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Old June 10th, 2007, 09:00 AM   #801
Alex Von Königsberg
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One suggestion: remember that the USA uses an archaic system of measurements, so you need to drive 1.6 times faster than the archaic speed limit signs say
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Old June 10th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #802
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yeah I actually spent some time converting the common speed limits in the US to kilometers and sharing this information with my dad, who will be sharing the driving with me around 50/50. Our speedometer displays km, although there are also small mile marks on the outline.

How strict are speed limits on the major NY interstates? Here in Canada it is common to drive around 120 and sometimes 130 km/h on rural stretches, even though the limit is 100.

Edit: I heard that speed limit enforcement is quite strict in NY, and the police frequently uses regular (non-police) cars.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #803
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I myself have never driven on the East Coast, but I heard some horror stories about drivers charged with criminal offences just for speeding. I would probably not drive faster than +15..20 km/h.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #804
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Heh alright thanks, will stick as close as possible to 104.6 km/h
There is also an agreement between NY and the province of Ontario (and Quebec), that traffic offenses in NY get transferred to the Ontario record. This agreement does not even exist between NY and other US states.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 10:21 PM   #805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCat View Post
yeah I actually spent some time converting the common speed limits in the US to kilometers and sharing this information with my dad, who will be sharing the driving with me around 50/50. Our speedometer displays km, although there are also small mile marks on the outline.

How strict are speed limits on the major NY interstates? Here in Canada it is common to drive around 120 and sometimes 130 km/h on rural stretches, even though the limit is 100.

Edit: I heard that speed limit enforcement is quite strict in NY, and the police frequently uses regular (non-police) cars.
Highway speed conditions in most of the USA are very similar to what you experience in Canada.

My roadtrips into NYS were strange, I hear the reputation but found that some of their highways fly along like German autobahns (the times I was on I-87 north of the Albany area - WOW - some sections were 85th percentile at 140-150 km/h!).

Regardless, I usually go by the 'When in Rome...' adage and seldom have any problems.

I have also read that Virginia considers '20 over' to be 'reckless driving', a felony.

Keep in mind that many USA states are run by self-righteous 'do-gooder' types whom are all aghast at the thought that many people like to drive fast (as in European speeds - and in COMPLETE SAFETY) and for that reason many highways are grossly underposted. Some localities also like to use underposted speed limits as a source of easy revenue for their governments.

Another thing that I bring along on my roadtrips is a CB radio. If you can put up with some of the mindless crap that flows over it, it gives VERY GOOD info on road conditions ahead of you, including traffic problems along with active speed and other enforcement traps. Lorry drivers still do use them to keep each other up to date on such things.

Mike

Last edited by mgk920; June 10th, 2007 at 10:29 PM.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 10:59 PM   #806
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If he can understand all that bumbling-mumbling of truck drivers I couldn't most of the time, but then I am not a native speaker either. Plus, for some reason a chip Cobra CB had a problem picking up the 19th channel.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 10:07 AM   #807
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80-90% of drivers on the Peninsula, and pretty much most of the bay area dont follow this rule, even upon tailgating. Apparently this is very common in urban/suburban freeways.

However, at night, most people stay in the three right lanes, leaving the two outer lanes free.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #808
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I think as a general rule of thumb, you can drive roughly 15kph above the speed limit and have no problems with the police.

In Illinois the speed limit is around 105kph on interstates, but I always put the cruise control at 120kph and have never felt worried what-so-ever driving by a cop car. I think you have to push 125 or so before you really risk being pulled over.

I've also noticed the random times when the flow of traffic is far above the speed limit. Driving in Iowa a few times the average speed of people was 130-138kph. The speed limit was 105, but this must faster flow just developed - so I went with it!

I use to drive 160-175kph on the interstates in Iowa when I went to visit family. I only did it a few times, but never an into any problems. There aren't THAT many police out looking for speeders.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #809
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotos View Post
Greek drivers and lane discipline: "What did you said?", probably an unknown sentence for a high percent of us.
Several times i meet someone driving slow in the left lane, if the road is 3 laned most likely they will use the 2nd lane and the 3rd the 1st is like it doesn't exist.
Just the same in Italy. Maybe many dumb drivers think the right lane is only for trucks, but I think they're only lazy and not enough smart to apply the rule.

Personally I feel safer driving on the right lane also if I'm totally alone on the road and/or I'm going pretty fast, even on 3 or 4 lane highways, since there is more space between me and the upcoming traffic; in case of an accident or a tire failure there is plenty of space for emergency manouevres, both on left and right side.
Only approaching busy exits and entrances lanes I get to the center lane, to let slower vehicles get in and out in peace.

Unluckily we've plenty of idiots standing in the middle of the motorway at 100-120, so if I'm going faster I am obliged to do a stupid thing: overtaking on the right (which is, standing on my own lane and going straight), very dangerous indeed, or cutting three lanes of motorway to get on the left, overtaking, and cutting again three lanes to get back in the right lane.
Which is not the best to do, too

Sometimes I flash lights trying to avoid this situation, but they don't even understand they're wrong, they just think "If there is one lane at my left, he can pass". Yeah, but if we are two behind the idiot, the faster one will have to slow down. And traffic flow gets its ruin...
This practically kills the right lane on every highways. A 3 lanes hw works like a 2 lanes one, a 2 lanes hw is reduced just to a faster ordinary road. What a pity!


Many people don't give way on the left lane even if one flashes lights, probably for two reasons:

1) overtaking and being overtaken is not a simple road fact. It's a macho fact. Overtaking another one makes me a real, though man. Being overtaken is gay, so I will do anything I can to avoid this terrible thing and show off my big balls to the whole world
This works great especially on two lanes ordinary road, when macho drivers travel asleep until someone gets on the other lane to overtake them. Then they wake up, they get aware of the menace of being so gay, and they push the gas pedal so hard it knocks the ground. In the best case the other car get back in its lane until the macho gets asleep againg, in the worst it gets a truck sticked up in its face

2) Nobody can ask me to get to the left if I'm overtaking, I've got a car on my right, where should I go? So, I stay there and overtake first a car, then another.
Correct, pal, but between the first car and the second one you're trying to overtaking there is so much space they could build an airstrip long enough to let a 747 land and stop!
This happens often when the overtaker travels at 115 km/h and the overtoken cars are at 112. It may take a life and another 3/4 of it waiting for this genius to complete his overtake, hoping he doesn't encounter a little steep slope...
He could overtake one, get to the left respecting the safety distance, let half of the highway pass over him, and then overtake the second one. After 20 minutes.
But no, he's sooo right doing that! In the meantime the whole country gets queued behind him. But, hey, who cares? I'm sooo right!




Maybe it's also this lane unrespect to make me dream of the day I will live in Germany...
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Old June 12th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #810
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In bulgaria i think they behave pretty good on 4 lame motorways, the faster cars are on the right, the slower cars and heavy transport is on the right. I like that there´s not much traffic on the motorways.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 07:39 AM   #811
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I think you guys have it right on the mark. Every U.S. state is different. You can drive from one state and see 10-15 patrol officer cars, and the next state you wll see none. Very hard to predict.

In general, 5-10mph over the limit will not cause you to be pulled over. However, I've also seen pull-overs for just a few miles above. In those cases they may be looking for something beyond speed violation. (Use your imagination!)

Best advice for driving in the US...pay careful attention to the speed signs...perhaps exceed by 5-7 mph over if needbe, but expect anything to happen above that. And don't be surprised if they ask, "can we take a look at your cargo?" This is where the real police activity is validated today, like it or not. I'm certainly not advocating illegal activity, but just be warned this is what US enforcement is really looking for, not a $60.00 speeding ticket.

Last edited by pwalker; June 16th, 2007 at 06:05 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #812
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Well you could just buy a radar detector
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Old June 14th, 2007, 09:05 AM   #813
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BTW, what's the issue with California and having those outdated button reflector signs? If that doesn't scream outdated, I don't know what does.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #814
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Quote:
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I'm certainly not advocating illegal activity, but just be warned this is what US enforcement is really looking for, not a $60.00 speeding ticket.
With all due respect, I would disagree. At least in California the speeding ticket costs $190 and up. Plus, from time to time, they set up a speeding enforcement day when ten CHP cars stop speeders on one-mile stretch of a motorway by getting information from the plane that circles over the motorway. I don't think they are specifically targeting the illegal activity besides speeding.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 04:01 AM   #815
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Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
With all due respect, I would disagree. At least in California the speeding ticket costs $190 and up. Plus, from time to time, they set up a speeding enforcement day when ten CHP cars stop speeders on one-mile stretch of a motorway by getting information from the plane that circles over the motorway. I don't think they are specifically targeting the illegal activity besides speeding.
Alex, well of course cops will never pass up an opportunity to nab a speeder, especially if the violation will bring in a significant fine. (Disclaimer: of course, they want to protect the driving public safety)...And yes, speed team caravans do exist in many states...like you describe, seeing a bunch of patrol vehicles on a relatively short stretch of highway.

My only point is more and more these days the bigger payoff is finding illegal drugs, or capturing wanted felons. And in many states, (can't speak for California), they will stop people for very minor violations for just this reason. (Like not signaling for example)

Last edited by pwalker; June 16th, 2007 at 04:32 AM.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 06:55 AM   #816
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They are very common here and at times get on my nerves...personally, I think the cops here should pay as much attention to them as the speeders.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #817
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Quote:
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And in many states, (can't speak for California), they will stop people for very minor violations for just this reason. (Like not signaling for example)
I wish they were so strict here too But then California cops don't use signals themselves...

I noticed an interesting thing: the CHP mostly seem to enforce the traffic rules, while sheriff doesn't. But when I see that sheriff did in fact pull someone over (which is rare), that is always for something much bigger than simply not following the road rules. Municipal cops usually perform both tasks.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:19 AM   #818
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Are all these actually signed as Interstates? In California, the difference is only in the signage. US Highways and State Routes often look like them. Freeways are freeways.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 04:36 AM   #819
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Are all these actually signed as Interstates? In California, the difference is only in the signage. US Highways and State Routes often look like them. Freeways are freeways.
In general, US Interstates have atleast two lanes in each direction, and meet certain width, length, and speed constraint restrictions (as in wide turns, sight-lines, etc.) with no room for error or exceptions. However, many states also have "freeways" that may look like Interstates, but may not meet all the federal requirements of being an interstate. The differences can be subtle, but the feds have strict restrictions on what is defined as an Interstate and what isn't. There are some exceptions allowed in certain areas.

Last edited by pwalker; June 16th, 2007 at 06:06 AM.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #820
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Quote:
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In general, US Interstates have atleast two lanes in each direction, and meet certain width, length, and speed constraint restrictions (as in wide turns, sight-lines, etc.) with no room for error or exceptions. However, many states also have "freeways" that may look like Interstates, but may not meet all the federal requirements of being an interstate. The differences can be subtle, but the feds have strict restrictions on what is defined as an Interstate and what isn't.
And many states, Wisconsin is one, will build most of their new/upgraded freeways to full interstate standards anyways, regardless of whether or not the snazzy signs will be posted.

Interstate design exceptions are also sometimes granted. However, it did take and Act of Congress to build I-70 through the Glenwood Canyon in Colorado with a 'substandard' design (narrow shoulders, slow design speed and a few other design deficiencies). Not getting the variances would have required far, far more expensive tunneling to meet environmental regulations and could have resulted in 'no build'.

Mike
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