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Old 9th January 2020, 03:25 AM   #41
Hercules Rockefeller
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Roundabouts don't work in American for the same reason zipper merging doesn't work, all it takes is one screwhead going out of order to shave .000001 microseconds off of his day to mess up the whole system.

4 way stop signs barely work in America for the same reason. You need a definitive signal that says "You definitely go now, you definitely do not, now you definitely go" at any intersection with any level of busyness in America.
This is the second worst thing about driving in the US. The number one it being legal to overtake on the right on the highways.
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Old 9th January 2020, 03:28 AM   #42
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Okay, we need to start using the terms 'near-side' and 'off-side' during these discussions as my tiny brain struggles with turning everything round to work out what everyone's on about because some people drive on the wrong side of the road (Bloody Napoleon)
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Old 9th January 2020, 03:35 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
What, exactly, is a traffic circle?

Dave
I found this link:
https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roun...BasicFacts.htm

Quote:
Traffic circles, or rotaries, are much larger than modern roundabouts. The graphic at right shows the size of a traffic circle (in green) compared to the smaller modern roundabout (in grey). Traffic circles often have stop signs or traffic signals within the circular intersection. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris and Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., are two examples of older-style traffic cicles.
So I did a little search to find an image of Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.
See here:
https://www.aerialstock.com/media/67...-washington-dc

Looks confusing, doesn't it?
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Old 9th January 2020, 05:46 AM   #44
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The Christmas edition of New Scientist has a good article on the US attitude to roundabouts including the observation the first was in the US. It may be available in libraries I don't know about on line access. I picked it up as something to read over the holiday.
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:35 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
You can mitigate this by putting the cycle lanes a bit on the outside of the roundabout,
And if you don't?
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:51 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
And if you don't?
Then things get a bit tighter, but the principle remains.
On the other hand. If there's space for a roundabout, there's usually space for some seperation between cars and the bike lane. You don't need much. Two meters gets you a nice bike lane with a good seperation.
And if there's no room available for that extra space, that most likely means you're in the middle of a city, where traffic speeds are much slower.

What also helps is declaring cyclists (and pedestrians) to be protected traffic, where the car driver is automatically liable with his insurance. Yes, there are cyclists maniacs and sometimes it is the cyclists fault for the collision, but cyclists usually are more than aware that they will end up far worse in a collision with a car so won't seek it out. It hurts real bad, if you get overrun.
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:54 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
What also helps is declaring cyclists (and pedestrians) to be protected traffic, where the car driver is automatically liable with his insurance. Yes, there are cyclists maniacs and sometimes it is the cyclists fault for the collision, but cyclists usually are more than aware that they will end up far worse in a collision with a car so won't seek it out. It hurts real bad, if you get overrun.
That's a mental idea.
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:56 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
What also helps is declaring cyclists (and pedestrians) to be protected traffic, where the car driver is automatically liable with his insurance. Yes, there are cyclists maniacs and sometimes it is the cyclists fault for the collision, but cyclists usually are more than aware that they will end up far worse in a collision with a car so won't seek it out.
The problem is that this form of protection is unlikely any time soon in the UK, because there seems to be a prevalent belief that all cyclists are maniacs, it's always the cyclist's fault, and even deliberate ramming attacks on cyclists are no more than just retribution for perceived slights. As long as that attitude prevails, the only really safe option is split-level junctions with a separate level for cyclists, and that's too costly to be seriously likely.

Dave
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Old 9th January 2020, 09:47 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller View Post
This is the second worst thing about driving in the US. The number one it being legal to overtake on the right on the highways.
It's because of people who do not get out of the passing lane on the highway - which is the actual number one issue.

As for roundabouts, learned about using them when we lived in Mexico and happy to see that they are putting them in all over our area now.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:25 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Disbelief View Post
It's because of people who do not get out of the passing lane on the highway - which is the actual number one issue.
When I was driving in Germany on the Autobahn, I was really paranoid about staying as far right as possible except to pass (for starters, I didn't want to be in the way of some guy coming by at 180 km/h). It did work really well, though, and was a lot of fun. Granted, I didn't hit much heavy traffic.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:41 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
That's a mental idea.
Why? Its just some extra protection for the vulnerable traffic participants.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:48 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
The problem is that this form of protection is unlikely any time soon in the UK, because there seems to be a prevalent belief that all cyclists are maniacs, it's always the cyclist's fault, and even deliberate ramming attacks on cyclists are no more than just retribution for perceived slights. As long as that attitude prevails, the only really safe option is split-level junctions with a separate level for cyclists, and that's too costly to be seriously likely.

Dave
Well. To be fair. In order to survive as a cyclist on UK roads you have to be a maniac.

I’ll never forget the cyclist we encountered on the main road leading towards of Hull (I believe it was Hull), where we would embark on the ferry back to home. For those who don’t know it, that road is a highway in every sense but the actual name. My first thought was ‘WTF?! Are you suicidal, driving here on this highway?’ Only to find out that they indeed were supposed to cycle there. What madmen, but the British would mix bicycles on the same road as car traffic that would go 60 mph?

Edit: No. It was going towards Hull that we encountered that cyclist.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:52 AM   #53
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The issue of cyclists and cars is a tender one here (coming up to the 8th anniversary of my permanent removal from the road), but in some places here in Vermont it's been addressed a little better than in others. In Burlington, which is a pretty bike-friendly town, there are cycle lanes well marked, and laws pretty well enforced. In Middlebury, there is a law simply that bicycles are not allowed on the sidewalks and must ride in the street. On the narrow streets this basically puts them in the same position as motorcycles, not to be passed. Traffic in town is slow anyway, so it works pretty well, including in the main roundabout, where bicycles just drive through as part of the traffic.

But this is a small roundabout in a small town, and among other things, the streets entering it do so head-on, so there is no point at which traffic within the circle is behind a car entering it. It's always to the left, where one must be looking for oncoming traffic anyway, and one can see the entire roundabout from any position coming in.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:55 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Why? Its just some extra protection for the vulnerable traffic participants.

Because it's incredibly open to abuse.
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Old 9th January 2020, 11:13 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
The original circles have gone out of style, but some existed when I was first driving, and they were a mess, owing to the right of way issue. It is essentially the right of way that distinguishes a circle from a roundabout.
I seem to remember that in Holland, the give way to the right rule still applied on roundabouts. Traffic on the roundabout had to give way to traffic entering the roundabout. My impression was that this made the roundabout safer since traffic on the roundabout had to travel more slowly and vehicles entering could do so more safely.

OTOH when the traffic on the roundabout gets the priority, it can be a nightmare entering from a small street when there are busy roads that also end in the roundabout (they tend to go very fast). Local authorities have even ended up adding traffic lights to the roundabouts to control this situation.
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Old 9th January 2020, 11:52 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Well. To be fair. In order to survive as a cyclist on UK roads you have to be a maniac.
No arguments there. I find it a sensible frame of mind to assume that every motorist I encounter is actively trying to kill me. It's worked so far.

Dave
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Old 9th January 2020, 12:20 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I seem to remember that in Holland, the give way to the right rule still applied on roundabouts. Traffic on the roundabout had to give way to traffic entering the roundabout. My impression was that this made the roundabout safer since traffic on the roundabout had to travel more slowly and vehicles entering could do so more safely.

OTOH when the traffic on the roundabout gets the priority, it can be a nightmare entering from a small street when there are busy roads that also end in the roundabout (they tend to go very fast). Local authorities have even ended up adding traffic lights to the roundabouts to control this situation.
Those are fast dying out here. The last roundabout where the right rule still applied, that I know of, here in the neighbourhood was changed to a proper roundabout some years ago.
Now its virtually everywhere that traffic on the circle has the right of way.
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Old 9th January 2020, 12:23 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Because it's incredibly open to abuse.
Oh. Some abuse will no doubt happen from time to time. Well have fun while in the hospital bed with all your bones broken. I don’t know the actual figures of course, but I don’t really see the abuse when in traffic. Mind. A lot of the time cars and cyclist are separated in their own lanes.

No it’s a sensible rule that protects the cyclists. Otherwise there would be a lot of schoolchildren unable to go to school each day.
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Old 9th January 2020, 09:27 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Last time I was in a roundabout, I called it morning driving through the sound and in and out the valley. Then some mountains came out of the sky and they stood there. It was really confusing, and it didn't seem very safe either.
Once your silhouette has charged the view of distant atmosphere you will be much more comfortable with it all.
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Old 9th January 2020, 09:42 PM   #60
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Roundabouts are a characteristic of Canberra. We've got them everywhere.
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Old 9th January 2020, 09:51 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Roundabouts are a characteristic of Canberra. We've got them everywhere.
They're a characteristic of Commonwealth territory (airports etc).

Although the public prefers roundabouts, the state government tends to favour traffic lights (especially Liberal governments). It makes me wonder how much the traffic light companies contribute towards their election campaigns.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:26 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
They're a characteristic of Commonwealth territory (airports etc).
Yes, but they're particularly prevalent in Canberra. Canberra's known for them. People have been known to call it "City of Roundabouts".
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:16 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yes, but they're particularly prevalent in Canberra. Canberra's known for them. People have been known to call it "City of Roundabouts".
I presume that you know that Canberra is Commonwealth territory.

Perth Airport is also full of roundabouts and they handle the relatively heavy traffic quite easily. I shudder to think what would have happened if the state government designed these roads. They would almost certainly have put traffic lights on all of the intersections.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:45 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I presume that you know that Canberra is Commonwealth territory.

Perth Airport is also full of roundabouts and they handle the relatively heavy traffic quite easily. I shudder to think what would have happened if the state government designed these roads. They would almost certainly have put traffic lights on all of the intersections.
It isn't a competition, but Canberra has more roundabouts per capita than other capital cities, and one and a half (approx) times as many roundabouts as it has traffic lights. They do appear to confuse visitors, but I like 'em.
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Old 10th January 2020, 01:13 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
You seem to be missing my point completely.
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Old 10th January 2020, 01:14 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I love roundabouts when in places, I've never been before. It gives you the opportunity to have a bit of a thinkking before committing to a direction.

Years ago during our honeymoon we went to Malta, where we had rented a car. There we were, it was already dark, by the tim we were through customns and had retrieved the car.
First time driving on the wrong side of the road ever and with a car where they put the steering weel on the wrong side as well!

Malta is so small, that basically everybody knows where everything is. There were signs, but these often were (at least at that time) at about hip hight on the side of some building.

Luckily, the Maltese were addicted to roundabouts, so with each crossing we encountered, we first went round and around two to three times in order to find the correct exit. That made it a lot more doable!
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Old 10th January 2020, 01:40 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Oh. Some abuse will no doubt happen from time to time. Well have fun while in the hospital bed with all your bones broken.
I don't see how the latter part of the above is in any way relevant to the discussion we're having.


Quote:
I don’t know the actual figures of course,
Oh, well, if you don't know the actual figures, that changes everything...

Quote:
but I don’t really see the abuse when in traffic.
You're recommending public policy when you don't have numbers and you're not seeing anything? You don't think, maybe, you're a little short of information to make the grand pronouncements you're making?


Quote:
Mind. A lot of the time cars and cyclist are separated in their own lanes.

No it’s a sensible rule that protects the cyclists. Otherwise there would be a lot of schoolchildren unable to go to school each day.

It's not even remotely sensible. Liability should be assigned on the basis of who was actually liable. Not some half arsed, badly thought out, numberless, I'm sure it happens but I've never seen it policy that, in the absence of other evidence, it's never the cyclists fault.
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Old 10th January 2020, 03:17 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I don't see how the latter part of the above is in any way relevant to the discussion we're having.




Oh, well, if you don't know the actual figures, that changes everything...



You're recommending public policy when you don't have numbers and you're not seeing anything? You don't think, maybe, you're a little short of information to make the grand pronouncements you're making?





It's not even remotely sensible. Liability should be assigned on the basis of who was actually liable. Not some half arsed, badly thought out, numberless, I'm sure it happens but I've never seen it policy that, in the absence of other evidence, it's never the cyclists fault.
Just to be sure.

I'm the policy I'm talking about is how it is implemented here in the Netherlands.

Usually it is indeed necessary to be at fault in order to be liable.
In the specific case of cyclists and pedastrians, that are hit by cars, motorcycles and such, the liability is not automatically linked to who is at fault.

See the Wiki page on this article in the traffic law. (in Dutch unfortunately, but I'm sure Google Translate will help).

In extreme cases, where the car driver has taken every precaution and there is obvious intent in the case of the cyclist, it is indeed possible for the liability to return to the cyclist (or pedestrian), but this is seldomly done.

If you ever come here and rent a car, a handy thing to know. :-)
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Old 10th January 2020, 04:33 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
They're a characteristic of Commonwealth territory (airports etc).

Although the public prefers roundabouts, the state government tends to favour traffic lights (especially Liberal governments). It makes me wonder how much the traffic light companies contribute towards their election campaigns.
In the US, I would think local police want traffic lights because easier to get traffic stops for running lights. More money for tickets.
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Old 10th January 2020, 06:02 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Disbelief View Post
In the US, I would think local police want traffic lights because easier to get traffic stops for running lights. More money for tickets.
Yeah, that's another thing. Local governments may see traffic fines as an important revenue source.
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Old 10th January 2020, 06:34 AM   #71
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Here in St. Louis, the overstrapped STLPD has little or no time for traffic enforcement. So, some years ago, they contracted with a firm to install the red-light cameras...

These, according to an investigative report by one of the local papers, ignored the “most dangerous” intersections with many reported accidents in favor of the most-travelled intersections with the highest volumes of traffic.
The company shared in the profits from fines and fees.....

This proved so violently unpopular that the city finally dropped the whole program, and the neighboring county here drafted an ordinance to prohibit their use.

However, some of the city aldermen are looking for ways to bring them back....

A local municipality was caught red-handed “manipulating” a traffic light to improve revenues....
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:49 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
This proved so violently unpopular that the city finally dropped the whole program, and the neighboring county here drafted an ordinance to prohibit their use.
Of course they were unpopular. The system actually caught everyone who violated the law and did not make the decision based on things like skin color. This is a huge problem, having everyone treated equally under the law.
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Old 10th January 2020, 04:50 PM   #73
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In belated answer to PSion10 just before disappearing beneath the radar for a couple of weeks, I think roundabouts do tend to slow traffic, and although it's true that it can be a little difficult to get into one when a busy street opens into it, there are usually opportunities whenever a vehicle turns right after entering.

WRT to automatic traffic light cameras, I heard at some point that in some jurisdictions (forgotten where) the city combined the automatic fines with shortening the yellow light period, with a pretty obvious intent to get more tickets. nasty.
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Old 10th January 2020, 10:21 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
In belated answer to PSion10 just before disappearing beneath the radar for a couple of weeks, I think roundabouts do tend to slow traffic, and although it's true that it can be a little difficult to get into one when a busy street opens into it, there are usually opportunities whenever a vehicle turns right after entering.
You conflated two different things.

I was comparing roundabouts where traffic entering has the priority (which slows down traffic on the roundabout) to roundabouts where traffic on the roundabout has the priority. It is the latter where you have to deal with motorists speeding through the roundabout.

There seems to be a limit to how much traffic can be handled by a standard roundabout. I know a number of roundabout controlled intersections that have long queues in peak traffic (though they would undoubtedly be much longer if they were controlled by traffic lights).
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Old 12th January 2020, 04:44 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Roundabouts don't work in American for the same reason zipper merging doesn't work, all it takes is one screwhead going out of order to shave .000001 microseconds off of his day to mess up the whole system.

4 way stop signs barely work in America for the same reason. You need a definitive signal that says "You definitely go now, you definitely do not, now you definitely go" at any intersection with any level of busyness in America.
I think the solution is to make it more difficult to get and to keep a drivers license.

We are well into the 21st Century. We have the technology to give everyone a 10-minute test on a very realistic simulator. I submit that even a test as short as that would easily identify the bottom decile of drivers.

Obviously such a test would include merging onto a highway, making left turns at a busy intersection, and passing through a school zone. And of course, the highway-driving portion of the test must include an accident on the other side of the highway - people who slow down to look don’t just fail, and an examiner comes out and says, “you lose! You get NOTHING! Good day sir. I said ‘good day, sir.’”
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Old 12th January 2020, 09:11 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
I think the solution is to make it more difficult to get and to keep a drivers license.

We are well into the 21st Century. We have the technology to give everyone a 10-minute test on a very realistic simulator. I submit that even a test as short as that would easily identify the bottom decile of drivers.

Obviously such a test would include merging onto a highway, making left turns at a busy intersection, and passing through a school zone. And of course, the highway-driving portion of the test must include an accident on the other side of the highway - people who slow down to look dont just fail, and an examiner comes out and says, you lose! You get NOTHING! Good day sir. I said good day, sir.
I like your suggestion.

The test today is much more difficult than the test I took a little while back (my original licence must have a misprint it seems to suggest I passed my driving test 31 years ago, that can't be right).

I do think we should look at having to do a refresher test, say every 5 years. It seems astonishing to me that a relative of mine that hasn't driven since she passed her test in 1963 could legally get behind the wheel of a car and drive on the public roads. Your idea of making it perhaps a simulation could keep the costs down and reduce the resources required.
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Old 12th January 2020, 06:47 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I like your suggestion.

The test today is much more difficult than the test I took a little while back (my original licence must have a misprint it seems to suggest I passed my driving test 31 years ago, that can't be right).

I do think we should look at having to do a refresher test, say every 5 years. It seems astonishing to me that a relative of mine that hasn't driven since she passed her test in 1963 could legally get behind the wheel of a car and drive on the public roads. Your idea of making it perhaps a simulation could keep the costs down and reduce the resources required.
I dont think the department of public safety will ever spring for the cost. I imagine that some forward thinking auto insurance company will eventually introduce it.
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Old 12th January 2020, 07:05 PM   #78
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There's also the minor little catch of telling people that you will now make their lives completely unmanagible: no more work, no more shopping, no more going out to a single solitary entertainment thing ever again; you're just trapped within walking distance of the home you can't afford to live in anymore, within which you can't reach anything else but other people's homes, forever, which actually means until you starve to death.
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Old 12th January 2020, 07:19 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
There seems to be a limit to how much traffic can be handled by a standard roundabout. I know a number of roundabout controlled intersections that have long queues in peak traffic (though they would undoubtedly be much longer if they were controlled by traffic lights).
Yes, there's a thing called "flow lock" that happens in times of high traffic. If a lot of vehicles are coming from one particular direction they will lock out one or more of the entries to the roundabout, which can result in long delays for vehicles coming from those directions. For this reason a number of roundabouts in Canberra are mitigated by part-time or full-time traffic lights. One big one is now fully signalised.
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Old 13th January 2020, 04:45 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
There's also the minor little catch of telling people that you will now make their lives completely unmanagible: no more work, no more shopping, no more going out to a single solitary entertainment thing ever again; you're just trapped within walking distance of the home you can't afford to live in anymore, within which you can't reach anything else but other people's homes, forever, which actually means until you starve to death.
Not following your reasoning. The only reason you would lose your licence is if your driving fails to met the required standard.
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