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Old 07-04-2007, 05:59 AM   #43
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Fine the Violators

I agree with Boatdoc and others. These fines are a good start. Our highways, especially near major cities, have gotten much more dangerous in the last 5 years. I think in some areas like the Route 95 corridor in the North East it can be characterized as "out of control." There's not enough police and when they do stop a speeder it's very dangerous for them on the shoulder. I live in the DC area and I fear for our troopers and local police who have pulled someone over on the beltway or other major highway. They are absolutely risking their lives to enforce these traffic laws. Why shouldn't the fine be a true penalty? The fine should be sufficient to be a deterrent. A felony conviction will be even better for the irresponsible act of excessive speeding (20 miles or more over the limit) as this puts other citizen drivers at great risk.

There needs to be a law against talking on hand held cell phones, too. Most drivers are already challenged by the complicated activity of driving let alone talk on a cell phone at the same time. Many times I see young women or men who I know have very little driver's training and limited experience driving yet they are rocketing down the highway with one hand on the wheel and with the other holding the phone to their head (or worse dialing). It's not just young people either. People do have to communicate for business or other reasons, but with the phone technology today the law should be only "hands free" cell phone use.

My wife and I were rear ended last Summer on 95 near Baltimore. We were in a thunderstorm and traffic slowed. A driver came flying out of the mist behind us and slammed into our station wagon. He tried to brake but he was driving too fast for the conditions and skidded into us at 40-50 MPH. Thankfully our VOLVO was able to withstand the impact. It was totalled but we were unharmed. I jumped out and ran back to see about the other vehicle. There was chili all over the wind shield and on the driver's shirt. I was upset that he'd obviously been eating but he had his wife and a baby in the back seat so I forced myself to be calm and appreciate the fact we were all uninjured.

Some people just don't understand the danger they pose to others by exceeding speed limits and driving conditions. These fines may be the best way to get their attention and educate them.
Gene
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:48 AM   #44
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Incompetent drivers cause more wrecks than speed. Look at the autobahn. It's safer than our interstate, and you can drive 200mph there.

How many blue hairs have nearly wiped me out due to incompetence? A bunch. For those of you who ride motorcycles, you'll especially see my point. How many goobs are combing their hair, eating their lunch, talking to their boss, reading a book, doing everything but driving the car?

I have NO problem with somebody talking on a cell phone if they control the car. But if they can't chew gum and walk, then they shouldn't be on the phone. It's an individual thing.

Look at Delaplane VA. There the horse lovers somehow cajoled their local officials to make the speed limit through that utterly straight utterly rural section 45mph. I have driven that section at very high speed before when I was the only car on the road. It's straight as an AZ desert road with nothing but horse fields on either side. Virtually no population there. By alll rights it should be 65mph. But at any rate, it was 55mph for 30 years. Then the horse people decided they didn't want traffic coming through their area, so they made it 45mph. Absolutely ludicrous.

I also am an engineer who worked with the highway dept in the past. There wasn't much thought put into speed limits. As well, look at how VA manages to screw up traffic lights. they have made an art out of clogging traffic flow.

Yeah, this is a hot button topic for me. I drive in VA almost every day. I think most speed limits are too low, and they let any ninny get a driver's license.

I want to drive swiftly and safely and be left alone. The cops should be out there busting the real causers of accidents.

I'd like to see a $1300 fine for not using your turn signal. Maybe that would really safen the roads.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:53 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
I'd like to see a $1300 fine for not using your turn signal. Maybe that would really safen the roads.
Amen to that! That's one of my pet peeves.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:09 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bustersmith
...Our highways, especially near major cities, have gotten much more dangerous in the last 5 years. ...
I just had to google that...

State and National Fatality and Injury Data
Virginia

Should you dive into those, Richmond City seems to have a much lower fatality rate per 100,000 than most of the counties in the US, as do those counties around the DC area.

At least we're far safer now (~42000 fatalities) - even in absolute numbers than we were in 1980 (51000) or the murderous 1972 (55700). Calculate those as a percentage of the population or per passenger mile.
Annual US Highway Fatalities from 1957


Still, my biggest beef with this law is it's implicit dishonesty. It isn't likely to have much if any impact, but it makes people feel good. There are fines already - stiff enough to pay for their enforcement and yet they aren't enforced. We need to understand why. I have a hunch that the answers would prove unpopular here.
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:02 PM   #47
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Some people have lots of money and others don't. Instead of cash fines how about each mile per over the limit equals one day of public service like picking up paper in whatever state you live in. That is more equal and perhaps would sloow everyone down.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:50 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden

I'd like to see a $1300 fine for not using your turn signal. Maybe that would really safen the roads.
Actually, I think VA did that as well.

We live in Fredericksburg and I know the traffic on I-95 and the surrounding region. Daily, there are tragic wrecks on our roads, even the rural ones. I'm all for the high fines for speeding and wish there was a better way to enforse these laws. Speed cameras may be the answer.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:11 AM   #49
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Possibly a better idea would be to include a line of code into all new vehicles' ecm that would limit speed to 5 mph over the top speed limit in any state. IIRC, that would be a total of 80 mph. While it would still result in a large speed differential in some areas it would slow down the leadfoots that seem to have to drive 100 mph no matter what.
Carrying this thought only a little further, vehicles could have built-in receivers that would automatically download the speed limit in an area, and the ecm could adjust the vehicle's top speed accordingly. It would only take a relatively small transmitter on each speed limit sign, or even the first speed limit sign of a new speed limit.
Doing this would free up law enforcement to pursue other, potentially more serious, offenses. A side benefit would be high-speed police chases would be a thing of the past.
I'm sure it won't happen soon, as all the "this violates our rights" people would have conniption fits if this were introduced.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:00 AM   #50
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Should be seeing lots of high speed chases coming out of Virgina soon.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:49 AM   #51
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Quote:
Possibly a better idea would be to include a line of code into all new vehicles' ecm that would limit speed to 5 mph over the top speed limit in any state. IIRC, that would be a total of 80 mph. While it would still result in a large speed differential in some areas it would slow down the leadfoots that seem to have to drive 100 mph no matter what.
I don't know if they still do, back in the 80's GM was making it so that the cruise control would not engage over 80.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:51 AM   #52
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Rivet Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
I'd like to see a $1300 fine for not using your turn signal. Maybe that would really safen the roads.
Hi Jim,

That’s a real hot button for me too! The idea that these people literally won’t lift a single finger to cooperate with others is astounding.

Vaughan
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:06 AM   #53
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Rivet Vehicle Conditions

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Originally Posted by REDNAX
I'll be the first to agree that the police need to start giving out driving safety violations and couple them to vehicle examination (dirty windshield and taillights; loose junk in vehicle interior; blown shocks, overloaded, etc.) Video would make it unambiguous. Some folks need to have their cars impounded and spend 10-days in jail, automatically.
I agree that enforcing existing laws would be a major step forward. Arkansas stopped requiring vehicle inspections 10 years ago. You should see the condition of the vehicles on the street! I saw an old F150 a few days ago that had, of the 2 brake lights on the tail and the 2 in the center on the cab, only 1 brake light on the rear of the truck working at all. None of the running lights on the rear worked. I routinely see completely shattered windshields, and even numerous vehicles without license tags. The existing laws are just not being enforced.

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Old 07-08-2007, 11:26 AM   #54
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Arkansas stopped requiring vehicle inspections 10 years ago. You should see the condition of the vehicles on the street! Vaughan
I don't think inspections would fix anything. We've never inspections in Minnesota, and we don't have a serious problem with the condition of vehicles.

If you get stopped speeding you can also get an unsafe vehicle ticket for a busted out windshield or no tailights. Winter takes care of the cars with no brakes and bald tires.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:42 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Incompetent drivers cause more wrecks than speed. Look at the autobahn. It's safer than our interstate, and you can drive 200mph there.

How many blue hairs have nearly wiped me out due to incompetence? A bunch. For those of you who ride motorcycles, you'll especially see my point. How many goobs are combing their hair, eating their lunch, talking to their boss, reading a book, doing everything but driving the car?

I have NO problem with somebody talking on a cell phone if they control the car. But if they can't chew gum and walk, then they shouldn't be on the phone. It's an individual thing.

Look at Delaplane VA. There the horse lovers somehow cajoled their local officials to make the speed limit through that utterly straight utterly rural section 45mph. I have driven that section at very high speed before when I was the only car on the road. It's straight as an AZ desert road with nothing but horse fields on either side. Virtually no population there. By alll rights it should be 65mph. But at any rate, it was 55mph for 30 years. Then the horse people decided they didn't want traffic coming through their area, so they made it 45mph. Absolutely ludicrous.

I also am an engineer who worked with the highway dept in the past. There wasn't much thought put into speed limits. As well, look at how VA manages to screw up traffic lights. they have made an art out of clogging traffic flow.

Yeah, this is a hot button topic for me. I drive in VA almost every day. I think most speed limits are too low, and they let any ninny get a driver's license.

I want to drive swiftly and safely and be left alone. The cops should be out there busting the real causers of accidents.

I'd like to see a $1300 fine for not using your turn signal. Maybe that would really safen the roads.
Jim,

You hit a number of 'hot topics' on the head! I have friends from Europe and Germany. They tell stories of when they learned to drive, and the complicated and involved process going thru driver's ed and obtaining a license is. They really teach people to not only drive a car, but also how to change a flat, react to a number of emergency situations and how to follow the traffic laws.....especially things like turn signals and KEEPING RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS!!!!

No doubt that the Euro drivers are far better and more courteous than most US drivers (Italy excepted) . If the US would start actually teaching kids how to properly drive a vehicle, rather than to parallel park, than the driving populace would be better at the task. I also believe that 16 is too young to drive a car. I could not get a permit 'till 17 in NJ in the 60's and I now think that 18 would be a better age to start the process!! Starting at ages as low as 15 is rediculous!!!!!

Having taken several high speed and evasive driving courses given by professionals on a closed track, it's amazing how much people DON'T KNOW
about properly operating a vehicle!!! And living over half the year in Florida, I can tell you lot's of stories about the 'blue hairs' behind the wheel. BTW, we call them 'cu-tips' in SW FL.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:51 AM   #56
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Rivet Inspections v Enforcement

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I don't think inspections would fix anything. We've never inspections in Minnesota, and we don't have a serious problem with the condition of vehicles.

If you get stopped speeding you can also get an unsafe vehicle ticket for a busted out windshield or no tailights. Winter takes care of the cars with no brakes and bald tires.
Hi Mark,

The inspections at least forced the lax owners to replace light bulbs and broken windshields once a year. The real problem is the lack of enforcement of the laws. Like I said, there are very large numbers of vehicles that don’t even have tags. By Arkansas law, these vehicles are to be stopped and towed, but I have only heard of this happing once and it made the newspaper. Saw one the other day with a Texas front tag, no place for year and month stickers. Arkansas only “requires” (perhaps that should be recommends) a rear tag. Sounds like your guys are doing a better job. Congratulations.

Vaughan
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