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Is speeding wrong? Should radar detectors be illegal? Let's find out!


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#1 of 96 OFFLINE   George_W_K

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Posted July 11 2004 - 03:09 AM

Since the radar detector thread was being hijacked, I thought I'd help out and start this thread.


Let the debate continue......Posted Image

#2 of 96 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted July 11 2004 - 04:37 AM

I'll make my quick arguements.

The faster your vehichle is traveling, the further it takes to stop. The speed to descent scale is CURVED. The distance it takes for a car to go from 10 to 0 ( number A) added to the distance it takes for a car to go from 55 to 0 (#B) will be less than the distance from 65 to 0. ( A+B less than C)

In a highly controlled space, such as a major interstate where traffic is unidirectional, I beleieve the risk of accidents does not neccessitate a speed limit similar to a rural road (55 in most areas of the US)

In summary: In-town limits of 30 are appropriate, 55-60 on rural roads are also a good number, but highways and interstates should have a limit closer to 85-90.

Should radar detectors be illegal?

I thought they were? Posted Image
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#3 of 96 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted July 11 2004 - 07:02 AM

Is speeding wrong? Of course it is. If it wasn't, you couldn't get a ticket for it.

The speed limit signs are there for a reason. It was determined that going any faster than the posted limit is unsafe. I hope that someday the signs will all have devices on them that the cars will all receive and max out the cars speed.

I have speeders running by my house quite a lot. I'm almost ready to call the cops up and ask them if they'd like to make some quick money.

Glenn

#4 of 96 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted July 11 2004 - 07:11 AM

Quote:
It was determined that going any faster than the posted limit is unsafe.

Actually the majority of gov't scientific reviews, including the famous HURT report, have found the opposite to be true, The fewer accidents occur at higher speeds.

Quote:
I hope that someday the signs will all have devices on them that the cars will all receive and max out the cars speed.

Much like "cars that drive themselves" speed-controlling cars will never work in my lifetime. And if any such device were initiated, people would find a way to disable said device as surely as kids like coffee-can tailpipes. Or they could drive an older car.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#5 of 96 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted July 11 2004 - 07:14 AM

I believe most of today's highways/expressways are capable of supporting speeds of 85-90, but the thing that scares me (and the reason the limit is lower) is the condition of most peoples' cars and their driving ability. An experienced driver in a newer Mercedes is one thing; a young driver in a beat up Hyundai is another. And you can't make laws that allow one but not the other.

As for radar detectors, I think they are actually more likely to get you a ticket than not. It's like you turn on the detector and turn off your brain. Maybe if I was going cross country I would use one for long stretches of open road, but in general I think they're not necessary as long as you are not speeding more than 10-15 over the limit and drawing attention to yourself.

#6 of 96 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted July 11 2004 - 08:33 AM

Quote:
I believe most of today's highways/expressways are capable of supporting speeds of 85-90, but the thing that scares me (and the reason the limit is lower) is the condition of most peoples' cars and their driving ability. An experienced driver in a newer Mercedes is one thing; a young driver in a beat up Hyundai is another. And you can't make laws that allow one but not the other.

Ding Ding Ding.

More then that, it's not just the condition of the car, but the output of the car.. at a certain point a vehicle travels you reach it's ideal speed, a speed at which resistance and force measure out and you get your best gas mileage.. but when you start really plunging it (say, 90MPH) if you're in a Windstar/Sienna/Kia/SUV thing.. well, you're gas mileage is about squat.

And the hitch with that is it creates mixed speed. What kills people isn't so much the crash or the "high speed" it's the speed differential. That's why two cars on a NASCAR circuit can "bump" and "bang" at 200MPH and not blow up.. they are going roughly the same speed. But if you have a car doing 90MPH hit a car doing 65MPH, you've got a problem. The differential is enough that you end up putting one in a ditch or dead.

Look, I'll admit it, I70 from Manhattan, KS to Colorado is desolate. And if you did 90MPH on it, I don't know if you'd actually hurt or kill anyone as the traffic is very low and the road is wide.

But the idea of a "speed limit" (and limit meaning "this is the top speed" not "this is the speed you should go") creates a strange thing if you raise it up really high.. there is a stretch there that is 75MPH. But if it were 90MPH? You've got a lot of cars that can't do that if they tried, some cars that will do the 5MPH over, etc. add in hills, increased stopping distance, and other driving conditions and you've got a devil's brew.

As to RADAR detectors.. yes, in some states they are illegal. In other states not. Kustom Electronics, who designs almost 1/2 of all RADAR guns in the US are constantly developing new techniques that get past RADAR detectors.. including new pole-mounts that they are using on interstates that measure your time from pole/pole and are always right (and that you aren't going to block or detect) sure, you might not get stopped by a cop.. they'll just mail you a ticket, if you still live where your tag is registered Posted Image

I've heard the victimless crime bit.. that's a joke. Look at your tax bill for roads and highways. Look at the states that have it worst.. they are states with rural roads and or high speed roads. Why? Because when Semi's and other heavy equipment vehicles move fast, combined with resistance (air) they put down more road pressure.. which means roadways suffer and fall apart quicker.

Seen potholes on interstates? Start raising up the rates and let more double tractor trailer trucks drive faster.. hit a few of those and tell me it's totally victimless Posted Image Or of course, pay the taxes for the roadway repairs. Or to convert them to toll roads.
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#7 of 96 OFFLINE   Nick Sievers

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Posted July 11 2004 - 09:05 AM

You haven't been able to legally buy Radar Detectors here since the late 80's. I don't know what the fine is but by memory they are quite large. I was surprised that they were not banned in most other countries.
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#8 of 96 OFFLINE   Seth_L

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Posted July 11 2004 - 09:41 AM

Chris, I think you'd be surprised at how fast most cars will go. I think pretty much any vehicle you can buy will go at least 90MPH. I recall some S-10 being the slowest car listed in the review summary of Road and Track a few years ago and it was listed at 93MPH or something similar.

#9 of 96 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted July 11 2004 - 09:42 AM

Quote:
Chris, I think you'd be surprised at how fast most cars will go. I think pretty much any vehicle you can buy will go at least 90MPH. I recall some S-10 being the slowest car listed in the review summary of Road and Track a few years ago and it was listed at 93MPH or something similar.

You're assuming people are all driving newer cars in good shape. Come out this way, and pick me out a 1986 Ford F150 that's going to haul 90MPH. Or, better example.. people like my parents who are still driving a handicap conversion 1992 Full-size Chevy Van. If that vehicle can do 90 after having been lowered for the wheelchair lift and the added weight.. yeah, I don't think so. The percentage of new cars vs. people driving older cars favors older cars. More then that, ask people driving Hybrids or Electric vehicles how well doing 90MPH in their lightweight vehicle seems to them Posted Image
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#10 of 96 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted July 11 2004 - 10:24 AM

i.e. Post #6

Chris, great post. That sums up my views to a tee.

The speed limit laws are mainly to protect us from certain "types" of drivers and cars.
-Most people can handle a car at 80 mph, but not everyone can.
-Most people drive "safe" cars, but not everyone does.
-Most people know how well their auto can perform and they don't push it's limits (i.e. cornering and handling), but not everyone does.
-Most people know their braking distance and don't try to pull off "death defying" maneuvers on crowded highways, but not everyone else does.
etc.

There's no law to differentiate between these types of drivers so there is an overall speed limit law that everyone must obey, regardless of how well you can drive or how well your car can handle.

#11 of 96 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted July 11 2004 - 10:54 AM

There is also the factor of reaction time to consider. It takes time to react and the higher the speed, the faurther you will travel before correcting - if you have time to correct. High speeds on good roads with great visibility are one thing. Those same speeds in less than ideal conditions are another. What happens when a driver swerves to miss an animal on the highway at 90MPH? Chances are they will lose control of the vehicle. What happens when you round a blind corner at 90 to discover there is something blocking the road, or hit a patch of ice?

I would guess that at least half the vehicles on the road have some form of major deficiency, either bad tires, bad brakes, loose steering, uneven loading, etc. It is not hard to lose control at higher speeds. Add in factors such as people being overly tired, distracted by kids/cell phone, or things like sudden wind gusts or surprise obstacles or road conditions, and higher speeds can be a determining factor in avoiding an accident or not.

#12 of 96 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted July 11 2004 - 11:23 AM

Quote:
Add in factors such as people being overly tired, distracted by kids/cell phone, or things like sudden wind gusts or surprise obstacles or road conditions, and higher speeds can be a determining factor in avoiding an accident or not.

Add in this fact:

To stop a double tractor trailer truck containing a full load at 90 mph is estimated at 380 feet, if you want to prevent "whipping" which means the back trailer whipping around a front trailer. Causing the vehicle to "buckle up" 380 feet, even for the best of drivers, is too far for eyesight to anticipate the need of an immediate stop.

So, you're on I70 or I35 near us, doing 90, and someone hits a deer. It's an accident, but it happens. You see it. You physically cannot stop. Now an accident that was going to wreck a vehicle blocks a major highway for a few hours (which defeats why everyone else might want to speed as they get bottled up) causes major roadway damage (tax concerns) and kills those involved, plus the destruction of property and insurance loss.

BTW, if you're doing 70MPH in that same vehicle, the stopping distance is 181 feet. Still a long distance, but less then 1/2. You see, the ability to stop the forward moving mass that you have when you're doing 90 is considerably more difficult, not just "oh, it's going to be 180 + fifty for the MPH greater" Wrong. If that trucker wanted to stop at 30MPH, he could do it safely within 18 feet without whipping. The faster you are going, the more difficult to control your tail.

People just think about their own cool vehicles when they are driving. Go drive out on a major highway, look next to you at a big rig or a carrier truck, and you ask "do I really want this thing barrelling down the highway at 90, in an industry where sleep deprevation is admitted as prevelent?"
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#13 of 96 Guest_Eric Kahn_*

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Posted July 11 2004 - 12:10 PM

When Montana had its short period of time with no speed limit on the interstates, the average speed was 78 MPH, it has been proven that most people will not drive faster than they are comfortable with and those that do will do it regardless of speed limits

radar detectors are not illegal here because they still fall under the federal communications act of 1934 which basically states that if someone broadcasts a radio signal, you have the right to receive it free.

this is a federal law, the states have no right to regulate any kind of radio frequency transmission or receiver other than the few exceptions the feds give, like the right to ban radar detectors in commercial trucks

#14 of 96 OFFLINE   Jason Harbaugh

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Posted July 11 2004 - 12:50 PM

From everything that Chris said it seams like a pretty easy solution, keep the speed limit for trucks/semi's lower. They already do that with most mountain roads, like I70 going up over the Rocky Mountains. Besides, just because the limit is set high doesn't mean everyone will or can go that fast. There are plenty of people that don't even go 75 on a lot of the interstate around here that has a 75mph speed limit. Most City roads and interstate highways through Cities are pretty good where they are, especially with the ammount of traffic on them, but the open road should be opened up.

Quote:
Should radar detectors be illegal?

I thought they were?

Only in Virginia and D.C.

#15 of 96 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted July 11 2004 - 12:54 PM

Quote:
From everything that Chris said it seams like a pretty easy solution, keep the speed limit for trucks/semi's lower. They already do that with most mountain roads, like I70 going up over the Rocky Mountains. Besides, just because the limit is set high doesn't mean everyone will or can go that fast. There are plenty of people that don't even go 75 on a lot of the interstate around here that has a 75mph speed limit. Most City roads and interstate highways through Cities are pretty good where they are, especially with the ammount of traffic on them, but the open road should be opened up.

Well, there are some problems with doing that.

Let's say the speed limit for a semi is 60. The speed limit for a car is 90. A car will misinterpret the amount of time it will take them to catch a semi, and their skills to navigate around them will be greater.. it will also increase likelihood of a fast approach around "blind" areas, that is up and down hills or minor curves.. it's the delta between the speeds that gets you.

Posted Image The descrepency between the two cannot be so great. If you look at I70 into Denver, Semis are 5 MPH slower then cars. That's one thing. But having the delta at about 20-30MPH, you're talking 1/3 the overall speed of the vehicles.. that's an accident waiting to happen.. that's why in almost all areas, they have a minimum speed.. so that grandmas aren't on the road doing less then 45MPH on an interstate.
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#16 of 96 OFFLINE   Shayne Lebrun

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Posted July 11 2004 - 01:25 PM

Speed limits, like so many other things, are a compromise.

Yes, "you" might be able to safely handle your car at 150% of the posted speed limit. You are not, however, the only person on the road, nor is your ability to corner and brake the only factors taken into account.

Yes, speed limits tend to be conservative. The 407 highway in Toronto is designed for something like 140 or 150 km/h; the curves are banked, supposedly the surface is paved in such a way to promote tire grip, and so on. Yet the posted limit is the standard 100 km/h (55 mph, I belive)

Fine. I don't mind being conservative when my kids are in the car. You have somewhere you need to be? Schedule your departure appropriately.

#17 of 96 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted July 11 2004 - 01:42 PM

I've never really figured out the "perk" either.

I drive a four hour drive twice a month. It's 228 miles. It's 4 hours because I generally stop to eat. But at 70MPH, if I didn't stop, it'd be:

3 hrs. 15 min (rough)

If I drove 80MPH, it would be:

~2hrs. 51 minutes

I would save literally 20 minutes.

But my gas useage would go up.

If I drove 90MPH, it would take me:

2 hrs. 32 minutes.

I would then save (over doing the speed limit) 45 minutes.

Ok, so, I save 45 minutes if I do 90 all the way without any hinderances (which is doubtful) like road construction, need for gas, etc.

I haven't yet figured out where that 45 minutes really makes that much darn difference.. meanwhile, look at it the other way:

Going 55 MPH (old speed limit) it takes:

4 hours, 51 minutes.

See, the gap to get me up to 70 which saves me an hour and a half, I can make sense of that. But the benefits go down after that point because it is not as though the percentage of the whole rapidly increases.

But from 70 to 90, the benefits aren't as big, the risk is greater, and the reality is less. I mean, how many people do you know making multi hour, non-stop trips where this becomes such a gigantic boom? And if you're hoping to make a trip from one side of the metro to the other at 90MPH, then sir, you just need to plan your day better and slow down. The world will wait for you Posted Image
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#18 of 96 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted July 11 2004 - 01:55 PM

Plan B: Start setting stricter limits on drivers liscences!! I can't count the number of elderly (85+) in one county alone that are allowed to drive on the highway despite being...well, old and slow. I mean dangerously.."never saw the light change from red to green and back again" slow.

Then figure in the people who are legally blind who still have their liscences, especuially since the visual test is apparently optional.

I give, verbatim, a goings-on betwixt an elderly woman and a DMV clerk I witnessed while waiting to register my bike.

Clerk: OK, now just read line five of the eye chart.

Old Bat: I Can't see that far!

Clerk: Pardon?

Biddy: I have a note from my doctor.

Cler: Oh, OK then. I guess your alright.

The elderly woman never produced a note nor made any attempt to strart going through her handbag. I'm going to wager a guess tha she's been using the same story for 40 years.

And whats with the DMV clerk? Your giving a new liscence to someone who admited they can't see??!! If I were the clerk that "doctors note" had better have been a thick stack of $100 bills!
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#19 of 96 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted July 11 2004 - 03:09 PM

Quote:
I mean, how many people do you know making multi hour, non-stop trips where this becomes such a gigantic boom?
I commute 100 miles per day. When I started doing it (about 10 years ago), I would try to go as fast as I could because of the long commute. It would take me about 50 minutes (one way). I finally got tired of trying to drive as fast as possible to save a few minutes.

If I drive at about 65mph, it takes me about an hour and 10 minutes.

The point is, driving at 80-90mph wasn't saving me enough time to warrant the dangerous speed I was traveling at.

#20 of 96 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted July 11 2004 - 03:12 PM

I believe the principle involved is when you reach "the point of diminishing returns".
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