to speed or not to speed, that is the question

haz

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.... from http://www.topgear.com :

"To speed or not to speed, that is the question facing us this month.

Whether it's nobler on the road to suffer the slings and harpoons of the Finnish police, or to take arms with one's homies and do a runner from the cops, John Hind pinpoints which parts of the world it's least and most wise to put the pedal to the metal.

USA
Ahh, the joys of America! Not only does California provide everyone with a laugh through the exploits of their infamous 'governator', but it's home to some truly memorable TV. Viewers with cable, for example, can subscribe to a beeper-service to alert them whenever a live police car chase comes on air. With those being chased treated as celebrities in their 'hoods, such events have increased by 40% in that admirable city of understatement, Los Angeles, while areas of California where chases aren't broadcast have seen a decline. It all brings a very literal meaning to the phrase, 'car crash TV'.

Canada
In Ontario, Canada's most populous province, speed cameras (usually hidden in vans) were scrapped in 1995 after public anger over them helped the Conservatives win the election, with the provincial premier criticising each device as 'an Orwellian cash machine'. Road deaths fell after the scrapping and have kept falling since, much to opponents' chagrin, we presume. Someone clearly trying to help hike the figures again was a man in Edmonton, prosecuted for driving two cars over the speed limit simultaneously - with two limbs in a RHD car and the others in a LHD car.

France
New laws announced this year to confiscate speeders' cars were partly inspired by about three million of ' les tuners' having converted their ordinary cars into ' voitures customiz?es'. There have been no Burberry berets in evidence, however. There's not much sign of the Entente Cordiale on France's roads, either, with 90% of cars stopped by French police on the A25 south of Calais being British. Police now have unmarked cars capable of 170mph to catch ' les rosbifs' in the act.

United Kingdon
It was during the empirebuilding Victorian period that we became the first country ever to introduce the concept of speedlimiting. In 1865, anything steam or petrol driven was restricted to a maximum two miles per hour. In the absence of cameras, those over the limit were no doubt sketched by an artist hiding in a roadside bush. As a mark of just how far we've come, 150mph was recorded as the highest speed while the driver was using a mobile phone. Let's just hope he was talking rather than texting.

Holland
Despite its reputation as a country where you can do just about anything, Holland is where the speed camera was invented - by Maurice Gatsonides. A motorbike racer and rally driver who did over a million miles in competition, he first developed the 'Gatso-meter' to work out how to take corners at higher speeds. Before he died at the end of the '90s he cursed as inescapable the machine that made his family a fortune but caused him to be fined repeatedly.

Germany
Autobahns famously have no speed restriction, except when shown, tempting drivers from as far away as China to head there with the promise of touching 200kph. Germans themselves claim to be able to handle motorway speeding better than any other nation because they have the lengthiest education and the best engineering. Yet during an experiment in Saxony-Anhalt, 90% of drivers stayed below 80kph on autobahns when told to, despite a guarantee of no legal repercussions.

Finland
The size of a speeding fine in Finland is based on income. Thus it was that Jussi Salonaja, the 27-year-old heir to a sausage empire was fined ?120,000 for doing 80kph in a 40kph zone. If all else fails, police in the city of Oulu have come up with the idea of using a steel harpoon to ram obstinate speeding cars, with the option of a teargas nozzle in the tip. The local police chief said, "Why shouldn't harpooning a car work? It works with whales and they're a lot bigger."

Australia
Two top Welsh bobbies this year spent a week in Victoria studying the state's speed controls, although these proved to be in turmoil due to thousands of licences being wrongly suspended and cameras going haywire. In Queensland, Judge Robert Hall caused controversy by telling a road-rager who had broken the jaw of a slow 82-year-old Volvo driver, "I have to admit I am young enough to sympathise with you - I'm often annoyed by Volvo drivers in their hats who drive more slowly than they should." You can always rely on an Aussie for a spot of crass generalising, eh?

Norway
Recent surveys show Norwegians (and Swedes) to be the slowest drivers in Europe. Most Norwegian motorways have a 90kph (56mph) restriction. Nevertheless, a teenage tearaway clocked at 105mph in a built-up section of Oslo was sentenced, on what was his 10th speeding conviction, to... take lessons as a racing driver. The judge ruled "Another jail sentence won't do any good. If he learns to handle a car at speed he'll be less of a danger."

Italy
European bishops gathered in Rome in 2003 for a conference on 'Christian comportment on the road', including what boiled down to 'thou shalt not go for a burn'. It's perhaps necessary given that an official journal of the carabinieri noted that most Italian drivers 'believe they are closely related to Michael Schumacher'. Schumacher, for his part, joined a campaign to request that Italian drivers stop emulating him. But Italy's transport minister is on record as saying, "All psychologists say that all fast drivers drive better and more carefully."

haz
 

haz

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Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
during an experiment in Saxony-Anhalt, 90% of drivers stayed below 80kph on autobahns when told to, despite a guarantee of no legal repercussions.
Those crazy Germans. :lol:
:lol:

not so crazy Norwegians:
Norway:
"Recent surveys show Norwegians (and Swedes) to be the slowest drivers in Europe. Most Norwegian motorways have a 90kph (56mph) restriction. Nevertheless, a teenage tearaway clocked at 105mph in a built-up section of Oslo was sentenced, on what was his 10th speeding conviction, to... take lessons as a racing driver. The judge ruled "Another jail sentence won't do any good. If he learns to handle a car at speed he'll be less of a danger."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ukd: ot, but what's the deal with your sig:
"If you take everything I've accomplished in my lifetime and condense it into one day, It looks decent"

I'm thinking maybe it's something Arnold said sometime, but seriously ... it's a strange impression to have of yourself, if you ask me.

haz
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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^ It's just what George says on Seinfeld when he pretends to be a tourist in New York to impress a girl - not my philosophy.


Still Norway ->
Recent surveys show Norwegians (and Swedes) to be the slowest drivers in Europe
:thumbsdown: :p
 

haz

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Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
^ It's just what George says on Seinfeld when he pretends to be a tourist in New York to impress a girl - not my philosophy.


oh, I see ... I misunderstood then ... kinda misleading ...

Still Norway ->
Recent surveys show Norwegians (and Swedes) to be the slowest drivers in Europe
:thumbsdown: :p
understand that it's due to our low speed limits. We have lots of one-lane roads that stretches through "bendy" scenary .... so it would be stupid to have high speed limits there....

haz
 
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I think I'd rank my top three best places to drive based on the info above as:
3) Norway
2) Germany
1) Italy
:lol:
 

p0w3r

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Nevertheless, a teenage tearaway clocked at 105mph in a built-up section of Oslo was sentenced, on what was his 10th speeding conviction, to... take lessons as a racing driver. The judge ruled "Another jail sentence won't do any good. If he learns to handle a car at speed he'll be less of a danger."
What an awesome concept!
they should start using that EVERYWHERE! :thumbsup: [/quote]
 

andyhui01

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haz said:
All psychologists say that all fast drivers drive better and more carefully
This is so true... if you drive slowly... you get sleepy and tired and therefore loose concentration... however when you are driving fast, you know that one little mistake can cause your life, you concentrate very hard.
 

justin syder

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But even professional race drivers, driving far faster, crash too.

It doesnt matter how much training you get you will eventually crash. Being sleepy, tired or loosing concetration doesnt have anything to do with driving slow. You can be tired, sleepy and loose concentration while driving fast too, ask some Gumballers ;)
 

asthenia

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I could rant all night about speed limits, but there's one thing that must be said.

Lay off the guy doing 10 over the limit, and go after the lady who's reading a book and almost ran me off the road.
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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The answer is (as always) free market capitalism. Abolish the speed limits, and if you get in accidents then you won't be able to insure your vehicle. ;)
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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If they were uninsured, then they wouldn't be allowed to drive - that would be another problem altogether I guess, but at least you would be responsible for how safe you drive, not how fast. :thumbsup:
 

zenon

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asthenia said:
I could rant all night about speed limits, but there's one thing that must be said.

Lay off the guy doing 10 over the limit, and go after the lady who's reading a book and almost ran me off the road.
That is so true.

I see more people doing reckless and retarded things under or at the speed limit than I do over the speed limit.
 

nosispower

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Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
I changed my mind about my proposal, because it would basically allow loaded people to drive like maniacs.
I agree with your old statement, if we took away speed limits, people can assess their opportunity costs of speeding and make their own decisions. This doesn't give them the license to drive like assholes, just quickly. Things like changing lanes without signaling or tailgating would of course still be illegal.

I drove at 20mph above the speed limit most of the time and I end up cutting in and out of the fast lane (but in a safe manner with large passings arcs). This is in no way unsafe, it's much safer than the idiot in the slow lane trying to put makeup on in the rearview mirror. But of course, I'd be the one heavily fined.
 

AutoMX

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Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
I changed my mind about my proposal, because it would basically allow loaded people to drive like maniacs.

And how is this not the case already? You have no idea how many tickets rich people get here on a regular basis. "One for the road" :lol:


Oh and the Gumball?!? :p
 

Overheat

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I believe firmly in speed limits, they save many lives. Although I don't believe that insurance should be necessary to drive a car.
 

Mischief007

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Overheat said:
Although I don't believe that insurance should be necessary to drive a car.
Ditto. Or at least normal insurance payments. If the companies are making 700% profit then there is a problem.
 
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