Just had a look at the 'Safespeed' site...

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Howard, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. Howard

    Howard Guest

    Hi there, anyone wondering just why so many drivers in the U.K. are so ill-informed should have a
    look at the 'safespeed' site. Those of a robust constitution might even find it funny. At times
    reading it is akin to having a debate about evolution or geology with a creationist it is so bone
    headed, simplistic and opinionated!

    One might at first be led to think that the author is arguing for motorists to drive at a more
    'appropriate' speed which recognises that in many situations the currently legal speed limits are
    ridiculously high (especially given that vulnerable road users use the roads as well as airbag and
    crumple zone protected car drivers). 'Always be able to stop well within the distance you can see to
    be clear' is a good piece of advice that most drivers ignore much of the time. However, a closer
    examination of the site shows that it is full of distortion, misrepresentation and bias. In short,
    rather then promoting road safety its main aim would seem to be to allow drivers to actually exceed
    the current legal limits much of the time without fear of prosecution.

    Just what is it with some drivers? Why do they think they should have the god given right to use the
    public road as a race track? If they want excitement perhaps they should take up skydiving or rock
    climbing, at least they would be putting no one else at risk!

    A STUDY IN MISINFORMATION

    There is so much ill-informed crap on this site that it is hard to know where to begin. To take the
    first 3 pages I looked at:

    References are given to an already highly suspect 'Association of British Drivers' document,
    supposedly from serving traffic police officers, as if it were unquestionably genuine. (And if it is
    genuine then it would seem to reinforce all the old prejudices about the intelligence of some police
    officers...).

    The 'argument' is made that reducing the speed limit from 20 to 12 MPH would save no lives. Of
    course what is conveniently overlooked is that this 'argument' applies only to vehicle drivers when
    we really need to be concerned about vulnerable road users who would be less likely to be killed if
    speed limits were reduced. In addition the research drawn on clearly shows that for car drivers any
    crash at over 70 MPH is very likely to be fatal. A good argument for the current motorway speed
    limit methinks...

    (And why is it that speed addicts always try give the idea that speed control demands that everyone
    drives at 20 MPH on motorways? In reality the number of casualties could be drastically reduced if
    everyone drove at a maximum 20 MPH in towns, a maximum of 40 MPH on minor country roads, 30 MPH
    through villages and yet still drove at a maximum of 60 MPH on 'A' roads and 70 MPH on motorways).

    There is also the rather objectionable assumption that pedestrians and even cyclists are responsible
    for their own deaths simply because they venture on road that are some how by right are the sole
    province of the drivers of motor vehicles who should have the 'freedom' to be able drive at speeds
    that place the lives of others at risk.

    One article claims to show a 'logical' proof that there is only the most tenuous link between the
    speed of a vehicle and the likelihood that a child who is struck by a vehicle will be killed. No
    stop laughing, it really does! From the observation that most car speed in a built up area and that
    most children in collision with cars survive it is 'argued' that speeding cannot be a cause of
    child deaths.

    Apart from ignoring very obvious facts about the effect being struck by a heavy motor vehicle
    travelling at speed has on the human body, this bit of simplemindedness ignores other factors such
    as the fact that many children are run down by cars which are not speeding. Think about it. Where
    are you most likely to find children. In quite residential streets where they are playing, near
    schools and so on. Where are are drivers likely to be doing less then 30 MPH , in residential
    streets where children are playing and near schools... Hardly a good example of sound logical
    reasoning, and of course we do need valid premises for any logical argument to be sound as well...

    All the huge raft of information and research showing the link between speed and both the likelihood
    of being involved in a crash and the seriousness of the consequences of that crash are ignored or
    dismissed.

    One slogan of the site is 'Let's make speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving.'
    Misinformation campaigns claiming that speed cameras are just there to raise revenue for the police
    are applauded and pictures of vandalised speed cameras shown with obvious glee. What more needs to
    be said?...

    This person really does need an injection of reality into their obviously speed obsessed life.

    BACK ON PLANET EARTH...

    Fact is almost EVERY fatality on the roads is in some way due to speed. If everyone drove at 10 MPH
    there would be very few fatalities.

    Whatever the relationship between speed and crash causation, (and the link is very real) it remains
    the case that the consequences of any crash are determined by the speed the vehicles were
    travelling. It is often claimed that road crashes are 'accidents' and that 'people make mistakes'.
    If this is so surely we need to reduce vehicle speeds to a level where all those minor 'mistakes'
    have minor rather then serious or fatal consequences?

    Yes, it is also important to address bad driving but there can be little argument that it is far
    easier to control speed and so minimise the consequences of bad driving, then it is to improve the
    skills of the average inept driver.

    The relationship between speed and crash frequency is perhaps best thought of in statistical terms.
    Current average vehicle speeds see almost 4000 people per year killed and many thousands more
    maimed. Unless you argue this is an acceptable level of carnage it must be accepted that these
    figures show that current average speeds are too high. Any moves that saw the average rise (such as
    raising or scrapping legal speed limits) would see a rise in casualties and any moves that saw
    averages fall would see a fall in casualties. Evidence is support of this can be found everywhere,
    not least in the effectiveness of 20 MPH zones... (And no, the odd exception due to unusual local
    conditions does not disprove the principle.)

    Overall the 'Safespeed' site seems not to argue for safe speeds as such but the freedom to be able
    to speed where ever one deems this is 'appropriate'. Problem is many speed addicts think 120 MPH on
    rural 'A' and 'B' roads is 'appropriate'. This mistaken conviction is reinforced every time they
    speed and get away with it. Most speeders are akin to a Russian Roulette player who having fired the
    gun 5 times claims the practice is 'safe' on the basis they haven't been killed...

    Being able to stop in the distance one can see to be clear is important but is not the be and end
    all of road safety, unpredictable events occur. To give a simple example, the road might be straight
    and clear for a mile ahead with no other traffic on the road but that does not mean it is safe to
    put ones foot down. All it needs is a vehicle to pull out of a junction whose driver has assumed
    that car is doing no more than 60...

    IN CONCLUSION

    Anyhow, that will do for now. Picking this site to bits would be an entertaining and rather easy
    exercise but what's the point. As Frank Zappa once said 'The only people you can ever get to agree
    with you are those people who already agree with you'. It is also the case that the average selfish,
    ill-informed driver will latch onto anything that supports their own narrow minded view of the world
    so we shouldn't think that we can change their views with anything as simple as facts or rational
    argument...

    (One is also drawn to wonder just how often the author of this site applies their 'safe speed'
    policy and find themselves driving more slowly then all the uninformed drivers around them who
    simply stick to the speed limits, even when these are too high for the conditions. Not often
    I'll bet...).

    An argument for driving at a 'Safespeed'? No just another example of the 'What I want to do is all
    that matters, Fuc*k you society...

    Regards

    Howard.

    http://www.thebikezone.org.uk
     
    Tags:


  2. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi there, anyone wondering just why so many drivers in the U.K. are so ill-informed should have a
    > look at the 'safespeed' site. Those of a robust constitution might even find it funny. At times
    > reading it is akin to having a debate about evolution or geology with a creationist it is so bone
    > headed, simplistic and opinionated!
    >

    snip

    Welcome to the strange world of Paul Smith -- troll of this parish.

    The guy is barking. Don't worry about it. I'm sure the DfT, his MP, and everyone else he lobbies
    have a special round filing cabinet for his communications.

    T
     
  3. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> writes
    >One of my favourite bits was that "commuter cyclists take only 2/3 of the recommended amount of
    >exercise" - so much better, then, to be a cager and take 0/3 instead!
    >

    I liked:

    'cyclists are exposed to vibrations, what may cause serious health problems'

    and :

    'What definitely got worse, at least in terms of cyclist's health, is the saddle. 50 years ago it
    was more like a tractor seat and the contact area was large. Today's saddles are long and narrow and
    ... dangerous for the cyclist'

    And the daft comment about cyclists using up more rubber for tyres than cars.......

    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  4. [email protected] (Howard) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > (And why is it that speed addicts always try give the idea that speed control demands that
    > everyone drives at 20 MPH on motorways? In reality the number of casualties could be drastically
    > reduced if everyone drove at a maximum 20 MPH in towns, a maximum of 40 MPH on minor country
    > roads, 30 MPH through villages and yet still drove at a maximum of 60 MPH on 'A' roads and 70 MPH
    > on motorways).

    If the blurb in your average newspaper/Sunday supplement car ad is to be believed, don't most
    engines peter out in effciency terms at about 55-60mph anyhow (i.e. in terms of fuel bills, why
    bother bombing along A-roads and M-ways as fast as you like, when a steady 50-60 will save you a few
    bob without slowing up the journey too much)?

    David E. Belcher

    Dept. of Chemistry, University of York
     
  5. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi there, anyone wondering just why so many drivers in the U.K. are so ill-informed should have a
    > look at the 'safespeed' site. Those of a robust constitution might even find it funny. At times
    > reading it is akin to having a debate about evolution or geology with a creationist it is so bone
    > headed, simplistic and opinionated!

    Try http://www.speedlimit.org.uk/ for an alternative view
     
  6. In message <[email protected]>, Tony W <[email protected]> writes
    >
    >
    >Some time ago a doctor told me 20 minutes gentle cardio-vascular exercise was enough. I think
    >government guidelines are 30 mins.
    >
    >So the average cycle commute, assuming 10 mins each way at 12 mph, just 2 miles??? Hardly worth
    >getting the bike out for 2 miles.
    >
    >Somehow I suspect he is in the 87% of statistics that are made up.

    Yep. The actual evidence seems to suggest that more exercise is better. And that the average UK
    citizen does virtually none.

    The "guidelines" are an attempt to encourage Mr and Mrs Blob to aim at something that they actually
    might achieve. In other words, made up.

    >
    >T

    --
    Richard Keatinge

    http://www.keatinge.demon.co.uk/pedal.htm
     
  7. Lardy Ninja

    Lardy Ninja Guest

    "Tony W" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Hi there, anyone wondering just why so many drivers in the U.K. are so ill-informed should have
    > > a look at the 'safespeed' site. Those of a robust constitution might even find it funny. At
    > > times reading it is akin to having a debate about evolution or geology with a creationist it is
    > > so bone headed, simplistic and opinionated!
    > >
    >
    > snip
    >
    >
    > Welcome to the strange world of Paul Smith -- troll of this parish.
    >
    > The guy is barking. Don't worry about it. I'm sure the DfT, his MP, and everyone else he lobbies
    > have a special round filing cabinet for his communications.
    >
    >

    Hey if you like that site, just take a look at this one from another nut job :)

    http://www.yes-but.net/cycling_is_dangerous.html

    LN
     
  8. "Tony W" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Hi there, anyone wondering just why so many drivers in the U.K. are so ill-informed should have
    > > a look at the 'safespeed' site. Those of a robust constitution might even find it funny. At
    > > times reading it is akin to having a debate about evolution or geology with a creationist it is
    > > so bone headed, simplistic and opinionated!
    >
    >
    > Try http://www.speedlimit.org.uk/ for an alternative view
    >
    >
    Blimey!

    30mph Villages - The Hidden Threat. (http://speedlimit.dreamwater.org/villagespeeds.html)

    I certainly wouldn't like to be hit by one of them. I wonder how you avoid them if they're hidden

    A
     
  9. David Nutter

    David Nutter Guest

    lardy ninja <[email protected]> said:

    > Hey if you like that site, just take a look at this one from another nut job :)
    >
    > http://www.yes-but.net/cycling_is_dangerous.html

    Obviously this is where the BBC got the "facts" for the bicycle column in their "ways to beat the
    congestion charge" article. I do like the way he ignores fabrication costs of cars compared to
    bicycles and other little ommissions.

    Some of the links are great too:

    http://huizen.dds.nl/%7Ewillie-v/engelsvf.htm

    "In counter attack, finely honed pedals from the tangled steel are manoeuvred into the legs of the
    bikeless enemy passenger on the train."

    My, commuting by train in the Netherlands sounds terribly violent... :)

    Regards,

    -david
     
  10. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

  11. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    lardy ninja wrote:
    > Hey if you like that site, just take a look at this one from another nut job :)
    >
    > http://www.yes-but.net/cycling_is_dangerous.html

    I was tickled by his reasons why cycling is dangerous:
    * bicycles do not have to be roadworthy - e.g. only 20% use lights meeting legal requirements.
    * cyclists do not have to know the highway code and many do not respect it; 55% of 0-30 years old
    road cyclists may have never heard about any highway code
    * on pavements cyclists are more dangerous to the others than the other to the cyclists in total

    All are, strictly speaking true. But my bikes *are* roadworthy, I *do* know the HC and I don't cycle
    on pavements.

    I also liked: "cyclists are the road users the seriously exposed to exhaust gases (however the
    exposure of car drivers, especially in old cars may be higher)"

    So cyclists suffer worse exposure to exhaust gases than most road users, even though car drivers
    suffer worse exposure than cyclists. The only way I can see for that to work is if the majority of
    road users in his world are cyclists. I guess he must live in Cambridge :)

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
  12. Banz

    Banz Guest

    [email protected] (lardy ninja) wrote...
    >
    > Hey if you like that site, just take a look at this one from another nut job :)
    >
    > http://www.yes-but.net/cycling_is_dangerous.html
    >

    Fantastic - perfect reading for a Friday!

    Too many corkers to list but I have to say I enjoyed...

    "A dog, cat or even a squirrel, crossing a road can kill a speeding cyclist"

    All this time I have been focussing my attention on other road users and ignoring the very real
    danger posed by squirrels. Part of my daily commute involves a tree-lined section but I am seriously
    considering changing to a safer route.

    Also having the bullet point "cycling is not the only way to get fitter" in the "Cycling is
    Unhealthy" section sounds a bit desparate. He would have been better off pointing out that cyclists
    are nearly 100% more likely to have crossbar induced reproductive organ injuries than other vehicle
    users. Thinking about it, would this comment be more likely to turn this into a 'recumbent' or
    'helmet' thread....

    Martin
     
  13. [email protected] (lardy ninja) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hey if you like that site, just take a look at this one from another nut job :)
    >
    > http://www.yes-but.net/cycling_is_dangerous.html
    >
    > LN
    Oh. My. God. Just caught up with this thread and I am quite stunned with the level of stupidity
    shown on this site. Still, one piece of relief. You can vote about the opinions shown and 77% think
    it's total nonsense (and almost all of the other 23% disagree in some way or another).

    Where does one report people to the mental health authorities these days?

    - Richard
     
  14. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Fri, 24 Jan 2003 20:08:38 -0000, "Ambrose Nankivell" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >(http://speedlimit.dreamwater.org/villagespeeds.html)

    Interesting that the casualties are attributed to the low speed limits, and not to the fact that
    people break them by an enormous margin on the "in for a penny, in for a pound" principle. It
    couldn't possibly be the driver's fault, after all. I used to drive along one of these roads, I was
    subject to three "traffic tantrum" attacks in a year because I dared to drive at 30mph in a 30
    limit. Clearly the speed limit's fault, not the wankers who are obsessed with the idea that their
    willy will shrivel unless they are driving in excess of the speed limit.

    But "Some counties, such as Suffolk and Oxfordshire, have defined a "village" as any grouping of 20
    or more properties with access to a road within a mile of each other, and imposed 30 limits wherever
    such communities exist" is certainly true. And they don't seem have to access the road with the
    30mph limit, either! There are roads where all the properties are served by a parallel srvice road,
    and still there's a 30 limit on an A road. Of course, there are two approaches: ignore the limit and
    bleat about enforcement (the Smith Method, if you like) or obey the limit and campaign for a more
    rational limit based on its obvious absurdity.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  15. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    I wibbled:
    > So cyclists suffer worse exposure to exhaust gases than most road users, even though car drivers
    > suffer worse exposure than cyclists. The only way I can see for that to work is if the majority of
    > road users in his world are cyclists.

    Oops, that doesn't work either. The only thing that works is for cyclists to be more numerous than
    car drivers, while most road users are neither.

    I have an image of 60% of the population roller blading to work :)

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
  16. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Thu, 23 Jan 2003 19:20:13 -0000, "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >All are, strictly speaking true. But my bikes *are* roadworthy, I *do* know the HC and I don't
    >cycle on pavements.

    Clearly you haven't been through the uk.tosspot "cyclist filter" - anyone who obeys the rules and
    has lights is a driver (albeit on a bike) and anyone who runs red lights, puts their wheels on the
    pavement or ignores any other rules is a cyclist (albeit almost always driving their car at the
    time). You really must try to grasp the basics, Danny!

    >I also liked: "cyclists are the road users the seriously exposed to exhaust gases (however the
    >exposure of car drivers, especially in old cars may be higher)"

    Yes, especially since the research shows that not only do drivers suffer a higher concentration of
    traffic fumes, cyclists are less likely to be adversely affected because of the way exercise boosts
    the immune system.

    One of my favourite bits was that "commuter cyclists take only 2/3 of the recommended amount of
    exercise" - so much better, then, to be a cager and take 0/3 instead!

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  17. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Thu, 23 Jan 2003 17:22:07 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be David Nutter <[email protected]>
    wrote this:-

    >Obviously this is where the BBC got the "facts" for the bicycle column in their "ways to beat the
    >congestion charge" article.

    What's interesting is that over 24 hours after having the factual inaccuracies pointed out to them
    the BBC had still not corrected their web site.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  18. Banz wrote:
    > [email protected] (lardy ninja) wrote...
    >
    >>Hey if you like that site, just take a look at this one from another nut job :)
    >>
    >>http://www.yes-but.net/cycling_is_dangerous.html
    >
    > Fantastic - perfect reading for a Friday!
    >
    > Too many corkers to list but I have to say I enjoyed...
    >
    > "A dog, cat or even a squirrel, crossing a road can kill a speeding cyclist"
    >
    > All this time I have been focussing my attention on other road users and ignoring the very real
    > danger posed by squirrels. Part of my daily commute involves a tree-lined section but I am
    > seriously considering changing to a safer route.

    I once broke a squirrel's leg with my bike.

    It was already dead though, no doubt killed by a motorist. Still, the little crack as my wheel went
    over its little leg wasn't a nice sound.

    Colin
     
  19. "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> writes:
    > lardy ninja wrote:
    > > Hey if you like that site, just take a look at this one from another nut job :)
    > >
    > > http://www.yes-but.net/cycling_is_dangerous.html
    >
    > I was tickled by his reasons why cycling is dangerous:
    > * bicycles do not have to be roadworthy - e.g. only 20% use lights meeting legal requirements.
    [...]
    > All are, strictly speaking true. But my bikes *are* roadworthy

    I suspect the proportion using lights is lower than that if you include bikes only used in daylight,
    and I'm sure it's higher (at least locally) in the dark.

    (And can a policeman (in theory) really not stop you for having an unroadworthy vehicle if, for
    example, he notices one of your brake cables is broken? Certainly cyclists can (and have been)
    stopped and fined for not having lights.)
     
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