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Cars to be fitted with speed limiters from July 2022.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,982 ✭✭✭kirving

    Car crashes are. But from such a proponent of (currently unreliable) technology, I'd be interested to hear the answers to the following:

    • Of the 1/3rd of fatal road collisions where "excessive speed" was a contributing factor, what percentage of these were driving below the posted limit?
    • Of the 6.27% of fatal road collisions where "excessive speed" whas the sole contributing factor, what percentage of these were driving below the posted limit?

    The RSA are very careful in their language to state excessive speed, rather than "exceeding the posted speed limit". The two are very different.

    Speed limiters are only as good as the posted limit.

    As an example, I know this place off the top of my head. 30km/h is just about safe to do here.,-8.8330604,3a,75y,89.38h,78.96t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZRLs3X_oMZqfBkKsiB5KcA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

    The posted limit is only somewhat related to the actual safe speed that an average driver can safely navigate the road. It's sometimes due to local complaints (to raise and lower the limit), noise pollution, traffic flow, expected weather conditions, and to direct drivers toward primary routes (I recall that the old N4 or N6 had it's limit lowered, where people would leave the M6 or M6 to skip the toll).

    "Speeding" to most people means exceeding the posted limit. Mandatory speed limiters reinforce that thinking.

    Boiling down road safety to a vague primary cause of "speeding" (ie: exceeding the limit) actually does little to help the population's understanding of why and how excessive speed, amongst other things, contributes to crashes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,007 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Post edited by AndrewJRenko on

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,982 ✭✭✭kirving

    You've posted the RSA headline stats which refer to "excessive speed".

    I'm asking for a the link between that excessive speed, and the effectiveness of mandatory speed limiters. (which are based on the posted limit.).

    Your last two posts are deflection from this question, but I believe it's an important one in determining whether speed limiters will be valuable in reducing road deaths in Ireland.

    Where have I sad that there is no value in speed limiters? Pure strawmanning.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,007 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    If you want more details on RSA research, then contact the RSA. I've found one of their research people to be fairly decent at responding. I'm not your researcher here. I'm posting what every safety authority, and every police force in the world will tell you, that speeding is a major cause of crashes, deaths and injuries on the road.

    What we are seeing on this thread is a total resistance to a reasonable safety measure, mainly because the lads won't be able to get their jollies going vroom vroom.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,982 ✭✭✭kirving

    So you're happy to repeatedly post their headline stats, imply that they're applicable to this argument, but then deflect when it's pointed out that their definition of "excessive speed" is not the same as the "exceeding the posted limit".

    When you say "speeding" above, do you mean:

    A) driving above a safe speed for the road conditions (ie: "excessive"), or

    B) driving above the posted limit?

    You're using stats for A), to help justify introduction of laws related to B) only.

    There is reason why their bulletins do *not* say "exceeding the posted limit was a factor in 1/3 of crashes". So I can only conclude that they're referring to A), which I actually happen to agree with for the most part.

    Some of the reason I'm pointing out this difference, is that the RSA themselves seem to specifially differentiate between the two.

    I don't have much issue with a reliable and safe speed limiter, my 200km one way commute is quiet motorway door to door. I turn on cruise control to 120km/h and relax.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,542 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    copped this while coming off the M50 earlier - i was in the exit lane for northbound on the N2, which takes you in a tight circle for 270 degrees; this is what you can see from the M50. the sign is about 2m further from the main M50 carriageway than the signs applying to the M50.,-6.3094969,3a,75y,236.51h,80.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOcZ_sKBkNF8XQUJZI3ptgQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,982 ✭✭✭kirving

    Good spot!

    These types of edge cases can and do cause problems, particularly if the tech isn't totally reliable. We can't launch blindly into this if there are obvious issues.

    Will a car on cruise control hit the brakes hard? Will it ease off the throttle?

    Infrastructure design is a big part of it too. We need to be looking at how our roads and cities are designed so that we make the enevitable switch to autonomous cars safer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,007 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Do you think there's much of an overlap between A and B in the real world?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,542 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i've come up with a frankly genius solution. doesn't even need explanation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,982 ✭✭✭kirving

    You're certainly adept at wearing someone down by repeatedly deflecting from direct questions.

    There might be some overlap, but if it was significant, I don't think the RSA would be quite so specific in their language. They're absolutely not one and the same. Look at the 80km/h 1.5 lane width road I posted above - that is unfortunately a common sight in this country.

    You've posted the collision statistics, I'm asking how applicable they are.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,542 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i wonder how much work it'd be to map a 'speed heat map' of ireland; i.e. a map showing maximum sensible speed under normal conditions - i.e. based on road width, sight lines, camber, etc., what would be a sensible speed each road could sustain, rather than the actual posted limit.

    one issue there is that sight lines are not necessarily fixed, as they can be affected by hedge growth or hedge cutting. but in theory, such a map could be used to warn drivers 'you're turning onto a road which anything above 60 would be suicidal on'.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,707 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    Deaths are not the only metric for road safety.

    A car crash can have a life-altering impact for anyone affected by the incident. Even severe or less severe injury can take many years to get over. One thing is clear, that a crash at 80 km/hr will have a more severe impact on those involved than a similar one at 50 Km/h or 60 Km/h - and it might not even happen at the lower speed.

    However, I cannot see how this type of system could possibly work beyond just making a noise in the cockpit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 omanomad

    As someone with penalty points for speeding, I would love something like this as I’m now terrified of getting caught for speeding again as it would get to a stage where I might not be able to afford the insurance. Even if I didn’t have points, its such a pain in the ass when doing a long journey to have to be constantly on the look out for speed limit changes, and constantly looking at your speed gauge and adjusting speed. Would make life so much easier if the car did this for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,007 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    You seem to have decided that the statistics are NOT applicable from the outset, despite the obvious evidence that we all see around us each day.

    What is the huge principled objection to requiring drivers to obey the speed limit all about?

  • Registered Users Posts: 995 ✭✭✭iColdFusion

    The reality is we would have far safer roads if we just bulldozed all the hedges from the sides of roads throughout the country like they tend to do around Europe; better sight lines, wider roads, better drainage, less risk of icey spots under overhanging trees, less risk of fallen trees during storms, etc

    Smart car systems and driverless cars would work far better on those roads too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,007 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Maybe we should just concrete over all remaining green spaces in the country to save drivers the effort of having to slow down a little and drive to the road conditions?

  • Registered Users Posts: 995 ✭✭✭iColdFusion

    Well if the goal is to save lives improvements to our roads should be a top priority at any cost, its ridiculous that 50kph and below roads around towns and cities are all wide enough, great visibility, perfectly level, great drainage, illuminated, footpaths, loads of signs etc then you go out onto some 80 and 100kph B roads that are to a far lower standard and people are scratching their heads as to why there are so many collisions on B roads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,982 ✭✭✭kirving

    I haven't decided that they're not applicable - the RSA have themselves specifically differentiated between "excessive speed", and "breaking the speed limit". There may be some overlap of course, but the RSA's junior cert level statistics publications don't show it. Presumably because it doesn't suit their one-dimensional narrative.

    My contention is that the laser focus on speed limits is a major distraction from other aspects of road safety. ie: below the limit = safe. Above the limit = dangerous. Which according to the RSA's own wording (not mine) does not appear to be true.

    Secondly, I don't believe that any of these systems are currently as reliable as they need to be to prevent unexpected vehicle behaviour (see example of the 30km/h sign above).

    As I said, I have zero problem obeying the limit, and in fact I find myself far more often being amazed that some roads are 80km/h at all, rather than being impatient that the limit is too low.

    If it were up to me, I'd remove VAT and VRT on all ADAS systems (and bike helmets - mine was €90 cheaper from the UK), give money that goes to EV grants to people with older (less safe) cars, and make people do advanced driving courses after 2 years to take the N plate down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 526 ✭✭✭yoke

    @AndrewJRenko - I’m arguing purely from a technical perspective.

    I’m not convinced it’s a workable system technically at present, and I believe to try and implement it currently will be an expensive test which will increase the price of new cars while offering very little benefit to anyone except people involved in manufacturing the systems.

    the best we can do technically right now is to put absolute limits on each new car, say at 130kph. But this would slightly increase the price of cars here due to being an Irish customisation, and I doubt it would save many lives per year - it’d only save those people who were killed due to someone exceeding 130kph.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,054 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    The real agenda is that the advocates of this nonsense are mostly Dublin based peddle pushers who don't want to deal with cars ever travelling at more than 30 kph and passing them. Motorways have the lowest accident rates, while having the highest speeds, so motorway speeds shouldn't even come into consideration when talking about tackeling road mortality.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,682 ✭✭✭monty_python

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,007 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Amazing how those Dublin based pedal pushers, with no professional lobbyists or full time staff, have managed to influence the whole EU authorities and the entire motor industry? Or maybe you've misread the situation.

    But interesting, yet again, to note the outraged response to the outrageous suggestion that drivers will be required to obey speed limits.

    I'd imagine the industry is well down the road of implementation by now, given the planned timescale. Even if we end up with single top level limit for a start, that will be a move in the right direction while the more comprehensive solution is being developed.

    I suppose if drivers don't want an expensive solution like this imposed, they could just start obeying the speed limits.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,007 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Some good ideas there, but I don't think there is any 'laser focus' on speeding. There's loads of road safety initiatives going on, and this is just one facet of the overall agenda to reduce deaths and serious injuries.

  • Registered Users Posts: 526 ✭✭✭yoke

    In my opinion, they'd be better off spending the money trying to make automated driving (or at least, automated driver assists) work properly. Things like ABS, seatbelts/airbags, better car design (so for example the passenger compartment doesn't break apart on impact, etc.) , have probably saved far more lives than people realise, but instead of giving incentives (and punishments) to car manufacturers to force them to research how to make even better cars (next big thing is AI-supplemented controls IMO, it will save a lot of lives), we get this message of 'Dont Speed' as if that will solve everything. By that logic, we should ban all aeroplanes, because it's not possible to be safe while travelling at 250 kph on any stretch of land (planes usually take off at 250 kph).

    The simple fact is (as the aeroplanes example illustrates) that the "safe" speed for any particular stretch of road (even a straight road like an aeroplane runway) is determined mostly by the features of the vehicle travelling on it - an aeroplane is perfectly safe going 250kph down a straight road, some well-designed cars are also perfectly safe at that speed on a straight road, however a crappy POS car designed with "cheap production costs" rather than "safety and driver comfort" might not even be safe going 120 kph, especially if it's fitted with absolute-bottom-of-the-range-but-still-perfectly-legal-for-some-reason ditch-finder tyres (and of course they'll be unbalanced too, since it's not illegal to fit tyres without balancing them, as such).

    If they really wanted to save lives, they should start by banning the sale of **** tyres aka 'ditch-finders', which is something that can easily be done right now. I'm amazed there's noone campaigning for better minimum tyre standards.

    The NCT has generally been great for increasing safety on the roads - they could easily test stopping distance in the NCT and pass/fail based on it.

    For now, stopping distance is not even considered on a car as far as legality goes - a car that usually takes ~47m to stop from 100kph (eg. tesla model 3) is considered safe for the same speed limit as cars which have ~27m stopping distance at the same speed (eg. porsche 911). If manufacturers were pressured on these items, and we managed to increase the safety stats for the bottom 10% of vehicles, we could all safely travel at higher speeds, reducing our time on the road overall and thus reducing the crashes from driver fatigue.

    Post edited by yoke on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,090 ✭✭✭patnor1011

    Nanny state at its best masquerading as "saving lives".

    It would be only matter of time till all that data amassed by this "safety enhancement" will be shared with insurance companies and some other corporations which may be interested to know more about you. GPS tracking perhaps even disabling your car whenever system or someone decide it is needed.

    And while technology improves we are still far from automated driving. Youtube and teslas slamming into everything is quite telling about how it still does not work as they want it to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 526 ✭✭✭yoke

    We may not quite be there yet with fully automated driving, but “assisted” driving has already been used here very successfully for years - eg. Anti-lock braking system. Similarly, AI-assisted driving has the potential to save many road deaths per year.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,542 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    The simple fact is (as the aeroplanes example illustrates) that the "safe" speed for any particular stretch of road (even a straight road like an aeroplane runway) is determined mostly by the features of the vehicle travelling on it - an aeroplane is perfectly safe going 250kph down a straight road, some well-designed cars are also perfectly safe at that speed on a straight road

    this analogy falls over at the faintest hint of examination, though. the main reasons airplanes are safe doing that speed on a runway is because they are closely marshalled on and off by humans who are experts at this, with strict protocols about doing so, are not allowed share the runway with any other planes at speed, etc. etc. we could make motorways much safer if we only allowed one car on at a time, and removed spreed restrictions...

    also, the way planes work is quite different to all other terrestrial based travel. planes do not apply their thrust through their wheels, which changes the physics of how they interact with the ground.

  • Registered Users Posts: 995 ✭✭✭iColdFusion

    Its a double edged sword though, a lot of the drivers aids in modern cars are turning people into lazy detached drivers, I notice it myself since I've gotten cars with parking sensors, ESP, adaptive cruise, etc i'm simply not paying as much general attention as I used to in an older car.

    Ill be perfectly happy when autonomous cars are a reality on our roads but all this nannying middle ground of "yeah you are driving but not really unless there's an accident in which case it was your fault not the car's" kinda stuff is pretty stupid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,865 ✭✭✭✭_Kaiser_

    I was coming out of the vaccination centre there at citywest a few weeks ago onto the N7 (outbound) and the woman ahead of me stopped dead at the merge waiting for a gap... when she did finally move out she nearly got crushed by a 40 foot truck!

    Now yes it's a very bad junction design, but none of these people seem to realise that the ramp/hard shoulder in that case is to get up to speed - not pull out into 100 km/h traffic from a standstill!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 526 ✭✭✭yoke

    So you’re saying that planes are safe then, once in the hands of trained humans. ie. There is nothing inherently dangerous about going 250kph down a straight road, it’s more to do with circumstances/planning - exactly what I’m saying.

    Now I’m not proposing we change the limits to actually 250kph, but we could easily and safely do let’s say 160kph on some straight stretches of motorway instead of 120, if all cars were up to a certain (much higher) standard than the current minimum legal requirements, and still save lives at 80kph due to the better handling and braking characteristics.

    The point I’m making is that what’s safe in a Porsche 911 might not be safe in a Chevrolet Aveo, but if we demanded a higher level of safety (meaning handling and braking characteristics, which would help to avoid a crash) from a Chevrolet Aveo as you find in a better car, it would probably save a lot more lives than going down the route of trying to set “perfect” speed limits on every road which is going to fit everyone in all weather conditions etc. - a nearly impossible job as borne out by everyone’s experience of ridiculous speed limits (both too high and too low) in the real world.

    I’m well aware that planes apply thrust via their engines instead of their wheels, this has no bearing on what I’m saying - the simple fact is that there are cars on the road right now which are designed to easily go at 250kmh in a straight road, most of these are relatively expensive, but they do exist already. It would be too expensive to demand that all cars be able to do 250kph, but demanding higher braking/handling characteristics will save lives even at 80kph (bottom end cars are usually absolutely terrible handling-wise even when brand new, and legal “cheap” tyres that are sold here may as well be unregulated).