A Conversation for International Driving Laws

Crafty Toll Check

Post 1

Mr. Fish

In France and some of its neighbouring countries, the motorways are long, straight and empty (by British standards) of traffic. But beware! Don't use a lack of speed cameras or non-presence of police and a nice clear road as an excuse to speed. Many of these roads are Toll Roads. You have a check-in toll, and a check-out toll.
Here's the crafty bit. In the check-in toll, they note down the time. At the check-out toll, they compare your entry time with your exit time - from this they can see if you've gone faster than the legal limit on average! And, hence, hit you with the force of the law.
So, if you do drive fast, remember to take a few coffee breaks to bring down your effective average speed!

Crafty Toll Check

Post 2


Here in the US there are some toll roads that operate that way as well (upon entry you get a record of where you entered and showing the toll to the various exits, and upon exiting you pay the indicated amount). It's been a while since I've heard of anyone getting a speeding fine from them checking at exit, though. Certainly nobody cares on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the toll road I frequently am stuck driving on.

If you do get stopped for speeding while on the Turnpike, though, the state trooper will ask for your toll ticket. At least, that's what this particular one did the one time I was stopped. It's an extra bit of proof for them if you try to fight it. Note the time of stop and current location, the time of entry and where, and you get the average speed. Enough stuff happens on this crowded highway, though, that it's unlikely your average speed would be much more than the posted limit unless you got really lucky with the traffic.

Somehow I've managed to avoid getting a speeding ticket for about the last 4 or 5 years. I'm not quite sure how. Speed limits are up a bit in general, to more reasonable numbers, but my typical speed still isn't down to match them. smiley - winkeye

Crafty Toll Check

Post 3


Did it ever occur to you that maybe there was a reason for the speed limit, and that maybe it would be in everyone's best interests to respect it?

I think that we Americans sometimes get so use to having such enormous amounts of freedom, that we tend to forget that there really are very good reasons for many of the laws we do have. As annoying as they might feel, most of the laws have been created in order to protect. (Sure some of them are misguided, or outdated, but thatdoesn't mean that all of them should be scrapped.)

Speed limits were created for a couple of reasons, one of them being the fact that cars are absolutely lethal weapons, responsible for more deaths annually than any other disease, weapon, or natural disaster (and that doesn't even take into consideration all the people who are only injured by car drivers). And speed is the major factor in most automobile related deaths, and injuries. The faster you are going the less control you have, and the more damage you inflict.

Personally, I'd ask myself WHY I feel the need to go so fast. Am I going to the hospital with an injured passenger? Am I pissed off that my boss is a jerk and I feel the need to get my aggresssion out on the road? Or is it simply fun to go that fast? And if so, is it worth endangering my life, and the lives of others, (and risk getting into trouble with the law, as well)?

I'm sorry to be preachy here, but it's hard for me to see people be so ignorant or blase about something so incredibly lethal. Maybe if you had someone in your life who was killed by a car you'd understand. But I hope that never happens to you!

Crafty Toll Check

Post 4

Cheerful Dragon

Before I make my point I'd just like to say that I am NOT in favour of speeding. I've been with my husband on occasions when he's been stopped for speeding, listened to the cop going through his spiel and thought, 'Please, please book him. He does this all the time.' Unfortunately (or fortunately, from Richard's point of view) Richard tends to be very polite to cops, and usually gets away with a caution. The only time he's been charged with speeding recently was when he was caught by a speed camera. Don't try to plead 'Not Guilty' with these, unless you really weren't driving the car at the time - you won't win.

Having got that out of the way, I'd just like to point out that in Britain we've had various 'Speed Kills' and 'Kill Your Speed, Not a Child' campaigns, in an attempt to reduce road deaths. However, statistics show that only 4 - 6% of deaths can be directly attributed to excess speed. I don't know what the statistics are for the States. Maybe your speeding drivers are more lethal than ours.

Crafty Toll Check

Post 5

Bald Bloke

Most of the accidents are caused not directly by exceding the speed limit but by driving inappropriatly fast for the conditions.
There is a big difference in risk between someone speeding on a motorway outside rush hour and the idiots who are still driving at the speed limit through a town centre crowded with pedestrians.
Despite the fact that according to the letter of the law the former is acting illegally and the latter not.

Crafty Toll Check

Post 6


The death rates are the lowest they've ever been even though the speed limits are up over the past several years. Speed doesn't kill, it's idiot drivers and inattentive driving that kills. What would really help prevent driving fatilities (which, might I repeat, are at the lowest rate since the records have been kept) would be mandated driver testing and retesting and retesting, but no, that would take away too many people's seemingly inalienable right to drive.

Crafty Toll Check

Post 7


Speeding doesn't necessarily causes accidents, but it is always a factor in how much damage is caused. It's a basic law of physics that the faster a car is going the more damage it will do if it hits something, or someone. Plus you have less time to avoid a dangerous situation if you are going 80 miles and hour. Your brain and your nervous system simply can't handle speeds like that, at least not most of the time. The human body just isn't capable of paying close attention for the extended periods of time that we drive. Even race car drivers, who are highly trained and paying an extreme amount of attention to driving, frequently crash.

And, even if the death rate is lower these days, it isn't much consolation to the hundreds of thousands of people, and their families, who do still die at the hands of drivers.

Cars will never be perfectly safe, but the act of getting to work/school/the mall shouldn't be this deadly. Is it really worth risking people's lives just to get the new Scritty Politti cd? Heh.

Crafty Toll Check

Post 8


Hundreds of thousands!?!?! Where do you get this? Okay, so you didn't say "per year" but in the US where far more driving is done than anywhere else in the world, it's about 50,000 a year. That number is not what's significant though; what is is that it hasn't changed much even though the amount of driving has increased significantly. Less than 2 people die per *million* miles driven! This number is lower than when cars all travelled slower because the roads were dirt and there war far fewer cars.

The death rate is lower these days, and it's no consolation to the people who die at the hands of drivers. There's less war, too, but that's no consolation to the people in the former Yugoslavia, or Chechnya, or anywhere else it's been happening recently. There's better medicine, but it doesn't help most people in the poorer countries of Africa. So what should we do? Stop medical research? It sure is no consolation to them that those of us in developed countries enjoy longer life spans.

But that aside... alternatives to driving? Cars will never be perfectly safe. Neither will planes, trains, etc. Trains wreck all the time, planes crash. Why not never leave your house? Oh, but it's not safe there either. Life is inherently not safe. We take calculated risks based on averages that say the potential for things being fine far outweighs the potential for them being catostrophic.

As for race car drivers, well, the speeds are typically 150+ miles per hour, and they're in close quarters with as many as 3 dozen other cars. You can't make a blanket argument against speed, because if there's no traffic and the road is dry and straight, driving at 80 miles an hour is not a very dangerous situation unless you get wildly inattentive, and even then it only endangers yourself. There are any number of variables when driving; each one that is at less than ideal conditions calls for lowering of speed. They involve type of road, weather, number of other drivers and *their* attentiveness, and so on.

For now you have to trust me that I won't drive in a way that endangers you or anyone else. And I have to watch very carefully for other drivers that could endanger me. If we had the right sort of driver certification and trained the enforcement on laws mainly other than speed, neither of us would have to worry nearly as much.

Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more