Saturday, December 5, 2009

Neal Boortz: Hey, Sonny, How About The Fast Lane?

Does speed kill?

Click here for the AJC article by Neal Boortz.


Anonymous said...

Neal Boortz is right about the I75 ride. I am not sure if the same applies to I285 when the traffic is heavy as it often is. But all of the other traffic infractions (besides speeding) are at least as dangerous if not more dangerous than speeding. Neal probably has a valid point with that.

Aureliusz Czarnecki said...

If you do the speed limit in the 2nd lane from the right you will have to contend with LARGE trucks on your bumper, no fun!!! Good luck, its an accident waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Neal on this one...the lane changers and those that ride in the left lane refusing to get over to allow traffic to pass are much more of a danger....real traffic enforcement would focus on those rather than just sitting on the side of the road running radar.

Anonymous said...

I've been saying that for the longest much to the chargin of the Traffic Specialist Unit. Of course, the politicians actually convince many with the badge they are saving lives while they get to spend all the revenue you generate. All of this revenue that the department does not see a dime of. Crappy cars with no heat/ac. Check! Outdated guns, ancicent equipment. Check!

Anonymous said...

I once watched a documentary comparing German Autobahn traffic and policing with that of American Interstates.

Despite having no speed limit for much of the Autobahn the number of fatalities per mile driven is a good bit lower than in the US.

Among other things the producers attributed this to differing practices on issuing tickets. In Germany officer are stationed on the side of the road with a number of cameras. They're looking for people who are tail gating and otherwise driving unsafely. The officer video tapes the driver, records the license plate, and a ticket is mailed to the driver.

This system seem superior to ours in a number of ways - it focuses on the most dangerous behavior instead of the easiest to catch, there is video evidence of the wrong doing, and also the officer do not have to conduct road side traffic stops.

It's my understand that routine traffic stops are extremely dangerous for officers, not just because of potential violence by the person being stopped, but also due to traffic accidents from oncoming traffic.

Anonymous said...

Having been stationed in Germany in the past while in the service before becoming a DeKalb County police officer, I can tell you there are some big differences between the way they drive and the way we drive. At that time,

1. Driving did not begin until the age of 18. Probationary license for the next three. Full license did not come until age 21.

2. Each licensee paid the equivalent to approximately $1,000 USD for their license.

3. Insurance is expensive compared to our rates here.

4. Cameras, cameras, cameras everywhere. Intersections, each lane of restricted speed autobahn, and along roadsides in towns, both fixed and portable (I was nabbed by a portable).

5. No matter what, all traffic keeps right except to pass. Once you pass, it is the law to move back to the right. It doesn't matter if you are going 100 \kph (62 mph) or 160 kmh (100 mph).

There are many more differences and laws, but the bottom line is this. Their system motivates them to greatly appreciate the "previledge" to drive. They understand it is not a "right" like many of us might think it is for us here. Until we Americans develop enough discipline behind the wheel to just drive our cars and pay attention (I have my doubts this will ever be possible), we will never have it like the Germans.

One thing about those cruising in the left lane you need to keep in mind. The law for penalizing anyone impeding the traffic flow can only be levied against them if they are traveling at less than the "maximum" posted speed limit. If that's 55 on I-285, well, you/I shouldn't be speeding. As officers, the state law will not allow us to do anything about this.

I do not advocate higher speed limits for as long as we have so many people engaging in distractive behavior behind the wheel. Based on my experience, I don't believe speed is a direct contributer to accidents on our roadways, but it does directly contribute to the severity of the outcome. This fact is why it is different for us here in the U.S. compared to Germany.

So, if you want to pressure your legislative representatives to give us higher or unrestricted speed limits, can you make this absolute pledge: "I will no longer engage in any activity, no matter what it is, while I am driving my vehicle at all times." If you can make this pledge, go forth to your representative and lobby for a change in the law(s). Good luck!