Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The horrible truth behind motoring laws.

Its a sad truth. In a world where speed is the matter of word, were you want to get the fastest internet connection, the fastest PC, the fastest software, the fastest medical treatment, the fastest delivery of your supermarket shoppings... in other words we have less and less time to spend on futile, unproductive stuff, so we try to make those tasks as FAST as possible... another way to put it is that we seek efficiency.
We do however go slower and slower in our cars.

Does this make ANY sense? Evidently not. It is however a difficult matter with an even more complicated solution.

You have to have some fact together with 3 or 4 points of view on the matter to even start to describe how things work. And you must start by pointing out facts.

Fact 1 - The motoring industry is producing faster and safer cars. And for some reason they all go above 200Km/h standard, knowing that those cars are to be driven on standard roads, by standard people in normal countries. Why oh why don't they all come limited to 120Km/h from factory? Japan did that for 180Km/h and 280Bhp... Germany does it for 250Km/h...

Fact 2 - Our roads are an extremely complex system. We have several roads (some poorly built, others poorly maintained, others just fine), several cars (again some pretty bad ones, some good cars but poorly maintained and some just fine) , several people (most don't know how to drive), several weather conditions (getting worse as we screw up the planet and invent worse ways to fix it than the ways we found to ruin it in the first place... and yes, I'm pointing my gun out on hybrids) and depending on the time of the day different levels of mass stupidity.

Fact 3 - The people that drive those cars are teached on absolutely nothing about driving a car. They teach how to understand standard city traffic, how to work the steering, pedals and switches of a car and that's about it. Learning  the very basics of how to drive in a complex system by trial and error. The problem is that most of the trial and error is done by causing constraints and sometimes great pain on others.

Fact 4 - Speed doesn't kill. Speed only increases the consequences and reduces the chance to react.
As you gain speed on a motorway, you are increasing the energy within your movement. This means that if you crash and eventually stop in a couple of millisecond (yes, eventually because of inertia... something to discuss in another topic) that energy has to dissipate. That's where a crumple zone gets to work and deforms gradually, absorbing the energy. No crumple zone (point my guns to semi-cars as the NOT-SO-SMART) means that your body will have to deal with your organs smashing hard against your bones... and eventually parts of the car, resulting in severe and normally fatal injuries. More energy that the crumple zone can handle will result in uncontrolled vehicle deformation and eventually injuries.

Fact 5 - Going over the speed limit is not the cause for accidents and death. Going over the speed limit means one and one thing only. The number of your speedometer is higher that the one on the road signs. THAT's IT! I'm not even arguing that the speed signs are good or badly placed.
The true killer and messenger of death is another concept with is excess speed. That is a much complex definition. It means that your's going too fast for, in that particular moment in time, at that particular system (road condition, traffic, your ability to drive, the car's safety and condition, your knowledge about driving, the weather, and so on), if needed, stop the vehicle or avoid an incident, safely.
Excessive speeding could be as simple as driving your car on the road under perfect weather, car, tires, traffic and road conditions... but without really knowing how to control a car in a slalom. This SAD and WORRYING fact alone means that 90% of all drivers are in excess speed the moment they enter the road.

Now on to the point of views:

The point of view of the numb driver - The numb driver chooses cars as they choose the toilet paper. It's paper, it works, job done. Takes on the buying of a car with the same attitude and therefore the road. He doesn't care much about driving so he doesn't mind going at 10Km/h to work. It is used to drive at 10Km/h to work so we gets up 1h earlier, compensating the inefficiency of his transportation method.
Some of these are conscious of this fact and try to occupy the right-lane only, minimizing the impact of his inefficient way of transportation has on others.
There are however (and unfortunately those represent the majority) the "I really don't give a rat's ass about others" drivers. These scatter across all lanes and make it impossible to use the lanes with minimum efficiency and freedom. They are abusive in their way of interacting with others and using a common good - the roads. These drivers are mostly responsible for the loosing of patience from other drivers and ultimately they create the most frustrating accidents and walk away clean.

The point of view of the driver - The driver is the kind of person that buys cars considering it's real use. Either a sports car or a minivan to take the kids to school. Evidently, someone that takes it's car seriously, sees it as a project with a purpose. It takes this attitude to the road and it's life's schedule. These drivers get really annoyed with the numb-disrespectful driver and this; this its completely understandable.

The authorities point of view - This has a lot to do with who they are. If given the choice, would you rather be an executive on a high payroll, of a traffic cop? No need to answer. One get's to be a cop because they really didn't care much about studying (99% of them), or has a severe psychological problem (1%). It's even a way of punishment for disrespectful cops. If the detective doesn't respect the inspector, he get's transfered to traffic. Evidently, all these folks have a severe social jealousy that they take out on the drivers that also pay taxes... taxes that are also used to pay for the cop's salary, so ultimately they are being tough on they employers. It's the only way they feel powerful. And its a very very stupid way to try to enforce power.

The government point of view - This is by far the most chocking of all. Government really don't care about you. They care only about your money. They want to find a way to stork money from you. So they grab a bunch of frustrated and quite furious people (a.k.a traffic cops) and enforce rules. Now here enters the "Going over the speed limit" part. How do you tell a monkey algebra? You don't. So evidently, you cannot explain most cops what is bad or good driving. You have to give them a number to work with. Soooo they compare the number on their radar with the ones on the road signs and voilĂ  more taxes disguised as a speeding ticket. And because you really don't want people to think too much about the obvious truth, they go on TV and brag about it all the time.
For those of you that are chocked with the "monkey" comparison to the "traffic cop", I'll explain it. A complex system HAS to run on tolerances otherwise it will have a catastrophic failure. You can't go on TV and say words like "Zero Tolerance on speeding" without making a fool out of you.
Traffic cops are however an asset. They belong to the road system and SHOULD be helping to control and solve problems. Instead they are being used in an abusive and disrespectful manner.
The government is so stupid that taxes cars based on the price and engine of the car. They clearly never ever rented a videotape in their life. The longer you use a common asset, the grater you'll have to pay to it! This should be the same with our roads. If you are SLOW, you are using the asset longer than others and preventing others from using the same asset witch they should have the very same right to, as you do.
Even being completely and disrespectfully money driven, it's easy to implement limitations on cars, based on the drivers abilities, and therefore, toll taxes based on the time they take to drive a distance.
They could be earning a lot more than they are, and avoid drivers hates on cops.

I recommend THIS topgear video on that subject.

How offended should a cop be? VERY. They are getting used and controlled by government with a sole intention of fracturing, making anyone loose all respect on them.
How offended should a true driver be? EXTREMELY. You are paying taxes to buy YOUR vehicle, and use the public road and have a couple of people willing to help out the flow and sort out accidents and prevent bad drivers (the cops), but instead you can't use your vehicle because any jerk can have a license and spoil your day in a number of ways, and the cops protect them and try to fine you any way they can.
How offended should a numb driver be? If conscious, a lot. If not conscious... no, not really YOU are the insulter number 2.
How offended should the government be? Not a bit. They should apologize publicly and return the money for their lousy management and insult. It's disrespectful to charge taxes, not care about the drivers needs and interests while using the infrastructure THEY pay against them to earn more money.

About your attitude towards the road? Place yourself into one of the categories and if you are:
A Numb Driver that really don't care about others, sell your car and use public transportation... it's why it exists.
A Numb-conscientious driver, avoid using other lanes than the right/slow one, and if you must, try to understand that you are causing other people's delay while doing it... so be quick.
A real driver, avoid being too aggressive with Numb-conscientious drivers. They might be carrying their kids inside the car and avoid speed to make them safer... or just to avoid being ripped-off by cops.
A cop in the 99% frustrated group, change job or try suicide.
A cop in 1% decided-to-be-a-cop-since-birth group, ignore orders and work with your TRUE objectives in mind.
A politician, try suicide or try to change the world. If going for the second bet, keep in mind that you'll have to kill most of your incompetent colleagues first.... you will however guarantee reelection.

Independently of the groups, keep in mind that the road is public. So try to use-it quickly and without causing disturbs to others that are paying to use this same asset, the same you are.