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View Poll Results: What should be the speed limit on highways?
no speed limit, limited only temporarily for some reason. 37 36.63%
140 km / h. As requested by certain groups in Spain. 19 18.81%
130 km / h. As in France and in other European countries. 38 37.62%
120 km / h. Current limit in Spain. 9 8.91%
I have no opinion on the matter. 1 0.99%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:24 PM   #101
Surel
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
I guess you are referring to things like legalization of prostitution and soft drugs to reduce criminal activities.
I meant it more to the driving example. That if there is only tiny fraction of the german drivers that missuse the free speed, then it may be that the rules will not be brought upon them, because establishing them would be more costly than the damages caused by these drivers. Another straightforward example is free riding in the public transport... the chipkaart, turnstile, inspectors, versus the costs of all this, or the costs of not having any payment enforcement at all.

Yes, your examples are direct extrapolation of this general paradox.

You are right, the discussion goes OT, I liked it nevertheless . How else can you explain the reasons of the need (and benefit) of such rules?
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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:25 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Surel View Post
here may be costs to the establishing the rules and enforcing them. Thus the system may as well converge into the state where there are anyway "free riders" because eliminating them would be more costly then having them.
No cost is too much if lifes are saved.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
No cost is too much if lifes are saved.
There is always a limit to this. If you reduce speed limits - and introduce a control and punishment system to match - to a point where no serious accidents will ever happen, say 30 kph on motorways and 10 in built-up areas, it will be highly impractical and most certainly unacceptable to the general public. The key issue is to identify an acceptable amount of risk. One solution is the Scandinavian (particularly Swedish) "zero fatalities" strategy, where speed limits should be set according to the safety level of any given section of road. Personally, I like the idea, even though complete success will remain an illusion.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #104
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True, but I would say that the attitude towards drinking and driving has changed considerably in Europe over the past 15 years. The limits have been lowered, spot checks are more common and the general public's attitude towards the problem has changed considerably.
Absolutely true, now everybody fear the breathanalizer.

But I was referring to drink&drive, not drinking in general.
When our parents or grandparents were young, becaming drunk expecially in pubblic was a shame, something associated with moral and familiar decay and a sign of weakness (be subjeced to an addictive vice). Drunkards were often mocked.
Now who drinks 6 beers or half bottle of vodka at a party is "cool" and "brave".
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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:42 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
Absolutely true, now everybody fear the breathanalizer.

But I was referring to drink&drive, not drinking in general.
When our parents or grandparents were young, becaming drunk expecially in pubblic was a shame, something associated with moral and familiar decay and a sign of weakness (be subjeced to an addictive vice). Drunkards were often mocked.
Now who drinks 6 beers or half bottle of vodka at a party is "cool" and "brave".
No doubt. But I still believe the world to be a somewhat better place than in those days...
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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:49 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Surel View Post
You are right, the discussion goes OT, I liked it nevertheless . How else can you explain the reasons of the need (and benefit) of such rules?
A month with no ticket check = economic failure of the PT comany
If the average ticket checker finds that, let's say, 95% of riders bought the ticket, it doesn't mean that this percentage will remain so high with no controls at all.
If you have a 10% chance to meet the officer checking your ticket you'll probably spend 1€ for it instead of 40 for the fine.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 01:25 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
A month with no ticket check = economic failure of the PT comany
If the average ticket checker finds that, let's say, 95% of riders bought the ticket, it doesn't mean that this percentage will remain so high with no controls at all.
If you have a 10% chance to meet the officer checking your ticket you'll probably spend 1€ for it instead of 40 for the fine.
I know. What I meant with explaining the benefits of such rules is that we need to have a "complicated" theories (based in sociology, psychology, economics etc) in order to decide whether have speed limits or not and how much enforcement.

I talked about the turnstiles, chipcards etc... The system against the free riders can be made almost bulletproof but the costs rise accordingly. What you will see and what makes sense is to create the system in such a way that the marginal costs of further checking and enforcing mechanism equals the marginal gains from such a mechanism. Therefore the system will most probably with current technological level not end up with 100 % paying customers (this would also require that the customers would have to evaluate the situation of buying tickets as cheaper compared to the free riding). There will be allways free riders (and this comes also due to the fact that the risk aversion is not the same for everyone).


Turned into the road traffic rules enforcement:

the marginal gain to the society from more enforcement of a given rule would have to be at least equal to the marginal costs of enforcing given rule.



in normal language:

lets say I install new speed trap. This costs me certain resources. It should hold that the social gains from installed speed trap should be higher then the costs on the resources.

also the necessary condition for this is that the speed trap makes drivers change their driving habbits - it hast to be for them more costly to violate the rules then to obey them.

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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
No cost is too much if lifes are saved.
That may be, given the evaluation for life is limitless but the statement is not moving us any further. What life do you chose to save? Is the life of a driver on a motorway more valuable then a life of an old person dying with cancer? Or a man dying with HIV, or a young girl commiting suicide? Or a worker on construction site? Or a soldier in a war? etc etc.

You can easily see, that if the same resources would be invested elswhere there would be more lifes saved. You would allways have to compromise and choose the variant that save most lives with given resources.

In the traffic safety framework it may show (and it is coincidentally so), that the costs of eliminating lives losses are too costly to undergo, because the same resources invested elswhere would save much more lives. Thus you would end up with a system where for example rules enforcement would be unperfect, but still optimal, and therefore there would be still place for free riders.

Last edited by Surel; April 17th, 2012 at 01:31 AM.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 02:12 AM   #108
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its funny that somebody thinks he could drive with hes bugatti or what ever 400km/h and that that causes no problems on a public road.when you drive very fast you and everybody around you(when you drive 400km/h i would say in a circle of 3km)must very VERY concentrate and be extremly careful and thats impossible to drive so for hours and hours.
btw:i could accelerate with my motorcycle from 0 to 200km/h in under 10 sec. but i would never do so on a public road unless i am realy,REALY alone
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Old April 17th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #109
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"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old April 17th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Stahlsturm View Post
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin
This doesn't make sense in this context. Proponents of speed limits don't lose any liberty, because they don't drive 200 km/h anyway.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:10 AM   #111
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This doesn't make sense in this context. Proponents of speed limits don't lose any liberty, because they don't drive 200 km/h anyway.
Absolutely,very nice words indeed but in a very very wrong context postet here.If you want real freedom you are againt every rule or limit or what ever so if you want no speed limit on highways its logic that you are also against limits on every other road
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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:30 AM   #112
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I think a significant part of speed problems would be solved with aggressive use of variable signaling that could adjust speeds dynamically so that an "empty, lit, dry, straight" motorway at 3am can accommodate traffic at 170km/h, if that is the case, whereas the ones full of traffic can have speeds reduced.

Let's remember when a road is rapidly approaching its saturation point, any major "bump" on the flow can make a ripple effect making an otherwise "everyone at 100" situation a "everybody slows to 40 for no apparent reason".

This being said, I think truck overtaking bans should be more intensively used than they are today. It's better to have a "train" of trucks on the right lane than trucks coming and going to the left lane on a 2+2 road.

=============================================================

As for the Autobahnen: I don't mind driving on the right, if I can do so at a speed around the recommended (130). However, if the right lane is moving slowly at 100-110, no way I'm going to keep the flow there if both lanes are busy just to avoid pissing the 170+ drivers on the left lane. Sometimes I get the occasional light beam signal, and I totally hate when I'm at or over the recommended speed in the left lane overtaking a lot of vehicles in sequence (= right lane full) and some driver feels entitled to "clear" me to the slower lane (than my speed) so that the driver can keep speeding.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:40 AM   #113
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This being said, I think truck overtaking bans should be more intensively used than they are today. It's better to have a "train" of trucks on the right lane than trucks coming and going to the left lane on a 2+2 road.
I'm not sure about that. Then you'll have old grandpas overtaking "trains" of trucks at 100 km/h in their cars and that will take much longer than one truck overtaking another truck.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 05:30 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
.


As for the Autobahnen: I don't mind driving on the right, if I can do so at a speed around the recommended (130). However, if the right lane is moving slowly at 100-110, no way I'm going to keep the flow there if both lanes are busy just to avoid pissing the 170+ drivers on the left lane. Sometimes I get the occasional light beam signal, and I totally hate when I'm at or over the recommended speed in the left lane overtaking a lot of vehicles in sequence (= right lane full) and some driver feels entitled to "clear" me to the slower lane (than my speed) so that the driver can keep speeding.
That is simple though, if a car on the left lane has to brake for you because you moved into the lane he was in then you simply didn't give way. And if there's a recommended limit there is no such thing as ''speeding''. Any courteous driver presses his gas pedal a bit harder for an overtake. Special manoeuvres have to be carried out asap. I don't know about Germany but there's ''article 5'' in Holland which means you can theoretically be fined for hampering/impeding the traffic (flow).

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Originally Posted by Verso View Post
I'm not sure about that. Then you'll have old grandpas overtaking "trains" of trucks at 100 km/h in their cars and that will take much longer than one truck overtaking another truck.
Only trucks are limited to 80 km/h, so if they are overtaking they are usually doing it with a 1km/h speed difference resulting in overtakes of 2-3 mins and huge tailbacks of cars, rather have granps on the left lane 100 km/h than a HGV overtaking a HGV @81km/h for many minutes.
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but anyway its funny to see either Czech or Dutch drivers, also the Polish and Swiss
Meh it's usually the yellow plates (Dutch) who pull out on you and think using their indicator give them the right of way and have no clue how to drive on the autobahns, Germans are surprisingly pleasant to share the road with, until a fellow Dutchy pulls out his Aygo/other city tincan that doesn't belong on an Autobahn on the left lane @120-130 km/h unaware that the car in the left lane has to slam on his anchors very hard. I pretty much EXPECT them to not see me/pull out in front of me if I see yellow plates in Germany, EXTRA caution if the car is also a small hatchback or mini-mpv, stereotyping much ? Yeah, but I can't remember the last time a normal (luxury) saloon/coupe/estate pulled out in front of me like that causing me to slam the anchors. Germans behave very nicely on the autobahn, Dutch really don't, Poles also don't but better than Dutch imho. Dutch forget to use their mirrors often, and in Holland themselves there are so many people on a moral high horse...

I'm a fast driver but hardly the fastest, especially in the east of Germany I can cruise along at 170 or so on Cruise control and get overtaken by cars every few minutes doing well over 220. It's not something I find remotely annoying, I just find it peculiar the culture towards driving is so messed up in Holland.

Last edited by snowdog; April 18th, 2012 at 05:38 AM.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
This doesn't make sense in this context. Proponents of speed limits don't lose any liberty, because they don't drive 200 km/h anyway.
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Originally Posted by Zagor666 View Post
Absolutely,very nice words indeed but in a very very wrong context postet here.If you want real freedom you are againt every rule or limit or what ever so if you want no speed limit on highways its logic that you are also against limits on every other road
I don't think either of you understands what I meant. Every general limitation imposed by society to gain security will ultimately backfire. I'm hiting at the discrepancy that while everyone has the liberty of going 120 or even slower on a motorway they want to force everyone else to do the same. And to achieve that they argue security while it is statistically proven that a general speed has a negative effect in connection with traffic relatet fatalities on motorways. I'm not against limiting speed where it is necessary but the boundaries of that necessity are applied more general every year and the over-regulation in traffic rules by far outweighs it's supposed benefits.

As another exemple, they lowered the legal alcohol limit in Germany a few years back from 0.08% to 0.05 % to the effect that a lot more people are stopped and have taken their license away while at the same time the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities has not significantly changed. AND, when you look at those cases you'll see that in the vast majority of cases the violators would've been way over the old limit as well so they criminalized a lot of people to zero positive effect.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:41 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by snowdog View Post
That is simple though, if a car on the left lane has to brake for you because you moved into the lane he was in then you simply didn't give way. And if there's a recommended limit there is no such thing as ''speeding''. Any courteous driver presses his gas pedal a bit harder for an overtake. Special manoeuvres have to be carried out asap. I don't know about Germany but there's ''article 5'' in Holland which means you can theoretically be fined for hampering/impeding the traffic (flow).
It's the same in Germany, you are technically not allowed to change lanes unless you can do so without getting in the way of a faster car that is already on that lane. Of course, it is never enforced so most people aren't aware of it.

There are bad drivers in either category of course. Letting a nice slower driver who actually moved out of the way "starve" behind a truck by not speeding up to give him space to pull back out is just as rude as pulling out right in front of someone despite a speed difference of 80 kmh. There#s just generally too little thought going on.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Stahlsturm View Post
And to achieve that they argue security while it is statistically proven that a general speed has a negative effect in connection with traffic relatet fatalities on motorways. I'm not against limiting speed where it is necessary but the boundaries of that necessity are applied more general every year and the over-regulation in traffic rules by far outweighs it's supposed benefits.
If 99 drivers are willing to pay 10 euro for having general speed limits on the motorways you would have to be willing to pay 990 euro for having no limitis in order to support your argument.... Thats all what it is about. Even better is to measure this with minutes, because they are not so easy to obtain as money:

e.g. if 99 drivers would be willing to pay 1 minute each time they drive in order to have general speed limit, you would have to pay 99 minutes for your drive.

(the chosen measure values are not based in any real valuation, they only show that such valuation is necessary)

The argument about freedom is rather wrongly placed.

First, it comments on quite different freedoms that the freedom to speed up.

Second, even if we let it in, there are people whose freedom would be lowered because of the higher freedom of the person that wants to speed up. Thus the argument is only relative not absolute...
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Old April 18th, 2012, 01:30 PM   #118
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It's the same in Germany, you are technically not allowed to change lanes unless you can do so without getting in the way of a faster car that is already on that lane. Of course, it is never enforced so most people aren't aware of it.
I am glad that you note this. Because that shows how the slow drivers are being punished when the fast drivers are in fact rewarded. When the slow driver has to wait for the fast drivers to pass by. The question is then, is the comfort of fast drivers more important then the comfort of the slow drivers?

That is something that you, the proponents of no general speed limits at all costs, are not willing to answer...
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Old April 18th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #119
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I'm a fast driver but hardly the fastest, especially in the east of Germany I can cruise along at 170 or so on Cruise control and get overtaken by cars every few minutes doing well over 220. It's not something I find remotely annoying, I just find it peculiar the culture towards driving is so messed up in Holland.
It is certainly so, many of them are not used to the autobahn speeds. But I also see very often how the cars instantly speed up after the german borders.


If someone is doing 100 behind a truck and wants to overtake and you are doing 170, there is 70 km/h difference. That is 20 m/s. Lets say that the tincan can speed up up to 130 in like 10 seconds and overtake the truck in around 15 or 20 sec. That would give you the distance of 300 or 400 meters. Good luck seeing and recognizing through your mirror the speed of car that is 300 or 400 meters behind you.

Again you gave the argument, but your arguments actually supports the other side... Since you would have to first argue, that the discomfort of the tincan driver because of no general limit is lower then the discomfort of the fast driver because of the speed limit.

Last edited by Surel; April 18th, 2012 at 01:59 PM.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #120
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I am glad that you note this. Because that shows how the slow drivers are being punished when the fast drivers are in fact rewarded. When the slow driver has to wait for the fast drivers to pass by. The question is then, is the comfort of fast drivers more important then the comfort of the slow drivers?

That is something that you, the proponents of no general speed limits at all costs, are not willing to answer...
I do not think they had this in mind when that law was passed. The reasoning behind this simply is that changing lanes is something you can only do when you don't hinder someone else and that is completely speed unrelated. You take the right of way whether you go in front of another car at 50 or at 250 kmh if the other car already is on the lane you are changing onto.
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