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DT Ralge

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Everything posted by DT Ralge

  1. Have you found that they are super-busy and can't offer lessons anytime soon?
  2. Refer to https://www.bluelightaware.org.uk/#watch, perhaps
  3. “Most of the episode” had nothing to do with the “German sketch” at all - the brilliance of this episode is that most of it prepares us for a Basil who has totally lost it. Your “was about as PC as ...” suggests you’ve never seen it. As for its offensiveness, we could do with understanding that the German bit was written to highlight the absurdity and stupidity of a “little Englander” approach to the world as well as to ridicule our ra-ra never-let-go obsession with 1939-45, in sharp contrast with, say, the French and Germans.
  4. You may or may not be right about "teaching to pass" - but that's quite a sweeping statement on ADI competence levels. That's based on your personal knowledge of just how many ADI's? From where I'm stood, I can take an informed view. Maybe you can, too. I note, though, that on the subject of "joining dual-carriageways" you have backed away from answering my "what would you teach?" question.
  5. "we need better drivers" - I agree. To prove that your view of joining such a road is not just macho, gung-ho and simplistic, you'll be able to put in writing what you would tell a novice driver to do on this slip-road. It is, after all, just a short drive from the DVSA test centre. - what speed to get to before merging, if there is an optimum speed. - does this vary and how would you know? - what gear would you recommend to be in for flexibility and responsiveness prior to merging? - how would you guide the pupil through his/her lack of vision on the carriageway until quite late on? - how much time do you have at the end to merge at the speed you recommend. Is it sometimes better to have a little more time than a minimum and to be able to respond flexibly to the road and traffic conditions? How would you know? - how would would you advise your novice when following another vehicle up the slip road ( a car, a van, a truck) - what is their speed limit or acceleration pattern/power?
  6. Once you hand over the job of interpreting data generated by vehicle telematics to a commercial operator like an insurance company, there’s bound to be issues. In the business and transport world the same harsh interpretation of the data can be made by a transport/fleet safety manager. Broadly speaking, though, telematics data give a good and accurate overview of the relativity of driving styles for further investigation and training. Insurance companies don’t respond with training, sadly Driving standards have dropped, I’m sure, but I’d be hard-pressed to find any reliable and valid data to support that empirical observation. Human nature is to push against barriers and bend rules. Take away traffic cars, you are right, you remove the stick and drivers get away with more rule-bending and rule-breaking - it becomes almost the norm for drivers to ignore amber/red “STOP” lights, for instance. The solution is to have more cops and that is being addressed to get back to the level of 2010. Cameras are a necessity because you could never put enough PC’s on the beat to cover all the bases. ANPR is a massive asset in fighting crime of all sorts - crim’s use vehicles. Societally, driving standards could do with being raised up. That’s down to drivers taking responsibility and wanting to improve their driving skills and knowledge, not the Police. That is almost totally lacking - very, very few drivers present themselves voluntarily for further driver training. The Police diversionary schemes’ training has addressed this for years as has company driver training but these interventions tend to be a once-in-blue-moon event and they are no substitute for continuous driver self-awareness and development.
  7. To answer your opening question, yes, they will. we seem hell-bent on technological solutions having given up on solving the real issue (the driver). My take on technology: give me 10 bits of kit and technological wizardry and 10 drivers and I’ll give you 100 ways they’ll still **** it up. And this is broadly true because, at the drop of a hat, drivers become over-reliant on technology without researching or truly understanding the limitations of the technology. For example: - ABS - on-board tyre pressure monitoring - tyre tread - parking sensors - reversing cameras - cruise control - ...
  8. I’m not sure that we are agreeing or not. Driver attention levels clearly vary, sometimes by road type. But there isn’t, unfortunately, an easy, clear split between “heavily congested” and “open road” when it comes to driver attention levels. Motorways are thought of as boring and monotonous and allow a lower level of focus to be “normal”, let's say but not exactly healthy. Fatigue and low-level focus have obvious potential for being contributory factors in crashes but they are hard to pin down because drivers on report are coy with the truth. Drivers are equally prone to lower level of focus on all-too-familiar roads close to home and work - many crashes happen with 5 miles of home and/or work. They are equally slow or unable to spot the danger on rural trunk roads, at junctions; they take chances that don’t always work out for them.
  9. I have never liked the use of the HC stopping distance table. It may or may not be out of date as you suggest. In training sessions, I lay out an argument that at the 20, 30 and 40mph end of the table, the advances in braking systems and the resultant shortening of braking distances are most likely wholly lost in the longer reaction speeds suggested by my own observations, recent research by Direct Line and a very powerful first-hand account of a fatal crash inquest. (The HC allows for just 0.66 seconds reaction time.) 20,30 and 40 zones are precisely the road (speed) contexts where the bulk of vulnerables die that represent more than half of the total death toll.
  10. Quite right. But our focus on speed alone misses the point in my view and the authorities are at long last realising it. “At long last” because the Germans have been doing this for a very long time - over here, they are only now trialling speed/space technology I.e. to fine drivers who they perceive to be tailgating. This is good in my view because speed on its own doesn’t kill. Running out of space is a lot worse. One negative about their approach, though, from my standpoint is that they are using the word “tailgating”. Most drivers would not think of themselves as “tailgating”. Many/most drivers in my book are guilty of driving too close.
  11. Most (70% in round figures) injury collisions occur in urban areas. Most road deaths (60%-ish) occur on rural roads so, therefore, not that “local”. Driver behaviour is, indeed, a huge factor. Behaviour is derived from stuff like attitude, beliefs, knowledge, emotions, values, external and internal pressures and drivers ...
  12. Speed, indeed, does not kill. Impact speed does, though, and every single mph over any given speed makes a massive and disproportionate difference to the force of any resultant coming-together. When you quote percentages, be wary of inferring irrefutable fact. The more complex truth is that the Police Stats19 report (from where KSI stats are derived) allows them to select from a wide range (78?) of contributory factors. Their summary on page4 allows them to rank up to 6 of their selected contributory factors. Your reporting simple percentages above is misleading, only tells part of the story and is plain simplistic and wrong. German Autobahns are not an advert for good outcomes from high speed on their unlimited sections. Check here (https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Verkehrsunfaelle/_inhalt.html)
  13. NSL is not 70, actually. It varies for the vehicle and for the type of road but I’m sure you know that ...
  14. 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?
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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 ...
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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