are they do like to drive fast and a lot of them are hardcore racing fans.


RE: scary proposal.
By maugrimtr on 9/5/2013 10:16:03 AM , 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).

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

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).

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


RE: scary proposal.
By EricMartello on 9/5/2013 11:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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.

quote:
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.

quote:
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.

quote:
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.

quote:
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.

quote:
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
quote:
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 :)


More accidents to come
By carniver on 9/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: More accidents to come
By Jeffk464 on 9/3/2013 8:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
Differential speed is a killer, if everyone is doing 70mph and your doing 90 it gets very dangerous.


RE: More accidents to come
By CaedenV on 9/3/2013 9:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
conversely, can we somehow enforce a minimum speed limit? I live out in the midwest and we have some old-timers out here who insist on sitting in the right land going 40mph on the highway. Going 40 in a 65 zone is even more dangerous than going 90 in a 65.


RE: More accidents to come
By bodar on 9/3/2013 11:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, the minimum is usually 45-55 MPH (10 under the limit), if it's enforced.


RE: More accidents to come
By Omega215D on 9/3/2013 11:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite is the idiot who gets too scared to get up to speed on the on-ramp and forces everyone behind to slow down and a smooth merge cannot be done by anyone.

Then there's the idiots who maintain below limit in all lanes and end up almost side to side with each other creating a barrier preventing motorists from passing.

Also, I wonder how this will play out for those who like to do track days with their cars. I never push my motorcycle beyond 85 mph but on the track it exceeds 140 mph.


RE: More accidents to come
By ritualm on 9/4/2013 4:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
Trucks in Germany can go faster on highways, however their center of gravity is higher relative to smaller cars and SUVs, so an accident involving one of these at 150mph will get ugly in a hurry.
quote:
Then there's the idiots who maintain below limit in all lanes and end up almost side to side with each other creating a barrier preventing motorists from passing.

I like playing this game in city roads. Many of the drivers who routinely drive at highway speeds on local roads are hugely impatient types, and those people are actually making the roads more dangerous for the rest of us. This is before we start including distractions i.e. alcohol, texting, etc.

On highways I generally go at limit on slower lanes, but 10-20% above limit on others (my car can't go faster than 100mph without problems, unfortunately). No higher. I value my safety and getting to the destination in one piece more than potentially ending up in a coffin, thanks.

Imposing an universal speed limit like that is awful, and the only reason that is even being raised is the nanny state mentality - speed cameras on roads to increase government revenues.


RE: More accidents to come
By The Von Matrices on 9/4/2013 12:49:38 AM , Rating: 2
I completely disagree about your equating going slower as somehow being more dangerous as going the same differential faster. Can you explain to me your logic? Slow drivers can cause rear end collisions due to drivers not anticipating how slow the car in front of them is going. But in order to maintain their speed fast drivers have to weave throughout the roadway. I don't see why one is better than the other.

I personally don't support the law just because it's not comprehensive enough. It's really a stopgap solution until automated vehicles come around. The lawmakers should just do nothing now then a few years after automated cars become affordable just ban all manual vehicle control on public roadways. Both problems are solved - the vehicles still can go very fast but they will also be very safe, which is what the lawmakers want.


RE: More accidents to come
By Azethoth on 9/4/2013 5:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
It is rather obvious why going 20 over is less dangerous than going 20 under. When you are going 20 over existing traffic flow it is up to you to deal with the slower traffic. If you run into a dense plug of slow traffic you slow down. Nothing bad happens. If you can weave through you do it. This is as dangerous as changing lanes. Assuming it is not rush hour you can zip through traffic and nobody else has to slow down or take evasive action or anything to react to you.

If you are going 20 below it is a whole other story. Every single other car on the road now has to deal with your stupid ass: slowing down, passing. The chaos around you is a massive danger zone. And you don't even have your brake lights on to warn people that you are driving while retarded. And holy god, imagine your shitty slow car changing lanes. Everyone in your new lane suddenly has to break for the useless obstacle that is your car.

Get a clue and ask a cop. They want to see smooth traffic flow with each inner lane going slightly faster. They will even tolerate 10-15 mph over the limit here as long as everyone is driving calmly.


By The Von Matrices on 9/4/2013 1:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree that everyone going the same speed as the rest of the traffic is the best solution.

I don't know what cops you have been talking to, but where I live (Philadelphia) I have been ticketed not once but on two occasions for going 65 in a 50mph work zone even though both times I was one of the slower cars on the interstate at that point (the average speed was about 70). When I asked the cop "why pick me" when so many other cars were going faster than I, the cop told me "well, everyone was breaking the law and I had had to pick someone to ticket." Interpreting the law directly, I should be going slower to avoid another infraction, but that would be more hazardous. So I have a choice - break the law by driving faster and get ticketed again or drive slower and be a danger on the road. Do you really think the cop is going to say "drive faster and you won't be ticketed?" Laws need to change; as long as there are cops enforcing unrealistically low speed limits I am forced to drive at them and have people like you complain about me.

The other thing I didn't mention and should have is that I have no problem with people going fast; it's the aggressive drivers who go fast and have no clue about vehicle dynamics that bother me, and from my experience that seems to be most of the fast drivers on the road. These aggressive drivers leave no space between cars for emergency situations; when a fast driver weaves right in front of me leaving one car length between us, I have to slow down to increase the space between me and him, and of course that slows down traffic behind me. You can drive as fast as you want; just don't do it dangerously and realize when it might not be prudent.


RE: More accidents to come
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/4/2013 10:48:21 AM , Rating: 2
Driving too slow is every bit or more dangerous than driving too fast - not necessarily for you, but for those around you.

Scenario: You are pooting along at just under the speed limit on a 2 lane highway thinking you are the safest driver on the road. There is lots of traffic on the other opposing side. You don't give a crap that the people behind you are getting impatient and swearing their heads off at you.

The more impatient they get, the more likely they will do something reckless to get to get around your lame ass (and possibly flipping you off as they go by). If there is a small hole in the oncoming traffic, they are dodging around you and may just well force you off the road as they try to avoid that very likely head-on collision - particularly when the nanny state has installed a speed limiter on their car.

Slow drivers piss off the folks behind them - that is a very real fact. Pissed off drivers do stupid and reckless things.


RE: More accidents to come
By Schrag4 on 9/4/2013 12:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you had me going right up until you said the law isn't comprehensive enough. So you think since automated vehicles can go fast, people will be happy? I really doubt those that enjoy driving will care how fast they're going if they're basically just riding a roller coaster without any control. I don't fall into this category but I still understand.

Of course the EU is the ultimate nanny state expiriment so the people will go along with it, "for the children" and "for the greater good." Sadly, the US isn't far behind. I suppose this is the natural progression once you eradicate any semblance of personal responsibility or critical thinking.


RE: More accidents to come
By The Von Matrices on 9/4/2013 1:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
Is it really possible to enjoy driving on a crowded freeway or stuck in traffic on city streets? That is where most driving is done, not on winding mountain roads where people enjoy a sports car. The reason people text and drive or do any other number of distracting activities while driving is because they would rather be doing something other than the monotony that is driving. Even when the drive would be interesting, I'd much rather be able to focus my attention looking out the windows at the scenery than have to keep my eyes on the road.


RE: More accidents to come
By Schrag4 on 9/4/2013 5:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, since you don't enjoy driving then nobody should even have the opportunity? Again, I don't particularly enjoy driving but I don't think we should legislate it away. I do happen to enjoy some other activies which others would love to legislate away so I understand what driving enthusiasts are potentially facing from people like you.

quote:
The reason people text and drive or do any other number of distracting activities while driving is because they would rather be doing something other than the monotony that is driving. Even when the drive would be interesting, I'd much rather be able to focus my attention looking out the windows at the scenery than have to keep my eyes on the road.


Not to be disrespectful, but boo-f'ing-hoo at the whining that you can't be entertained 24/7. The reason people text and drive is because they're irresponsible, plain and simple. They're addicted to instant electronic communication and can't focus on anything else even for an hour at a time. It's a problem for driving, but it impacts all of their waking hours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPW8xmI4w6U&noredir...


RE: More accidents to come
By The Von Matrices on 9/6/2013 2:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
I hope you can at least agree with me that driving in congested traffic is not enjoyable. The problem is that most of us live in cities and have to deal with traffic on a daily basis, and because of this there is very rarely an enjoyable city drive. Automated vehicles will drastically increase road capacity. So this leads to two choices - either drive manually in traffic and try to enjoy it, or let the car drive for you and get to your destination faster with little or no traffic. [I]There is no third option to drive manually with no traffic[/I]. I don't think there are many people who would choose the traffic over the automated car.

I'm not asking to make manual control of a vehicle illegal; I'm asking to make manual control of a vehicle on [I]public roads[/I] illegal. I still support private tracks and even designated public areas for this (driving parks?), but only in locations where they don't interfere with others' ability to get where they want to go. The reality is that the primary purpose of roads are not for enjoyment; they are for transportation and economic benefit. The laws need to advocate for the benefits of the many over the desires of a few - the benefits of the many in this case being the ability to get to a destination faster and the desires of a few being the desire to drive a car. You could even compare this to other legislation that has passed such as laws banning smoking in public spaces - a practice that puts the health benefits of the many over the wants of the few who desire to smoke. And similarly to this legislation, the desired activity will be still be allowed in other places; in this case it would even be better because anti smoking laws still apply to public spaces on private property (e.g. restaurants) whereas automated car laws wouldn't apply to private property.

Whether you like it or not, automated cars are the future. This is how it will work: The increased safety of automated vehicles will change the prices of automotive insurance policies. Manually controlling a car will become an expensive insurance option (just like a sports car is today), and because of that most people will opt for the cheaper to insure automated car. This savings will be drastic enough that existing manually controlled automobiles will be either retired sooner to replace with automated cars or retrofitted. Governments will realize that they can achieve the same effect of increasing road capacity through legislation banning manual driving rather than spending inordinate amounts of money to widen roads. After enough of the fleet has converted to automated driving through the insurance incentives, then alienating the few remaining holdouts through this legislation will be an acceptable political consequence and the law will pass. At that point manual driving will be all but extinct.


RE: More accidents to come
By Schrag4 on 9/6/2013 4:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The laws need to advocate for the benefits of the many over the desires of a few


This is where we fundamentally disagree. The constitution, where I live, was initially meant to prevent the passage of laws that benefit the many at the expense of the few. For a long time we stood for individual liberty, but that's going away, sadly.

quote:
You could even compare this to other legislation that has passed such as laws banning smoking in public spaces - a practice that puts the health benefits of the many over the wants of the few who desire to smoke.


This is a perfect example. Yes, smoking, and to a lesser degree, second hand smoke are harmful to one's health, but I disagree that we need laws banning smoking except for designated areas. If some store or restaurant wants to allow smoking, why should I care? I don't have to shop there, and I don't have to work there. I can get on board with a smoking ban in places where people do not go willfully, such as schools, hospitals, government buildings, but banning smoking in some place like a biker's bar? That's idiotic. DISCLAIMER: I don't smoke. Do I enjoy the clean air? Of course. And if there are enough people like me, who enjoy clean air, then we'll frequent the establishments that don't allow smoking.

What's that you say? Your small town doesn't have a grocery store that doesn't ban smoking? That right there is what is called an opportunity, a void that a free market will eventually fill, and it doesn't require government regulation to tell people what they can and can't do.


RE: More accidents to come
By Reclaimer77 on 9/4/2013 5:47:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The lawmakers should just do nothing now then a few years after automated cars become affordable just ban all manual vehicle control on public roadways.


Can we ban assholes from Philadelphia while we're at it? Come on buddy, compromise!


RE: More accidents to come
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2013 7:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
Florida has. If you're doing the speed limit or less in the fast lane and don't move over for people trying to pass you can be ticketed.


RE: More accidents to come
By fic2 on 9/4/2013 11:31:25 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of states have this and you "can" (in theory) be ticketed but I don't think I have ever heard of someone being ticketed. They have the same in CO but it is never enforced.


surprised
By superstition on 9/3/2013 8:14:12 PM , Rating: 1
I'm surprised that this hasn't already happened. Insurance companies are probably not thrilled at all without it.

Really, though, the 120 MPH speedometer needs to disappear from regular vehicles here. No one is allowed to go that fast on any regular highway in the US. I think the speedometer should end at 85 MPH, and I wouldn't be unhappy with a speed limiter set to that speed. No one needs to go faster.




RE: surprised
By superstition on 9/3/2013 9:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
I knew this would be downrated, but I stand by the comment.

If you think 85 is so terribly slow, try living in Ohio where you can't go faster than 65 legally.


RE: surprised
By sorry dog on 9/3/2013 9:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think your idea forgot that there are dozens of GPS speedometer apps and a little velcro tape for those speed freaks who only drive fast to see how fast it can go....


RE: surprised
By mm2587 on 9/4/2013 8:55:12 AM , Rating: 2
you realize the turnpike in ohio has been 70 for years and as of this year a bunch more of the interstates have 70mph zones too right....

yeah I don't even need to live there to know state law better than you


RE: surprised
By CarbonJoe on 9/5/2013 12:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
try living in Ohio where you can't go faster than 65 legally.


I-80 (Turnpike) is 70mph. I-71, I-70, I-90 are all 70 mph in certain areas.


RE: surprised
By thurston2 on 9/10/2013 1:08:51 PM , Rating: 1
I'd blow my brains out before I would live in Ohio. You're one of those motherfuckers that won't get out of the left lane.


RE: surprised
By NicodemusMM on 9/3/13, Rating: -1
RE: surprised
By Suspicious on 9/4/2013 5:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
You just went full retard.

Most (if not all) speedometer faceplates i have seen have both kp/h and mp/h on them at different scales so that the actual position of the "needle" works for both. A quick search on google images teaches me that there are speedometers that only list one of the two but in that case anyone with half a brain realizes that they just have two different face plates for the exact same speedometer. So limiting it to 70MPH does the same im the us and eu.

Also you should have noticed that this is about a EU proposal so the document <sarcasm>probably</sarcasm> does not concern itself with these weird-ass you call miles, and the 70mph is a converion by DT so 'murricans can understand.


RE: surprised
By NaperJ on 9/4/2013 10:43:49 AM , Rating: 2
You haven't looked at enough speedometers then. My car (a 2001) can be changed between US and metric through the dashboard display, and as soon as one does that, the needle moves correspondingly. No imperial setting for those bigger gallons though.


RE: surprised
By purerice on 9/4/2013 1:29:59 AM , Rating: 2
What about that one day in a thousand you NEED to go faster than that limit?

Statistically speaking there will be a day when you personally will need to, whether for 5 seconds or 5 minutes. When that day comes, hope you have no such limiter.


RE: surprised
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2013 7:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
Because freedom is all about what people need. What if I want to race my car on a track on the weekends? According to you I shouldn't have the right to do that faster than 85 mph.


RE: surprised
By Tibbz on 9/4/2013 10:23:52 AM , Rating: 2
That is a bit silly.
The Texas Speed limits are 75 out of the "city" and all the way up to 85 in remote locations. The Corridor may even hit speeds of 90mph... mix that with your (+10 mph limit) are you are now in 95 currently and 100mph future. The only issue is big rigs who insist on passing each other at +1mph (lol)


One small problem...
By Justin Time on 9/4/2013 2:30:09 AM , Rating: 5
EU has denied having any such plans.




RE: One small problem...
By Nexos on 9/4/2013 4:47:12 AM , Rating: 4
This "news" has been making rounds on the webs the past week, and seems to originate from some quite shady british papers, well known for their anti-EU sentiment. it has been thoroughly debunked at least 3 days ago:

http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/reports-of-bru...

the European parliament cannot produce binding legislation without consent from (elected) ministers and MOPs, so any insinuation of forcing this legislation is false.

Try sticking to tech articles next time, it is DailyTECH, not Dailygossip.


RE: One small problem...
By marvdmartian on 9/4/2013 8:40:07 AM , Rating: 1
They're just trying to goad the Germans into starting 3 in a row.....wars, that is!


RE: One small problem...
By rpsgc on 9/4/2013 10:15:48 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed. This "news" is the product of rubbish anti-EU British media.


RE: One small problem...
By Iaiken on 9/5/2013 10:16:57 AM , Rating: 3
Lately I've been finding that DailyTech has more in common with rubbish papers like the The Daily Mail every day. Over time the site went from tech news, to tech blog and now tech tabloid...


Precident
By Flunk on 9/3/2013 8:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
They mandate speed limiter in Japan, but there it's at approximately 120 mph. 70 is really low, I'm pretty sure that many EU states have roads with significantly higher speed limits than that.

I'm not sure how this would help seeing that the majority of accidents are caused by distracted or inattentive drivers.

That being said I could see it happening if the limit was 100, they'd get a lot more traction if they started at a speed many cars never reach.

For example, I know my car has a speed limiter at 120mph, its not legally necessary but the manufacturer puts it in anyway. Since my car is a NA 2.0L 4 cylinder I really don't care about the limiter because its never going to hit it, even on track day.

Don't think that I support this idea, I just think they're shooting themselves in the foot by coming on too strong. Maybe its intentional.




RE: Precident
By killerroach on 9/3/2013 8:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
German vehicles are limited to 155 MPH by informal agreement among the manufacturers, although the limiter is frequently removed (especially when they are sold outside of Europe).


RE: Precident
By inperfectdarkness on 9/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: Precident
By silverblue on 9/4/2013 3:33:31 AM , Rating: 3
He said MPH.


RE: Precident
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2013 7:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
120 kph is only 75 mph. Which is the speed most Americans go on interstates. Texas has roads with an 85 mph speed limit (God bless Texas) which is 136 kph.

I do 75 on the freeway and yes am passed quite frequently. Most cops don't care if you're going under 10 over on interstates.


RE: Precident
By inperfectdarkness on 9/4/2013 8:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I'm still a US citizen, so I can vividly recall driving through most of the states east of the Mississippi. My experience has been that I feel safer driving in europe--especially at "highway speeds". I'm not sure why my comment got down-rated. I'm NOT the only person who will tell you that. Europe does not have soccer-moms doing 80KPH in the left-lane on the autobahn. It's illegal, it's dangerous, and it's just not done. Russia might be the lone exception.

Europe actually has even less BS with speed-traps on the autobahns (cops hiding behind trees? unheard of). At virtually any given speed, I feel safer on European roads than on American ones. Therefore I don't see the point to ramrodding through a speed-limit.

However, it may well be the nanny-state mentality that plagues most of Europe has finally gone off the deep end...


RE: Precident
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2013 9:48:09 AM , Rating: 2
Dunno where you live but in Florida and South Carolina the soccer moms are the craziest ones that drive the worst.


RE: Precident
By ShieTar on 9/4/2013 3:33:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
70 is really low, I'm pretty sure that many EU states have roads with significantly higher speed limits than that.


The most common speed limits in European nations are 120 km/h (75 mph) and 130 km/h (80mph). Basically, if they had proposed 80 mph, it would have been only relevant to Germany and Italy.


The usual summer nonsense
By CubicleDilbert on 9/4/2013 6:32:21 AM , Rating: 2
No worries, mates!
This speed limit idea pops up every summer, when news get sparse and EU bureaucrats are fiddling their thumbs out of boredom.

The safest streets in Europe are German Autobahns and their average cruising speed ist around 100mph or 160 km/h. Although many parts of the Autobahn have limits of 120 km/h, but it's either because of noise close to urban settlements or because of heavy traffic in these parts. Most accidents occur on rural roads and in cities. And there are speed limits. Any German party that was determined for a speed limit immediately lost the next elections. And the EU? Germany actually pays the whole EU show, so don't mess with it.

The only German vehicles with a built-in speed limit would be heavy trucks and German tanks. [Although I think the newest Leopard II Model 12 exceeds 70mph).
I guess it is for safety reasons because these tanks would just make to much noise.




RE: The usual summer nonsense
By silverblue on 9/4/2013 11:00:35 AM , Rating: 2
70kph, surely? The fastest recorded tank hit 51.1mph...

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1/fast...

I'd be TERRIFIED seeing a tank coming up from behind on the motorway. That thing wouldn't even bother to tailgate...


RE: The usual summer nonsense
By CubicleDilbert on 9/4/2013 12:08:28 PM , Rating: 2
The Leopard II Model 12 exceeded 115km/h in tests.
But official speed is much lower.

Does make sense, because for long distances they are put on trains or trailers. Fortunately they don't ride them on the Autobahn. Imagine one slamming into the tail of a traffic jam. The driver would notice only about 30 cars later, that there is a strange sudden "...klonck...klonck...klonck" sound. :-D


RE: The usual summer nonsense
By kwrzesien on 9/4/2013 2:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
Of course in Russia the tanks *cross* the highway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfKNEkOSPEs


Will never pass
By ihateu3 on 9/3/2013 11:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
This will never pass. Without being able to speed on the highway, then speeding tickets cannot be given, cutting into their own source of income. Also, we all know that the population needs to be controlled for the amount of resources we have, and for the planet to be able to sustain the max population.

It sounds grim, but we cannot ensure everybody lives to be 100, its realistically not feasible, there is just not enough to go around, and the governments are aware of this as anyone is.




RE: Will never pass
By ShieTar on 9/4/2013 3:27:51 AM , Rating: 2
We don't need traffic accidents for that, European population is predicted to hit a little 520 million maximum around 2030 (before the baby-boomers start dying in numbers), and achieve a stable population of 500 millions from 2060 on. Quality of life and existence of social securities have reduced the overwhelming need to have children, so the decision to have a family is now an actual decision based on personal interests. Seems to work out just fine.

I believe it is basically the same for the older states in the US, with most of the population growth occurring in the south and south-west?

Sadly you are incorrect in stating that the governments understand this. German government is busily trying to convince people that a large percentage of retired person will wreck our economy: "One worker can never feed two retired persons. You need to get 3 Children to solve that problem!".
Because Children are known to be cheaper than retired persons, I guess. And because it is not like the German industry is increasing its efficiency every single year. Not like 10% of our industry are already producing more than we need ourselves, and basically supply retired American with nice cars. And it's not like all over Europe People are out of work, because the industry can now do the same work with less people.

Trust me, the governments are about as clueless as anyone could possible be.


RE: Will never pass
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2013 11:41:14 AM , Rating: 2
Its impossible to exceed resources forever, populations always hit a new equilibrium.


As if the car companies would allow this
By Dribble on 9/4/2013 9:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
You think they might complain a bit if speed was limited to 70, being as most make cars that do 150mph+. Can't see this ever getting passed in Germany where half the cars built there are sold on speed and are barely ticking over at 70.




By CubicleDilbert on 9/4/2013 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
There is a certain speed limit in Germany. It is called gasoline prices. The state tax on gas is now beyond ridiculous and only wealthy people can afford to ride fast.

That's why you see fast BMWs and superfast Lambos and Ferraris on Autobahns. Those people never see a gas bill in their life, having been taken care by the company or wealth manager/personal assistant.


Chipped
By AMDftw on 9/4/2013 9:48:05 AM , Rating: 2
Just pay 150 bucks to remove the limiter and waalaa!! I know that just sounds stupid but you know, their is a way out if they do this. I'll charge 75 since I have programmer for Chevy cars and trucks.




RE: Chipped
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/4/2013 10:52:10 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

The nannies never consider there are people out there more than capable of getting around their little electronic babysitters. I would charge $50 :P


Rules rules rules
By jimbojimbo on 9/3/2013 10:44:21 PM , Rating: 1
All these restrictions makes me want to get drunk, drive 100mph, and text and talk on a cell phone while smoking a cigarette and that's coming from a person who doesn't smoke or drink!




RE: Rules rules rules
By M'n'M on 9/3/2013 11:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you Edgar Friendly !

I'm the kind of guy likes who likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder - "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-O all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener."

I'm not sure about the Cuban but otherwise I agree.


Hence why
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2013 7:52:44 AM , Rating: 1
The EU is full of idiots. Most accidents happen going under 70 mph.




RE: Hence why
By lennylim on 9/4/2013 2:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, I know, let's ban cars instead.


By CubicleDilbert on 9/4/2013 12:18:47 PM , Rating: 3
Now, some true words of wisdom.

"It is not speed that kills you. It is the sudden becoming stationary which kills you!" - Jeremy Clarkson




Wow....
By sorry dog on 9/3/2013 9:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
Just when I start thinking that us folks in the U.S. have had a bad run of government intrusion lately.... we get the E.U. nannies to remind us the grass ain't so green over there either.




Autobahn speed limit
By silverblue on 9/4/2013 2:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Indeed, perhaps no highway system is as famous as Germany's autobahns, where there is no enforced speed limit.


Not strictly true. Indeed, more than half of the total network length has no speed limit, but there are limits of various types - a third of the network, for example, has a permanent limit.

Jeremy Clarkson once said that not all the network was unrestricted... but the bit he was on was. :P The Wikipedia entry on autobahns pads this out nicely.




By BZDTemp on 9/4/2013 8:04:38 AM , Rating: 2
There is a lot factors that matters and implying that speed is the only one is silly.

For starters I think the following factors needs to taken into account.

- Miles traveled. I would no be surprised if the average miles per car is higher in Germany than in the UK.
- Number of foreign cars. Germany sees A LOT of transit traffic from the countries around it while for the UK there is much less. All those cars are not accounted for in the numbers quoted.
- Traffic density. Less dense traffic often mean more less fender benders but instead more high speed accidents.
- Other types of traffic. I'm betting on that more Germans than English use bikes and therefore more cyclists get run over.




economics
By PaFromFL on 9/4/2013 8:09:37 AM , Rating: 2
Slower speed limits mean more time spent in transit and lower overall productivity. Labor is still more expensive than fuel. It might make sense to slow down heavy trucks because they cause most of the wear and tear on the roadbed, particularly at high speeds. The added labor cost of delivery is probably much smaller than having to keep repaving roads.




what if...
By Captain Awesome on 9/4/2013 12:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
What if the technology also forced people to drive at a minimum speed for every road? So even though it won't let you go faster than 70mph, it also wouldn't let cars around you go slower than 65mph.

That might be a fair trade for highway driving.




Just awesome...
By shaidorsai on 9/5/2013 7:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
Ideas like 70mph limits are the reason large federal type governments always have been and always will be a bad idea. Sooner or later they always change from serving the people to controlling them for their own good.




Only on Dailytech?
By probedb on 9/6/2013 4:17:58 AM , Rating: 2
I've not seen this anywhere in the UK media?




By Perry Tanko on 9/16/2013 6:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
the German and Italian sports car drivers will be marching on Brussels with pitchforks. Pitchforks I say!




citizens as children
By DocScience on 9/4/2013 6:17:44 PM , Rating: 1
The progressive state considers citizens to be children, requiring lifelong guidance from the governing elite who know better about everything.




Sounds like an Obama backdoor
By rika13 on 9/4/13, Rating: 0
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain














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