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Old 15th October 2007, 23:00   #16
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Automobiles serve different purposes for different people. For guys like me, they are a means of transport. Getting from place A to place B in reasonable comfort. For some, they are a means of self-expression. And for yet some, they are weapons for potential homicide. You choose what you want to do with your automobile. In the final analysis, you have no business satisfying your urge to rev up, by potentially threatening the safety of other road users. To be fair to the drivers, there are also pedestrians who give one the feeling that they have become a burden on this planet and have been destined to be taken out by an unwary driver.
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Old 15th October 2007, 23:24   #17
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After my primary car had completed 8,000 km, I would occasionally push it to 165 km/h.

Then one morning, driving all alone at 5 am in the morning, in a private conversation with myself, I came to terms with the complete idiocy of it. Convinced myself that it was not worth risking my loved ones' future for a rush of adrenalin.

My primary car is now 16,000 km old and in the last 5,000 km or so, I have never exceeded 110 km/h. Driving is more tranquil and so much more enjoyable.
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Old 15th October 2007, 23:31   #18
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You are right about zillions of flyovers in delhi and you are absolutely right about the less traffic sense in Delhi especially after the arrival of 1000s of call center CABS. You remember when the rule came not to change driving lanes much and the next day traffic cops were having chalaan lol. I was shocked to see the traffic cruising at 50-70 kmph in the office hours. Dang..!! people were running in proper lanes, no sudden left or right turns by call center cabs. Its all just traffic sense.

I had seen this type of thing in mumbai where road are congested and less in width. atleast we have a running traffic because people in mumbai don't change their lanes frequently. I was sitting with my friends in the car and i asked him to change the lane and vroom, he replied "Its not delhi, its mumbai and here people's traffic sense says we will reach our destination like after 5 min. So Relax." lol If Delhites starts driving on mumbai roads then we will be having 2-3 hours jams of every single congested road. lol But its a fact. In Delhi we have a good amount of Road Rage too, and don't mind mods and other people. How can we forget most of the cute girls on delhi roads with a scary face and zero traffic sense.

I had seen girls driving fast on delhi roads, Bumper to Bumper at 70 kmph. hardly 1 feet difference. Yesterday only i had a good conversation between me and a girl in Accord. She was blowing horns, dippers and i can see the rage on her face from my rear view. Come on man gimme sometime atleast to give her side. Then Ego issues because she was in an Accord she was making faces as if i'm driving a bullock cart not a car. Silly people in delhi really. One thrust and vroom to extreme high rpms in my car, she started racing haha i was just teasing her that mine is faster and skilled driver. I can be speedy but not ignorant. Dingo!! boom~ she hits a scorpio because she was not able to control the car at sudden lefts or right. Worst experience ever with a female driver. Her bonut was touching the sky like a tent. haha

So, in cities one should avoid speedy bumper to bumper and sharp cuts especially in Delhi where people can suddenly turns left or right without any indication.

So, Drive Safe Hardly 2-3 min. difference in a congested traffic.
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Old 16th October 2007, 02:16   #19
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Talking of power and responsibility... how I cringe when I see those signatures glorifying speed right here on Team-BHP!

Some of us get deluded into believing that being on a forum like this necessitates one to be a speed freak!
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Old 16th October 2007, 03:04   #20
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There is a major difference between driving fast and driving rashly.
A person can be driving rashly at speeds of 30kmph whereas a person can be driving fast but safe at speeds of 100.
Another reason is that most of the automobiles here come with limited safety features and are undertyred and when these cars are pushed by their owners, who as some people pointed out, have not driven a lot or have not driven frequently at high speeds, they tend to meet with accidents more often.
There are some people who i would trust at speeds of 120+ and some who i would be scared of even sitting in their car even when they are just driving around the building looking for parking.
Many don't have road sense and that is the cause of most of the mishaps. Just look at the difference between NY and any other city in the USA. I saw 5 accidents in one day in NY whereas in Boston and Providence, i have to yet come across one.
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Old 16th October 2007, 08:50   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
I see a lot of posts indicating insane top speeds of 150 kmph and more, and our auto journalists get some sort of adrenaline rush in pushing the gas. That is not safe even on the US highways and German autobahns, leave alone the Indian roads. The max speed in various countries with well-designed roads for high speed motorways is: US (55-65 mph), UK (70 mph), Sweden (110 kmph), Switzerland (120 kmph).
The speed limit on US interstates is 70 mph. In Canada it's a little less, 100 kmph (62 mph).
In my opinion driving slow always doesn't mean that you are safer. In North America, a significant percentage of road accidents are caused by elderly people, who tend to drive slowly but are probably not as good at it as younger people.
Also, the Autobahns despite of having no speed limits in the majority of the highways experience lesser accidents than North American or other European highways which have a fixed speed limit (source: Wikipedia).
In the end, I think it comes down to the person who is driving and the rules which are enforced in the country. In India, even if they lower the speed limits to 20 kmph, they will probably have the same no. of accidents as now unless they improve the driving habits of drivers through better traffic education, increased policing, stricter convictions and better cars as well.

On Canadian highways, even if you are doing 40 kmph over the limit, the cops won't catch you if they think that you are not interferring with the traffic flow and not causing any inconvenience to fellow drivers.
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Old 16th October 2007, 09:34   #22
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Originally Posted by Hyundai.Lover View Post
vExperience also matters dude.

So, we need experience and have to follow some rules while driving above 100 kmph.

Nicely said but again this is the universal justification-experience and skills. Agreed, experience and skill can make you better able to handle situations. But on the road, the other guy may not be like you. It takes only 0.5-1 sec. for a fatal accident to happen. If in an emergency situation, you had 5 secs, then would an accident happen. If 10 secs, then no one dies on the road. Accidents happen not only because of our own skills and speeds, but also of other road users (both in a vehicle and the flesh/blood kind). The faster the speed the lesser the reaction time to respond, and the higher the braking distance.

Regarding how countries manage to balance speed and safety, I shall post some examples. But again, no matter what the road and the skill, anything over 70-80 mph/110-120 kmph is definitely considered dangerous. Even for FE purposes, 60 mph/100 kmph is considered the upper limit for max FE.

Last edited by adya33 : 16th October 2007 at 10:49. Reason: Quote tags completed
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Old 16th October 2007, 09:47   #23
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At present, there is diversity across developed and European countries in speed limits set for different roads. However, most countries adopt speed limits within the following levels (this data is for 2005-06 so if speed limits ranges have changed, pls. forgive me):

Urban: 30-50 kmph
Main highways or rural roads: 70–100 kmph
Motorways 90–130 kmph

Yes German motorways have no speed limit but 130 kmph is recommended. Urban roads have a speed limit of 50, while main highways and rural roads have 100 kmph. So speed limits also exist in Germany (as of 2005). US limits vary by state but are motorways: urban (55-70 mph), rural (65-75 mph); Main highways and rural road 55-70 mph; urban roads (25-35 mph).

Despite greater speeds, motorways are generally the safest roads, perhaps because of their higher design standards. Most countries' motorways have a speed limit of 120-130 kmph. While there is no legally enforced speed limit on approximately one third of German motorway networks, the recommended top speed is 130 kmph. Furthermore, in the event of an accident on such roads in Germany, the driver is automatically held responsible if it is proven that he or she was travelling at above 130 kmph.

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Old 16th October 2007, 09:53   #24
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My personal viewpoint is by overspeeding (again experience and skills) but say anything over 90-100 kmph (this is the top speed), I could not only ruin my family (if I die), but if I kill anyone, I ruin not only my family (because of trauma and legal hassles) but more importantly destroy someone else's family also. I am say 10% faster than the general population on most roads, but this is because of around 5-6% difference in speed, and 5-10% difference in lanes (anticipate traffic and move safely). As ram said and inferred, I have seen that high speeds do not save anything-time or fuel.
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Old 16th October 2007, 10:02   #25
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I had also posted that to manage both safety and speed, the trend in a large number of countries is to implement variable and dynamic speed limits, whereby the limit is varied according to the time of day, the season, or actual traffic conditions (eg, snow or rain) on a particular road.

In France, in case of rain or snow, the speed limit for motorways changes from 130 kmph to 110 kmph and on rural roads from 90 to 80. The speed limit on all types of roads is 50 kmph under fog conditions.

Nordic countries such as Finland and Sweden apply lower speed limits in winters.

In most countries, variable speed limits are applied in school zones at entering or exiting times.

Dynamic speed limits (just like dynamic traffic signals) are also applied generally activated at a given time, based on traffic volume or other criteria. In France, it is common to reduce the speed limit by 20 kmph on a temporary basis to improve air quality (in summers when the level of pollution is elevated due to high Temperatures). However, the speed limit is not easily enforced, due to the fact that fixed speed limit signs remain visible.

In some countries such as Germany and UK, matrix signs on motorways provide advisory or compulsory reduced speed limits when weather conditions are bad.

Observations of traffic flows show that when traffic increases and nears maximum capacity, the flow is disturbed and the risk of accident increases. Usually, in these circumstances, a decrease in travel speed can lead to flow stability, capacity gain, and higher safety. Dynamically lowering the speed limit can also lead to a reduction of differences in speed between consecutive vehicles driving on the same lane, which in turn leads to a decrease in the risk of rear end collision. It also decreases the speed of the flow in the fast lane, and thus leads to a reduced interest in changing from the slow to the fast lane, which could be dangerous.
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Old 16th October 2007, 10:14   #26
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Originally Posted by varun.ppl View Post
But, cutting down on speed is not the appropriate measure.

In a city like Delhi the speed limit is 50kmph. But i don't remember the last time i had touched 50 in city driving between 8am-10 am & between 5pm to 9 pm.

Just a query. I also drive on Delhi roads and have so far clocked 170000 kms in cars, and another 30000 kms on a two wheeler. But as of 2007 Oct, this holds true for many roads, but not all. Which area do you drive in: around Old Delhi (Chandni Chowk)

People go bonkers on roads. The damn autos & cycle rickshaws driving on the bloody right side & the killer blue lines rampaging anywhere is not helping any cause. Its not about the speed issue & its about how well you control yourself. Self Control is the key. Similar to when you are a couple of pegs down but being a bottle down is something different.
Could not agree more with you. Govt. sets speed limits but does not enforce it. Half of the road is taken by pedestrians because the footpath is dirty and taken over by vendors. Buses do not follow lane driving because the left side is potholed and encroached upon. 2wheelers drive in the middle of the road on expressways inviting death. I really think that over the last decade, roads in India have become highly dangerous for 2 wheelers. When I bought my first car in 1995, it was a 800. Around 90% of the cars on Delhi then roads were small 800s, which could not go so fast and had less metal. But now, there are bluelines, more population, bigger cars, more metal, more SUVs driven by highly overworked and sleep deprived call centre drivers (who are also a sorry lot since being late invites financial penalties), more powerful horns, more traffic and more stress, and generally worse conditions.

Last edited by adya33 : 16th October 2007 at 10:50. Reason: Quote tags completed
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Old 16th October 2007, 10:41   #27
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when you go for a california driving test(written) a very common question which is asked is
"What is the speed to merge on a freeway".
On of the options is "Speed limit".
Answer that and you get it wrong. The correct answer is that "At the speed at which freeway traffic is moving".

This question summarizes the concept of speed limits in west. Drive safely with the traffic.
A friend of mine got a ticket below speed limit because he was weaving in and out of traffic, going faster than the flow.
If you are in a group of cars going 20 above you won't be penalized.

Even the speed limits are set after an engineering survey. If you get ticketed on a road for a certain speed, and you find out using RTI that no survey was done in the past 1 year or so to ascertain the correct speed limit for that road, your ticket will be voided in court.

The reason is that the police is no authority to set limits to generate revenue.
Of course you have overspeeding there. But most of it is on lonely desert roads with not a soul for miles. People who dangerously overspeed are put behind bars in many cases.

Not lets cut back to India.
Speed limits are set just to generate revenue.
I have been fined 400rs for doing 82kmph in a 80kmph zone.
A radar gun was used. the accuracy of radar guns according to manufacturer is 5-10%.
So any speed fine below 84kmph is debatable. But who listens. People were fined at 81kmph.
So when you design a law to generate revenue rather to prevent accidents, it loses it relevance.
On NH1 once you enter haryana the speed limit in many places is 90kmph. But I never cross 60-65 at those stretches because of villages. At many empty stretches with no villages speed limit reduces to 50kmph arbitraly(small signboards). Again it changes to 90kmph randomly.
What I would like to ask these idiots is what logic was used to set speed limits!?
Was any traffic safety survey done?

A prime example is New Delhi. Traffic experts from IIT did a survey of required speed limits. Their result? Blanket speed limit all over city is stupidity. They recommended different limits for different roads. But Delhi police did not give a hoot. Having a speed limit tuned to safety would actually kill their revenue.

For example lets take blueline buses. Most accidents happen in heavy traffic areas at speeds of 20kmph-30kmph.
On the Ring road there are so many mishaps even though traffic is slow. Even there you have the occasional idiot weaving in an out of traffic at 60-70kmph!
But do you have any speed check there?
Well no, because on a busy ring road they will actually net only 2-3 rash drives in a day.
So where do they sit?

On the outer ring road before NH1 where the road is totally empty(8 lanes) and speed limit is 50kmph.

So for me going 60 there is not overspeeding. I would call such a law illegal.
However on NH1 in village areas doing 80kmph(10kmph below the limit) is overspeeding because 80 there is dangerous.

So unless the govt makes laws to make roads safer, rather than generating revenue, all these limits etc., are illegal and dangerous.
Following these limits or not following them will not make any change to accident rate.

Coming to the obsession with speed, its same as asking "why do people do rock climbing" or "Speedboat racing" or "para gliding".
Its the thrill. And if you are putting lives of others in danger while pursuing your thrill, its illegal and dangerous.
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Old 16th October 2007, 10:43   #28
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@Vasudeva, man , you are all over the place looks like you started the forum and do all the posting yourself Nice posts btw.
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Old 16th October 2007, 11:03   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkatesh.C View Post
@Vasudeva, man , you are all over the place looks like you started the forum and do all the posting yourself Nice posts btw.
Of course I could have posted all I have researched in the starting thread, but that would have a lot of space on the opener. I am pleased to admit that a lot of material has been researched from various road safety monographs, research publications, organisations and generally represent present thinking. Of course, as all point out rightly so, situations matter across city and across times, and so setting a uniform speed limit for all times, all weathers is idiotic. For example, in Delhi, driving at 50 kmph in Chandni Chowk or Old Delhi is inviting disaster. But on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway at off peak hours (say before 8AM, 1030 AM-5PM, and after 9PM), even 80 looks very safe. But I think most sensible people would at least agree that no matter what the condition, anything above three digits is not justified.

If you want to, I can stop posting on this thread, and let it continue as the members feel. But there is a lot of useful info that I have not posted, and I think responsible motorists have an obligation to be informed about the dangers of excessive speeds (I am sure most do, but some do not care or think they and the other road users are made of something other than spongy flesh).
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Old 16th October 2007, 11:24   #30
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Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
But I think most sensible people would at least agree that no matter what the condition, anything above three digits is not justified.
It is this quote that I have issue with; affixing an arbitrary number for safety. You think you can do 100 safely, a person driving an 800 can claim 80 is the absolute tops.

I genuinely believe there are stretches of roads in this country where you can do 140+. Keyword being "stretches". It also depends a lot on the car; in my car, (and I'm sure in your car too) 100 feels positively boring on a deserted highway in broad daylight. A short sprint to 160 just keeps you awake; and enlivens the journey.
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