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Old January 2nd, 2008, 11:46 AM   #81
Svartmetall
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Originally Posted by TheCat View Post
That's a very subjective thing, really, and is a matter of personal preference and of debate (when it comes to safety). While it's often more fun to drive a manual car, most people don't drive for the sake of driving, but rather, for the sake of getting from A to B.

According to statistics in Wikipedia, the accident rate on non-motorway roads in the US is lower than on most of the European countries included in the table, except for Finland, Sweden, and the UK. Therefore, the safety argument is definitely highly questionable. I'd say it's mostly about the driving culture, and not whether you have to shift gears or not.

PS: Ironically, the accident rate in the US on motorways is actually higher than on many of the European countries, while the motorway is the place where shifting gears is mostly irrelevant. Perhaps it has to do with the maintenance quality of the roads, motorway driving etiquette (passing on the right, for example), or even lower speed limits (??).
Oh where to begin...

Statistics are a fickle thing - look at the number of people per sq kilometre of roads and you'll find that in general there are far more people per sq kilometre of roads in Europe than in the US ergo far higher likelihood of meeting someone on the road and therefore greater chance of crashing.

Also the US has a tendancy to drive much MUCH bigger cars than Europe - the bigger the car the lower likelihood of death. Since those statistics are measuring number of people killed it makes for a difficult parallel to be drawn. I think the much more accurate way to measure it is by "number of crashes/person/km of road" - however, I really can't be bothered to do all the digging for that and it still doesn't take into account the "I've got a huge car and so I'll survive" factor.

Besides, as my location says - I'm British and therefore have been brought up in a country where people only drive manuals and have seen a much MUCH lower crash rate than where I am right now where everyone drives those death on wheels contraptions with automatic gears boxes. Like you say - it's driver attitude and I think part of the reason is the fact that you have to concentrate far more with a manual and so assess your surroundings far more than in an auto. I've owned both and I know I'm a safer driver behind the wheel of a manual car.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 04:12 PM   #82
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Maybe if the rest of the world started driving cars with Automatic Transmissions instead of the Stick(and Automatics were cheaper around the world), you guys wouldn't need these countdown timers except for crosswalk traffic in a much tinier setting.
Yeah u're right .... most car in Indonesia uses Manual Transmission (M/T). Of course, the traffic light with countdown timers are very useful ..

Although today, we find more and more car with Automatic Transmission (A/T). But, the number is still very small comparing to those who got M/T ...

Another reasons why most car using M/T is because of in Indonesia, a car M/T is usually much cheaper than A/T ... Well, actually it depends on the car manufacturers itself, but mostly selling M/T in much cheaper thant A/T


PLUSSSSS,, Indonesian govt only issue driving-license for M/T ... Almost all of driving school , trains the drivers using M/T as a basic, and for more progress they also teach how to drive using A/T.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 10:48 PM   #83
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I don't know, I'm still very skeptical about the safety advantage of manual cars as opposed to automatic, and some might even argue the opposite. The "death on wheels contraptions with automatic gears boxes" is certainly a grave exaggeration, since I know many drivers here who all drive automatics and have never had a crash.

I used to live in Israel, a country where almost everyone drives a manual car, where driver education is very extensive (minimum 28 lessons mandatory, many people doing many more because people rarely pass from the first try), where the road infrastructure is very decent, and where people generally do follow the traffic rules. Also, all driver testing is done on manual cars (an automatic option is available, which limits people to driving only automatic cars). However, the accident rate there is much higher than in North America, while apparently still lower than in countries like Italy. The reason is that people there drive very aggressively, and don't really care about other drivers. However, they still do follow traffic rules, but just do everything with less regard for others.

On the other hand, having lived in Canada for almost 8 years, I can say how generally calm and courteous most drivers here are. While the situation in Western Europe is generally better than in Israel (although some countries are an exception), I have also heard many stories about aggressive driving in Europe. It is not surprising, given the more crowded driving conditions, and possibly the faster, less-relaxed pace of life in many European countries. But nevertheless, the relation between traffic safety and the type of transmission used is arguable at best.

PS: I have also heard about the courteousness of British drivers, although I cannot vouch for that personally. Perhaps that explains the low crash statistics for the UK. However, it's hardly the result of manual transmissions, since the rest of Europe, where drivers are often much more aggressive, also mainly has cars with manual transmission. Again, I'd say it's purely the driving culture, which varies from place to place.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 11:05 PM   #84
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I know this countdown device if for peds but I wanted to post it anyway because I dig Québec's traffic lights.

image hosted on flickr
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 11:41 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Oh where to begin...

Statistics are a fickle thing - look at the number of people per sq kilometre of roads and you'll find that in general there are far more people per sq kilometre of roads in Europe than in the US ergo far higher likelihood of meeting someone on the road and therefore greater chance of crashing.

Also the US has a tendancy to drive much MUCH bigger cars than Europe - the bigger the car the lower likelihood of death. Since those statistics are measuring number of people killed it makes for a difficult parallel to be drawn. I think the much more accurate way to measure it is by "number of crashes/person/km of road" - however, I really can't be bothered to do all the digging for that and it still doesn't take into account the "I've got a huge car and so I'll survive" factor.

Besides, as my location says - I'm British and therefore have been brought up in a country where people only drive manuals and have seen a much MUCH lower crash rate than where I am right now where everyone drives those death on wheels contraptions with automatic gears boxes. Like you say - it's driver attitude and I think part of the reason is the fact that you have to concentrate far more with a manual and so assess your surroundings far more than in an auto. I've owned both and I know I'm a safer driver behind the wheel of a manual car.
Actually, bigger cars do not reduce the overall mortally rate. If you crash against a wall or another fixed object, bigger cars generally score lower on crash tests than smaller cars. However, if you crash against another vehicle, a bigger car may save your own life, but at the expense of the poor bugger in the smaller car....

Other than that, I mostly agree with your comments, coming from a country (Norway) with much lower mortally rate than US on all types of roads. Besides, driving an automatic on ice is not a good idea, especially in a hilly country as my own.

And Norway do not have these count-down things....
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:45 AM   #86
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Countdown timers?

We don't have them here in New Zealand, and I don't see any in Oz either. I only recall seeing them in China and in some former Eastern Bloc countries of Europe. Turkey has them also.

It would seem that much of the world uses two primarily different traffic light systems. Timer and Demand

Timer based systems would use a fixed timer which could be adjusted for different times of day so that green cycles on certain roads might get longer phases at peak times, and shorter times elsewhere. Countdown timers would be suitable here.

Demand based systems would monitor current flows and adjust their phases accordingly. They may also respond to buses, emergency vehicles. Countdown timers probably wouldn't be much use with these systems.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #87
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Countdown timers?

We don't have them here in New Zealand, and I don't see any in Oz either. I only recall seeing them in China and in some former Eastern Bloc countries of Europe. Turkey has them also.

It would seem that much of the world uses two primarily different traffic light systems. Timer and Demand

Timer based systems would use a fixed timer which could be adjusted for different times of day so that green cycles on certain roads might get longer phases at peak times, and shorter times elsewhere. Countdown timers would be suitable here.

Demand based systems would monitor current flows and adjust their phases accordingly. They may also respond to buses, emergency vehicles. Countdown timers probably wouldn't be much use with these systems.
Yeah, demand are exactly what NZ has with the sensors in the road at every traffic intersection. These are especially handy at night or in times of low traffic.

It is also why I made the comment about bus and tram priorities as these would fall under the "demand" catagory and thus I couldn't see how they would work with timers - however, one forumer points out that it works in their city. I'd be interested to know how!
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Old April 10th, 2010, 01:21 AM   #88
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novel concept didn't know that and haven't see that before.

I also like the concept of "green when you drive 50" Have this only seen 2 times in germany yet and of course not in cities, but in tiny villages or bigger towns
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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:08 AM   #89
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Within the last year or so they have upgraded most of the intersections around Halifax and Dartmouth with counters. They're installed about halfway down the pole above the pedestrian lights. I'll take some pictures some time in the near future.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:31 AM   #90
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brazil





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Old April 10th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #91
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We have a few in Kosovo but only in some expressways and newly built roads.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #92
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brazil





wow they are cool. where are they?
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Old April 10th, 2010, 06:58 AM   #93
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I have seeen some in the Stuttgart metro area over a decade ago. Not sure if they are still there or got replaced.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #94
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This one in China

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Old April 10th, 2010, 09:20 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptSchmidt View Post
Within the last year or so they have upgraded most of the intersections around Halifax and Dartmouth with counters. They're installed about halfway down the pole above the pedestrian lights. I'll take some pictures some time in the near future.
Same with Toronto - virtually all intersections now have countdown timers. They're meant for pedestrians, but in most cases coincide with the red signal for cars too. I think they're awesome, since they mostly reduce the anxiety associated with traffic lights. If I see a very small count remaining and I'm relatively far from the intersection, I usually slow down.

In some cases (especially at night and with very small cross streets) they're misleading to drivers though, because when they reach their 0 count they reset back to a walking person, probably because no pedestrians pressed the button or no cars were detected on the cross street. Though, I think this issue should be avoidable with more clever programming, since there is no point in counting down if the system has no intention of changing the signal (this misleads pedestrians too).
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Old April 10th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #96
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We have them here in Amsterdam, but only for pedestrians and cyclists in intersections with fixed cycles (there are still quite a few in Amsterdam).

I have seen one for cyclists in Rotterdam, where it counts down, but when a tram crosses, it gets priority, so in the counter the word "tram" starts blinking and the counting stops until the tram is gone.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #97
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Nearly all cyclist traffic lights in Zwolle have countdown counters, however, they are a psychological attempt, because there are no traffic lights with fixed cycles in this city. So sometimes it goes from full to zero in a few seconds, sometimes it takes longer because of bus priority for example.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 06:59 PM   #98
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This one in China

just a mirror and upside down.
edit: uf, now i see it is not mirror, just counter turned upside-down
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Old April 11th, 2010, 04:05 AM   #99
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LOL I find the countdown timers very useful when it comes to driving efficiency.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 01:42 PM   #100
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No countdowns in Switzerland, but you have yellow before green. Oh I just start another thread for that because I don't know if any other country has that.
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