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Speed traps, or "revenue generators."

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  • #16
    I am strongly in favour of enforcing speed limits - but only when such speed limits are sensible. Have road engineers (yes, such a profession exists) set the speed limit according to the climate, the shape and camber of the road, the quality of the road surface, the traffic pattern, and the pattern of pedestrian traffic. Yes, set school zones. Set 'safety' zones around hospitals as well, and give fire and ambulance stations special traffic lights or something to give them priority when needed.

    But set the change in speed limit far enough away from the hazard to give a driver fair warning - or set up signs providing that warning. And if you're posting speed cameras or manned radars, do so somewhere safe but as part of the hazard area, not immediately after the change.

    Human beings have a minimum reaction time. Our cars also have a minimum 'reaction time' - as in, from the moment your foot touches the brake until the speed starts to slow is a finite but definite amount of time. Your speed affects how far you travel during that minimum time.
    In addition, your speed affects how far you travel while your vehicle is braking; and how much force has to be absorbed if you actually hit someone/something.

    Road engineers are supposed to calculate the reasonable speed for a road based on all those factors, as well as the safety features such as crumple zones in vehicles, passenger cages, seat belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes - and the fact that a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian has none of those.

    Anyway: I think my point is that I dunno about you, but I sure as shit can't make all those calculations.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Password View Post
      Could you not take that to a higher level? If that magistrate is not overturning tickets when the limit wasn't even signed then they should be under investigation.
      Unfortunately, SW PA is well-known for political corruption. It would have been my word against theirs. I have a feeling that if I did choose to fight it, a 25mph speed limit sign or two would have "magically" appeared in the meantime.


      • #18
        I've always found these topics to be interesting, simply because while I believe they happen, I don't have much first-hand experience about them.

        In the 15-ish years I've driven, I've got a speeding ticket and a red light ticket. Each of those times were totally my bad. The speeding ticket was me not paying attention to my speedometer on an open stretch of highway, and the red light ticket was a result of me misjudging the length of a yellow light, making me a second too late to cross the intersection (and it was a doubly idiotic thing for me to do, since that intersection is notorious for accidents).

        Now, there was a time I got pulled over for speeding in a well-known and unreasonable speed trap, where the speed limit was 25 on a rural street and it was on the end of a steep hill. I got pulled over doing 30, and ironically, I got just a warning, so I can't even legitimately claim that the speed trap was specifically for revenue generation.

        I agree with Seshat, though. Plus, having reasonable speed limits would make people take them more seriously. There's an unwritten rule around here that cops won't pull you over until you're doing at least 10 above the speed limit on most major roads, and even then it's only if you're going considerably faster than the traffic around you or you're being aggressive. That encourages people to simply ignore speed limits (or take them as "suggestions") and increases accident rates in areas where it isn't safe to do 10 over the limit.


        • #19
          It seriously chaps my ass to have people whinging about speeding tickets and then bitching me out for pointing out it is a *speed limit* not a *required speed* when I mention that I frequently will drive 5 or so miles per hour under the speed *limit*. I leave for appointments/work with a suitable amount of slop time [calculated by weather and general traffic for the time and locations] so I *don't* have to be in a hurry. I have not gotten a speeding ticket in roughly 35 years. I have gotten stopped once for a dead break light, and warned.


          • #20
            Originally posted by EricKei View Post
            There were routinely *more* than enough speeders to meet quota, and the Council knew it. It was purely a show of power, and not needed in any way.
            I hope some of the cops practiced "malicious compliance" - and $Diety help the council member who was half a mile per hour over the limit. After all, THEY had demanded increased enforcement of the speed limit.


            • #21
              Back when it was safe for me to drive, I would also routinely travel at 5km/h short of the limit; and less if the weather conditions were bad, or something else relevent was a problem.

              Sometimes if the traffic was travelling faster than I thought wise, I'd travel at the traffic speed anyway: because by travelling slower I felt that I would myself pose a hazard.
              That nearly killed me one day. I skidded in a place where there was nowhere safe to steer out of the skid: buildings in all directions except the ones where cars were. All the space I had was the width of my lane, plus my following distance.

              (Yes, I steered out of the skid in time.)


              • #22
                Not to mention some cops are complete idiots. My husband just received a bill in the mail from the DMV claiming he was pulled over and has no insurance, he does have insurance and he wasn't pulled over. It looks like his ex wife was pulled over and she gave the cop his name and birthday as her own and the cop believed her without ID.