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Living in a country where there are sections of roads without any speed limit, I can assure you that that’s not the solution, especially for drivers that have not been taught the etiquette.

first, the speed limit is for you to respect on one hand your life and on the other hand, my opinion more important one, the lives of those around you. My mantra with the autobahn is ‘if you wanna kill yourself and don't want anyone to stop you, please do so when I am not here’.

most insane drivers on the autobahn are non-Germans that believe they can do anything they like, risking the lives of those around them. German driving school has a part where it teaches the student the unwritten rules of the autobahn, which I can summarize as ‘consideration’.

Only few Germans will ever flash the lights at you or drive very close to the car in front or drive with 200 km/h when there’s some traffic - it really is not THAT often that people drive 140+ km/h (probably also because insurance never pays if you drove over 140 km/h, even if it was not your fault). Most German drivers though will respect your right to drive.

And especially because of the dangerous driving going on nowadays, the authorities want to impose the general speed limit of 135 km/h. Speed limits are there to protect the public from those that are overly confident, but ultimately stupid.

Ok, back to the topic :)
 

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Ah yes, Germany. Even when something looks like chaos, there are actually a bunch of rules and norms that everyone follows.

A bit like if you try to talk to a Brit on the Tube. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #184
Living in a country where there are sections of roads without any speed limit, I can assure you that that’s not the solution, especially for drivers that have not been taught the etiquette.

first, the speed limit is for you to respect on one hand your life and on the other hand, my opinion more important one, the lives of those around you. My mantra with the autobahn is ‘if you wanna kill yourself and don't want anyone to stop you, please do so when I am not here’.

most insane drivers on the autobahn are non-Germans that believe they can do anything they like, risking the lives of those around them. German driving school has a part where it teaches the student the unwritten rules of the autobahn, which I can summarize as ‘consideration’.

Only few Germans will ever flash the lights at you or drive very close to the car in front or drive with 200 km/h when there’s some traffic - it really is not THAT often that people drive 140+ km/h (probably also because insurance never pays if you drove over 140 km/h, even if it was not your fault). Most German drivers though will respect your right to drive.

And especially because of the dangerous driving going on nowadays, the authorities want to impose the general speed limit of 135 km/h. Speed limits are there to protect the public from those that are overly confident, but ultimately stupid.

Ok, back to the topic :)
Surely you've just proved my point, there? In Germany, where they treat drivers as grown ups they act like grown ups. When kids visit, conditioned by their home countries to behave like kids, they carry on acting like kids.

I have always aimed to be very responsible on autobahns and have never exceeded 170mph.
 

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Surely you've just proved my point, there? In Germany, where they treat drivers as grown ups they act like grown ups. When kids visit, conditioned by their home countries to behave like kids, they carry on acting like kids.

I have always aimed to be very responsible on autobahns and have never exceeded 170mph.
There are lots of rules in Germany and a culture of being strict about obeying them.
 

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Ah yes, Germany. Even when something looks like chaos, there are actually a bunch of rules and norms that everyone follows.

A bit like if you try to talk to a Brit on the Tube. ;)
I'll try to get some footage (it's kind of illegal) of one of my travels next week; it is organised chaos :D


Surely you've just proved my point, there? In Germany, where they treat drivers as grown ups they act like grown ups. When kids visit, conditioned by their home countries to behave like kids, they carry on acting like kids.

I have always aimed to be very responsible on autobahns and have never exceeded 170mph.
Well yes and no; I lived in Romania for my first 23 years and, by god, I wouldn't allow too many Romanians to drive without speed limit anywhere (stereotyping, true). As long as people want dick contests, I think speed limits are welcome; I'm mostly in favour of speed limits on the autobahn, because I just want to go buy socks, don't want to participate in such contests because I lose anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter #187
There are lots of rules in Germany and a culture of being strict about obeying them.

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
.. and for those I suspect they act like children, given half a chance! At least on the roads, they can feel a bit more grown up, having to take responsibility for their speed.
 

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There is a lot going on with driving psychology, and there do appear to be benefits in leaving drivers to make their own assessments, as long as you limit speed to 20mph... Good speed for EVs though. ;)

Lower speeds make for less stressful roads in my opinion. Anybody remember the fuel crisis that led to drivers going everywhere more slowly because they didn’t have quite the ready access to a refill they were used to?

Perhaps if the Government are serious about reducing emissions they should consider a Suez crisis style 50 mph max speed limit on motorways and A roads...

January 06, 2005

Will the first naked street make drivers slow down?
By Ben Webster, The Times Transport Correspondent
8d2d8a.jpg


ROAD signs, barriers and even traffic lights could disappear from Britain's
streets if an experiment on one of London's most famous thoroughfares is
adopted around the country.

Exhibition Road, home of the Science, Natural History and Victoria & Albert
museums, is to be the showcase for a street design in which cars and
pedestrians will be encouraged to mingle.

All traditional signals and barriers used to separate the carriageway and
pavement will be removed and the question of who has priority will
deliberately be left open. Even the kerb will be eliminated as part of the
scheme to create Britain's first such "shared space".

The theory is that all street-users are equal. Drivers will be forced to
slow down and establish eye contact with pedestrians because they will no
longer be able to assume that they have right of way.

Traffic managers traditionally have taken the view that pedestrians and
vehicles must be separated at all costs. But research from the Netherlands,
Denmark and Germany has shown that traffic lights and road signs deter
road-users from taking responsibility for their actions. A driver simply
looks at the colour of the light rather than at people wanting to cross.
Far from making junctions safer, the array of signs and markings on modern
roads distract road-users from the task of safely negotiating a route past
other people.

The concept of "shared space" was pioneered in the Netherlands, where
traffic lights and signs were removed from several junctions. Despite
widespread predictions of chaos and carnage, the approach has reduced the
number of crashes and made car journeys quicker.

The maximum speed through the shared space will fall to 20mph, as it is
impossible to establish eye contact when travelling any faster, but drivers
will save time by no longer having to wait for a green light if there is a
gap at the junction. Pedestrians will be able to cross anywhere.

Ben Hamilton-Baillie, an urban designer who has helped to draw up the plans
for Exhibition Road, said that motorists would still have full access to
the road, but it would be like driving through a campsite. "You don't need
signs everywhere on a campsite telling you to give way or stop or slow
down, because its blindingly obvious what you need to do," he said.

Drivers would also be more responsible for any accidents as they would no
longer be able to argue that people "just stepped out into the road".

Kensington & Chelsea Council, the lead authority on the Exhibition Road
project, also plans to apply shared space principles to Sloane Square by
removing the roundabout and creating two large pedestrian areas outside the
Royal Court Theatre and Peter Jones department store.

Wiltshire County Council has tested removing white lines from the centre of
urban roads and found that accidents fell by 35 per cent.
 

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I am reminded of the Dutch town that removed all road white line markings, traffic lights, speed limits, and all road signs to trial a period of trusting drivers to behave like adults without being forced to obey rules. It has worked remarkably well with hardly any accidents and a very chilled populace.

That's standard Dutch practice for shared use areas throughout their towns & villages which have low traffic volumes, as they're deliberately not through routes.
 

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I am reminded of the Dutch town that removed all road white line markings, traffic lights, speed limits, and all road signs to trial a period of trusting drivers to behave like adults without being forced to obey rules. It has worked remarkably well with hardly any accidents and a very chilled populace.

In Sweden they have long ago stopped painting white lines on roads with speed limits below 70kmh. Every time such road get a new surface or is build from scratch they just leave out the painting. The argument is, apart from saving a lot of work and paint, that you supposed to know which side you are on and how wide your car is. I wonder how autonomous driving is working on these roads... My car senses the edge of the road (my car does not have autonomous driving), but if I drive my wife's Leaf and let it steer on the same road it will then steer the car to the middle, which isn't very safe in my world, not even in low traffic. Also, on some new roads with speed limits below 80kmh and above 40kmh they don't put up road signs, only maybe once when change from 80 to below 80. This isn't always a good idea because our cars read that information and use for setting the speed limit for the car. Hm.... something the decision makers didn't think about, because in a few years time they have to start all over again, unless cars become as smart as we, humans are. ...and before someone asks me if I ever heard about an invention called GPS, I must answer that that is NOT a solution, since GPS databases are not equally and immediately updated. Some are updated every 3 months, some once a year, some never, so changes and speed limits may be EXTREMELY out of date in those.
 

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Anybody remember the fuel crisis that led to drivers going everywhere more slowly because they didn’t have quite the ready access to a refill they were used to?
Yes, but we didn't know it better in 1973-1974... because actually, fuel consumption can substantially increase if you drop the speed. We had no onboard computers to show how it works, but everybody assumed that slower driving = lower consumption. This is wrong, except if you dramatically lower your speed or NOT have to change gear. A modern car not necessarily consumes more petrol at higher speed, which easily can be observed today. Quite the opposite, when they changed my local street from 50kmh to 40kmh I could see a dramatic INCREASE of my petrol consumption on that part compared to driving at 50kmh. That's because the gear needed to be lowered and the engine rev increased. This is of course not the case for EV without gear box, but can still be true for PHEV. At least it feels like it is true for my PHEV but I have not yet done any scientific experiment for my new car mainly because I don't really feel when it changes gear (which is actually a good thing).
 

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Also, on some new roads with speed limits below 80kmh and above 40kmh they don't put up road signs, only maybe once when change from 80 to below 80. This isn't always a good idea because our cars read that information and use for setting the speed limit for the car.
The point being made by @donald was that they should also cancel the speed limit itself as well as remove the sign. That would enable the driver to travel at an appropriate speed according to the weather conditions, traffic density, and pedestrian proximity.
 

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Yes, but we didn't know it better in 1973-1974... because actually, fuel consumption can substantially increase if you drop the speed. We had no onboard computers to show how it works, but everybody assumed that slower driving = lower consumption. This is wrong, except if you dramatically lower your speed or NOT have to change gear. A modern car not necessarily consumes more petrol at higher speed, which easily can be observed today. Quite the opposite, when they changed my local street from 50kmh to 40kmh I could see a dramatic INCREASE of my petrol consumption on that part compared to driving at 50kmh. That's because the gear needed to be lowered and the engine rev increased. This is of course not the case for EV without gear box, but can still be true for PHEV. At least it feels like it is true for my PHEV but I have not yet done any scientific experiment for my new car mainly because I don't really feel when it changes gear (which is actually a good thing).
Fun Fact: In the 1990s there was a show on Dutch TV (don't recall name of show) where they took a small city car and put 1 litre of fuel in it. Each week a "celebrity" was challenged to drive as far as they could round an airfield on that 1 litre while chatting to the host (a sort slow motion crossover of Carpool Karaoke and Top Gear?). As I recall, the winners were the ones who managed to drive slower than the others. Driving smoothly and getting in a high gear were also important.
 

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There are lots of rules in Germany and a culture of being strict about obeying them.
That's a prejudice about Germans and Germany. In UK you NEVER remove laws, only add new ones, so you have a huge and complicated judicial system, which EVRYONE supposed to know and understand. In Germany most laws are from post WWII, more practical and pragmatic. Also, in Germany the culture of obeying (especially) traffic rules isn't as high as in UK (or Sweden for that matter) because the punishments are very mild. Breaking speed limits in Germany costs a few Euro, break the same speed limit in Sweden and you lose your driving license for three months to up to one year. Cause an accident in Germany and it will cost you a few points and some fines, while in Sweden you lose your license for a minimum of three months PLUS have to pay a huge fine, or face prison, depending on the situation, but in most cases, it isn't even necessary for the Police to take your license, it can be a decision of a bureaucrat later on (several months later), without any court or Police involvement.
 

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Fun Fact: In the 1990s there was a show on Dutch TV (don't recall name of show) where they took a small city car and put 1 litre of fuel in it. Each week a "celebrity" was challenged to drive as far as they could round an airfield on that 1 litre while chatting to the host (a sort slow motion crossover of Carpool Karaoke and Top Gear?). As I recall, the winners were the ones who managed to drive slower than the others. Driving smoothly and getting in a high gear were also important.
Sure, but it still depends on the car, not just the driver. As I said, when the speed change was implemented, the difference for me was obvious and very much noticeable, and I was driving a very modern petrol car with low petrol consumption based not only on engine size and weight, but even more compared with some much smaller cars. However, of course, if you can control gear shifting, you can many times use a higher gear and lower rev, thus reduce the fuel consumption. But in real cases, setting lower speed limit does NOT automatically mean you get a lower consumption i.e. lower emissions.

This is something a lot of green populist politicians are missing. I buy the argument that lower speed ALWAYS means lower risks for accidents and less, or milder damages, but I DON'T buy the argument that lowering speed limits result in lower emissions. It is more complicated than that, and in most cases going from 50kmh to 40kmh, or even worse, 30kmh, is totally pointless and counter productive for the environment, but not for the accident rate or damages in case of an accident.

Another thing those green populists are missing is that a small car not always means low consumption. Most small cars actually MUCH worse than my previous Mazda 6 was with a very large (2.5 litre, 141 kW) engine and high weight (2t) consumed considerably less than many smaller and lighter cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #197
That's a prejudice about Germans and Germany. In UK you NEVER remove laws, only add new ones
Well, there are a load of laws originating from the EU we're in the process of removing ....

... FWIW ... ;)
 

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A few years ago I was a passenger in a friends car when the low fuel light came on. I noticed that he increased speed quite a bit and asked what the rush was. He said that he was trying to get to a petrol station before it ran out.
 

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I think over a third [35%] of the cars in the world drive on the left so just maybe you are driving on the wrong side of the road?:eek: 100 years ago it was half and half, what surprised me was the map nearly all the world showed that they drove on the right but clearly they didnt have a lot of cars
I am living in Sweden and definitely driving on the RIGHT side of the road... :)

I lived in SA for five years a VERY long time ago. After arriving it took me a few days to adjust, but other than that, not an issue to drive on the wrong side of the road.

BTW, driving on the left side MUST be more complicated than driving on the RIGHT side, which is why you paint "Look left" "Look right" at zebra crossings. People don't seem to have learned yet where cars can come from. ;)
 
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