PDA

View Full Version : Would You Let The Government Control the Speed of Your Vehicle?



Unassisted
07-05-2005, 07:38 PM
Drivers in London are weighing whether to do this in exchange for reduced highway tolls.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1678707,00.html


Forget cameras - spy device will cut drivers’ speed by satellite
Dipesh Gadher, Transport Correspondent
http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gif IT IS the ultimate back seat driver. Motorists face having their cars fitted with a “spy” device that stops speeding. The satellite-based system will monitor the speed limit and apply the brakes or cut out the accelerator if the driver tries to exceed it. A government-funded trial has concluded that the scheme promotes safer driving.

Drivers in London could be among the first to have the “speed spy” devices fitted. They would be offered a discount on the congestion charge if they use the system.

The move follows a six-month trial in Leeds using 20 modified Skoda Fabias, which found that volunteer drivers paid more attention as well keeping to the speed limit. More than 1,000 lives a year could be saved if the system was fitted to all Britain’s cars, say academics at Leeds University, who ran the trial on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT).

It is part of a two-year research project into “intelligent speed adaptation” (ISA), which the department is funding at a cost of £2m. Results of the initial trial will be presented to ministers this week.

A study commissioned by London’s transport planners has recommended that motorists who install it should be rewarded with a discount on the congestion charge, which tomorrow rises to £8 a day.

The trial Skodas were fitted with a black box containing a digital map identifying the speed limits of every stretch of road in Leeds. A satellite positioning system tracked the cars’ locations.

The device compared the car’s speed with the local limit — displayed on the dashboard — and sent a signal to the accelerator or brake pedal to slow if it was too fast. The system can be overridden to avoid a hazard.

“The trials have been incredibly successful,” said Oliver Carsten, project leader and professor of transport safety at Leeds University.

The DfT says it has no plans to make speed limiters mandatory but admits that it is considering creating a digital map of all Britain’s roads which would pave the way for a national ISA system.

Edmund King, of the RAC Foundation, said limiters might make motorists less alert: “If you take too much control away the driver could switch on to autopilot.”

RBA
07-05-2005, 07:53 PM
The military tried something like this back in the 80's, it was called a governor. I hated the damn thing.

SunDeck
07-05-2005, 08:07 PM
The military tried something like this back in the 80's, it was called a governor. I hated the damn thing.
Had one on a truck I drove for Edelmanns. Hated it. I can see the point, but I wonder how it would deal with those situations where you decide to jump up to 80mph so that you can get around a truck and keep that ---hole in the BMW behind you from getting stuck in your tailpipe?

Reds Nd2
07-05-2005, 08:23 PM
The military tried something like this back in the 80's, it was called a governor. I hated the damn thing.

North Carolina tried it too, but they called theirs a senator. John Edwards, I believe. Slowed down all forward progress. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Now that was meant as nothing more than a lame joke. Please, I hope no one takes offense. It wasn't intended that way at all. Just a play off RBA's post and trying to get a chuckle out of everyone.

To answer the question seriously, no I wouldn't want to allow the government any more control over my life than they already have, which is entirely too much in my opinion.

RedsBaron
07-05-2005, 08:38 PM
No way.
Now if they come up with a way of putting it on my vehicles a couple of years from now when my sons begin to drive, I'd consider it! ;)

Ravenlord
07-06-2005, 04:27 AM
i don't think it would work in this country. the state/county are far too reliant on the income of the tickets issued.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 09:39 AM
I wouldn't mind if the kill switches were set at 80 mph -- high enough to give you a chance to pass someone on the highway. Of course, if they were set that high, then why have them at all?

I'm in favor of remote speed cameras and video monitoring, though. I shouldn't be prevented from speeding, but if I *choose* to speed, I'll suffer the consequences.

WVRed
07-06-2005, 09:39 AM
Can you imagine the wrecks? :eek:

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 09:47 AM
Huh.

Amusing... if people actually obeyed speed limits and laws of the road, I don't imagine this would even be an issue.

Me, I wouldn't care at all. Give me a five mph cushion and I'm good to go. As for the passing argument.... if you've got to break the speed limit to pass another vehicle, maybe you don't need to pass them. Crazy-talk, I know.

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 09:48 AM
I shouldn't be prevented from speeding, but if I *choose* to speed, I'll suffer the consequences.

You just said you shouldn't be prevented from breaking the law.

Funny.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 10:09 AM
You just said you shouldn't be prevented from breaking the law.

Yeah. Free will and all that. If you catch me in the act, then punish me and I'll accept the consequences.

You shouldn't get a ticket for "attempted speeding."

Murder is illegal. Planning a murder is illegal. But that doesn't mean I should be prevented from owning guns, knives, bludgeons, etc.

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 10:34 AM
Yeah. Free will and all that. If you catch me in the act, then punish me and I'll accept the consequences.

You shouldn't get a ticket for "attempted speeding."

Murder is illegal. Planning a murder is illegal. But that doesn't mean I should be prevented from owning guns, knives, bludgeons, etc.

So if no one catches you speeding, you didn't speed?

There's no such thing as "attempted speeding." Either you did or you didn't.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 10:42 AM
So if no one catches you speeding, you didn't speed?

There's no such thing as "attempted speeding." Either you did or you didn't.
Well, that's what speed/traffic cameras are for.

I understand the point of this, but I think it could also be dangerous. There are times when I legitimately *need* to exceed the speed limit--for instance, I've been trapped in the center or left lane with no way to get over (either a truck or some jerk who won't let me) and I need to speed up momentarily in order to get to my exit.

I'm inclined to go with Johnny on this one. If I get caught, fine. But this, to me, is just one more step towards that Big brother society that has cameras everywhere tracking everything you do. Sure, it will cut down on crime, but what else?

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 11:08 AM
So if no one catches you speeding, you didn't speed?

No, I just managed to avoid the consequences. If the consequences were more severe, or if I got caught more frequently, then I wouldn't speed as much. But the fact that I can speed frequently and get away with it reinforces the belief that what I'm doing isn't all that "wrong."

And, as registerthis pointed out, there are times when one might legitimately need to break the speed limit. If my wife had just been taken to the emergency room, you can bet I'd be speeding to the hospital.


I'm inclined to go with Johnny on this one. If I get caught, fine. But this, to me, is just one more step towards that Big brother society that has cameras everywhere tracking everything you do. Sure, it will cut down on crime, but what else?

Well, before you agree with me totally, I do have to remind you that I'm *in favor* of speed cameras and remote monitoring. It goes back to what I said earlier in this post -- if speeding is "wrong," then find a better way of punishing us for it so we don't keep doing it.

RedFanAlways1966
07-06-2005, 11:19 AM
There are times when I legitimately *need* to exceed the speed limit--for instance, I've been trapped in the center or left lane with no way to get over (either a truck or some jerk who won't let me) and I need to speed up momentarily in order to get to my exit.

I don't know, register. Some people might argue that you should have gotten in the right lane sooner and taken an extra 15-30 seconds (if that much) to get to your exit. Prepare sooner for the exit that you knew all along that you are going to take, they might say. Honestly I can never see a legitimate reason to speed. That is why police can give you a citation no matter what the driver's reasoning may be.

I am like zombie... give me a 5-7 mph cushion and I am okay. If people who can do the math crunched the numbers, you'd be disgusted at how much time people actually save by doing 75mph rather than 65mph on the highway. It is all relative to the total distance traveled of course, but the time diff. is not at all significant compared to the damage that you and your passenger (and other drivers) may get w/ an accident at higher speeds.

I would not have a problem if all engines were limited to say 75mph (some western highways have 75mph limits). I see no reason for an individual to drive or need to drive over 75mph ever.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 11:28 AM
I don't know, register. Some people might argue that you should have gotten in the right lane sooner and taken an extra 15-30 seconds (if that much) to get to your exit. Prepare sooner for the exit that you knew all along that you are going to take, they might say. Honestly I can never see a legitimate reason to speed. That is why police can give you a citation no matter what the driver's reasoning may be.
What I'm saying is, can you honestly tell me you would never envision a scenario where you would need to go above 70 mph? (Or, 60 in the cities?)

it's easy to say that "Well, you should just have gotten over sooner", but you don't know the situation. In Columbus, for example, when I lived there and had to drive to work in the morning, i came down 315 to 70 East, and had to exit at Front St. I had all of perhaps 1/2 a mile to navigate across four lanes of Interstate traffic. Preventing me from going faster than 60 MPH would have been unduly dangerous in that situation.

If a cop catches me doing it and wants to ticket me, fine. I probably wouldn't even argue. But this just seems dangerous and unduly limiting to me.

Roy Tucker
07-06-2005, 11:30 AM
I posted this over in the Peanut Gallery and thought it was applicable here as well...

Good article about traffic flow from last Friday's WSJ...

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/article_print/0,,SB112017450218974799-Ihjg4NnlaR4oZuvZYGGaaaCm4,00.html

Reds Nd2
07-06-2005, 12:09 PM
Honestly I can never see a legitimate reason to speed. That is why police can give you a citation no matter what the driver's reasoning may be.

I am like zombie... give me a 5-7 mph cushion and I am okay.

I'm just curious why you and Zombie feel the need to have a cushion then? If your both resolute in your opinions about speeding, and I'm not implying otherwise, why the need to be able to exceed the posted speed limit by 5-7 mph? I'm not trying to bait either one of you, I just found that odd, considering your positions on speeding.

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 12:27 PM
I'm just curious why you and Zombie feel the need to have a cushion then? If your both resolute in your opinions about speeding, and I'm not implying otherwise, why the need to be able to exceed the posted speed limit by 5-7 mph? I'm not trying to bait either one of you, I just found that odd, considering your positions on speeding.

Because if I hit 58 in a 55 while, say, going downhill or something, I'd rather control of my vehicle not be taken away from me due to a +3mph "geographically-induced" indiscretion. You can accidentally hit 56, 57, 59, whatever unintentionally before you realize you're speeding and ease up on the pedal. I've done it myself. And I don't argue that a little variance in speed between vehicles isn't conducive to a smoother flow of traffic.

The way I see it is this - whatever you put the regulators at, that, minus 2-3mph, is how fast people are going to drive. They'll push as far as they can go. So you set the regulator at a max speed where the most people will follow the posted speed limit.

As an aside, pretty much everyone I know feels comfortable driving at ~10mph over the posted speed limit because it's common knowledge (or urban lore) that the police won't pull you over if you're just a few mph over the limit. That's the way people work. Push the boundaries as firmly as you think you can get away with it. It's the new morality. it doesn't matter if it's wrong, it only matters if you can get away with it or not.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 12:30 PM
That's the way people work. Push the boundaries as firmly as you think you can get away with it. It's the new morality. it doesn't matter if it's wrong, it only matters if you can get away with it or not.
Well who's to say that driving 70 in a 60 is morally wrong?

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 12:32 PM
Well who's to say that driving 70 in a 60 is morally wrong?

Who's to say breaking the law is wrong?

Anyway, I don't posit that 70 in a 60 is morally wrong. I said that's the 'new morality.' :D Every culture comes to decide for itself what is right and wrong.

Not judging, but observing.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 12:40 PM
Who's to say breaking the law is wrong?
Hah, that's a WHOLE other topic there. :D

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 12:45 PM
Push the boundaries as firmly as you think you can get away with it. It's the new morality. it doesn't matter if it's wrong, it only matters if you can get away with it or not.

Exactly. Although I don't think this kind of morality is new at all.

So if speeding is a problem that people want to correct, then the consequences need to be greater and delivered with more frequency. Taking away an individual's choice whether to break the law or not isn't an answer I'm in favor of. To me, THAT smacks of 1984, A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and all those other cautionary tales.

zombie-a-go-go
07-06-2005, 12:53 PM
Taking away an individual's choice whether to break the law or not isn't an answer I'm in favor of. To me, THAT smacks of 1984, A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and all those other cautionary tales.

I get your point, and philosophically I agree with it, but how far do you want to extrapolate that line of reasoning out to?

We don't let sex offenders live near schools anymore.

rdiersin
07-06-2005, 01:03 PM
I don't know if I am the only one here that thinks this or not, but this spy device seems like a slippery slope. The devices and installation would have to be monitored very well, because I am sure it wouldn't take much to then start tracking where everyone goes. I for one am not in favor of the govt knowing my every move, even though whoever was watching would be thoroughly bored. Maybe that's a bit too farfetched, but it is something to consider.

Roy Tucker
07-06-2005, 01:04 PM
I drive as fast as conditions safely allow based upon my judgement.

If I'm in the middle of a big bunch of interstate traffic, I go with the flow. No sense in risking life and limb to switch lanes a gazillion times just to get there 30 seconds sooner.

But if I'm on the interstate out in the middle of nowhere with nobody around, I'll put the pedal to the metal and make some serious time.

Except for when I drive through Georgia where I have to drive 80 just to keep up with traffic and avoid getting run down by a semi.

RedFanAlways1966
07-06-2005, 01:06 PM
Taking away an individual's choice whether to break the law or not isn't an answer I'm in favor of.

In this case I have no problem with taking it away. If it was so simple to take away something that violates the law, then I would do it. Limiting a car's speed limit is a simple fix. Of course you'd have guys making money under the table by "fixing" the limit. There is no reason for people to drive 80mph. NONE. You can give me all kinds of reasons... relative in hospital, need to catch that exit, cause I just feel the need to do as I please. None of them are good reasons. Speed kills. Ask any State Highway Trooper and they will tell you many stories. I am sure the pictures from these accident scenes tell an even better story. And I am sure that all those now dead speeders thought they could handle it... don't we all?

Sure people die in accidents that happen at or below the speed limit. But try to argue that the situation is not compounded further by speed and I will say that someone is wrong.

Me also thinks that communities rely on the money that speeding citations generate. I think that is why this simplistic idea has never come forth. Money talks, dead speeders walk (not literally of course).

rdiersin
07-06-2005, 01:09 PM
I drive as fast as conditions safely allow based upon my judgement.

If I'm in the middle of a big bunch of interstate traffic, I go with the flow. No sense in risking life and limb to switch lanes a gazillion times just to get there 30 seconds sooner.

But if I'm on the interstate out in the middle of nowhere with nobody around, I'll put the pedal to the metal and make some serious time.

Except for when I drive through Georgia where I have to drive 80 just to keep up with traffic and avoid getting run down by a semi.

I'm with you on this Roy, except if I am in IL, then going with the flow means I'm going about 90, and I don't want to quite risk that.

Roy Tucker
07-06-2005, 01:13 PM
If you have OnStar, they know all this stuff already.

And there are other devices and services sold under the guise of fleet management but have been marketed to parents wanting to keep track of hte driving habits of their kids...

http://www.networkcar.com/networkcar/pub/main

I. GPS meets your car's black box

Networkcar is a startup based in San Diego that tracks your car with the GPS network. It's pretty simple to deploy.

The device is mounted under a car's dashboard.

One antenna receives GPS positioning signals and another transmits data over a wireless network shared with Blackberry PDAs.

A wire plugs into the OBD II diagnostics port that's been built into most U.S.-sold cars since 1996.

The OBD II diagnostics port allows mechanics to do smog certification and other tests; and tuners use it to hack the car's chip-based performance parameters.

Every two minutes, the Networkcar device transmits the car's location to a database server, while diagnostic data is transmitted every 20 minutes.

After the hardware is installed on a given automobile, authorized persons can log on to networkcar.com to check that car's current temperature, gas mileage, emissions control, or its location and velocity via GPS. In a development long-feared by privacy advocates, the site will calculate and display a history of how fast the car has been driven, as well as where. The $995 installation fee includes service for one year; it's $9.95 per month after that.

What are the benefits?

According to Networkcar, at least one stolen vehicle has been recovered with the technology.

The service can be set to e-mail the owner if the car leaves a defined space.

In California, Networkcar will automatically mail the required smog certificate to the state, which saves a trip to a testing station when the license is renewed.

Outside California, the service improves on dashboard gauges with more detailed information on engine performance, including notification that an exhaust gas is above state-approved levels.

The combination of GPS and network connectivity also allows Networkcar to dispatch roadside assistance to a precise location.

For many adults, the loss of privacy in a technology long celebrated for its freedom (especially if records are subpoenaed) will make Networkcar unattractive, especially at a high price. Parents, however, may flock to Networkcar as their children learn to drive and gain vehicular access to the various temptations of adolescence. Similarly, owners of vehicle fleets (pizza delivery or service trucks come to mind) may want to keep tabs on their employees' doings.

Either way, it looks like telematics for a wide, if not mass, market.

http://www.networkcar.com/
http://www.obdii.com/

Reds Nd2
07-06-2005, 01:27 PM
Because if I hit 58 in a 55 while, say, going downhill or something, I'd rather control of my vehicle not be taken away from me due to a +3mph "geographically-induced" indiscretion. You can accidentally hit 56, 57, 59, whatever unintentionally before you realize you're speeding and ease up on the pedal. I've done it myself. And I don't argue that a little variance in speed between vehicles isn't conducive to a smoother flow of traffic.

The way I see it is this - whatever you put the regulators at, that, minus 2-3mph, is how fast people are going to drive. They'll push as far as they can go. So you set the regulator at a max speed where the most people will follow the posted speed limit.

As an aside, pretty much everyone I know feels comfortable driving at ~10mph over the posted speed limit because it's common knowledge (or urban lore) that the police won't pull you over if you're just a few mph over the limit. That's the way people work. Push the boundaries as firmly as you think you can get away with it. It's the new morality. it doesn't matter if it's wrong, it only matters if you can get away with it or not.

Thanks for the explanation. I agree that people are going to push the bounderies of what they can get away with. I don't think theres anything new about it though. I'd suspect that people have been pushing limits since the beginning of time.

While I'm totally against the installation of devices like was mentioned in the article, I do agree that they would need to be set in a way that would maximize the effectivness of the device. Like you said, getting the most people to follow the speed limit. This brings up another thought I had. While I don't think you've mentioned whether or not you favor such devices, how would you feel about the same device being used to speed up slower moving vehicles ? It's really the flip side of the same coin, getting people to adhere to the posted speed limit. I guess the argument would be that accidents involving slower moving vehicles may not be as fatal, but it seems to me they can be just as dangerous. If nothing else, slower moving traffic has the tendancy to make others want to drive faster, at least for me. Just curious what you and others thought about it.

Thanks again for the explanation but one thing I want to comment on about it and it's more about the device than it is your post. This just seems like a good spot to get this off my chest. The use of the speed control devices is meant to take away the drivers control of their own vehicle, period, whatever limit is put on it. Be it plus 3-5 mph or even higher, it is still taking away the drivers control. You seem fine with that as long as you have a safety cushion and your reasoning for that is sound. I, on the other hand, abhor the loss of control and wouldn't be happy with it, no matter what the limit was set at.

registerthis
07-06-2005, 02:13 PM
Here in D.C., if you aren't driving 80 on the Beltway, you will be honked at, cursed at, flipped off, flashed by high beams and cut off.

Frequently by the same guy at the same time.

Johnny Footstool
07-06-2005, 03:22 PM
We don't let sex offenders live near schools anymore.

Right, but they can still go in the vicinity of schools, visit friends who live near schools, etc. They are not being *prevented* from committing a crime. They still have control.

GAC
07-06-2005, 03:39 PM
I thought they controlled it already? It's called the Highway Patrol! :lol:

Counted 6 pull-overs on my way down to Kings Island over the 4th! They were nailin' them left and right!

registerthis
07-06-2005, 04:11 PM
I thought they controlled it already? It's called the Highway Patrol! :lol:

Counted 6 pull-overs on my way down to Kings Island over the 4th! They were nailin' them left and right!
As it should be.

The speed control device just seems intrusive to me.

To those of you who think "If it prevents crime and is a simple fix, I'm all for it.": What if they created a device which prevented people from speaking on a cell phone while driving? How about changing CDs? Changing the radio dial? Searching for something under the seat? Eating?

Purely hypothetical, of course, but how far are you willing to go to control people's behavior? At some point you concede that people have the right to make choices--whether right or not--that the government has no business controlling. They can punish, yes, but control and punish are two very different things.

GAC
07-06-2005, 08:42 PM
Maybe they should just plant a chip in everyone's head? ;)

Johnny Footstool
07-07-2005, 01:02 AM
Purely hypothetical, of course, but how far are you willing to go to control people's behavior? At some point you concede that people have the right to make choices--whether right or not--that the government has no business controlling. They can punish, yes, but control and punish are two very different things.

Exactly right.

pedro
07-07-2005, 02:12 AM
Maybe they should just plant a chip in everyone's head? ;)

you first. :)

zombie-a-go-go
07-07-2005, 05:57 AM
Purely hypothetical, of course, but how far are you willing to go to control people's behavior? At some point you concede that people have the right to make choices--whether right or not--that the government has no business controlling. They can punish, yes, but control and punish are two very different things.

You know what?

You changed my mind. I agree with this. :cool:

RedFanAlways1966
07-07-2005, 07:46 AM
To those of you who think "If it prevents crime and is a simple fix, I'm all for it.": What if they created a device which prevented people from speaking on a cell phone while driving? How about changing CDs? Changing the radio dial? Searching for something under the seat? Eating?

Purely hypothetical, of course, but how far are you willing to go to control people's behavior? At some point you concede that people have the right to make choices--whether right or not--that the government has no business controlling. They can punish, yes, but control and punish are two very different things.

I totally disagree with your way of thinking regarding this matter. WAY TOO DEEP! We are talking about limiting the speed of a car. Nothing more. You have taken that into whether or not people have the right to pee in their own toilets. Speed limiters in cars. No one, I will repeat, has a right to drive 100mph. That is not a right given when born. Nope.

What limiting the speed of a car has to do w/ changing a CD is beyond me. It has nothing to do with it. If the gov't starts talking about limiting the times you can change a CD, then we will go there. Apples-Oranges.

Reds Nd2
07-10-2005, 09:19 PM
The speed control device just seems intrusive to me.

To those of you who think "If it prevents crime and is a simple fix, I'm all for it.": What if they created a device which prevented people from speaking on a cell phone while driving? How about changing CDs? Changing the radio dial? Searching for something under the seat? Eating?

Purely hypothetical, of course, but how far are you willing to go to control people's behavior? At some point you concede that people have the right to make choices--whether right or not--that the government has no business controlling. They can punish, yes, but control and punish are two very different things.

Oh, it doesen't just seem intrusive. It is very much so and your correct for feeling that way, IMO. How about we include a device similiar to what they install on vehicles for habitual DUI offenders? Ignition interlock devices. They require you to blow into an alcohol sensor before the vehicle is started and then again, periodically, while driving. The government can offer reduced highway tolls in exchange for the latest invasion of privacy. This may or may not stop drunk driving but hey the Governments offering cash! This isn't about stopping a few lead foots or drunk drivers, and no one with any ounce of common sense thinks it's ok to get drunk and drive 100 MPH through a school zone, and no one is advocating that. It is about not allowing any more government intrusion into our lives. It isn't about the freedom to speed or drive drunk, it's all about the freedom of choosing for ourselves and suffering the consequences when we make the wrong choice. Speaking for myself, I just don't trust this government, or any other, to decide whats best for me, or to protect me from myself. Your also correct when you say people must concede. Unfortunantly, that point only comes for most people, when it actually concerns them personally. By that point, it's too late. Some people live with the illusions of freedom, while others live with the reality of freedom. The reality is freedom dies a little everyday.