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jonathang
28th Oct 2002, 21:42
LORRY'S OVERTAKING

I just drove back from Glasgow on the M8 to Edinburgh.

This really gets to me, Artic Lorry's overtaking each other at 5mph. Having a fight over who is first while we all wait behind. Does anyone else think they should be barred from the outside lane?

What right do they have to fight over who is first and block both lanes?

Anyone else have driving moans ?

wub
28th Oct 2002, 21:49
Of course up here our major arterial motorways only have two lanes whereas darn sarf, the artics aren't allowed into the outside lane. Do waht I do on the M8, stay in the outside lane at 80mph plus and don't let the sods move out

I hate 'professional drivers' from cabbies via express delivery white van men to bus drivers to HGVs, they are all the worst drivers going because they assume that it is their right to go where they want, when they want, without letting the rest of us know what they are about to do

jonathang
28th Oct 2002, 22:03
Usually works at 90 mph ,

But you still get the ones already side by side in a battle, with queue a mile along behind them.

Oh the Hard sholder so tempting :))

wub
28th Oct 2002, 22:07
I was gonna say 90 mph plus - but you never know who's reading this.....:D It's an awful road, however it took me an hour to do the four miles from South Gyle to Newbridge tonight, I hate it, cramp in me clutch foot etc....

Jet Dragon
29th Oct 2002, 01:02
"Do waht I do on the M8, stay in the outside lane at 80mph plus and don't let the sods move out "

I find they just move out anyhow - the "Get out of my way" effect - move over or die.....

Crepello
29th Oct 2002, 03:28
Yup, I'm irked by trucks that pull out and then sit there, always seems pretty selfish but I doubt they give a damn. Anyways, only adds a coupla minutes to the j.

Get far more annoyed with idiots that hog the outside lane when they're not overtaking, regardless of speed. This is far poorer driving. :mad:

Over here, most of the m-ways are 2 lanes, but trucks are barred from the outside lane during peak periods at the busiest sections, often for extensive distances.

Rollingthunder
29th Oct 2002, 05:45
Not quite the same, but was passing an artic loaded with what looked like bridge parts - very heavy load, amber rotating lights etc. Lorry starts wandering out of his lane and back again. - about three distinct times. Settled down and I proceeded to pass. Driver of the lorry was still fiddling with his mobile phone.

SET 18
29th Oct 2002, 08:24
At the risk of becoming known as someone who blames the EU for everything, em...it's the EU's fault.

Several years ago they passed a law which meant that all lorries (vehicles over 3 tons, I think) must be fitted with speed limiters which allowed them to go at 56mph (100kph) . This has increased congestion enormously, because lorries now only have tiny margins which they can use for overtaking.

Hence lots of irate drivers (of cars) watching an empty lorry trying to overtake a full one.

Firestorm
29th Oct 2002, 08:39
And those who are members of the Middle Lane Owners Club. A healthy membership in the South of Great Britain, but here in the Northern reaches of GB, there seems to be a especially high membership. Plonkers.

Flying Lawyer
29th Oct 2002, 09:25
I think artic lorry drivers are amongst the best and most considerate drivers on the roads of the UK.
I drive quite a high mileage and the number of times the free flow of traffic is delayed by lorries overtaking is nothing compared with the delays caused by car drivers who hog the outside lane driving at the same speed or only marginally quicker than vehicles in a slower lane.
Having three lanes doesn't help much because the vast majority of car drivers belong to the 'Middle Lane Owners' Club' who think the first lane is for lorries, the middle lane for cars and the outside lane for overtaking. The first lane is often virtually empty except for lorries, and everyone who wants to get on with their journey is forced into the outside lane.
Then there are those who think it's acceptable to hog the outside lane for miles on end at 80 mph! :rolleyes: :mad:

I prefer the American system which allows overtaking on both sides.

Ludwig
29th Oct 2002, 09:36
The A14 from the east coast to the M6 is a nightmare of lorries just pulling out and spending ages going no where, hitting a slight incline and dropping back having failed to overtake. The ignorant b*****s should be shot like the vermin they are.

What we need is a massive hike in lorry excise duty and diesel prices to bankrupt the haulage industry and transfer the whole lot to airfreight, opening a few more local airports to boot:D

eal401
29th Oct 2002, 09:36
Membership of the MLOC I believe, on observation alone to be 90% female, 10% drivers of BMW, Mercs, Audis and similar "ego" cars.

FlyingForFun
29th Oct 2002, 10:15
Get far more annoyed with idiots that hog the outside lane when they're not overtaking, regardless of speed. This is far poorer driving
Well said, Crepello. Couldn't agree more. :mad:

FFF
-----------

Anthony Carn
29th Oct 2002, 10:28
Seem to recall reading somewhere that the ratio of rail freight to road freight in the UK is less than that in countries of similar economic standing. More rail freighting would ease the problem we're discussing here.

Then again, looking at the state of the UK rail system, it's no surprise, is it ?

Bodie
29th Oct 2002, 10:50
Ludwig

Your suggestion is pure Genius! we could do with you in the cabinet!

Bodie

Select Zone Five
29th Oct 2002, 13:17
Barely related but I want to get this off my chest so here goes...

I turned a corner into a one-way street the other day and was met head on by a female (sorry...but it was!) in a Micra. I swerved to avoid her and when I looked over as she passed me on the right, she was mouthing "What the **** are you doing?!"

It's one thing cheekily/knowingly flouting the rules of the road but complete ignorance followed by rude hand signals troubles me! :mad:

Ta

jonathang
29th Oct 2002, 14:53
When I travel along a 2 lane motorway, always pull in to let faster moving traffic past, but its plane stupid to pull in after every slow moving 60mph car in the inside.

Parapunter
29th Oct 2002, 14:57
As a longstanding member of the Institute of logistics and transport, a long standing holder of a cpc (certificate of professional competence) in road haulage operations and a veteran of the road haulage industry, let me start by saying :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Road haulage and lorry drivers eh? who'd have 'em eh? always in the way. Well consider this:

The average return on capital in the road haulage industry in this country is less than 2%. For the industry as a whole, you'd be better off putting your money in the bank - it'd earn more. But they don't do they? and here's why:

Road freight is the last great engine of the UK economy. We're world renowned as leaders in the field, we have some of the most sophisticated globally reaching logistics companies on earth, including TDG, Excel, Christian Salvesen and Hays group to name but a few. Without exception, these companies put everything you wear, own, eat & live in within your reach. We are the very first to know if the economy has had a bad month. Nearly 50% of all UK road freight companies are older than the oldest airline in this country, weathering economic storm after storm.

We're under constant attack from competition, regulation & Europe. We really do pay far more for fuel & road fund licence than our european neighbours, who incidentally are free to register themselves at home abroad & operate in this country after tankering in cheaper fuel for their vehicles. Many do this & the industry in places like Kent is under a death sentence.

We employ over 30,000 people in the UK alone, we make significant contributions to UK revenue, especially in fuel duty, unlike any UK airline you care to name. We have made massive contributions to road safety over the last ten years, including strictly controlled working hours, weight and speed limits and driver training.

In short, we're not bad & yet we can all think of a badly behaved lorry driver who held us up on the motorway, but remember this:

If you've got it, it's because a lorry driver brought it for you. Think on next time you're in Sainsbury, Tesco, Safeway, Next, Asda, Burton, Currys, Comet, Toys r us, DFS, Halfords, Esso, Somerfield, TK Maxx, Hennes, B&Q, JJB, the pub, the restaurant...shall I go on?

The Punter.

FlyingForFun
29th Oct 2002, 14:58
jonathan,

I don't think anyone was suggesting that you should pull in after overtaking each car doing 60mph. The negative comments were directed at wub's suggestion that we:

stay in the outside lane at 80mph plus and don't let the sods move out

FFF
-------------

Ludwig
29th Oct 2002, 15:02
So parapunter, you don't agree then?:D

Nopax,thanx
29th Oct 2002, 15:11
Parapunter.........

Nobody's disputing that we need road transport - Dr.Beeching made sure of that. You cite speed limits as one of the safety contributions - that's the point of this thread. If trucks are all limited to the same max speed, why on earth do they try to overtake one another? It makes a total difference of no more than a few minutes to their total journey, but causes hold-ups and (probably) fender benders further back.

It's a drastic solution, but I would recommend extending the outside lane ban to all motorways, not just three laners. I myself have been [email protected] off the road by a French truck driver who didn't see me and pulled out as I was passing him - and it's no fun going backwards at 70mph on the M11, I can tell you....

Parapunter
29th Oct 2002, 15:24
:rolleyes:

Lorries, you may have noticed, are heavy. They can carry up to 44 tons tare on the UK motorway network. When one reaches even a slight incline, the reduction in speed is marked, that makes all following heavy goods vehicles concertina, sometimes to a complete halt. Acceleration times are measured in weeks. It's human nature in that situation to want to get past, so they do.

A Mercedes powerliner of say five years ago would sit at 90 all day with a full load. I'm not suggesting that's safe & in the hands of the moronic minority, it was shown to be so, hence over time, we saw the introduction of 56mph speed limiters by law in this country.

I would say this, in the scheme of things, the delay caused by overtaking lorries is frustrating, i've been the victim enough times, but in the course of a 200 mile motorway journey, I'd defy you to measure the lost time spent trying to get past lorries. In effect, the complainants on this thread are demonstrating the frustrations that lorry drivers themselves feel and act upon. Besides, everyone loves Eddie Stobart, I'm told.

Nopax,thanx
29th Oct 2002, 15:34
"It's human nature in that situation to want to get past, so they do."

-or don't. As you say,

"When one reaches even a slight incline, the reduction in speed is marked, that makes all following heavy goods vehicles concertina, sometimes to a complete halt."

So they have a go, get out into the outside lane, and slow down just like their mate did.

So keep 'em in lane 1, and they will just have to keep a safe distance between themselves, like the professionals that they are.

Call it a truck lane and we'll all stay out of it!!!

Octopussy
29th Oct 2002, 15:46
I confess I experience less hassle with lorries overtaking (although there is some, and they seem to be the number one cause of those times on the motorway when you end up braking so sharply you have to slap the hazards on to warn those behind). My problem is with the drivers who sit in the overtaking lane, doing the same (or infinitesimally higher) speed than those in the middle lane. I can feel my blood pressure rising as I type...WHY do they do it??

andrewc
29th Oct 2002, 17:02
Having once had the moderately entertaining student
occupation of driving a lorry, part of the reason for the
behavior outlined is that with a full load, lorries have a
very narrow speed band at which they can maintain
their speed in a given gear.

If they go slower, they are forced to go into a lower gear
which takes them down to an even slower speed
regime.

Of course the other reason is that they are knights of
the road, in their personal offices and everyone else
is simply having a jolly driving....

-- Andrew

Parapunter
29th Oct 2002, 17:14
Now then Andrew C is spot on. Lorry drivers perceive themselves as knights of the road, when in fact they are semi skilled manual labour - I've run several traffic desks in haulage & this is undoubtedly true. What gets right up my left nostril however is the sheer inanity of posters like this:


So keep 'em in lane 1, and they will just have to keep a safe distance between themselves, like the professionals that they are. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Good one nopatience.

HGV's over 7.5 tonnes are not allowed by law in lane three on motorways, so where's the beef?:confused: HGV's pay a damn site more road tax each year than anyone else posting here, yet it seems they may not have full use of the road as it stops ronnie the rep caning up the M1 at 120, mobile glued to his ear!! I'll say it again, you'd miss them soon enough if they weren't there.

Nopax,thanx
29th Oct 2002, 19:20
No beef, Mr.Punter - my point was ,if you read my post carefully, that the outside lane ban be extended to two-lane motorways too. I know it's not going to make me popular, but then a number of other road safety measures have been unpopular too...........we have a problem in the UK with congestion, and smilin' Gordon is not going to put his hand into his pocket to stump up for road improvements to the degree that is required. Even if he were to, it would be years before they came into effect.

The situation will get worse as older HGV's disappear from the roads and all trucks will eventually be speed limited. So we need to bring about a change before this happens - how about a min 60mph speed limit in the outer lane? Can't enforce it. Ask all drivers to be more considerate? Give me a break; the "me first" society has put paid to that.

I do occasionally tow a caravan (now there's another despised member of society!) and I'm always mindful that I am piloting what is essentially a mobile chicane when I do. I don't pull out to overtake something unless it's clear that I won't inconvenience other drivers. Most of my journey's going to be at 60-65 mph anyway (Yes, I know that I would be on holiday but I still want to get there) so I just put on my patient hat and think of the other road users - is that too much to ask.....:confused:

I don't consider my post to be inane, but if the majority of the others here think it is, then I'll stand corrected.

ATRIXO
30th Oct 2002, 15:52
I regard lorries as just part of the traffic and only irritating, as are others are on the road; when the driver behaves like a prat. I don't recall ever having had a particular problem with a lorry, but coaches I find dire. They are often driven aggressively, too fast and with great arrogance. They are lane hoggers, pull overers, and boy racers. I think that a lot of them might even think they are Black cab drivers; the thing is, driving like a cabbie is dangerous in a full size coach!
No one has mentioned white vans. I took my son out for a driving lessson last week, albeit not on the motorway. He was driving slowly along suburban streets with a white van on his tail for about three miles. In fact on his bumper, with the driver leaning on his horn...sick or what?

DuckDogers
30th Oct 2002, 16:17
Oh how i prey that i could afford James Bonds Aston Martin Vantage whilst driving up and down the A14 and A11!!!

Oh well in the good old Air Force style i'll bodge tape a couple of CRV-7 rockets on me car and let rip!, Yeah right i wish!

Heliport
30th Oct 2002, 17:38
"I took my son out for a driving lessson last week ..... He was driving slowly along suburban streets with a white van on his tail for about three miles. In fact on his bumper, with the driver leaning on his horn...sick or what?

I never thought I'd feel any sympathy for a white van driver, but ..... didn't you think of telling your son to pull over rather than hold somebody up "for about three miles". :confused:

redsnail
30th Oct 2002, 19:18
I do get a bit frustrated when I see any one passing someone else at a fraction faster than the other vehicle. Cars can be guilty of that too.
I don't ride my bike very often in the UK (only got it recently and now it is c-c-c-c-cold) but I find lorry drivers much better than car drivers when it comes to actually seeing me.

Question: If the speed limit other than motorways is 60, why are trucks/lorries restricted to 56mph?

BlueEagle
30th Oct 2002, 20:55
Long distance lorry driver once told me that it is not so much speed as RPM and not having to change down, (fuel economy). Having achieved a speed/RPM they like to maintain it, if that means pulling out from behind a slower moving truck but not necessarily passing it then so be it, at least they didn't have to change down.

On the subject of speed he also made the point that if he has to slow from 60mph to 30mph to facilitate passing cars it could, if he is heavy, take him as much as 15 minutes to get his speed back to 60 whereas most cars can get from 30 to 60 in less than 15 seconds.

56MPH = 100KPH ? Could this be it Reds?

paulo
30th Oct 2002, 22:07
Like a few here I really hate lane hogs, and car drivers by and large are the culprits.

So, one day, I'm going to pick someone up from Gatwick, and what do I see? Some eejit in a tarted up Sierra (tinted windows, at least), complete with some kind of naff LED thing in the back window. It's an empty M23 and he's in lane 3 doing 69mph, with someone stuck behind. The Sierra driver stars gesturing out of the window. Eventually the guy gets past, and it's my turn...

...the red mist rises as he pulls back out.

SO (angry young man I was) from a few hundred yards back I wind up the speed, and then go for full beams doing the "missile" type intimidation. The Sierra pulls over.

As I pass, I sink lower into the seat. The policemen in the Sierra don't look very approving. The blue lights in the front grill go on.

When I sheepishly explained what I thought I'd been seeing, they weren't too harsh on me. But oh boy, did I feel like a prat. :rolleyes:

redsnail
30th Oct 2002, 22:52
Blue Eagle,
Probably. Still irritating though on a B road or something.

flyboy6876
31st Oct 2002, 00:56
Reddo

I guess their kept at 56mph for the same reason that a car / trailer here is kept to 100kph rather than the 110kph that a car on its own does.

Because some stupid beaurocrat believes it makes it safer!:rolleyes:

Windy Militant
31st Oct 2002, 08:34
What really puts the willies up me is when your streaming in traffic all three lanes full. You find yourself moving past a wagon in lane one, so keeping in a position where you can see the driver in his mirror so you know your not in his blind spot (should that be dead zone). The f*cker starts to overtake the wagon in front. You can't go forwards, there's a white van up your chuff so you can't brake and Munich Taxi's blasting past at flank speed in lane three. :eek: He knows you're there but he just don't care.

BlueEagle
31st Oct 2002, 09:41
Flyboy6876 so what is your solution then?

Foot on the floor and may the best man win?

(I take it you are still on a 'P' plate?).

A car with a trailer with coordinated braking is safer than a car with a trailer that has no brakes and a car with no trailer is the safest combination of all.

You want it when?
31st Oct 2002, 10:13
Road haulage of goods has increased since most stores maximised selling space at the expense of warehouse - Just In Time delivery - oh wonderful.

Any modern car, most older cars - even FFFs beloved Spitfire can make direction changes and accelerate faster than a lorry. So where is the beef? Let them out, you can slow down faster and accelerate for less fuel and time or are you just too unpleasent to realise that other road users are out there?

Also - agree with Heliport about ATRIXOs bad habits. You should be teaching courtesy not arrogance. Was there really no where in three miles that you could have pulled over and let the chap past?

Bronx
31st Oct 2002, 17:54
So now we know where the next generation of bad drivers come from - their fathers teach them bad habits. On second thoughts, could be Mother Atrixo.
Hold somebody up for 3 miles?
Sick or what?
:rolleyes:

jonathang
31st Oct 2002, 17:59
Had another Lorry today, this time oversized one crawling along at 30mph, which was fair enough.

However the 20 artics over taking it caused a queue from there too Edinburgh :(

Solution 3 lanes :)

SET 18
31st Oct 2002, 18:15
That is at least a part SOLUTION. The real answer is to make over-sized loads travel overnight.

How many times do you hear traffic reports telling of massive tailbacks behind an escorted load on the M1 in the middle of the day???
For goodness sake, is there no-one out there in any traffic authority who can see how much this must cost both the individual and the economy???


Honestly, it is not rocket science.

quidam
31st Oct 2002, 18:51
Can't see the problem myself :confused:

Lorry at 56. Car legally at 70 mph. You're losing roughly 14 feet per second. Even if the overtake takes 2 mins thats still not a lot of lost distance in the whole scheme of things.

Some HGV drivers are very good. As is always the case some are not so good. Believe you may find that lots of HGV drivers know they can't travel as fast and have similar opinions of inconsiderate car and van drivers.

As for describing them as semi skilled labourers :confused: Ever tried reversing an artic or driving an abnormal load (larger than normal HGV) that also has rear steering axles on the trailer???

IMHO as somebody that has escorted more than one abload (normally in a stripey T5) I think you will find abload drivers some of the most skillful drivers available and I see far more idiotic and selfish behaviour from drivers of cars and vans :(

As for moving larger vehicles at night, most would probably like to just to avoid everybody else. The reality is that they aren't allowed to unless its an emergency like flood relief etc. Believe its a mixture of safety (you can't illuminate all of the extremities) and practicalities (where will you leave such a large vehicle until its destination opens in the morning?). Remember they don't just have to use motorways and dual carriageways.

What next? How about penalties for not being able to maintain an acceptable speed along a single carriageway stretch?

Figure lifes too short to get as stressed as some of you are about something so trivial :)

Set 18

Or massive tailbacks due to a road crash. Think you'll hear that term more often :)

Of course the problem with crashes are all the rubber-neckers on the opposite carriageway that have to slow down and have a look. Something that more often than not leads to more crashes.

As another pause for thought........
Very few (by comparision) serious RTA's involve HGV's and even less involve abloads:eek:

Yarba
31st Oct 2002, 20:42
The United Arab Emirates seem to have a good solution. In some of the Emirates large trucks are only allowed on the roads between the hours of 2200 and 0600. In others, lorries are only permitted on the inside lane (except on 4 lane highways where they are permitted in the 2 inside lanes).
On my visits to UK at has been my observation that the rudest and worst drivers (and likely to be exceeding the speed limit) are those in light panel trucks. Mind you, they are nothing like as bad as almost all the drivers in the Middle east!!
;)

Flying Lawyer
31st Oct 2002, 22:14
Quidam
You ask "What next? How about penalties for not being able to maintain an acceptable speed along a single carriageway stretch?"
And why not?
What's wrong with having an offence of 'failing to maintain a reasonable speed along a single carriageway'?
It may not be necessary to create a new offence. It's a few years since I did a traffic case, but does the offence of 'Driving without due consideration for other road users' no longer exist? Why not use that?
Traffic police are perfectly happy to lie in wait on a perfectly safe stretch of road in order to catch drivers exceeding the speed limit even by small margins - and habitually do so. (I'm not referring to accident black spots.)
Why not prosecute inconsiderate drivers who selfishly hold up the safe flow of traffic? It is they who so often cause other drivers to become frustrated - with the risk that their frustration develops into bad judgement and possibly an accident.

The 'Middle Lane Owners Club' are a menace on motorways. They cause enormous congestion, and often accidents. The motorways are full of people who drive for miles at 50-60 mph in the middle lane, forcing other traffic into the outside lane. Why do the police do nothing about them?

reynoldsno1
31st Oct 2002, 23:00
I have to admit I find all this a bit bewildering, but now I have suddenly realised that I have probably been the victim of a misconception - the speed limit of 70 mph is a mandatory MINIMUM in the UK?

Take it easy, guys & gals, what's the big rush?

niknak
31st Oct 2002, 23:33
Dept of Transport Satistics:-

1) In 87% of all fatal road traffic accidents involving LGV (Large Goods Vehicles) and non LG vehicles, the driver of the non LG vehicle is at fault.

2) In 79% off all non fatal road traffic accidents, involving LGV's and non LGVs, the driver of the non LGV is at fault.

LGV drivers are by no means perfect, I know because I do it as a part time job in addition to my full time aviation activities, but we, unlike non LGV drivers, are subject to regular checks and far more stringrent regulations.
As professional drivers, we also have far greater awareness and anticipation the average non LGV driver, a fact borne out by our safety record.

pilotwolf
31st Oct 2002, 23:37
Have to say I agree with Quidam being of similar occupations... ;)

By far the biggest problem is the common garden(?) motorist. I agree that there are bad elements to any occupation including mine and Quidam's but your average motorist/taxi driver/rep/joe bloggs/flat cap man/sunday driver is far more dangerous than 99% of lorry drivers.

I have been a paramedic for over 13 years now and in that time I can recall very few accidents that have actually been caused by lorry drivers - those that have I think with almost no exception have been foreign drivers straight off the ferry. And I have been to my fair share!

Without fail lorry and to a great extent bus/coach drivers never fail to spot an emergency vehicle and act appropiately. Car drivers pull out of junctions in front of us. They overtake the car in front which has actually used their mirrors and seen us and pulled over to allow us to pass. They turn into junctions in front of us. They don't slow down - ambulances aren't racing cars and cannot accelerate rapidly to overtake. In a response car I can get past you at 50mph, in an ambulance I can't, nor can the fire service when they are working. ;)

It hurts just as much to be hit by 5 ton of ambulance as it does by any other vehicle. And I can't vouch for the standard of the servicing of my work vehicle - it takes a bit more stopping than your mondeo or jap car too!! And I don't really give a toss about no claims bonuses as it ain't my vehicle!!

Prior to joining the ambulance service I spent a year driving lorries and can only agree with the posters above. To slow by 10 mph can often require 4 or 5 gear changes to maintain any speed - think what sort of engine brakingyou get in a car by changing down a gear - multiply that by a factor of 4 or 5 and you'll get some idea of the problems you get in a lorry.

No one is perfect and if we all had a bit more consideration for other drivers problems maybe we would all be a bit more understanding... and maybe reduce the stress and road rage which is so common these days.

And as a final note - being related to a police officer - they get fed up with booking motorists and other offenders when our wonderful legal system lets the offender effectively get away with it.

flyboy6876
1st Nov 2002, 00:15
BlueEagle

I most certainly am not on P plates :mad: I've been driving for over 20 years and have done many long trips in Africa with a trailer and never felt obliged to crawl along at 100kph. The only accident I have had in over a million km's of driving was when I was still a learner.

I just don't believe that the extra 10 kph will make any difference. You are either a careful driver or not. If you are a carefuly driver at 110kph with a trailer then you will not have an accident. If you are a reckless driver then even at 100kph you will likely have an accident.

Crepello
1st Nov 2002, 09:22
Sorry flyboy, what you believe is neither there nor here. The FACT, on the other hand, is that even a small increase in speed has a large impact on the survivability of an accident. This is borne out by considerable research.

As you said yourself, the extra 10 km/h is [otherwise] insignificant. So why not stick to the legal limit?

BlueEagle
1st Nov 2002, 09:35
Both the AA and the RAC in the UK have, in quite recent times, (and in response to the various haulage associations claims of innocence), gone on record as saying that although HGVs are not so frequently involved in accidents they are quite frequently the cause of accidents. Here in Australia it is not uncommon to be overtaken by a muti ton 24 wheel 'heavy' who is in the outside lane of three and well in excess of the speed limit!

flyboy 6876, Crepello has said it all, it is a proven fact that speed kills, as they say in Victoria, "wipe of five".

Flying Lawyer
1st Nov 2002, 10:35
pilotwolf says "And as a final note - being related to a police officer - they get fed up with booking motorists and other offenders when our wonderful legal system lets the offender effectively get away with it."

What silly prejudiced nonsense. :rolleyes:
I don't claim our legal system is "wonderful" by any means, but traffic police have no reason to complain about it. The overwhelming majority of drivers reported for speeding either accept a fixed penalty at the roadside (if offered) or plead Guilty.
How many cases do you (or your relation) know where a driver has contested a prosecution for speeding and been acquitted?
For that matter, how many cases do you (or your relation) know where a driver has been acquitted of any motoring offence?

The Glidewell Report into the prosecutions system (about 4 years ago) revealed that someone reported for a criminal offence has a 1:4 chance of being 'cautioned' whereas a motorist has only a 1:10 chance. Absurd, but true.

And, what does "effectively get away with it" mean?
Motorists who drive greatly in excess of the speed limit, even where there is no danger to other road-users, are disqualified.
Where there is actual danger, even slower speeds usually lead to disqualication.
Even worse, under our ridiculous 'Penalty Points' system, motorists risk being punished twice for the same offence - whereas all other offenders are punished once. Absurd, unjust but nonetheless true.

"No one is perfect and if we all had a bit more consideration for other drivers problems maybe we would all be a bit more understanding... and maybe reduce the stress and road rage which is so common these days.
Road rage is, of course, a real problem and offenders are rightly dealt with extremely severely by the courts. Unfortunately, insufficient attention is given to the sort of driving which frequently causes stress, road rage and/or accidents.

----------
Police get "fed up with booking motorists"
I'd be very pleased if I thought there was the slightest truth in that - but I don't.
Far too much Police money and manpower is wasted reporting motorists for trivial offences whilst criminals get away because of alleged shortage of manpower to investigate properly.
It's not dificult to understand why the victims of unsolved crimes feel angry and frustrated when they are prosecuted for driving marginally in excess of the speed limit in safe conditions.
But motorists are easy pickings and good revenue earners - and probably always will be.

---------
I hold a Class 1 HGV licence (as it used to be called) and agree with your comments (and quidam's) about LGV drivers. Sadly, most motorists have no understanding of the characterstics of heavy vehicles and won't let them out even when the artic driver is signalling and waiting patiently to do so. By the time the lorry gets out to overtake, it has often lost most of its speed and takes much longer to pass.
Sadly, truck drivers driving on ordinary licences give the professionals a bad name because most people don't know the difference between trucks and LGVs and class them all as 'lorries'.

quidam
1st Nov 2002, 14:42
Oh FL,

I’m disappointed. I’m hoping that your reply was more to stimulate healthy debate as opposed to being as poorly thought out (and off topic) as it may appear at face value. I’ve become used to expecting better from you.

Gloves off? I’ll rise to the bait just a little. After all this is JB J

‘ The haven’t you got anything better to do ?’ type argument has got to be the most lame excuse ever offered to a Traffic cop (normally on a daily basis by some self confessed genius). Closely followed by ‘ What about catching this/that/proper criminals’

To answer: Yes I do have better things to do with my time but motorists (generally) cannot be trusted to drive properly on their own.

Posted speed limits are maximums not minimums. They were decided upon long before speed cameras ever existed (in fact I think you’ll find cameras and tickets were designed to combat speeders after speeding became a problem). Yes it is an easy form of revenue for the Govt to raise but how many lemmings still insist on throwing easy money at them?

There is no such thing as a dangerous road. A road has never killed anybody. It’s the people that use roads that kill each other. More accurately inappropriate speed is a killer rather than simply too high a speed. There are many country roads with a 60 mph limit where geographically anything near that speed would be suicide.

In essence driving standards are too poor. Tests should reflect that driving is a privilege NOT a right. That would at least legally keep some of the less suited off the roads.

I would be all for scrapping speed limits other than in populated areas (schools etc etc) but on the understanding that exceeding those limits or poor driving elsewhere would be severely punished. This would put the responsibility for what’s appropriate firmly back with the driver. The reality is sadly that a vast majority just aren’t sensible enough to be trusted.

Speed enforcement is a very small part of what ‘we’ actually do. I spend far more time helping the families and friends of those that have died. Only on TV do the cops appear, deliver the message and leave. Some families that are having difficulties coming to terms with their loss still contact the Traffic officer years later. How many lawyers can say they provide the same continuity of service?

Speeding acceptance seems to be such an emotive area with so many drivers. Please feel free to explain why you think that ‘little extra’ is ok (when it’s not ok for lorries or middle lane huggers) and why it is that nasty coppers with white hats just pick on you. After all the Law is quite clear about what it will accept – If you do the crime you have to expect to do the time. While you’re at it how many shoplifters do you think say the same thing? Would you say similar comments to a store detective that stops a shoplifter for stealing £1 of goods? If so how much of your property could be stolen before the value was important to you?

For this topic it all comes down to an appreciation of the difficulties faced by the drivers of substantially larger and slower vehicles than cars. To my mind what a car driver views as excessively slow is far better than the CAT1 abload driver (well over 44 tonnes and nearly as wide as both carriageways) driving as fast as is actually possible instead of a more sensible approach that allows the ‘lemming’ coming the other way in a car or van time to slow. The majority of those that speed past schools also speed elsewhere so where they are caught is of little relevance.

As for your other points. I work with 5 others. On a good day we’re lucky to have 3 PC’s covering an area of 200 square miles that encompasses every type of road you can think of. As a county on average we lose roughly one life every two and a half days and 20 people per day are hospitalised. For various reasons probably 99.9% of those would have been totally avoidable. So on reflection you really do have to be unlucky to be caught speeding. A lot of shoplifters are caught every time, that’s not the reality with speeders or poor drivers.

As for lane huggers at 50-60 mph. Police very rarely do nothing. It’s a question of priority linked to staffing levels. If every really minor matter was processed the system would fail to cope. Far better to find the worst example of the best offence. Lots of files processed by Police never get any further than CPS. Too minor, too minor to justify the expense of prosecution, not in the public interest (the same thing basically) are all reasons for things like your example not reaching court. CPS only proceeds with files they believe they stand an above average chance of winning. Even so they still win less than 50%. Most prosecutors read the files at court 10 mins before the trial begins for minor matters!

So to answer your question LAWYERS stop the majority of minor matters reaching court. Over time Police have just got wise to needlessly wasting their time. That sort of paperwork apathy is why my house is re-mortgaged and I want to change to heli flying.

Penalised twice??? And why not. Idiot A drives like a prat and eventually crashes. We all pay to medically put him back together and all our car insurance premiums rise. Thats not right either!

And finally, Loads of money isn't spent on Speeding or traffic offences. My force has just under 130 traffic cops out of a force front line operational strength of over 3500! Trivial crimes don't kill or seriously injure with anywhere the same frequency as minor Crime offences. and lets not forget nearly all major criminals also ignore the socially acceptable (to some) traffic laws.

What gets me as a heli driver is how slow plank drivers are at taxiing J Now there’s a real issue J

FL please accept my views in the friendly way they are offered. After 10 years of picking up body bits I’ve seen too much needless waste of life to be convinced of anything different. This sort of argument is purely the tip of an iceberg of far worse faults/attitudes.

Try telling your friends when they get something wrong when they drive and be prepared for the verbal kicking you’ll get in return and accept that as is always the case a few bad inevitably ruin it for the good

You want it when?
1st Nov 2002, 15:04
Well said Quidam. Highlighted a few points I'd not thought about, and well articulated.

Except for the crack on plank drivers :D How those egg whisks of yours work I've no idea. If you hovver taxi - can you be fined for breaking the taxi way speed limits?

Flying Lawyer
1st Nov 2002, 18:24
Sorry to disappoint you, quidam. Those are my genuinely held views.
Poorly thought out? It's human nature to think those who disagree with us haven't thought their argument - otherwise they'd see we are right. ;)
Off topic?
The discussion had expanded beyond lorries overtaking and I responded to points made by you and pilotwolf.

I wouldn't dream of asking a Traffic cop who stopped me if he hasn't got anything better to do with his time; nor would I suggest his time would be better spent catching criminals.
Firstly, I recognise he's Traffic Division and know his job is to catch erring motorists, not criminals.
Secondly, at that point I swallow all my pride, grovel like hell, assure him I completely understand why it was entirely reasonable of him to stop me and, if on this one occasion he could possibly see his way clear .... etc
And, thirdly, I can't face the prospect of listening yet again to the "If you'd been to as many accidents/seen as many dead bodies as I have .... " spiel so beloved of traffic officers. Come on ...... even other police officers ridicule/mimic traffic officers for that self-justifying old chestnut. :D

Two of your comments betray the attitude which is (unfortunately) so prevalent amongst traffic officers when dealing with members of the public: "some self confessed genius" and "motorists (generally) cannot be trusted to drive properly on their own."
I agree driving standards are low - lane discipline in the UK is abysmal, and many people forget all about M/S/M when they pass their test - but traffic officers are almost invariably patronising about other drivers. Your sweeping generalisation is absurd. The overwhelming majority of drivers drive safely at, or acceptably close to, the speed limts and are never involved in/cause an accident.

Of course you're right that inappropriate speed is the problem, rather than simply too high a speed. But far more people are needlessly prosecuted (IMHO) for exceeding the legal limit when there is no danger, than are prosecuted e.g. for endangering other motorists by changing lanes without signalling, or causing congestion and frustration by hogging lanes at inappropriately low speeds etc

Of course there are roads where the maximum legal speed would be dangerous - but, equally, there are many roads where the speed limit is too low and even responsible drivers creep over the limit. I'm sure you know such roads on your own patch - traffic officers know the spots for easy pickings. ;)

"Please feel free to explain why you think that ‘little extra’ is ok
Strictly, not even a minor breach is ok, but not all breaches of the law justify prosecution. That is just too harsh.
"(when it’s not ok for lorries or middle lane huggers)"
I don't understand your reference to lorries and I've already said why I think middle lane huggers are a dangerous menace.
"Would you say similar comments to a store detective that stops a shoplifter for stealing £1 of goods?"
No. But I'd say that a first offender should be cautioned if the value was £1. As you rightly say, if every really minor matter was processed the system would fail to cope. We disagree about what is 'really minor'.
"The majority of those that speed past schools also speed elsewhere etc"
True - but the converse is not true. Many drivers exceed the speed limit when it is safe but wouldn't dream of speeding past a school. Strange that there are few (if any) speed cameras or police speed traps outside schools.

On a personal and emotional level, lives lost on the road are a tragedy for the families concerned. But, objectively, the harsh reality is that some loss of life is inevitable and has to be accepted. I don't consider the current figures to be unacceptably high.

"Lots of files processed by Police never get any further than CPS ..... ............ LAWYERS stop the majority of minor matters reaching court.etc"
True - but your comments do not apply to speeding offences however minor.

"Penalised twice??? And why not."
Because it's not fair.

"And finally, Loads of money isn't spent on Speeding or traffic offences.
We'll have to agree to differ. The cost of (usually) two police officers, a (usually) expensive car and literally tens of thousands pounds' worth of speed-detection equipment on each traffic car soon tots up. Most victims of burglary think fingerprints taken by the 'Scene of Crime' man are used to try to identify the burglar. We both know that's purely a cosmetic/PR exercise because the cost of using the prints to identify the burglar is considered too great.

"Trivial crimes don't kill or seriously injure ...."
I agree, but nor do trivial traffic offences.

".... and lets not forget nearly all major criminals also ignore the socially acceptable (to some) traffic laws."
You're probably right ...... so you're doing your bit in the war against crime then. :p

Interesting discussion. I hope it's clear that my criticism is limited to reporting motorists for trivial/minor speeding offences when a warning would be more appropriate.
BTW, although I strongly disapprove of the prosecuting ethos, I have unqualified respect for the skills of traffic police drivers/riders. I even swallowed my pride and got a traffic officer friend to teach me the 'Roadcraft system' as the best way of staying alive when I bought a motorbike a few years ago. :D

Grainger
1st Nov 2002, 19:40
Why do we get so pi55ed off at speeding fines ?

The whole thing is a classic example of false positives and false negatives.

Yes, there are a lot of nasty accidents caused by all sorts of bad driving. Idiots who causes accidents should be prosecuted.

I drive a lot. I want to stay alive. I want proper road safety measures, not ones that pay lip service.

Now speed is something that is very easy to measure. And, unlike not paying attention, using your mobile phone, having a bad attitude or simply being unaware of what's going on around you - it's an easy thing to put a numerical value on and enforce the letter of the law.

So we have three million speeding fines issued, pretty much at random. Those causing the accidents are not the ones getting fined, that's why we're pi55ed off.

There is no other crime that I can think of where you can be punished - to the extent of losing your job - not because of something bad that you did, but because of something that might have happened.

I challenge any one of you to claim that you have NEVER EVER broken this particular law - not even 31 mph. Ever. Anyone ?
So again the parallels with shoplifting or any other actual crime are shown to be false. How many other crimes can you be punished for where it is virtually certain that those doing the punishment have done the same thing themselves ? First stone and all that.

What you could do is work out why the accidents were happening on any given stretch of road. Unfortunately, it's much easier to be "seen to be doing something about it" and prosecute a whole load of people who have NOT caused accidents.

Sure, some accidents are caused by excessive speed in the wrong place at the wrong time. Prosecuting ALL people who speed regardless of whether they have been driving unsafely may give a false sense of security that you are doing something about the problem, but statistics show that road deaths have NOT gone down in spite of the proliferation of speed cameras and disqualifications.

I refer you to the theory of false positives to understand why.

Davaar
1st Nov 2002, 20:57
Has anyone ever seen the gendarmerie with their little speed measuring devices at work on a day that was (a) cold and icy, (b) warm but with heavy rain, (c) featuring sleet or snow?
On any of these, the roads are slippery and treacherous, but who cares? In my observation, it is a fair weather sport for the lads, their theme: "Summertime, and the livin' is easy." I know my evidence is "anecdotal", but my observation and my anecdote. I have never seen foul weather speed checks.

Grainger
1st Nov 2002, 21:32
Where I live plod are usually to be seen hiding within 50 metres of the 30 limit signs zapping motorists as they enter the village. Even motorists who are clearly decelerating as they pass the signs appear to be fair game.

Never mind that this is 200 or 300 metres away from the high street where all the pedestrians are. Obviously it's more about keeping up the statistics than actually keeping peds safe :rolleyes:

pilotwolf
1st Nov 2002, 22:13
FL.

I ll ignore the lawyerism (if there is such a word :) ) of cutting my statement and using the bit you want!

What I meant was so many criminals get such light sentences for their offence they 'are getting away with it'. If I take my rifle andgo and shoot someone I might be unlucky and get life inside but will probably be walking the streets again within 10-15 years if I keep my nose clean. If I chose to get ****faced and plough into a bus queue and kill 2 or 3 school kids I d be unlucky to get more than a couple of years inside and hey my driving ban will probably run alongside my sentence so when I get out I can do it again.

My dig was at the useless sentences and the way some old duffer who is so far removed from reality, (read Judge), lets these criminals off with inconsistent sentencing. What about the juvenilles who get banned and then the same day are caught driving again? They will happily admit that they "got away with it".

I am sure I don't need to tell you but before my rellie left the police due to the excessive political correctness there was an average of 12 forms to complete for even the 'minor' offences such as shoplifting.

In 13 years I too have been to countless accidents - including a large number of fatalities. Most of these have been in built up areas and several involved pedestrians. The others were clearly a result of bad driving.

Many of the UKs drivers have never taken a test and of those who have many never ever have another test or any further training unless it is required by their job. And even that is no guarentee of an improvement - hence this whole thread. But I have also been to RTCs, (not allowed to call them road traffic accidents anymore!), caused by police, ambulance and fire service drivers who have done ridiculous things whilst driving on an emergency call.

In short unless we start compulsory retesting of ALL drivers on a regular basis and ensure a fair system of penalising those who continue to break the law nothing will change. After all none of the professional pilots here go without a regular line check. Why should it be safer to fly than drive?

Without getting political the motorist gives quite alot :D of money to the goverment so lets start ploughing it back into road safety - training, retesting, effective policing and above all effective sentencing.

ATRIXO
1st Nov 2002, 22:35
My one experience with the Gendarmarie occurred where there were serious grounds for safety on a bend coming off a motorway.
Re UK...Sounds to me as if FL is a persistent offender and wants to look better because of his professional commitments. .that's OK except that it smats of hypocrisy...but then you would expect that of a lawyer!

Davaar
1st Nov 2002, 23:04
Well naturally, Atrixo, but would I expect it of you? You say "sounds as if", a subjective premise to which you attach a subjective conclusion, to which you tack FL's profession. On Jet Blast they used to call that sophistry, not hypocrisy. Or you might try "BS".

EGCC4284
1st Nov 2002, 23:44
I have held a HGV a class 1 for 15 years ,
5 years doing general haulage and still have
the green shirts and tie in my wardrobe.
6 years driving tankers carrying toxic, flammable
chemical waste all over the UK.

What concerns me is that as usual, people who do
not understand and see the whole picture from BOTH
the HGV driver side and car drivers side are commenting
on something they know little about.

In the time I've spent travelling the length of the UK,
I have seen many many stupid stunts made by, I'm
sorry to say, CAR DRIVERS who often cause the
accident without being directly involved and carry on driving
away from the scene not realising what carnage they have
left behind.

Classic example is when they decide to leave the motorway
at the 3,2,1 markers from the 3rd lane cutting straight across
all the nearside traffic. [email protected] Heads.

What worries me more is that most people on this forum are
getting so uptight about being held up for a few minutes,
something so trivial and are on a web site for pilots.

Would you want somebody like this flying you to your hols.

CHILL OUT EVERYBODY.

quidam
2nd Nov 2002, 10:00
Now this is getting interesting .

For the record I too disagree with the zero discretion national policy for speeding.

However is was bought in rightly/wrongly to ensure consistency across the UK. Not fair to get a ticket in one area and a warning in another for the same or in some cases a lower speed.

You will get good and bad coppers just the same as any other job. I don't lecture. I'll happily have a discussion of views but lecturing is not what professionals do.

Acceptably close to a speed limit is again a subjective arguement. take 1000 people off the street and you'll get a number of different answers over whats 'acceptable' The line has to be drawn somewhere and the Govt have drawn it.

It has been trialed down where I am at actually telling people via local papers and radio when and where checks will be and at what speed they will get a ticket. We still catch people :confused: and on most estates its local residents and more often than not those that have complained about speeding in the first place.

Very few speeders/driving offences go N/G at court because nearly all traffic cars and bikes now have on board video. Yes the cars are probably expensive ( double crewing is very rare) but the video saves court time and removes (from police) once and for all the decision of whats acceptable in more complex matters to the bench or jury - who in reality have the final say so.

None of my earlier comments were meant to sound patronising but accept it or not there are some very poor drivers out there, and as i said earlier the UK is happy to net lots of primarily good drivers in order to catch a few that are primarily bad. I've already suggested an alternative. The Police don't make the rules, they only enforce them. You are moaning to people who cannot change them.

For atleast the past two years all speed check sites have had to be justified. Criteria include number of crashes, average speeds (measured by hoses across the road) and complaints from the public. Human rights legislation means we as a public service have to act on a complaint if the complainant feels it affects their quality of life. The hoses also highlight days and times when there is a perceived problem so that atleast efforts are made to target the most persistent offenders.

Most schools are so congested by parents collecting/dropping off children that speed checks would never record speeds above the Govt's prosecution threshold. Very few RTC's occur actually right outside a school. Most are on the most popular routes taken to/from that are in the surrounding area.

You will always find an over zealous copper somewhere that stands just inside a limit and yes personally I think there are more appropriate places an officer like that could go (clean answers only please). Sitting on the fence though: At the time of taking your driving test (which as we know is purely a bench mark that shows the minimum that would be allowed) would you expect to pass if you went through any speed limit sign in excess of the posted limit and then used the road past the sign to actually slow down? If the answer is 'No' then why do we the public as a whole suddenly feel that having reached what society has decided is a minimum that we can individually change it as we see fit?

And yes at some point everybody cops included will speed. That doesn't make it right and again even at 31 mph you'd not expect to pass your driving test. I am only a copper for the hours I am at work. As human as the rest of you I make mistakes and bend some minor rules also.

Consistency of penalty is always an interesting debate. Perhaps FL can shed some light? I'm always perplexed if on any particluar day in court I'm responsible for (for arguements sake) 6 motorcyclists being before the bench. All were caught individually, on the same day, within hours of each other, and along the same stretch of road. Those at the highest speeds are not guaranteed to get the highest penalties and two caught at the same speed also can't guarantee the same either.

Accidents will happen but as I said nearly all are avoidable and in the majority of cases I'm sure many woudl agree they are not that high- until it's their son/daughter/husabnd/wife/ friend that doesn't come home. I for one would take little comfort in knowing that it was avoidable but considered acceptable. One life lost affects loads of lives.

Driving is readily accepted as a right. taking white hat off, I still believe that it is a luxury not a right. Some drivers are far too foolish to have a licence. It's 1 am on a motorway you're driving at 110 mph. Suddenly you see a car ahead, its the only car you've seen for hours. As you pass it you see its a dark coloured volvo T5 that seconds later is now matching your speed. What sort of prat have you got to be not to slow down!!!!!! By not slwoing down you put the copper in a difficult position. traffic cars here are fitted with GPS trackers. Every time I exceed a speed limit whilst on duty I get a form upon which I have to explain why! No explanation I get booked! I explain I cautioned at 110 mph. Thats not in line with Govt rules I get disciplined for neglect of duty! If prat slwoed down and actually thought as well as drove there'd be no problem.
I've had similar with adults racing. For miles they've compared which is quicker BMW M3 or Mitsubishi Evo6. Loads of complaints about speed/silly overtakes. Suddenly a volvo joins in :) even with a police board in the back window i'll get flashed by drivers I've passed. And the two racing are so preoccupied that neither realises that a third car has joined! U're seriously suggesting people like that can be trusted :eek: You either trust all or none.

Thats common sense not traffic cop talk.

Govt/CPS/Courts and Lawyers have to take some of the repsonsibility for complaints about driving.

36 mph in a 30 = £60 and three points.

0020 hrs 01/01/02 a car with a knackered driver who falls asleep mounts the pavement and hits a family of four. Crippling the father, killing the 8 yr old boy and seriously injuring the mother and daughter = £125 and 4 points. The defence was well argued by the lawyer.

Legal system as a whole needs a radical re think to bring benches back to reality, remove lawyers that waste and abuse court time and redress the balance that chooses the easy majority over the slightly harder and more costly deserving minority.

Thats why I'm leaving.

And the legal system is probably another debate

Alty Meter
4th Nov 2002, 16:41
Atrixo
FL is widely respected in the industry generally, a popular contributor to Prune, and those who've met him always speak highly of him. I doubt if your silly personal attacks are appreciated by anybody.
You could learn a lot from the debate between FL and Quidam - forceful arguments on both sides, advanced with courtesy and respect for each other's point of view.

jonathang
4th Nov 2002, 21:31
What opinions to be people have with regards to having lorrys barred to the inside lane?

IFTB
5th Nov 2002, 13:24
I completely support Alty Meter's comment:

"You could learn a lot from the debate between FL and Quidam"

Despite what [we] car users think about holdups during truck overtaking, I am sure that not many of us have thought about Quidam's perspective while cruising along at 100 km/hr and losing a "valuable" 2 mins of traveling time waiting to accelarate back to 140+ (in this country at least)

It pays to shutup for a chance and READ the comments in order to learn something here.

Must say that this thread is getting a bit repettitive though.:D :D

Elvis21
5th Nov 2002, 14:45
Quidam and FL,

A thoroughly good debate. Congrats:)

nomdeplume
5th Nov 2002, 16:29
I agree.
It's good to have a sensible and intelligent discussion - Atrixo's daft and then offensive posts excepted.

I think any delays caused by HGVs is insignificant when compared with constant problems caused by the middle and outside lane hoggers. They cause far more accidents than people driving at 85 mph on a motrorway and the police ought to enforce lane discipline.

There are two flaws in Quidam's argument that these lanehoggers only cause short delays.
Firstly, that theory only applies to short journeys. All these 'short delays' add up and can easily add an hour or more on a 200 mile journey on the M1. I suspect Quidam may be a Thames Valley traffic man influenced by traffic on the M4 and M40 which usually flows quite well. In contrast, the lane hoggers on the M1 cause chaos.
Secondly, if a motorway is busy, it isn't just a short delay. The tailback soon builds up and can quickly have cars a mile back stationary on the motorway. Think how often you're stationary or barely moving for ages. You assume there must be an accident ahead yet, when you get there, there's nothing, no reason for the hold-up. That sort of delay is caused by the lane hoggers.

BlueEagle
5th Nov 2002, 23:15
Nomdeplume - Could not disagree more.

The two single most likely causes of congestion and tailbacks on motorways that are NOT caused by accidents, road works etc. are hills, yes hills! and junctions.

Hills cause heavy vehicles to slow down, traffic behind moves to the centre lane and centre lane traffic migrates to the outside lane, the centre and inside lanes are now slow moving and the outside lane is chock full of traffic usually going little faster than the centre lane because it is so full. When the hill ceases the heavy traffic speeds up and returns to the inside lane as does a lot of centre lane traffic. The outside lane thins out and speed overall is increased and congestion disappears, hence the'no obvious cause' - nothing to do with 'lane hoggers', the cause was the hill that you have just driven over.

Junctions are similarly the cause of 'no obvious cause' congestion as exiting traffic leaves lane changing to the last minute and then cuts right across, everyone has to slow down, joining traffic rarely stays in the inside lane for long and in moving across the lanes also causes a general slow down in traffic as other drivers brake to avoid them.

It has been my experience that the people who have most to say about 'lane hoggers' are the ones that expect to be able to do 80-90mph in the centre lane without having to expose themselves by moving to the outside lane to pass someone observing the speed limit.

Flying Lawyer
6th Nov 2002, 10:46
BlueEagle
You may be right about Australia, I don't know - but it is not true of the UK. There is no problem here of great movements into the middle lane when slow-moving lorries are encountered - because hardly any car drivers use the first lane anyway. It's almost invariably the clearest lane on a busy motorway, where lane discipline is virtually non-existent. That's why people have been referring to the 'Middle Lane Owners Club' or similar.

Nomdeplume is correct.
A few years ago I spent a week flying a 'News/Traffic' helicopter around Los Angeles. (Hills are not a problem on freeways in the LA basin.) We repeatedly followed long tail-backs assuming there was an accident only to find when we got to the head of the line of traffic that it was caused by slow drivers at the same speed in adjoining lanes. The problem is much worse in the UK because we are not allowed to pass on the inside.
I suppose it only goes to show that a determined lane hogger can cause tailbacks even in the US where you can legally overtake on either side.

I don't know what you mean by being 'exposed' in the outside lane. :confused: It's not some risky death-trap, and the speed difference is not that great - for the reasons Nomdp and others have explained.
Quidam and I agree on one thing - the general standard of driving in the UK is appalling and the driving-test is too easy. (In contrast, a Class 1 HGV test is demanding.)

BlueEagle
6th Nov 2002, 12:42
Sorry Flying Lawyer, simply cannot agree and therefore beg to differ. Recently returned to Oz after a trip to UK, My experiences, as described, were actual and on motorways in the UK.

(also used to live in the UK and used motorways quite a lot).