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DT Ralge

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About DT Ralge

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    Junior Rugby Coach

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  1. I couldn't agree more. I'm glad someone else can see past what could be just a media frenzy. Without a truly in-depth analysis of the 38 fatalities (in 5 years of "smart" relative to the 450+ total motorway death toll) i.e. a laying out of all the where's, how, how long for and the why's, no-one will know the true level of relative safety across the network. I repeat myself, I know, when I ask why there is no clamour to do something about all the dual-carriageways with no hard shoulder together with: much shorter lines of vision; lay-bys hidden around a corner; roads crossing (in places); desperately short on- and off-ramps on occasions (and even GiveWay lines). Why is there no clamour, furthermore, to get drivers to make smarter, safer choices and decisions?
  2. On the broad assumption that a car is driven in top gear at both 60 and 70mph, what do we do as drivers (without a downward slope and a tailwind) to get the vehicle to and keep it at 70 rather than lose speed and drop back to 60.? Do we inject more pedal power, fruit juice, air, water or magic dust into the engine?
  3. I'm repeating myself - a steadier queue of traffic all moving at around the same speed, 60, with little motivation for drivers to change lanes to overtake and no point in acceleration followed by braking. Brake lights, in themselves, cause others to brake (the ripple effect) and generates a pattern of stop/start traffic and unnecessary tailbacks. A lowered speed limit is targeted at controlling drivers' expectations and there are benefits to be had from this steadier, one speed, flowing queue, including fewer jams, lower emissions and pollution.
  4. Copying from an earlier post against which I can’t argue (laws of physics, I’m told): ”At both those speeds almost all the effort is in overcoming air resistance, which is proportional to velocity squared. So travelling at 70 requires about 36% more effort than travelling at 60 does. It would be a very strange engine that could produce 36% more power output for a marginal increase in fuel consumption.” No-one argued against this point when it was made. Can anyone sink the basis of this argument, whether or not it takes a degree in Physics.
  5. Indeed., but until it happens, many drivers are unaware how scary it is. My training angle is to accept and read the roads as they are and to encourage drivers to think and plan more deeply (from driveway to on the road) than their default relaxed, casual even, lack of attention to detail . All too often, their casual approach to stuff means that they don’t manage to avoid that breakdown or bump. Blaming Councils and/or HE is too easy. Drivers need to take ownership and responsibility and not be quite so reliant on all sorts of technology ... that way they may just finish up as better, more astute risk managers. Pigs might fly, though.
  6. Thanks for that insight - what I wonder though is whether this optimal fuel burn rate is theoretical in the sense that it takes no account of wind resistance. Seriously, I am in the belief that any marginal savings in top gear between 60 and 70 on a test bed are far outweighed by increased wind resistance in the real world. I wouldn’t bet my house on it but ...
  7. https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/9703443/thousands-brits-crash-vehicles-stopped-on-hard-shoulder-every-year/ ... a quick google reveals. They should be safe, indeed, but you need to know the truth of the matter.
  8. Not at all, but my point hinges on such fine detail. People have always died on the hard shoulder. It is the most dangerous of all motorway lanes. Returning, therefore, to motorways with hard shoulders isn’t necessarily the answer. I repeat, I’m not a fan (I’d brick it if I broke down on “smart” and bricking it even more on the A38/61/1...) but drivers make bad decisions on all types of road and my training work involves helping drivers to make better decisions and choices. That’s my only angle. Part of that detail involves the where, when, for how long and why. All too often you and I see broken down drivers and passengers standing, sitting in a very dangerous position on the hard shoulder, positions that have contributed elsewhere and at other times to serious injury and worse.
  9. You may have the figures on deaths on motorways year by year, splitting: - deaths on conventional and smart - by mile or per thousand road users - by time of day - by contributory factors I know I don't, as yet. Without an in-depth analysis like this, we might well be being sucked into a media hype of blame HE. I may be wrong, indeed, but I go back to my suggestion that "smart" (called this for reasons of installed technology) may be no more dangerous than other roads such as d/c's without hard shoulders because both offer repeated instances of blocked vision ahead for drivers. Unless, of course, drivers are encouraged to understand and deal with the hazard as it is. Until drivers realise this and drive "to the conditions" (limited vision), horrendous incidents will continue to occur on all road types.
  10. Old , well-worn topic, that. Fact: a huge number of motorway speeders in this area are invited to attend a motorway speed awareness course. These are run by TTC (in South Yorkshire) and AA-Drivetech (in Derbyshire). Highways England who are proposing this reduction do not benefit in any way from the "revenue" generated. TTC and AADT do by contrast and it keeps a few of my ex-colleagues quite busy but none of them have any say over speed enforcement on any roads. SYP, you are right, expressed their concerns about smart m/w's so they have little interest in the "revenue" generated by speed enforcement on them. In truth, they take an unknown-to-me % of the course fees to cover their admin of the courses that is reasonably charged to cover everything from the regular tender process to run the courses to the daily oversight of course delivery by means of both out-of-town and unannounced mystery shoppers and by announced/uniformed even sit-at-the-back attendance.
  11. Poor, unintelligent drivers won’t go away, I’m afraid. My training inputs and efforts are astonishingly puny in this. The authorities are moving to a more authoritarian approach with a planned permanent (?) imposition of a lower speed limit. I haven’t read anything that suggests they may loosen their control of speed at quiet times (that would be a better bet for me). Driver compliance levels tend to be lower in the face of a lack of information and of rank disinformation from sections of the motoring lobby. They don’t engage in too many public information campaigns these days and I hope to inform, film in any gaps and re-balance the discussion. Targeting J33-34 comes from a very uncomfortable truth, namely that the air quality around there is, well, very poor.
  12. We don’t need to know that percentage saving. All we need to know is that we have consumed less fuel and given out less emissions if we cover a set distance at 60 rather than at 70 (if it’s not downhill with a following wind etc). What else gets us to 70 rather than 60? More time on that stretch of motorway, yes, BECAUSE we’ve not pressed the accelerator as much. In addition, why is disproportionately more fuel consumed in top gear at even marginally higher speeds? The answer is increasing air resistance and that’s massive in my Ducato relative to my Ibiza so the reduction in emissions across the board (small hatchback to Sprinter) from a 10mph speed reduction is not to be sniffed at for those living in Tinsley, for example. and it ain’t a theme just in the UK https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/press/pressinformation/speed-limits-on-motorways-clearly-cut-down-co2
  13. So, you are agreeing with me perhaps that motorway driving is potentially where driver attention levels drop. Back into the anti-smart motorway sentiments expressed here, I’m no fan of them. What I’d like to have drivers realise is that you can’t just function on autopilot and point your vehicle down the road on these, anymore than you can do that on your regular dual-carriageways.
  14. Not sure a valid point is vaguely valid. Is that a bit like being vaguely pregnant? I’m not pushing anything down anyone’s throat. Just trying to add in some info’ to make this discussion intelligent and balanced.
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