back to article Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

Technology that allows cars to snoop on motorists and tell insurers about their bad driving will form a worldwide market worth $14.4bn (£8.95bn) by 2016, analysts reckon. A new report from Juniper Research suggests intelligent vehicles chock-full of gear for navigating, recording info for insurance purposes, and telling the AA …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

    ...big brother is already here!

    This has been on offer in the UK for ages (check out GoCompare's already running Comparethebox.com telemetry car insurance comparison website already....)

    Its unlikely to yield serious discounts in the long run though simply because of the way protection rackets^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H insurance works as a business....

    1. censored

      Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

      Nailed it... it won't mean cheaper insurance for safer drivers. It'll mean ludicrous insurance for regular speeders.

      I'd accept this, provided my car speedo was absolutely accurate (it isn't, so I don't actually know how fast I'm going), and I got an audible warning when nudging over the limit.

      Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        UK speedometers, IIRC, are guaranteed to not under-report your speed, but may over-report by up to 10%. So, if your actual speed is 70mph, the speedo may say anything between 70 and 77mph - i.e. if you stick to the speedo-reported 70mph, you are guaranteed not to be speeding (in a 70mph zone, anyway).

        On the other hand, a functioning speedometer is not a requirement for an MOT certificate...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          providing you've not fitted aftermarket tyres or changed out the gearbox or replaced the dashboard...

          All factors which can require the speedo to be recalibrated.

          I have faith that the GPS unti I use reports my speed accurately, I have less faith in the speedo, it's actually got a hump in the calibration curve around 70MPH, it is more accurate below 70 and above 80.

        2. Steve Evans

          @JetSetJim, was Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          "i.e. if you stick to the speedo-reported 70mph, you are guaranteed not to be speeding (in a 70mph zone, anyway)."

          You'll also be guaranteed to have 1/2 a mile of traffic behind you within minutes, and a [insert favourite rep car of the year here] reporting 68mph 12 inches from your boot.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              I find an occasional flash of the rear fog lights preferable to hitting my brakes, with usually the same effect :-D

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Mushroom

              @Wombling_Free

              I realise you're trying to be funny but I really would recommend that you try and grow up and leave your ego and self-righteousness at home when you get in your car. It is unlikely that you are as "in the right" as you seem to think that you are.

              Of course, this goes for the tail-gaters too but you are making a bad situation worse with your simpering and moralising little japes. If you don't believe me, ask a traffic policeman.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Wombling_Free

                Enigmatix: au contraries mon amis. I was actually told by a traffic cop to pull the light tap on the brakes manouevre to deal with tailgaters and to then perform the slowdown if they did not repent. He though them all to be pricks too. Tailgating is one of the worst things you can do on the highway as, compared with speeding, it shuts down the reaction distance to an unachievable interval way sooner. Of course you still get the high achievers that combine both.

                1. Annihilator
                  Meh

                  Re: Re: @Wombling_Free

                  "I was actually told by a traffic cop to pull the light tap on the brakes manouevre to deal with tailgaters and to then perform the slowdown if they did not repent. He though them all to be pricks too. Tailgating is one of the worst things you can do on the highway as, compared with speeding, it shuts down the reaction distance to an unachievable interval way sooner."

                  The correct/safe response to someone driving with a <2 second gap behind you is to *increase* the gap to the car in front of you, meaning you can brake less sharply should a situation develop in front of you and will reduce your chance of being rear-ended (giggiddy). The larger gap also encourages the person behind you to overtake into it if they're in that much of a rush (and have a reported speed of <70 on their equally inaccurate speedo)

                  Winding someone up on the road is just as dangerous. May be fun in your head, but having an angrier idiot behind you is only going to make your situation worse. An angry, impatient driver behind Bruno Senna (Schumacher) effectively caused his race to end, and indirectly started a fire in the Williams garage. Best to just get out of the way for your own self-preservation.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              And that's why driving in the UK is such a pain - you can't go more than a few miles without coming across some idiot trying to teach some other idiot a lesson that is never, ever going to be remembered in any other terms than "that teacher was a [insert swear of choice]"

              There are people beyond your little antagonistic tussle bubble. You might think you're being clever causing the tailgater to lock up/do 20mph/whatever, but the guy or girl three cars back doesn't think so.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

                But, the guy or girl three cars back is, of course, travelling with a proper amount of distance between themselves and the car in front of them, right? So they should have no problem dealing with the idiot in front of them who's tailgating someone else and then suddenly locking them up, right?

                Or are they tailgating too?

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Wombling_Free

              Having been a motorcycle police officer in the dim distant past, I can tell you that despite the fact that I can see that you're making a funny here that driving like that is every bit as dangerous, even more so than someone speeding.

              Neither driving like an idiot as you purport to, nor driving like an idiot and speeding are as safe as driving sensibly, responsibly, and around the speed limit. We all, from time to time, exceed the speed limit by a few mph, and nobody gets stopped for that simply because overtaking at something like 73mph on a motorway isn't a problem.

              Driving at 60mph and causing queues and bunching or driving at 100mph and weaving in and out are more dangerous, and you shouldn't do either - you're the one who's likely to end up in an accident, along with others, so why do it?

              You need to grow up.

              1. Richard Jones 1

                Re: @Wombling_Free

                Some of us have to pay for our petrol, tyres, brakes and servicing all of which increase in cost as the sped and intensity of use climbs. Add to that the fact that not all roads are fully dry with perfect visibility 365 days a year, free of mud, bends, children with other hazards and that includes motorways, so it is clear that there is a vanishingly small case for always driving at the maximum speed allowed. I tend to drive at anything up to 5 mph below the speed limit in normal urban conditions avoid rapid acceleration and allow stopping distances in front of my vehicle - I would like one behind as well!

                When approaching my sharp left hand turn off a 40 MPH road I guess I have several choices, blast long at 45~50 as many would like or shave the 40 Mph by 0.00001 mph below 40 until the last moment and brake hard, or signal just after I pass the last turn before mine and allow my speed to fade until I complete the speed reduction to the 10 ~15 MPH required to safely turn into the sharp turn (is a 40 limit even right?). As for the stupid faction that leave no space between them and my boot, they do deserve any and all contempt for not observing signals, road conditions and having zero judgement.

                The idiot rushing to the airport, 60MPH in the 40 limit with torrential blinding rain on near bald tyres might recognise his error, shame his passenger ended the trip there and then and another was out for more than a month. I felt sorry for the driver going the other way, put in hospital and her car destroyed, but she was only going 30 or so in the appalling conditions or was she guilty for getting hit on her side of the road?

                A speed limit is supposed to be a maximum speed allowed, not a minimum cruise speed.

                There is never a valid reason for tail gating, however there are no obvious ways to remove the hazard from one's own road space, that is the space required in front of and behind your vehicle to allow hazard management. If fog lights remind a dumb ass that they are being stupid, better that than they cause an accident.

                Some commercial vehicles are governed to less than 70 mph anyway and a number of vehicles are limited by other means to a lower speed.

              2. Retro Man

                @Anonymous Coward ""Having been a motorcycle police officer . . . .

                "Driving at 60mph and causing queues and bunching !!"

                How can you be causing queues and bunching at 60mph ??? (Assuming you are in the LHL on a motorway or on a single lane road)

                Better get all those overtaking Lorries doing 56.5mph in the middle lane off the motorways then !

            5. xyz

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              @Wombling_free...I'm presuming Wobbling is an older version of "Muppet" given what you've written. I hoping that the next car you try that on is an unmarked cop BMW.

              You're not from Bedford are you?

            6. David Ward 1

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              "- tap the brakes occasionally, you win 10 pts per wheel they lock up.

              - very gradually slow down, you get 100 pts if they have a heart attack or brain hemorrhage."

              I have even more fun with people like you: Arrest for dangerous driving... limitless points and a potential jail sentence!

              1. schubb
                Meh

                Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

                Now just imagine if you were busy arresting the one tailgating.....what a wonderful world that would be. Being pushed down the road in the slow lane is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable in any country around the world, but seems to be on the rise. Now in the passing lane, the problem shifts to the lead vehicle, tailgating is still stupid, but the cause is in front.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

                It's illegal to slow down in the UK? Holy shit, not wonder you have so many accidents

            7. Alan W. Rateliff, II
              Paris Hilton

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              I really don't know why it works, but I find a lengthy blast from the washers tends to help with this. It keeps my windscreen clean and encourages people behind me to back off gently without the need for locking up brakes and causing the twerp riding their ass not to eat their ass, and so on down the line.

              Paris, because there really isn't an IT angle to this article, IMNSHO... unless it meshes with my home network and can be tinkered with.

            8. Chuunen Baka

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              If someone is tail-gating really close, I usually turn on the hazard lights and gently ease off the accelerator. Farting around with tapping the brakes is just making an already risky situation worse.

            9. asdf Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              Wow I guess in the UK you really don't have to worry about road rage with guns. Doing the items above on LA freeways is an extreme sport or a quick way to collect life insurance.

            10. Olafthemighty
              Thumb Up

              @Wombling_Free

              ...or, if you're feeling particularly brave, a gentle pull on the handbrake will result in a decrease in speed with no obvious indication. The look on their face when they realise you're suddenly going a bit slower than they are can be priceless, I understand.

              I do not endorse this kind of behaviour.

            11. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              I had a Great mod on my first car, its was terrible and slow spluttery thing anyway I had to use it all i could afford after the insurance. I had a pain in my ar*se with trucks and knobs tailgating me. SO I fitted a second brighter blub and a switch to the brake lights housing new circuit) and a strip brake light to this same switch. When they were up my ring, id goad them on a bit then flip the switch and see them sh*t themselves. Ohh how I laughed, I once had to pull over to puke after one special bell end in a

              3 series put himself in a ditch...

          2. Nuke
            Meh

            @Steve Evans Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            It might come as news to some people, but in the UK the speed limit is 60mph on single carriageway roads. A 70mph limit is on a dual carriageway or motorway where [insert favourite rep car of the year here] can overtake you.

            Unless you are in the outside lane and there are vehicles inside of you doing exactly the same speed as you, but that is a different issue

        3. MJI Silver badge

          Re: JetSetJim

          Inaccurate speedos, what what is the point in having them if they are not accurate?

          Real hate of mine, I know mine is wrong, but no easy way to fix it, so I tend to ignore it.

        4. Nuke
          Holmes

          @JetsetJim Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          You are right, speedos in the UK are not allowed to under-indicate, and that has been the case for a long time, from when they were all still mechanical and not as precise. This is to prevent motorists caught for speeding pleading "But my speedo only said 29mph!"

          I fitted larger than standard tyres to my 4x4, which would give an under-indication. However, it was possible to change the speedometer drive gear because the transfer case on which it is fitted is used in many different vehicles with many different tyre sizes. For a week I did a series of timed measurements between motorway kilometer posts, enough to average out variations, and calculated what gear I needed to compensate, and fitted that.

        5. JohnMurray

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          Since April it is.

          Along with a load of other things.....like the abs....trailer electrics sockets......the function indicator lights on the dash (no high-beam light ?...fail)

          Coming soon to an mot station near you....re-chipped ?

          Fail...

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Chipping

            Actually this is on the books but they have a serious problem.

            How can they tell if it is chipped or not?

            Flashed ECUs look the same, cars can have lots of different firmwares for the same car.

            Basically it is completely inpracticle

        6. Skizz

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          But a functioning speedometer is a requirement of a motorised vehicle so you can't use "no [working] speedometer" as an excuse for speeding. Non-motorised vehicles do not need a speedometer.

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          .. but my car wouldn't oass an MOT until the speedo was changed from kph to mph. So the needle doesn't have to move but the units need to be right??

        8. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          Well, ok, but the faster you go the more the tyres swell and the more your speedo underreports whatever it was set to report. Jaguar used to give figures in their handbook for how much this effect was putting you under the danger of the radar gun.

          Before you pooh-pooh this notion, I can tell you from (reluctant) personal experience that at 140mph (reported), an e-type's wheels start shedding spokes as the rims expand beyond Young's Modulus of Elasticity for e-type wire wheel spokes.

          Or something. I wasn't paying that much attention in Physics ten years earlier.

          I can also report that this effect also raises numerous welts on the driver's head as the terrified passenger hits him with whatever can be wrenched off the interior superstructure.

        9. Karl H

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          that is correct , until some nonce changes the size of their wheels and decalibrates their speedo.

          for 99% of people who don't fart around with their car's wheels you are correct.

      2. boltar
        WTF?

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        "Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding."

        Err , yes there is. If you're overtaking a car you want to get past as fast as possible and if that means breaking the speed limit for a few seconds so be it. The last thing you want is to suddendly find your car has stopped accelerating, you're in the wrong lane and there's a 40 ton truck heading towards you.

        1. Some Beggar
          FAIL

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          If it isn't safe to overtake without exceeding the speed limit then you shouldn't be overtaking.

          I can see why you'd be worried about this type of scheme if you've never read the fucking highway code.

          1. mrfill
            FAIL

            Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            That assumes that the arse you are overtaking doesnt speed up in the way that a lot of pompous arrogant halfwit British drivers do to protect their manhood. What should you do? Brake and try to get into the gap behind which has been closed by another arse or speed up to get out the way of these fools?

            To overtake safely requires both parties to behave sensibly. This is often not the case but you dont actually find out until alongside a twat.

            It is quite possible to drive quickly and safely. It is also possible to drive within the speed limit at all times and be the greatest menace on the road - no spy-in-the-car will protect the good driver against them.

            If speed is so dangerous then we must stop all police, fire and ambulance vehicles from exceeding any limit as they are endangering the public. Any excuse that the driver is properly trained cannot be allowed as properly trained drivers in their own vehicles are not exempt.

            1. Skizz

              Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              "If speed is so dangerous then we must stop all police, fire and ambulance vehicles from exceeding any limit as they are endangering the public"

              But when they are speeding, there's those bright flashing blue lights and really loud sirens to warn everyone for miles around that they are there.

              Speeding without those lights and sirens should rightly be punishes - lead by example after all.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

                @skizz which specific law of physics is changed by flashing blue lights, sirens, driver training etc?

                What about those police jobs where 'silent response' with no blue lights or sirens is called for?

                1. Skizz

                  Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

                  @AC 12:49

                  "which specific law of physics is changed by flashing blue lights, sirens, driver training etc?"

                  I didn't say that the laws of physics changed. When they speed they do so in a way that alerts everyone around them such that there is a clear, unobstructed path for them. There will be no pedestrians, cars, whatever in their way. Breaking the speed limit without the sirens / lights means there's a good chance you'll hit someone / something that wasn't expecting you to be going that fast. Going at 60mph, you'd travel over 100m in the time it takes for someone to cross a road (much further if they're shepherding children / aged / etc). If the crossing is not visible from 100m away, should you be doing 60? And how would you know that it's not OK to do 60? A speed limit perhaps?

                2. Skizz
                  FAIL

                  Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

                  @AC 12:49

                  "What about those police jobs where 'silent response' with no blue lights or sirens is called for?"

                  Then they are not allowed to speed. If arriving unnoticed is required, arriving at speed would defeat the objective: " 'ang on, what's all these cars screeching to a halt outside all about then?"

              2. swampdog

                Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

                "But when they are speeding, there's those bright flashing blue lights and really loud sirens to warn everyone for miles around that they are there."

                Doesn't prevent the numpties from running the red lights around my way. They know that unless the emergency vehicle actually hits them they'll get away with it. I don't know which is worse. Them or the others who blindly stop & block the road.

                "Speeding without those lights and sirens should rightly be punishes - lead by example after all."

                How do you train emergency vehicle drivers then?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @mrfill

              "It is quite possible to drive quickly and safely. It is also possible to drive within the speed limit at all times and be the greatest menace on the road - no spy-in-the-car will protect the good driver against them."

              You'd have to be one of those 'unsafe' drivers to have THAT kind of problem!

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            Ever heard of "Time exposed to danger"?

          3. Graham Marsden
            Boffin

            @Some Beggar

            "If it isn't safe to overtake without exceeding the speed limit then you shouldn't be overtaking.

            "I can see why you'd be worried about this type of scheme if you've never read the fucking highway code."

            I have read the Highway Code. I have also just recently been awarded my IAM Green Badge for passing my Advanced Motorcycle Test, so pardon me if I take issue with your understanding of the subject.

            The aim of Advanced Riding (or Driving) is to "make progress" in a way that is safe and responsible and if you can make that progress by overtaking a slower vehicle in front of you, you want to complete that overtake as promptly and safely as possible and looking ahead of you and taking regard of the vehicle you are passing, rather than looking down and checking your speedometer.

            Whilst on my Advanced Test on the A32 I completed a three-car overtake and the examiner who is a serving Police Officer and Class 1 rider had *no problems* with the fact that I had most probably exceeded the posted limit when doing so. If, however, I had forced another vehicle to change their speed or direction because of my actions, I would have failed because that would not have been safe.

            I recommend visiting the IAM Website and signing up for their Skills for Life Package, it only costs £139 (including the cost of the Test) and you can then actually *learn* something about road use instead of thinking "I've passed my basic test, I know all I need to know" when, in fact, you have only achieved the bare minimum standard to be allowed out on the road in control of a vehicle.

            1. Some Beggar
              FAIL

              Re: @Some Beggar

              @Graham Marsden

              I passed my advanced driving test nearly twenty years ago. You were obliged to stick to speed limits. Has that changed? Let me Google that for you ...

              " You will be required to drive within the law at all times during Observed Runs and on your test."

              Nope. Looks like you're talking shite.

              1. Graham Marsden

                Re: @Some Beggar

                If, as you claim, you passed your Advanced Test "nearly twenty years ago" then I suggest you might like to visit your local IAM group and get yourself an Assessment because you may find that the System and the way it's operated has changed since you last had an Observed Drive.

                For instance, were you taught (as was the case) to slow down by changing down through the gears? These days it's "Gears to go, brakes to slow" and then shifting directly to a lower gear to match your engine revs to road speed rather than relying on engine braking since it's cheaper to replace brake pad than a clutch or gear box.

                Even if what you are taught is still entirely the same as today, are you sure you're applying IPSGA exactly as you learned it nearly 20 years ago? Any Advanced Road User should always consider whether their skills are up to snuff and would have no problems in getting them checked to either make sure they're still doing it correctly or whether they've fallen into bad habits which could do with rectifying.

                BTW whilst no IAM Observer will actually tell you "break the speed limit", the fact is that they will also tell you (as it says in this copy of How to Be a Better Rider I have here) "Does the rider use a 'thinking approach' to their riding?" ie taking into account the road conditions, traffic, hazards etc, or "is the system just slavishly applied?"

                Similarly with overtakes, "Are overtakes carried out smoothly, safely and decisively?" As an Advanced Driver, would you start an overtake, accelerate until you reach the speed limit and then hold your speed at that level *increasing* the length of time you are in the opposite carriageway and putting yourself and other road users at risk? Or do you complete the overtake promptly and safely, then return to your own carriageway and reduce your speed back to the prevailing limit? If it's the former, you really have not understood what being an Advanced Road User is about and I *urge* you to get a refresher. If the latter then whilst you may not be driving "legally" according to the letter of the law, provided you do not cause other road users to change their speed or direction and do not do it recklessly or stupidly, no IAM Observer will have a problem.

                PS if you *really* still doubt that I have passed my Advanced Test, may I invite you to read the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists May Newsletter at http://www.solent-advanced-motorcyclists.co.uk/images/MAKING_PROGRESS/may_2012.pdf and take a look at the article "Celebrating Success" on page 8 where my name is listed under those who have passed their IAM Test.

                1. Some Beggar

                  Re: @Some Beggar

                  @Graham Marsden

                  I'm just going to repeat the IAM quote I previously posted as it appears to have confused you:

                  "You will be required to drive within the law at all times during Observed Runs and on your test."

                  You can pile on as many paragraphs of bluster as you like but you'll still be wrong.

                  1. Graham Marsden

                    Re: @Some Beggar

                    And you can repeat yourself until you're blue in the face, but, whether you like it or not, I have just passed my Advanced Motorcycle test which included at least one manoeuvre which was technically "illegal", yet the IAM examiner who, as I pointed out before, is a serving Class 1 Police Motorcyclist did *NOT* have a problem with.

                    This is not "bluster", this is a fact. If you cannot deal with that, it's not my problem and I see little point in continuing to discuss this with you, instead, once again I urge you to get an up-to-date assessment of your claimed Advanced Driving skills since it seems that you do not appreciate or understand what Advanced Road Use is about.

                    1. Some Beggar
                      FAIL

                      Re: @Some Beggar

                      And you can repeat yourself until you're blue in the face

                      I'm not repeating myself. I'm repeating the official IAM line.

                      The anecdote of an anonymous interneteer versus the official IAM line.

                      That's bluster, mate, whether you like it or not. You're wrong.

                      1. Vic

                        Re: @Some Beggar

                        > The anecdote of an anonymous interneteer versus the official IAM line.

                        Well, I'm going to chime in to support the anonymous interneteer; some (not all) of the IAM branches I've seen do exactly as he says.

                        Vic.

                      2. trashbat

                        Re: @Some Beggar

                        For obvious reasons, the party line is never, ever going to be, 'it's OK to break the law sometimes'. However, dogmatic fundamentalists amongst them aside, it preaches a methodology concerned with applying appropriate behaviour for the context. Sometimes, and hopefully only in an emergency rather than routinely, that appropriate behaviour may not be legal. This will not be shouted from any rooftops but if you privately discuss it with observers/assessors you may find some sensible concessions.

                        As any good driver knows, there's not much value in being legally and morally correct when you're in the hospital or the ground.

                      3. Graham Marsden

                        Re: @Some Beggar

                        I wasn't going to post again, but, really, you are making yourself look ridiculous now.

                        "Anonymous Interneteer?" Ye gods, you know my name, you can see it on all my posts (unlike you who are hiding behind a pseudonym!). You can see it on the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists Newsletter. I'm an Admin on the SAM Forums, I could post a message for you there. If you want I can also post a picture on there showing myself holding up my Pass Certificate (I can even put a message on it for you!). You can contact Alec Gore, Chief Observer of the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists Group or even PC Phil Pentelow the IAM Examiner and they can confirm I've passed the Test and Phil Pentelow, of course, saw the three car overtake! How much *more* evidence do you want before you are willing to consider that perhaps I am telling the truth???

                        Alternatively you can speak to your local IAM group and whilst they will never actually say "it's ok to break the speed limit", they will, as I mentioned before, tell you to complete overtakes as promptly and safely as possible.

                        The IPSGA System the IAM teaches provides *guidelines*, not something to be stuck to rigidly and unthinkingly, blindly adhering to "the rules" and I really am starting to have doubts that you have ever passed an IAM test (even 20 years ago) given that you appear to be unwilling or unableto apply any flexibilty in your thinking.

                        Now feel free to "bluster" by getting in the last word, because I *really* can't be bothered to waste any more time on this.

          4. Bryan Hall
            Happy

            Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            Are you serious? Hard to tell... I guess that doesn't apply to Top Gear eh? :-)

            I regularly pass a series of three or four semis (lorry's) on two lane roads out in West Texas around 120 MPH in my Corrado. If you don't - you may need to wait another 20 minutes for a chance of good clear road, going maybe 55 MPH in the mean time.

            At least over here - we are to spend as little time in the opposing lane as possible. I have no problem with that myself! Not that it is really any different than a track day, other than the rather large "cars" I'm passing.

          5. apjanes
            WTF?

            Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            @Some Beggar "If it isn't safe to overtake without exceeding the speed limit then you shouldn't be overtaking."

            No indeed, but we happen to live a world where humans make mistakes and misjudgement. As I am human I would like the option to break the speed limit in order to prevent imminent death as though I THOUGHT I could overtake without breaking the speed limit the oncoming 40 tonne truck is rapidly educating me as to my mistake.

            On day we may live in a world where cars are controlled by flawless robotics, but for now we don't.

        2. Skizz

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          "If you're overtaking a car you want to get past as fast as possible and if that means breaking the speed limit for a few seconds so be it."

          That is illegal. You should not start a maneuver that you cannot complete safely. The correct thing to do when overtaking and there's a vehicle in front of you is to brake and pull in behind the thing you were overtaking. Speeding up just increases your chances of hitting the oncoming vehicle, slowing down gives you more time to avoid collisions.

        3. Alan W. Rateliff, II
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          'round here, if you have to break the speed limit to pass then you are not allowed to pass.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            Round here, you try to pass at ANY speed and the other car goes even faster to block you. Meanwhile, the ones behind him speed up and close the gap you left, meaning you can't go back. So what's worse? Speeding or driving the wrong way because you have no other way to get to your side? Where I live, speeding is simply a standard motor offense while driving the wrong way for too long is considered reckless driving: a jailable offense.

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        "Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding."

        In the middle of an overtake, would be the best place to do this

      4. annodomini2
        Thumb Down

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        1. GPS Speed calculations are actually very accurate.

        2. It's been well proven through research that speed limiting with habitual speeders is actually more dangerous than letting them exceed the limit by a few mph.

        Speed doesn't inherently kill, it's just the easiest thing to prove.

        Sudden changes in speed and direction are the problem, added with the capability of the driver.

        Unfortunately in this country there is no desire to actually educate, just dictate, it wins political brownie points and costs little, compared to attempting to educate the public correctly.

        1. Nuke
          Thumb Down

          @annodomini2 Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          "It's been well proven through research that speed limiting with habitual speeders is actually more dangerous than letting them exceed the limit by a few mph."

          So the most disobedient drivers are still bad even when partially harnessed? Reference please?

          "Speed doesn't inherently kill"

          Do they teach basic physics in school these days?

          1) Available time to take evasive action (like braking) for a bad situation goes down as speed goes up, linear relationship.

          2) Destructive energy goes up as the square of the speed, square law relationship.

          There are also reasons for speed limits nothing to do with danger. Noise and road capacity are others.

          At one point on my commute I turn right from the stem of a T junction. There is a lot of traffic doing the same as me, about 4 times as much as is coming along the "main" straight-through road. Although it is all in a 30 mph limit, the main road traffic is doing 40-45 mph. As a result, this light sprinkling of traffic on the "main" road holds back the much larger amount of traffic trying to pull out because much more space must be left in front of a faster vehicle.

          So I (and about 30 other cars at any one time) waste 5 minutes every day at this junction, just so that the "main" road cars can drive at 40mph instead of 30mph for a 400 yd stretch (saving themselves about 7 seconds).

          1. NomNomNom
            Trollface

            Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            <-----Do the drivers on the main road look like that as they pass you?

            "So I (and about 30 other cars at any one time) waste 5 minutes every day at this junction, just so that the "main" road cars can drive at 40mph instead of 30mph for a 400 yd stretch (saving themselves about 7 seconds)."

            1. Tapeador
              Devil

              @NomNomNom Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              You've just made the greatest case for driving at 23-29mph in 30 zones I can think of - to wind up infantile psychopaths such as yourself

          2. Matthew 3

            "Speed doesn't inherently kill"

            There's nothing wrong with that statement. If speed did kill then travelling on an airliner would be the most dangerous thing anyone could do.

            There's a lot of silly stuff said by Clarkson but on this issue at least he speaks sense:

            "Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... That's what gets you."

            1. Tapeador
              Stop

              @ Matthew 3 - Re: "Speed doesn't inherently kill"

              What are you talking about? It's an infantile implicit fallacy, said by him tongue-in-cheek: of course speed kills - one chooses speed, and expends energy to manifest that choice, but non-movement is the default state of objects under gravity. Not moving is something which occurs in the absence of choice: whether the not-moving is dangerous or not depends completely on the speed one has chosen to go beforehand.

              Ergo it is the speed, not the being-stationary, which kills. Clarkson knew this when he uttered the sarcastic comment and you were dumb enough not to think it through for yourself.

              1. Matthew 3

                Re: @ Matthew 3 - "Speed doesn't inherently kill"

                OK, here's what I'm talking about:

                Executive Summary

                The act of travelling fast isn't of itself fatal.

                Elaboration

                As I pointed out, it's possible to travel in excess of 500mph in an aeroplane. This is the fastest possible current speed any average human can reach (ok, without joining a space agency). Many thousands of people do this every day without a single speed-induced death. Care to explain that for me? In case you'd forgotten, Concorde's passengers regularly (and safely) exceeded 1300mph for the best part of three decades. When Concorde did crash it wasn't speed that caused that accident either. If you were right then the fastest forms of travel would be the most dangerous, rather than the safest. With cars, motorways are the safest roads even though cars are travelling faster. Speed alone doesn't seem to be killing people there either.

                I do accept that injuries are more likely to be serious if something goes wrong when travelling at a higher speed. The majority of such injuries are caused by abrupt deceleration and the effects of momentum on the body. I don't think that's in dispute here. Of course momentum has a relationship with speed but, sadly, that's not the message given out by the 'speed kills' lobby. It doesn't even seem to be your point.

                You can only ever be right if you re-state your position as "inappropriate speed kills".

                I do recall people saying, back when steam trains were a new idea, that to exceed a walking pace was likely to cause physical injuries and risk death. Is this what you have in mind? I'm pretty sure that to still be of that view (when it's been so comprehensively disproven) is where I'd be applying words like 'infantile' 'dumb' and 'fallacy'.

                Just out of curiosity, what speed do you have in mind that will inherently kill someone?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Nuke Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            They do teach physics...

            And Speed does not kill, the impact in an accident does, and TBH, at 60-90mph, it don't matter, your still going to probably die in an impact if you don't wear a seat belt and don't have airbags..

            BUT on the other hand, if you are wearing a seat belt, have airbags, you'll might survive a 90mph impact unless your crushed by a lorry.

            But its mainly the other things that keep you safe, i.e. Keeping proper distance, checking mirrors before maneuvering, paying attention to your surroundings...

            But doing 40 in a 30 is stupid, not for your safety but for pedestrians and others.

            Oh and sounds like the T Junction needs replacing with a roundabout, you know the things designed to allow cars to turn easy?

            I have a junction near my house that has 2-3 accidents a year, but has the council done anything to improve safety? no

            1. Dire Critic
              Headmaster

              Re: @Nuke Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              Speed doesn't killl...

              ...inappropriate speed does.

          4. Some Beggar

            Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            On the one hand we have decades of scientific research into road safety and the power law correlation between speed and fatalities

            http://www.trg.dk/elvik/740-2004.pdf

            And on the other hand we have some bloke from sunny Donny with a small gift for sarcasm

            http://www.maxfarquar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/jeremy-clarkson.jpg

            I wonder which will get the most support from the luddite reactionaries of the Reg Commentariat?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Decades of road safety research

              I take it you are the part of the extremely vocal speed kills lobby?

              Then please explain why motorways are still our safest roads despite speed reductions across many towns and cities.

              Motorised transport was created with the explicit purpose of getting us to places faster, if you lot keep campaigning for speed reductions then we might as well go back to horses and carts. Its all very well saying more people survive if hit at 20 but how far do you take that? Even more would survive if hit at 10mph and even more if reduced to 5mph so why not do that?

              I like to have more time at my destination so I want to get there as quickly as possible. Speed is not the problem, dangerous driving and poorly maintained vehicles are. I am all for the removal of speed cameras and the employment of more traffic police. Most traffic cops are quite sensible and will leave you alone for going a couple of mph over the limit as long as they feel it is safe for you to do so with good road conditions etc but they can take dangerous drivers off the road as soon as they see them and they have a very dim view of putting other peoples lives at risk.

              I also think that we should have variable speed limits, this can be done cheaply enough now with LED signs e.g. Outside schools down to 20 in the morning and at kicking out time with an increase to 30 for the rest of the day. Motorways up to 90 with good visibility, good road conditions and not too much traffic but down to 50 if the traffic is really heavy or the rain is teeming down. I have seen people trying to do 100 in conditions so bad you couldn't see 10 feet through the spray and that is what causes accidents.

              If the campaigners really are that bothered about the number of road deaths (which realistically is a tiny tiny fraction of a percent considering just how many journeys are made every day) then they would support the removal of speed cameras in favour of real policemen.

              1. Mark 65

                Re: Decades of road safety research

                Speed is never the problem. It is inappropriate use of speed that is the problem. Vehicle, traffic, road conditions etc.

              2. Some Beggar
                Facepalm

                Re: Decades of road safety research

                I take it you are the part of the extremely vocal speed kills lobby?

                I'm not part of any lobby. I simply pointed to the research. There is a power law correlation between speed and death. A fourth power correlation. If you don't like the research then feel free to point out its flaws.

                Or ... you know ... whimper and moan about not being allowed to drive your tonnes of metal around at whatever speed you like. There's nothing sociopathic about that.

                1. Chris_B
                  FAIL

                  Re: Decades of road safety research

                  A few points taken from the study you pointed to :-

                  Page iv is titled "Some limitations of the study"

                  1. 77 out of 175, could not be included in the meta-analysis

                  2. There is a possibility of publication bias in the data

                  3. The results may to some extent reflect the effects of other road safety measures, not just changes in speed

                  4. Data concerning speed and/or accidents can be unreliable

                  5. A number of studies contain multiple estimates of effect.

                  6. The study does not state what the relationship between speed and accidents is for specific types of accidents or in specific types of traffic environment.

                  It also states that "The Power Model applies to injury accidents only, and not to accidents at large."

                  So it's saying that speed is related to the severity of the accident not whether speeding is safe or not.

                  All of that kind of puts the report in the bin really in this context.

                  It also mentions other studies that show that cars travelling slower or faster than the mean speed of traffic are more often involved in accidents

                  So, slow speed also kills to coin a phrase.

                  There's lies, damn lies and statistics.

                  1. Some Beggar
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Decades of road safety research

                    "All of that kind of puts the report in the bin really in this context."

                    "The conclusion of this study disagrees with my preconceptions so despite it coming from a very credible source, being a well-recorded meta analysis, being one of a large number of similar studies and having a high citation index, I am going to contrive some minor niggles and then discard it altogether."

                    There. Translated that into "honest English" for you. You're welcome.

                    1. Some Beggar
                      FAIL

                      Re: Decades of road safety research

                      Haha. There genuinely are people on here who think you can undermine good science by clicking on a thumb on a messageboard. I bet Popper is glad he died before the rise of the angry internaut.

                2. SoulReaper

                  Re: Decades of road safety research

                  " There is a power law correlation between speed and death. A fourth power correlation. If you don't like the research then feel free to point out its flaws."

                  Ok; I read the first couple pages of the above linked pdf. They say themselves that the power law doesn't show that greater speed causes more accidents, but that greater injuries result from accidents, which would be predicted by physics. They also mention that some of the studies showed that a variance from the mean speed was an issue. That doesn't mean that increased absolute speed is more dangerous if everyone is going about the same speed. Obviously you dont want to blow past people 20mph faster than them. Also they only show a correlation, it could be that dicks who would drive recklessly are also more likely to speed, or that distracted drivers arent watching their speed.

              3. Skizz

                Re: Decades of road safety research

                Motorways are safe because that's how they have been designed. For example:

                * There is a barrier between you and oncoming traffic

                * There are no pedestrians, cyclists, horses or underpowered motorbikes

                * Traffic joins and leaves the motorway at the speed of the traffic on the motorway (i.e. traffic filters onto / off the motorway)

                * Relative speeds are quite small

                Having condition-dependent limits is a stupid idea as it requires common sense and an amount of judgement not seen in the average driver. Plus, it becomes a subjective limit - what would happen if you think it's safe to do 90 but a police officer thinks the 80 is the most you should be doing?

              4. strum Silver badge
                Thumb Down

                Re: Decades of road safety research

                >Then please explain why motorways are still our safest roads

                Because they're wide, well-lit, with carefully-engineered curves, with no (immediate) junctions with other traffic.

                IOW, they were designed to be safer - that's why.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: strum

                  Your argument falls down when you consider:

                  Much higher volume of traffic

                  Much higher average speeds

                  Many many more idiot drivers (usually in a BMW or Audi)

                  Many badly designed slip roads

                  Many people not giving way to slip roads

                  Many people not accelerating enough when joining the motorway

                  Many more idiot HGV drivers racing each other

                  So overall these aspects should show that motorways are more dangerous places than a 30mph in a residential area but they aren't so once again speed is not the dangerous factor.

              5. Don Jefe
                Meh

                Re: Decades of road safety research

                Reading all these comments just makes me think no one on your island should have their own car. None of you seem to know anything about driving. Maybe it's cause your roads are all so short & you never get experience? I don't know.

              6. david bates

                Re: Decades of road safety research

                Actually, for reasons I cant fathom, the M6 seems more accident/tailback heavy in the good conditions of the summer than the bad conditions of winter.

            2. Some Beggar

              Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

              Early exit polls give a three to zero majority for the luddite reactionaries.

          5. David Ward 1
            FAIL

            Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            "1) Available time to take evasive action (like braking) for a bad situation goes down as speed goes up, linear relationship.

            2) Destructive energy goes up as the square of the speed, square law relationship."

            I call shenanigans.

          6. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            >"Speed doesn't inherently kill"

            >Do they teach basic physics in school these days?

            They do teach basic physics. Force is proportional to acceleration... did you not see the word 'inherently' included in the sentance? On the motorway, the things around you tend to have a lower relative speed to yourself than when you're pootling through town at 30mph.

            Being ignorant of physics is one thing, but to incorrectly chastise others for the ignorance you yourself exhibit... tch

          7. SoulReaper

            Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            " There are also reasons for speed limits nothing to do with danger."

            Ya, generating revenue.

            " So I (and about 30 other cars at any one time) waste 5 minutes every day at this junction, just so that the "main" road cars can drive at 40mph instead of 30mph for a 400 yd stretch (saving themselves about 7 seconds)."

            Sounds like you need a traffic light.

          8. Karl H

            Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            speed doesn't inherently kill.

            stopping quickly does.

            admittedly if you are doing 5 mph then stopping quickly is quite difficult.

            if you are doing 70mph it is a whole lot easier to stop quickly.

          9. MJI Silver badge

            Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

            At one point on my commute I turn right from the stem of a T junction. There is a lot of traffic doing the same as me, about 4 times as much as is coming along the "main" straight-through road. Although it is all in a 30 mph limit, the main road traffic is doing 40-45 mph. As a result, this light sprinkling of traffic on the "main" road holds back the much larger amount of traffic trying to pull out because much more space must be left in front of a faster vehicle.

            Funny really but if I saw a queue like that I would slow and let a few do their turn

        2. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Unfortunately in this country there is no desire to actually educate,....

          Now if there was some sort of speed awareness course that could be offered instead of points and a fine, you know one that you could even do off your back.

          I mean if ONLY I could find somewhere that did some sort of advanced driving course, but know I can't find anything of the sort.

          Shame nothing like that exists isn't it?

        3. annodomini2

          Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

          I wasn't quoting Clarkson.

      5. NogginTheNog

        Re: "Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves"

        They can: my 6 year old Peugeot has cruise control that has a speed limiter option, so I can set it to say 70mph and it won't go any faster than that no matter how hard I push the pedal.

        1. John Sturdy
          Boffin

          Re: "Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves"

          As do all HGVs!

        2. Chris Glen-smith
          Go

          @NoggingTheNog

          "no matter how hard I push the pedal." If it's the same as our old Renault (and I'd bet good money it is) then that's actually not true, if you push the pedal in to the second stage of spring tension it will overide the limiter.

      6. A J Stiles

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        "Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding."

        No reason, as long as there is some way to tell the gadget when you get into a situation where the choice is literally "break the speed limit or crash", and it doesn't take an inordinately long time to put the vehicle into this mode.

      7. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        "I'd accept this, provided my car speedo was absolutely accurate ... and I got an audible warning when nudging over the limit."

        Agreed - there a bit of the M1 (somewhere near Barnsley) that I use regularly where I've had to school myself to watch the speedo - the first time I came down I glaced down and to my horror I was doing a ton without realising it.

        However, just like the TalkTalk pr0n monitoring, how does the car know what the speed limit is?

      8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        It will mean more running red lights.

        There was a trial scheme in one town on this side of t'pond. Since they don't have detailed maps of speed limit zones it just tracked how often you braked hard.

        More breaking = bad driver = lost your discount insurance rate.

        So if a little old lady walks out into the road or a cyclist cuts across you - you have a split second to decide if the dent in the bonnet will be cheaper than the insurance hike.

      9. Number6

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        The GPS in my phone has been known to tell the driver to "Observe speed limit" on occasion. I was surprised enough when the woman delivered the admonishment the first time that I nearly dropped it (I was navigating passenger at that point).

      10. henrydddd

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        I wonder when the first car that ends up stalled on the freeway because of a DDOS attack?

      11. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Some Beggar

      Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

      Big Brother wasn't an opt-in scheme. Being compulsory is a fairly important aspect of a repressive autocracy.

      1. Roger Kynaston
        FAIL

        Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

        And it will of course be perfectly easy to get insurance when you break the rules set by the ahem insurance companies. People talk about government health and safety gone mad when the real cause of extreme risk averseness are insurers. I am waiting for the day when my insurer insists on putting black and yellow tape round all the trip hazards on my boat - the whole boat is a trip hazard! </rant>

  2. Magnus_Pym

    If they really knew...

    ... what some peoples driving was like they wouldn't get insurance. A small percentage of terrible drivers that cause a large percentage of the claims (directly or indirectly). If the insurance companies knew how bad their driving really was they wouldn't get insurance. Accidents would go down, Insurance would be cheaper. However there would be far more uninsured drivers less people to cover the costs so insurance would go back up.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: If they really knew...

      Indeed, a small percentage are terrible drivers.

      But speeding w.r.t. road sign values is only one aspect of this: not paying attention (for whatever reason: phone, kids, being senile, etc), being drunk/drugged up, having marginal knowledge of road rules, driving too fast for the prevailing conditions (fog, snow, etc), etc are all big factors that would be very difficult to deduce from GPS track data.

      1. Some Beggar

        Re: If they really knew...

        If you're involved in an accident then the prevailing conditions and your state of intoxication will be recorded. The GPS doohickeys plugged into your car will simply provide additional information on your driving behaviour. If you were fleeing from a ketamine gremlin through freezing fog then the doohickey will just tell them how fast you were doing it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If they really knew...

      Accidents would go down, Insurance would be cheaper

      You are naive thinking that "insurance would be cheaper". If anything, on average, it would be dearer, much dearer, as most folk would be slapped with "floating insurance rate", i.e. punished for all their misdeeds. Since when a price of a service is tied to the cost of the service provider?

      Methink we're going to see times of "golden opportunity to increase profit margins".

      And think of all this dataflow! Which government would resist the temptation to protect us from all those nasty terrorists who can't wait to blow us all up.

      And then, once the technology's matured - remote engine switch. And, to make sure you don't leg it - remotely lockable doors. And you think it's absurd? Sure, that's what they thought about the machine gun, just before it was introduced, spectacularly. And I'm sure you'd hear people say in the not so long ago past, it's an insane idea that you can track, pardon, monitor your own car, from a phone you hold in your hand, standing on top of a hill, in a different country a good few thousands miles away, and all that via a piece of machinery floating in outer space. Absurd!

      now, where's me pills...

      1. fandom Silver badge

        Re: If they really knew...

        "Since when a price of a service is tied to the cost of the service provider?"

        Did you mean to say that?

        1. nichomach
          Mushroom

          Re: If they really knew...

          Yes, actually I think he did. And he's right. The assumption seems to be that as insurers' costs go down, so will the cost of insurance. It doesn't and it won't, because motor insurance is a legalised protection racket, and its practitioners crooks whose behaviour would make Al Capone blush. Year on year we see more intrusive surveillance of drivers (ANPR, greater powers to confiscate untaxed/uninsured vehicles and so forth) which we the taxpayers pay for but are demanded by the insurance companies who always claim that it will reduce the cost of insurance for law-abiding motorists. Never happens though, does it? When was the last time your insurance even held steady, let alone went down? Isn't it funny, by the way, how all those prices at rodent comparison sites and the like are within a few quid of each other? How all their price increases seem so consistent?

          1. Some Beggar
            Stop

            Re: If they really knew...

            a legalised protection racket, and its practitioners crooks whose behaviour would make Al Capone blush

            That analogy only works if you have an effective monopoly or a cartel.

            We have a relatively free market for insurance in the UK. Are you suggesting the gubmint should step in and control the amount of profits the insurance company makes?

            1. nichomach
              Go

              Re: If they really knew...

              Monopoly? No. Cartel? Almost certainly. And yes, actually, I have no problem with the government stepping in and limiting the extent to which we can be ripped off. The requirement for motor insurance is mandated by the government; they effectively force us to buy this product, so I have no problem with them enforcing a limit on how much we can be ripped off for.

              1. Some Beggar

                Re: If they really knew...

                Cartel? Almost certainly.

                And your evidence for this somewhat fantastical assertion is ... ?

              2. tfewster Silver badge
                Flame

                Cartels

                The government gets its backhander through Insurance Premium Tax, so no incentive to drive prices down.

                I find IPT to be the most offensive tax; Mandatory car insurance: Government takes a cut. Cut police numbers so people have to take out theft insurance: Government takes a cut. Run down the NHS so people buy healthcare insurance: Government takes a cut.

                We should be getting refunds, rather than paying 3 times over...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If they really knew...

            A multitude of similar prices could indicate a comptetitive market with narrow profit margins.

            1. Mark 65

              Re: If they really knew...

              Screech. Look, a porcine aviator!

          3. Vic

            Re: If they really knew...

            > When was the last time your insurance even held steady, let alone went down? I

            Mine went down this week (renewal was yesterday).

            It helps that I hadn't had a car for some years, so last year, I had no NCD. This year I have a year.

            My insurer from last year still put the premium up, though, and didn't bother sending me a renewal notice - just told me over the phone that they were about to charge my card anyway., The bastards shouldn't even have had the number. Grrr.

            So being pissed off with that company, I went looking. One quote that beat my renewal by £80 was - exactly the same company. Bastards.

            I ended up going with someone else, for a lower premium, and a lower excess. I saved over £100, and got a better deal all round...

            Vic.

    3. Nuke
      Holmes

      @Magnus_Pym Re: If they really knew...

      While I don't believe that premiums would go down, an accelerometer in the car might stop those bogus whiplash claims.

      A workmate of mine was in a motorway traffic jam, had stopped, but did not apply his handbrake enough. He was tuning the radio to get some traffic news when he felt a very slight bump and realised he had rolled into the car in front (oh those motorway gradients!). No harm done, not even to the paint, and the five Asian gentlemen in the other car were all smiles about it; but they exchanged details anyway.

      A week later a claim came through for five cases of whiplash.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Magnus_Pym If they really knew...

        Was it really necessary to mention the race of the fraudsters? You'd have said five Caucasion gentlemen if they were white, right?

        1. Oscar Pops
          Go

          Re: @Magnus_Pym If they really knew...

          Similar thing happened to my father - had a low-speed accident caused by a stupid human error on the part of the other driver. Two occupants in the car unhurt, just a bit of paint scrapage, exchanged details and drove off. By the time it got to court there were three people claiming whiplash, the car had been written off and the bill for 'a friends' recovery services was also being chucked in for good measure. Thankfully a bit of sense prevailed and they lost their claims, but sadly none were subsequently prosecuted for fraud.

          Obviously the race of the other parties is totally irrelevant so I'll leave it to the reader to guess.

        2. Alan W. Rateliff, II
          Paris Hilton

          Re: @Magnus_Pym If they really knew...

          Possibly not if he is Caucasian. However, if he is Asian, black, Latino, or other he may well say "the five white dudes..." It's what we tend to do with outgroups.

          Smelling racism where none exists is a cancer killing our societies.

          Paris, cancer killing culture.

      2. NogginTheNog
        Flame

        Re: @Magnus_Pym If they really knew...

        Don't get me bloody started on c*nts falsely claiming whiplash! Thieving bastards, and the insurance companies rarely bother to check. I even had an accident repair guy trying to persuade *me* to make a claim once when I took my car in to be fixed (after a minor rear-end shunt), even though I wasn't injured in the slightest.

        THAT'S what's pushing up insurance prices.

        1. Allan 1

          Re: @Magnus_Pym If they really knew...

          Yeah, I nudged someone in a car park at a major mall in Manchester. The guys inside were of Indian origin. They were all smiles, no damage was done to the car, not even a scuff on the paintwork. We exchanged details.

          Few weeks later, a claim for 4 cases of whiplash, 2 busted tail lights, and a replacement bumper came through. We aquired the CCTV footage from the mall which clearly showed undamaged tail lights, and them moving about quite normally.

          Their claim just seemed to evaporate when the footage was handed over to our lawyers. A pity they weren't charged with attempted insurance fraud.

      3. A J Stiles

        Re: @Magnus_Pym If they really knew...

        There's an even easier way to stop bogus whiplash claims: Require properly-adjusted head restraints (you know, the things that are there to prevent whiplash) as an MoT condition. Anyone who claims for whiplash would then be admitting to driving an unroadworthy vehicle.

      4. annodomini2

        Re: @Magnus_Pym If they really knew...

        @Nuke, The accelerometer is already there, the data is logged in the Airbag on impact, has been for years.

  3. Robert Heffernan
    Facepalm

    Load of money making s#¡t!

    This whole thing is a load of crap designed by the insurance companies to wiesel their way out of paying claims and protecting the billions in profit each year.

    If anyone was serious about using technology to benefit road users and save lives then cars would be required to use GPS, mapping and the internet to limit the vehicle to the speed limit, preventing anyone speeding. Also by integrating distance sensors, the vehicle could automatically maintain a safe distance to the vehicles around it. Also the distance sensors could react to an emergency stop MUCH faster than a human ever could.

    But no, there is no money to be made in fines, and no money to be made in high insurance premiums, so it will never get mandated.

    1. D. M
      Flame

      Re: Load of money making s#¡t!

      only if the map is accurate in real time. tracking by GPS and limit car speed to the "mapped" speed is a terrible idea. And you'd also have to let the car auto speed up to the speed limit, it is annoying that someone drives 5k below the limit yet, will speed up to prevent you from overtaking.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Load of money making s#¡t!

        "it is annoying that someone drives 5k below the limit yet, will speed up to prevent you from overtaking."

        Not sure what value that is but people who speed up during an overtake are very annoying. I had a small Toyota Lexus (rebadged Altezza) try this to me once, luckily I had about 50bhp more.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Load of money making s#¡t!

      Just learn how to drive (and spell) properly

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    ... what price such "economists" will deign to put on the countering move to privacy.

  5. Jop
    Angel

    In the future..

    CarOS 2.1 Jailbroken! Now you can root your car and change your telemetry data such as speeds, all with a simple smartphone app!

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Joke

    So why will cars in the US be smartest?

    Some will say it is because the Merkin goverment wants to spy on them

    Others will say it is because many American drivers cannot even handle a stick-shift.

    Which is it?

    Any suggestions?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So why will cars in the US be smartest?

      And the rest of the world - there IS one outside America.

      And it has people in it.

    2. Armando 123

      Re: So why will cars in the US be smartest?

      Because we have the smartest programmers and engineers?

      Mind you, our managers and government workers are in the lower half of world rankings, which more than outweighs the programmers and engineers.

      1. A J Stiles
        Joke

        Re: So why will cars in the US be smartest?

        Actually, I think you will the Germans are better engineers than Brits or Americans, probably because they are not cluttering up their heads with the 25.4 times table.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So why will cars in the US be smartest?

        "Because we have the smartest programmers and engineers?"

        Yeah, those guys in India and China are pretty damn smart.

  7. Richard Cartledge

    What shapeshifting NWO illuminati rot.

    When you call the AA from a mobile, they already tell you where you are and have done for 10 years.

    1. NomNomNom

      the illuminati have nothing to do with the shapeshifters

      1. Gobhicks
        Black Helicopters

        ... or so "they" would have you believe

        You may never touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just glad my newest car is 21 years old, while the oldest is 41!

    1. Armando 123

      Suddenly that old Austin Healey is looking like a cheap deal, even with the price of oil ...

  9. Henny

    already installed one

    I installed a GPS tracker/Telematics unit to my car as an anti-theft measure way back in 2004... (a modified Maxxon TrakM8) This has been coming for a long while, and isn't all negative...

    After an accident, I used it to prove that the other driver was at fault, was lying about what happened, had pulled out without looking (directly into my path), and that I wasn't speeding...

    Before that, it'd knocked around 10% off my insurance premiums as the car could be tracked via GPS, and I'd built an add-on to the system that could remotely disable the engine should it be stolen, and trigger a camera built into the dash so that a record of who had stolen the car was available...

    This was all before 3G was widely available, so it was all done on just plain old GSM. With the 3G and WiFi that's available now, ideas such as these could make car theft much less common, and accident disputes almost impossible meaning that insurance costs should come down...

    Limiting the speed of a car via GPS is a very dangerous idea though... I've had to break the speed limit in the past on numerous occasions to avoid accidents, or get away from idiot drivers. Having the car decide that I was breaking the law (based on a calculated GPS location, which isn't always 100% as we all know!) without knowing all of the various other things going on (that electronic sensors can't sense!) would cause more problems that it'd help...

    1. MrXavia
      Thumb Up

      Re: already installed one

      Sounds like a nice system you added, I've been thinking of doing that myself!

      And I agree with the speed, sometimes going faster than the limit is needed to be safe, but in general our limits are not sensible anyway, too low on motorways, often too high near schools..

      Speed itself is not dangerous, inappropriate speed can be.

      I for one would like to see more police on our roads!

    2. Ogi

      Re: already installed one

      That's different though, because you did it and you own it, data included. You are still in control.

      A government one would probably have rules against tampering/modifying, would be illegal to switch off and/or remove, you would not be able to decide when you want it to track you, and the data it collects would be owned by the government, to do as it wishes with (including selling it on to insurance,etc...)

      I don't think many people are against tracking/telematics as a technology, more that they are weary of government application of said technology, especially once they get their foot in the door, they can later on extend it as they wish, including (potentially) dictating what the car does.

      1. Wize

        Re: already installed one

        "A government one would probably have rules against tampering/modifying..."

        And if someone was going to do something illegal, they would borrow your car and remove/disable the device (as its location will be known on the car if its covered by any legislation) before they go joyriding/bank robbing/mowing down pedestrians.

        These things only get in the way of law abiding citizens.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: already installed one

      Seems a lot of effort to have made for a banged up Ford Escort

    4. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

      Re: already installed one

      Of course the problem with having such a device fitted by your insurance company would mean a hike in policy prices because there would be no valid reason to exceed the speed limit.

  10. bitmap animal
    Thumb Down

    Speed != bad driving

    One of the problems with technology like this is one that has raised its head a few times over the last few years can be shown with these two scenarios.

    1) Doing 80mph on an empty straight motorway in good conditions

    2) Doing 30mph in a 30mph area on a winding road through a crowded village centre.

    There is no way these black boxes can monitor if the driver is being safe or not. Absolute road speed is a very poor indication of this and is a very lazy and intrusive way of raising driver standards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Speed != bad driving

      True.

      But more absolute road speed does mean more kinetic energy, and more momentum; both of which will be used to break the vehicles and people involved in any accident that does happen to occur.

      Speed might be an imperfect metric by which to control accident frequency and damage levels, but it is not an utterly irrelevant one, and it is easily understood and can be easily followed.

      1. Vic

        Re: Speed != bad driving

        > Speed ... is easily understood

        Actually, I don't think that's true.

        By far the majority of the people I meet do not understand a square law relationship. They cannot see that a car at 40mph has approximately twice the energy of a car at 30mph.

        But more importanbtly, IMO, a vast number of people cannot see that safety is not a black-line demarcation; it is categorically *not* true that $limit-$delta is safe, whereas $limit+$delta is dangerous.

        So although speed does need to be considered when deciding if someone is driving safely, there are many other factors[1] which seem to be overlooked once an observer has decided to focus on speed...

        Vic.

        [1] Many of these are probably far more important than speed when it comes to the probability of having an accident[2]. Tiredness is the most commonly-ignored factor IMO - and it is arguably as dangerous as alcohol.

        [2] Note that I am considering the chances of having an accident, not the aftermath of having had one. It is obviously the case that more energy is likely to lead to more damage. But I would rather people looked at ways to avoid accidents, rather than just mitigate the damage. I would much rather be missed by a car doing 40 than hit by one doing 30.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually, I don't think that's true.

          "By far the majority of the people I meet do not understand a square law relationship." - indeed, hence a speed limit, not a kinetic-energy limit

          "a vast number of people cannot see that safety is not a black-line demarcation" - indeed, and since they refuse to shift their perceptions, at least give them a black-line demarcation that makes a moderate degree of sense.

          I too would rather people looked at ways to avoid accidents, rather than just mitigate the damage. But for all those who fail to do so, let us at least have something in place to help mitigate the damage. Something that can be objectively measured, so that enforcement or compliance becomes possible.

          I'm sure you all think you are quite good at driving, but since I have no reason to trust your belief, I'd rather you limited your speed to mitigate any potential damage.

          And I too am quite good at driving, but since you likely have no reason to trust my belief, perhaps you also might rather I limited my speed to mitigate any potential damage?

          1. Vic

            Re: Actually, I don't think that's true.

            > at least give them a black-line demarcation that makes a moderate degree of sense.

            And that's exactly the inability to understand speed I was talking about. No such black-line demarcation can possibly make sense, beause hazard is inherently a probability function, relying on many other variables as well as speed.

            By convincing the population that 29mph === very safe and 31mph === very dangerous, we are making a huge mistake. The amount of sleep the driver had the night before is likely to be far more significant than a few mph. Ditto the state of his personal relationships, his job, ...

            What we need to do is to get people to take responsibility for their own actions, not give them trite little "rules" which bear little or no relation to reality.

            > perhaps you also might rather I limited my speed to mitigate any potential damage?

            No. I'd rather you be regularly assessed for competence to drive, and I'd rather you be held personally responsible for any damage you cause.

            I disagree with mandatory sentencing, but I would like to see an *expectation* that any driver hitting a pedestrian or cyclist will do jail time.

            Vic.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Actually, I don't think that's true.

              "What we need to do is to get people to take responsibility for their own actions, not give them trite little "rules" which bear little or no relation to reality."

              Good luck. Self-denial is practically a survival trait in the modern man. So you either Keep It Simple, Stupid or no one's going to listen. Otherwise, you're basically saying that since the only way people will be safer is to be responsible and most people are categorically incapable of being responsible, we're in a no-win situation. You either let them drive and kill people or bar them from driving to work and grinding modern civilization to a halt since many people can't walk, ride, or use mass transit to get where they need to go (no mass transit nearby) or do what they need to do (big grocery run--need a vehicle with a boot).

    2. Steve Evans

      Re: Speed != bad driving

      Even worse. Doing 32 mph on an empty, dry 30mph road at 3am, or doing 25mph on the same road in heavy rain at school kick out time whilst arguing with the kids who are fighting on the back seat.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Speed != bad driving

        I have no idea who downvoted my post of 11:09, but if he/she thinks driving in the rain at 25mph whilst arguing with the kids who are fighting on the back seat is safer to themselves and others than doing 32mph on the same road (but empty) in the dry with no distractions, then I sincerely hope they don't live or drive anywhere near me!

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Speed != bad driving - Steve Evans

          As someone once said to me they would rather be hit by a car travelling at 25 (speedo watcher) than missed by a car at 35 (watching road),

          He was insistant in this and did not understand that people need to look out of the big window in front of them and that what was happening out there was more important than what an instrument said.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Speed != bad driving

      OK, but what about the other (idiot) drivers? You might be perfectly safe driving at $SPEED in $CONDITIONS, but when some other guy (perhaps they are arguing with small children in the back seat) makes a mistake, your speed still counts toward the energy budget for damage.

      1. OldBiddie

        Re: Speed != bad driving

        You'd have already adjusted your speed to compensate and mitigate against the hazard.

        Observation for what's happening, what's about to happen and what you can reasonably assuming is going to happen outranks blinding sticking to a speed limit due to some arbitrary numbers in a red bounded circle regardless of what's going on around you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          compensate for hazard?

          What hazard? it looks fine to m.. *CRASH* f**K, What? where did he come from? Oh Christ ....

          Do accidents happen because of behaviour that can be reasonably assumed or expected to occur, or things that are unreasonable and unexpected?

          Something of both, I expect. I wonder which type are worst? It'd be interesting to know.

          1. Vic

            Re: compensate for hazard?

            > Do accidents happen because of behaviour that can be reasonably

            > assumed or expected to occur

            Almost always, yes.

            The problem is that so many road users simply don't put enough effort into working out what can be expected to occur.

            Once again, I'm going to plug "Roadcraft". If you haven't read it yet - you should. It's cheap, and it *will* save you at least one accident. And make you feel very inadequate[1].

            Vic.

            [1] Strangely, it also made me much faster. Although I no longer drive or ride at the same top speed as I used to, the observational skills I learnt from the course mean that my average speed is quite a bit higher.

            1. OldBiddie

              Re: compensate for hazard?

              I'm glad more than one person has read and understood it :)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No more parking directly outside Madam Lash

    I'll have to park outside the church instead.

  12. Andus McCoatover
    Joke

    Tin-foil hats, I say!!!

    (over the GPS antenna, natch!)

  13. boltar
    Thumb Down

    The whole speed "safety" industry is a money making con

    In the UK you'll often find speed cameras on straight stretches of road where this is an unreasonably low speed limit and it would be quite safe to go faster (A40 and A23 spring to mind). The only reason to put those cameras there is to catch the unwary and make some money. But if they REALLY cared about safety they'd put speed cameras outside schools for example to catch the idiots doing 35 through packed streets when kids are trying to cross. But has anyone ever seen a speed camera outside a school? I haven't. And you know why? Because most people stick to the limit and so they wouldn't make much money. The fact that a single individual one in a while might kill a kid, weeeelll , who cares eh? There's no money in saving lives is there?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The whole speed "safety" industry is a money making con

      Not every county is the same...

      Some don't put speed cameras in stupid places, and round my way there are places with Speed cameras outside/near schools.. Where they should be!

    2. DRHowells

      Re: The whole speed "safety" industry is a money making con

      Why would you put a speed camera up where most people don't speed? Speed camera's can be a distraction, so sometimes having them in front of a school can be dangerous.

      Where I live there is a school just inside a 30 MPH limit where it drops from a 60 and there is a camera. I am sure it was put there because people didn't slow down in time before they got to the school, so that was appropriate (IMO).

      The reason those camera's are on the A40 / A23 are, as you said, because people think the speed limit is too slow and SPEED. Your own argument justifies the whole situation.

      1. boltar
        WTF?

        Re: The whole speed "safety" industry is a money making con

        "Why would you put a speed camera up where most people don't speed?"

        Because the consequences of speed are potentially far greater therefor it only requires a few people to speed for it to be a problem.

        "The reason those camera's are on the A40 / A23 are, as you said, because people think the speed limit is too slow and SPEED. Your own argument justifies the whole situation."

        No, they make the limit artificially low then put speed cameras up. Its a money making scam.

      2. Matthew 3

        Re: The whole speed "safety" industry is a money making con

        "The reason those camera's are on the A40 / A23 are, as you said, because people think the speed limit is too slow and SPEED. Your own argument justifies the whole situation."

        Not quite. A few years ago I might have agreed. But since councils started lowering the limits - and then put in cameras - it weakens this argument.

        It used to be the case that speed limits were set based on the behaviour of a certain percentile of road users (i.e. the speed at which most sensible drivers had independently assessed as safe). Now it's all about risk avoidance: the limits come down and thus need more enforcement for the drivers who know it's safe to travel faster (and perhaps were allowed to go faster a few years previously on the same road). Parts of the A40 have been reduced to 40mph (down from 70).

        I long for a return to the days when drivers' judgement was considered enough. The prosecutions happened to the drivers with the worst judgement.

      3. Steve Evans

        Re: The whole speed "safety" industry is a money making con

        I'm envious of anyone who can get >10mph past a school when it's emptying time!

  14. StephenD
    FAIL

    Clearly not for me

    I thought I'd look for interest at the quotes being offered for me.

    One refused to quote because I'm too old (at 38)

    One refused to quote because I do too many miles per year (25,000)

    One refused to quote because I use the car to drive to business meetings.

    One refused to quote because parking sensors have been fitted to the car.

    Not quite ready for the mainstream yet?

  15. Wombling_Free
    Thumb Up

    As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

    I've never had a speeding ticket, infringement notice, been the cause of an accident (some fool ran into me though), I've never even had a parking ticket! I've been driving for 25 years.

    I have simply never had the need to speed - I passed physics at high school so I understand the laws of momentum.

    1. JohnMurray

      Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

      You failed to say what speed you passed physics at ?

      1. Ian Halstead

        Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

        Not sure of the speed, but he was accelerating at 9.8 m/s².

        1. Steve Evans

          @Ian Halsted - Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

          Are you trying to say he drove off a cliff?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

      I think a healthy dose of realpolitik is needed here. While you're self-righteously pottering along at the legal speed limit, you are building up a queue of increasingly impatient people behind you. Eventually, they will be tempted to overtake when perhaps it's not safe to do so and risk killing themselves and you in the process. This is one reason why insurance companies will often hike premiums after an accident even if it was technically not your fault.

      1. NogginTheNog
        Mushroom

        Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

        Whoa there! You're having a go at a guy because he CHOOSES to always drive within the legal limits, and so *might* be annoying other drivers who chose to break them?? What next, the mean bastards who lock their doors and wind up the burglars?!!

        You sir are a cock.

        1. boltar
          WTF?

          Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

          "Whoa there! You're having a go at a guy because he CHOOSES to always drive within the legal limits, and so *might* be annoying other drivers who chose to break them?? What next, the mean bastards who lock their doors and wind up the burglars?!!"

          Poor analogy. The roads are public space so you're oblidged to take other drivers into consideration. Most peoples houses are not.

    3. boltar
      FAIL

      Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

      "I have simply never had the need to speed - I passed physics at high school so I understand the laws of momentum."

      In that case you'll also understand that T = D / V. The faster you go the quicker you get somewhere and for people under time pressure that matters.

      Why do I get the feeling your the sort of sanctamonious muppet driving along in some one point buggerall wheezmatic midget mobile at 25 in a 30 zone with a 300 metre trail of cars behind you?

    4. IglooDude

      Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

      Meanwhile, I've had about ten speeding tickets, but zero infringement notices, never been involved in any accident at all, and no parking tickets either, and been doing a lot of driving over the same 25 years. And I understand both the laws of momentum, and the laws of courtesy and common sense - please also obey the "slower traffic keep to the outside lane" law, and we'll get along fine.

      1. ed2020

        Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

        please also obey the "slower traffic keep to the outside lane"

        Slower traffic should keep to the inside lane. You overtake on the outside.

        1. Jess--

          Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

          the insurance will be cheaper if you have the box.

          simply because if you choose not to have the box you must be a terrible driver that drives everywhere at 200mph while running over grannies on zebra crossings, therefore insurance costs will go up by 100% for the non box insurance policies while they only go up by 50% for the policies with the boxes, therefore they can claim that by being a good driver with the box you can get cheaper insurance

          oh, sorry!

          did you mean insurance costs actually being cheaper than they are now?

        2. ed2020
          WTF?

          Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

          I'd love to know why this earned me a down vote...

          1. IglooDude

            Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

            So would I. I drive in the US, and was attempting to make my point geography-independent. In the US, the inside (left) lane is the fast lane, and the outside/right lane is the slow lane. I thought in the UK the inside=fast would be the same (as you do join the highway from the outside, right?), and left/right would be reversed for fast/slow lanes.

        3. John 62
          Facepalm

          Re: inside/outside

          Uh, overtaking on the outside sounds rather dangerous for the UK.

          Drive on the near-side and overtake on towards the off-side.

    5. Oscar Pops
      Trollface

      Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

      "I've never had a speeding ticket, infringement notice, been the cause of an accident (some fool ran into me though)"

      Would that have been just after you were brake-testing them for "fun" by any chance (as per your earlier comment)?

      You might not be the cause of the accident as far as liability goes, but as a friend of mine discovered, the fun soon vanishes when the other driver fails to stop and they're in a stolen car.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As long as we get CHEAPER premiums for being good drivers!

      Why not just ban fully comp insurance covering accidents? 3rd party only.

      Then everyone pays according to their behaviour.

      /sarc

      I have a feeling the "good drivers pay less" is a marketing tool, rather than what the insurance companies actually want. If everyone drove perfectly, their business would evaporate.

  16. SJRulez

    If they were that serious about improving road safety they would stop manufacturers making cars that go over the speed limits in the first place.... not that I'd actually buy one.

    I wonder how many people will end up with the premiums going up when their insurance companies interpret all the pot holes as going off road!

    1. fandom Silver badge

      "they would stop manufacturers making cars that go over the speed limits in the first place"

      Actually they do that, they don't allow manufactures to make cars that go over the speed limit of German highways.

      No that they have any problem enforcing it, after all, going past the speed of light is kind of hard.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yup, limit cars to 20 mph - never break a speed limit again.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheaper in-sewer-ants ? Oh dear...

    This things are NOT made to make things safer, cheaper r in any way beneficial to the user. They are meant to introduce more fine print to the ever increasing number of backdoor clauses in in-sewer-ants contracts so the companies don't have to cough up their cash when required.

  18. flearider

    speed what speed ??

    come on everyones been on the motorway .. cars flying past a 90-100mph ..

    and if your in a newish car the police really don't do much ..

    then you have those lovely tank drivers racing along in the second lane taking 20 mins to over take there m8 ..

    both ends of the scale ..

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed is not dangerous

    Speeding is not dangerous, inappropriate speeding is dangerous - for example, 100mph on a 3 lane motorway at 1am in clear, dry conditions is not dangerous but 40mph in a 30mph zone near a school at home time is.

    There are many more issues on the the roads which this will not address like undertaking, using mobile phones, tailgating, careless driving, not using mirrors, jumping red lights - the list goes on. Each one of these are as dangerous as inappropriate speeding yet cannot be detected so why would lack of speeding make someones insurance premiums drop?

    Put more traffic police on the road and you will make driving safer. Do anything else and it is just yet another tax.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Speed is not dangerous

      Totally agree,

      I would happily pay double my road tax, IF it meant raising speed limits on Motorways/Dual Carriage Ways, and introducing more traffic police to pull over dangerous drivers...

      speed is not dangerous, inappropriate speed is.

      90 on a motorway, safe if you keep appropriate distance, but doing 90 in torrential rain, not a good idea.... Although many on the M6/M5 didn't seem to get that...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Speed is not dangerous

      "There are many more issues on the the roads which this will not address like undertaking..."

      Whilst I basically agree with you, I would say that if there was enough room and enough time for someone to be undertaken, there was almost certainly enough time for that person to be considerate enough to use the lane to the left (UK) of them.

    3. IglooDude

      Re: Speed is not dangerous

      Except traffic police tend to go for the low-hanging fruit, the easily-enforced speeding violations; their radar guns (and more modern variations) enable them to detect speeders at hundreds of meters away, but distracted/careless driving, not using mirrors or signals, and (to a lesser extent) tailgating all require a much closer look.

    4. Stevie Silver badge

      Bah!

      Yeah, I had a friend who used to feel that way. Then there was the time he was doing 70 on a deserted stretch of the A45 with a clear view for miles and a badger ran out in front of him, froze then executed a leap-and-scream Kamikaze-attack on the radiator grille, demolishing most of the front end of the vehicle and leaving my pal in an uncontrollable ballistic missile.

      Oh how we laughed. He didn't.

      It didn't do the badger much good either, and the insurance guy had a problem identifying exactly what had been liquidized all over the engine compartment.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a really quick way of getting voted out.

    Men just drive fast. It's the way they are. If you log the driving, lads will just steal someone else's car.

    If you limit the speed, lads will just brake later, or not at all. Limiting the speed to 70, will just make lads crowd round corners that can only be taken safely at 55. Women coming the other way will still die in the head on.

    Some die, some kill bus stops full of children, but most survive, and because of their experiences, they become better drivers, thus causing less accidents in the future.

    I don't mind carrying a phone, even though I know it...

    is used as a geolocator,

    is used as a listening device etc

    because I know that the government will never use that information in a court of law, they'll have to have other proof, and that's costly, so that's the safeguard.

    However, this is just to generate money. I have no problem with MI5, GCHQ, HMGCC etc knowing my driving habits. In fact I'd even declare it on a job application if they asked, because I'm sure they'd check. But this is a money making scam.

    (On another note - not relevant, in an earlier post, I speculated that the reusability industry would recover in a few months, when the lobbyists had learned their lesson, and started bribing the incoming govt, instead of the outgoing one. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/26/david-cameron-greenest-government-ever?newsfeed=true)

    Bizarre that something's finally come up in the news that I actually care about, my right to break the traffic laws because men are better drivers. I normally don't care about anything government does, and just argue for the fun of it.

  21. Cisco Disco
    Devil

    Insurance, what Insurance?

    I've been telling others about how we'll be pushed into using auto-driven cars via increased insurance to drive freely, what I hadn't thought of til now is, why do I need insurance on a auto-driven car? I'm not in control, It won't be worth stealing, any contents can be covered on home insurance. Bah who am I kidding

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Insurance, what Insurance?

      Yes, an auto driven car presumably needs to be ensured by the software company that wrote its software, not the occupant.

      A bit like a taxi has to be insured by the driver, not the passenger.

      An interesting legal nightmare on its way.... maybe thats why the insurance companies are jacking the prices up, because their product will be extinct in the next few years ;-)

      Yes, thats it...

  22. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    White Van Man

    Neet I say any more?

    Especially to the *^^&^&&^&& who ran into the back of me last Friday on the M3 while I was travelling at 40mph in traffic.

    'Didn't see you Guv'.

    WTF.

    The Plod wern't very impressed by his excuse either especially when they found two bald tyres, no Tax or MOT.

    Now I find out he wasn't insured either.

    1. Jess--

      Re: White Van Man

      most insurance companies will use No MOT as a get out on their policies, so no mot means the insurance policy is void.

      1. Vic

        Re: White Van Man

        > most insurance companies will use No MOT as a get out on their policies

        Insurance companies are legally prohibited from using such issues to refuse third-party claims. They must pay if the claim is proven.

        They will, however, attempt to recover such losses from the driver.

        Vic.

        1. Jess--

          Re: White Van Man

          insurance companies will get out of paying any way they can.

          A friend had his insurance claim refused (third party fire & theft) after his car was stolen from his driveway (while it was up on ramps) and wrapped around a tree at the end of his road.

          the reason it wrapped around the tree was because it had no brake pipes (which was the reason it was on the ramps)

          the insurance company refused it on the grounds that the vehicle was not in a roadworthy condition at the time, and that he was negligent in leaving the vehicle overnight in such a state.

          he took the company to court in the end (and won)

          1. Vic

            Re: White Van Man

            > A friend had his insurance claim refused (third party fire & theft) after his car was stolen

            Yeah, you'll notice I said that insurance companies are prohibited from avoiding *third-party* claims. I said nothing about theft.

            Your friend made a claim against his own insurance because of theft. This is not a third-party claim.

            Vic.

  23. NomNomNom

    i hope they don't add a kill count statistic to my car's computer, that could get costly

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I really hope all of this stuff is GPS based..

    .. because that's the easiest to jam. AFAIK I am under no obligation to ensure that the thing actually works. Having said that, most motronics already log speed anyway (but is provably inaccurate), I know my garage was able to verify I'd actually hit the rev limiter in top gear by jacking in (the joy of an empty German motorway :).

    BTW, to the people that say "it's fun to tip the brakes if someone is too close behind me" - the absolute FIRST rule of driving is safety, so giving cause to aggression is as bad as being the aggressor itself and can lead to mucho points on your license. I have also seen people deliberately getting into the path of a speeding vehicle, which is just as insane - you are not the police (who would not do that unless they can do so safely - they prefer to follow you so they can gather video evidence), and you have no idea why the vehicle is speeding. You may be getting in the way of an emergency.

    I am a trained driver (as in "having followed all

  25. Purlieu

    Where

    ... is this "empty straight motorway"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where

      Try the 4 lane A1M stretch at 3am between Peterborough and the next set of services - don't tell plod.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where

        Graves End to Folkestone has once worked for me too, but I think there are now cameras..

  26. Mondo the Magnificent
    Devil

    More integration of existing technologies

    My son was gifted with a brand spanking new VW Polo 1.6i for his 17th birthday

    We had a Satellite Tracking system fitted due to the high vehicle theft rate in South Africa. The provider also offered a web portal to allow his paranoid mother to keep an eye on him when he was driving. She used this religiously for the first two years (until he was 20 and had no dings, bumps or claims)

    One day while over in S.A. on holiday I used his car and decided it needed to stretch its legs, so I wrung the little Polo's neck on the motorway. Mom got win of this and threatened to deprive my son of his mobile liberties, until dad 'fessed up and saved the day.

    This sort of tech has been around for decades, but as it's becoming cheaper to produce, it was only a question of time before it was integrated into new vehicles. I do see the merits of this, especially in a theft/accident scenario as well as hopefully lowering premiums for responsible younger drivers, but that's doubtful..

  27. Skyraker
    Pint

    Speed cameras outside schools

    I've never seen the logic of this. Outside a school the LAST thing I should be looking at is my speedo.

    FFS Just re-read this in the voice of Paul Gadd....

    1. Death_Ninja

      Re: Speed cameras outside schools

      Presumably the rev counter is more important to get the fastest gear shift ;-)

  28. Matthew 17

    Cars that auto-regulate speed are a nightmare to drive

    I've driven limited vehicles;

    You're behind a car doing 55, your van is limited to 62, you pull out to overtake, you get alongside the car and he speeds up to 62, now, although you have plenty of power you can't get past so have to slow down and pull back in behind where he now slows down again to 55. So you're now being permanently cockblocked by an idiot who wants to own the road.

    This happens every time I'm in a limited vehicle.

    Welcome to the future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cars that auto-regulate speed are a nightmare to drive

      Welcome to the future indeed, but I can already see the saftey brigade will jump on this argument to say that you should not be impatient and learn to stay behind the car in front rather than engaging in a risky overtaking maneuver.

      Personally I am not in favor of this technology because as many other people have pointed out the companies will use the GPS data as an excuse to avoid paying.

      Any excuse from a small moment where you drove too close to the car in front momentarily inside the stopping distance whilst braking, or as others have said that one moment where you broke the speed limit by a small amount.

      But the biggest worry is that this will create a big increase in the proliferation of GPS blockers by the bad guys, which can be very dangerous at screwing up sat navs for other drivers nearby.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Cars that auto-regulate speed are a nightmare to drive

        er...there is no danger in screwing up a satnav.

        Only in driving as though the satnav were authoritative.

        Last week a kid was instructed by his GPS to turn left as he crossed a rail line in my town. He turned onto the trackbed, rammed the third rail and took out the line for hours. It's a wonder he wasn't fried. The real problem here? Too much satnav, too few brain cells.

        I reckon people shouldn't be allowed to own technology with a higher IQ than they have.

  29. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    It's never about LOWERING prices

    Never.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The company that I work for sells black boxes that produce a driver style report, linked into the local speed limits and it compares the amount of harsh acceleration/ harsh braking incidents to each other. So you get a handy graph and googlemap showing which drivers are caning it down a road and having to slam the brakes on repeatedly.

    Also my 50cc Moped is limited to 30 MPH and many public vehicles have speed governors fitted so If people want to not break the speed limits its very easy.

    AC to avoid advertising

  31. Magnus_Pym

    telemetry

    A few years a go some guy's Range Rover proved him innocent in a traffic case by the telemetry information on it's computer. I'm sure the 'driverless car' technology could be used to provide a co-driver type thing instead and use the information gathered to tell everybody about the stupid and irresponsible things some drivers do.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maximum speed of 3G/4G networks

    HSP(D)A was spec'ed to 100mph. So just keep your speed above, say, 120 mph and the mobile data link may fail.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apart from the people that speed wouldn't elect to have these devices fitted....

    I'm not going to lie. I occasionally speed. Never in towns, but once I hit a motorway I don't do 70... hardly anybody does - except lorries, caravans and middle lane straddlers! This system would mean that even doing 80mph on a motorway, you are "dangerous" and should automatically pay a premium - or worst cast scenario, get a nice letter from the DVLA with 6 points deducted from your licence.

    Personally, I will never have one of these fitted to my vehicle.

  34. TonyJ Silver badge
    Devil

    Agree with so much said here

    I've had this same discussion re "speed kills" many time.

    Wrong.

    Inappropriate speed kills. Poor driving kills. Tailgating and not paying proper attention kills.

    We have a crazy system in the UK and there are some fairly simple solutions that would generate revenue and I believe to some extent lower costs to individuals.

    First off - scrap the road excise duty. It isn't even as if it goes towards maintaining our piss poor road infrastructure any more.

    Replace it by increasing the cost of petrol and diesel a few pence a litre (bear with me).

    As part of this cost increase, implement third party insurance for everyone.

    This has three immediate benefits:

    No one can ever drive uninsured, be they foreigners or just some jumped up idiot;

    You actually have a pay-as-you-use mechanism that means people like me, that have driven over a thousand miles a week for work in the past pay the appropriate amount of money for this whereas my wife, who struggles to put in 1500 miles a year doesn't pay the same as me;

    You can scrap a lot of the DVLA.

    Stop this crazy law whereby my son, when he hits the age of 17 can pass a test and so long as he can afford the costs associated with it can then take a Ferrari out on the motorway the day he passes.

    Let's make people have lessons and possibly another test even before they are allowed on motorways. Ditto before they're allowed to drive powerful motor vehicles - hell, you have this mechanism with motorbikes.

    Make people take tests more than once (another revenue generator and allows people to keep up to date on the most recent highway code - my 70+yo neighbour passed his test almost 60 years ago. The roads haven't changed much since then...?)

    Let's have sensible speed limits - like others have said, let's make them genuinely variable and let's have traffic police officers back on our roads that can use their own judgement and common sense.

    And if you lift the speed limits and people are caught tailgating, for example, or blasting through the lower ones in fog/rain then hit them hard.

    Oh and as for the comments about lower insurance costs - I traded my ageing Porsche Boxster in lately for a Focus CC - the insurance? It went down 24 quid a year...it really is a protection racket.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Agree with so much said here

      > Oh and as for the comments about lower insurance costs - I traded my ageing Porsche Boxster in lately for a Focus CC - the insurance? It went down 24 quid a year...it really is a protection racket.

      Or, the costs associated with claims from someone your age/job/inside leg measurement all cost roughly the same and do not depend on make of car being driven. Or it's from a different insurer (e.g. going from a specialist Porsche insurer to Aviva). Or some other factors.

      Not that I disagree with your post, though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Agree with so much said here

      Exactly, I drive a 12-year-old Ford Mundaneo, it's a 2 Litre Ghia, yet it is 3 insurance groups higher than the 2 Litre LX; same engine, same brakes, same wheels. 150 quid more to insure?!?!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Agree with so much said here

        leather seats better stereo and stuff like that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Agree with so much said here

          Nope, same. Velour seats and radio/cassette. Besides, does having a better stereo make it a higher risk? The cost of replacement, now that it's old, is the same.

  35. Elmer Phud

    GPS blocker

    So, why not block the GPS?

    According to several 'cop' programmes on telly it's what crooks do all the time.

    If that's the case there is no knowing when you are about to enter the twilight zone.

    "wasn't me guv, must have been them car crooks"

  36. Saganhill
    FAIL

    For the benefit of law abiding drivers

    "insurers are starting to use telematics to monitor good and bad driving to give better rates to careful law-abiding folks - while everyone else's prices presumably go up."

    Why don't I believe that?

  37. ballist1x

    time?

    Okay, so i might only be driving at 60mph..but do they penalise against me getting there in 5 seconds? Surely its more dangerous to boost it everywhere at redicolous acceleration - which isnt technically illegal as there is no defined measurement on top of 'due care and attention' and 'dangerous driving' but these are subjective measures not absolute.

    So whilst you might catch speeders, is it speed that kills, or injures, or is it actually the uncapturable dangerous driving whilst speeding that is the issue.

    Speeding at 75mph in a 70 zone causes little additional danger afterall.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: time?

      5 seconds to 60? You don't ride motorcycles do you? :D

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: time?

        Or it's one of 254 cars listed here (possibly not even an exhaustive list, too):

        http://www.autosnout.com/Cars-0-60mph-List.php

  38. Skizz
    Stop

    The point is...

    ...as citizens we agree to abide by the law of the land and the speed limit is part of the law. We do not get to choose which laws apply to us and when (there do appear to be some politicians that have trouble understanding this...).

    If you think a speed limit is too low or too high, contact your local council - they have people whose job it is to review roads and make improvements, this also includes junction layouts and anything else you can do to a road.

  39. The Original Ash
    Meh

    Joining a little late on this one...

    So I could read the rest of the posts, but in the interest of saving time I'll guess at the content of some of them and answer them as best as I can.

    "Big Brother is watching you! 1984! Orwell wrote it as a warning, not a manual!"

    Shut up. Excessive speed is the number one contributor to road traffic accidents. That's not breaking the speed limit, but speed in excess of what is safe for the conditions. When the public can be trusted to drive defensively without this kind of draconian enforcement, I'll be right behind them screaming for its abolishment.

    "Why can't the car just be limited to the speed limit?"

    Good question. By way of an answer, allow me to cite a few names:

    Bentley

    Lamborghini

    Ferrari

    Lotus

    Mercedes

    BMW

    Audi

    All manufacturers who sell cars boasting about the top speed. Can you put that 200MPH SLK Black on the motorway and get anywhere faster than a Ford Fiesta? No. 70MPH is the limit. Whether that is just, sensible, or valid or not is not up for discussion here. Exceeding the speed limit is illegal. Look to these manufacturers for why cars aren't limited.

    "But cutting the throttle during overtaking will be dangerous!"

    No. Your driving is dangerous. Yes, you can wait behind that little old lady tottering down the country lane at 40MPH. You do not need to do the speed limit; It is not a target. Good progress is always preferred, but I bet those of you whining about this thing cutting your throttle at the speed limit try and overtake a Punto doing 50MPH on a country lane in the wet. Nobody puts you in a dangerous situation except yourself, so don't go blaming technology for your lack of care.

    Did I miss anything?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Joining a little late on this one...

      Excessive speed the number one eh ? So, what will be number one if you limit vehicles ? (and, by the way, what will stop a vehicle limited to 70 doing 70 in a 30 zone?) Vehicle mass ? So you're going to limit maximum weight ? After which another vehicle will be the heaviest. Then small tires. Or big ones. Then red cars ? Or yellow ones ? Untill you get to a sunroof or a whip antenna ?

      You can prove anything with statistics. Of you want to reduce the number of car accidents you could ban cars. But you'll just end up in The Matrix.

    2. trashbat

      Re: Joining a little late on this one...

      "Can you put that 200MPH SLK Black on the motorway and get anywhere faster than a Ford Fiesta?"

      Yes: the speed limit.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Joining a little late on this one...

      I hate that:

      It's a limit not a target

      So why do they stick it in a big red and white bullseye then?

  40. Joeman
    Mushroom

    A good driver doesn’t need to be told how fast to drive, they drive at a speeds that's appropriate for their vehicle and the current road conditions...

    If accident rates were proportional to speed, then why are motorways the safest place to drive?? and why dont regular speeders crash more often??? speed is just an easily quantifiable, impossible to argue against tool for taxing the motorist...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's a bit simplistic, isn't it. Accident rates are proportional to speed, but if ignore the environment in which you're doing that speed you may as well say that a supersonic jet doing 1000mph without accident proves that you're safe to drive down a country lane with your foot to the floor.

      Or is that meant to be your point?

      1. feanor

        No, look, please try to pay attention. Accident rates are NOT proportional to speed. The effects of the accident may be but not the rate at which they occur.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm pretty sure most people would have rather a few small prangs in life than a fatal accident so will take the one type of proportionality over the other any day!?!

  41. Anonymous Coward 15
    Joke

    Stolen

    If you hit me at 30, there's an 80% chance I'll live.

    If you hit me at 40, there's an 80% chance I'll die.

    Please, stop hitting me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stolen

      Stop walking in to the middle of the fecking road then :p

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd be happy to have this...

    If it was not real-time, and only used in the event of a collision to prove blame.

  43. Steve Evans

    Rather apt I thought...

    http://sniffpetrol.com/2012/05/10/micrarecall/

    Especially the last sentence!

  44. Skizz
    FAIL

    It's amazing!

    Why do so many supposedly intelligent people get so worked up when talking about driving and speeding? Have we been infiltrated by a bunch of Daily Fail readers?

    As for the article, the system cannot determine the quality of driving - bad drivers don't all break the speed limit but may drive too fast for wet conditions for example. All the system can do is give the insurance companies another way to avoid paying out since all the box can tell the insurers is whether or not you were breaking the speed limit and if you were, you won't be covered since breaking the limit is illegal.

    Of course, the insurance companies will try to make it sound good, pay-as-you-go insurance for example (pay less for quiet times, etc) but it'll still end up as expensive as normal insurance (they'll make sure it does to keep profits up).

  45. kain preacher Silver badge

    Two things I can't stand

    When the speed limit is 65 MPH and I'm in the slow lane doing 70MPH and some ass insist on tail gating me. The other is when the person in front of me is doing the speed limit and the jack ass behind me is pissed off and wants to drive much faster . Flashing their high beams honking like I can drive through the person in front of me. The person passes on the wrong side cuts in front of me almost hitting me then slamming on his brakes cause the person in front is doing the same speed as me. If I can I'll move over and let the ass ride some one else.

  46. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I love auto-automation. Cars that park themselves because apparently the "if you can't park it you shouldn't be driving it" test has a too-high failure rate these days. Cars that slam the brakes on if they decide you are about to have a collision. And my personal favourite: The car that abruptly slams up the windows tootsweet just before a collision in order to trap the occupants inside the flaming wreck with the headless corpse of the family dog.

    Spiffy.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overtaking & speed limiters

    If you do an advanced driving course (no names) you are encouraged to make progress where safe and legal to do so. For example, under assessment, you would lose points if you failed to overtake a 50mph vehicle in an NSL when the opportunity presented itself. It is not illegal to drive at 50 mph, and outside of American public transport documentaries, no device exists to compel vehicles to a *minimum* speed. Thus we can hold it to be true that overtaking is legitimate.

    We can do much to avoid dangerous situations, e.g. good observation, not overtaking in the presence of junctions and so on. However we cannot forcibly compel all other road users or indeed the environment around us to behave; it is conceivable that mid-overtake, a change will occur that makes the planned overtake unsafe. In this event, there are at least three opportunities available to us: fall back, brake in the opposite lane, or accelerate to hasten the overtake. For the same reasons as before, it is entirely conceivable that accelerating is the best option.

    If you can accept that, then try this: in the current environment, speed limiters will kill people.

  48. Joeman
    Pint

    Id rather pay more insurance for a de-restricted car that let me decide what speed to drive, than save money and be paranoid about "Big Brother" watching my driving habits..

    you would be instantly penalised for driving 31 in a 30 limit, yet would get no recognition for dropping down to 5mph in a 30limit when there are kids close by...

  49. Adam T

    lol

    Speed isn't the problem, people are the problem.

    Speed is just a symptom of idiots who think they're more important than the highway code.

    Doesn't matter if you like it, by getting into a car and driving it you've automatically accepted the Terms and Conditions. Buy a fucking airplane if you want to go faster.

  50. Maty

    TMP - the root of all evil

    The basic problem with driving (and many other aspects of life in the UK) is simply Too Many People. Everyone sees adverts for cars cruising down empty highways in beautiful scenery, and gets frustrated when reality hits at rush-hour in the rain just outside Birmingham.

    Trouble is that most cars are built for those lovely empty highways. Until three-quarters of the UK population disappear down some celestial rabbit hole, it just ain't going to happen.

    If you've ever driven in rural North America, you'll know the speed of the other traffic is not really relevant. It only happens every half-hour or so, and when you've got 250km to the next town anyway, slowing down for a minute makes zero difference.

    And those are the circumstances in which most cars perform best. For England most people would be best off with a sort of electric bicycle with a large carrying capacity, because let's face it, most city cars only ever have to perform at that level. Too many people for it to be otherwise.

  51. Eduard Coli
    Gimp

    Good ole' USA

    Some insurers here are already offering <voluntary> tracking with the offer of possible reduced insurance costs. It was a few years ago in Canada that it became public information that newer cars were coming with black-boxes that kept track of engine speed, direction etc. and whose information was available to the prosecution. Built in cell-based roadside assistance has also been used to enforce repossession by remotely disabling the afflicted vehicle and has been used in eavesdropping.

    1. annodomini2

      Re: Good ole' USA

      It's in all european cars, in the event of an accident, where an airbag is deployed, all data available from the preceding 20 secs of the impact is logged.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    technology vs people

    A/C for reasons which should be really obvious.

    Did some work a few years back for a telematics startup that was looking to put monitoring and reporting into vehicles - the original application / target market was fleet management for bus companies and for high-value haulage. Biggest problem they had wasn't technical but human: at one beta tester, a bus company, they wanted to use it to make sure timetables were reasonably accurate and to investigate live updates of "expected in" times at bus stops, reflecting prevailing traffic conditions by linking monitoring info to local traffic reports. The bus company union organizer called it unjustifiable spying on union workers and threatened to shut a (small) city-wide bus network. Bus company asked for volunteer drivers, most reported intimidation for volunteering: when asked to explain what the monitoring box did and how it worked, organizer replied "it's specially designed for spying on our workers", and didn't have a clue how it worked and clearly hadn't even read the manual he'd signed off on (signature saying he'd read it). People react badly to technology at times, especially if they choose not to rtfm and behave sensibly like trying to understand how things work before condemning them as bad. That said, if insurers start charging different amounts based on driving patterns, that's not on: driving offences - proven by a court - should obviously be penalised, but not a pattern of behavior that doesn't pass the test of a court.

    Every technology is potentially a double-edged sword (which, in itself I guess is a technology?): every reg reader knows that it's how people interact with the tech that matters. In this case, the "people" are the insurers, the motorists, the council workers that monitor traffic patterns etc. Reducing premiums for "known good" drivers would of course be a benefit, but we all know it won't happen: they'll increase charges to "not known" drivers. Knee-jerk reactions like shutting down a bus network 'cos you don't like the idea that people's efficiency might be monitored, or claiming that removing speed cameras will make roads safer, and so on, does not contribute to informed debate about the upsides and downsides of a particular capability - it's as helpful as fanbois claiming fruit company doesn't have access with potential to manipulate Siri.

  53. Ted Treen
    Big Brother

    Costs....

    Well, I use rail & bus mostly. My best beloved has the car and does around 4,000 - 5,000 miles annually.

    Yes, she needs it, as she would be housebound without it (arthritis). However:-

    Our current car is "V" reg, and with a genuine 35k on the clock, cost us £600. When I retire (within the next 5 years, due to age & health, I add - definitely not wealth) our next vehicle will probably be of a similar vintage/price/type etc. etc.

    So unless it becomes law to retro-fit these gizmos to anything actually on the road - which would be prohibitively expensive and political suicide for the proposer - I can't see it really affecting us.

  54. This post has been deleted by its author

  55. Swiss Anton
    Holmes

    My Tuppence Worth

    A regular 200 mile drive used to take me approx 2hrs 30 mins door to door. Then one day bad shit happened, and after that I stopped speeding. The same trip now takes 3hrs, but it is so relaxing. Once on the motorway I set the cruise control to 70, sit back and relax. No need to continually check for plod, nobody gets in my way, and I don't need 1/2 hour to recover once I get there. Overall it works out about the same except that I have spent less on fuel, and my stress levels are down, and 200 miles is a long way. On my more normal 15 mile commute, I've "lost" maybe 2 minutes each way. I don't even notice that, but I do notice the fact that my mpg has risen from 45 to 55.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My Tuppence Worth

      And you're probably less attentive and therefore more dangerous to other people as you will be slower to react to the unexpected. Most accidents happen on routes that people know very well because they relax too much as they know the road and stop giving it their full attention.

  56. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Megaphone

    Big Bro', Cunniving C***s and Dirty Dealers...

    That was cunniving chaps btw ;-)

    Everyone has said everything of worth really, only read half the thread but it all seems to be covered. The Reginistas know what time it is, make no mistake mister.

    Basically another tracking device.

    Good drivers will see no benefit from being good little boys.

    Bad naughty drivers will be hard-slapped come next Insurance day.

    Really naughty drivers that do 'jobs' will revert back to Sweeney type Ford Granadas, gov.

    Me, I will still dice with death getting a loaf of freeking bread. No pavement - walls 14 foot high - try jumping over them Mr.High-Jumper when trouble comes your way.

    Oh it is safe enough when no traffic on the road, but to be caught in a game of semi-chicken between the driver behind you and the driver oncoming - I feel like a virtual 3d prop in Carmageddon.

    I have already told my Mother that I think this might be how I die. I need to get my act together a bit more and find out what the actual death statistics are for this particular stretch.

    Little kiddies - hundreds of them use it every day as they come back from school. (Or maybe just tens of them - I don't stand on the corner counting them)..

    Those little car driving fuckers will speed past me walking at thirty miles an hour no problems if it means getting in on the one in front. I mean literally inches - a foot - 12 inches if you didn't know. This is at THIRTY MILES A FUCKING HOUR. If they ever catch me and don't kill me, I will get up and beat the living fucking daylights out of them where they stand: saying: 'ooh are you alright - I didn't see you'.

    Had a member of the family killed in a RTA nearly a century ago. Repercussions still felt today.

    It wasn't the drivers fault in that particular case.

    One disabled driver clipped me by about three inches. When I say clipped, I don't mean he hit me, but I felt his wind. I followed him up the road and nearly caught him. I would have dragged that son of a bitch out of his car and dealt with the consequences later - but he just drove off.....

    This road is deadly. Car drivers are fucking pricks if you ask me. I know you are not all the same - some of you even slow right down, give me a 3-4 foot birth on a (quite wide as it goes) road. Why skim me when you can avoid me by 7-8 feet? Most times there is just one car coming along. I am either going to be killed or will commit murder on this road. But I bet it won't be me - it will be a schoolchild. Then they might do something.

    And don't start me off on the boy racers. You know what? They are ok - because they are going fast and give a wide berth. I would rather they miss me by 6 foot at 70Mph, than some numpty hitting me at 20Mph coz they want to get to the shop and they don't want to slow down because I am in their way. How inconvenient.

    </rant>

    My brown paper bag is wet with all these exhalations. I just wanted to show it is not all about speed. If I am killed on that road, or god forbid a junior school child, it will be at 20-30-mph.

    Well within the speed limit, your honour.

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