Road safety is not to be taken lightly. Each year, thousands die on American roads, with driver error as a leading cause. Throughout motorized history, one of the prime ways used to curb deaths has been through speed limits. But are today's speed limits too low? We see both sides of the argument, even though we yearn to live in a world where we can go as fast we want (we hear that place is called "Germany"). More importantly, are speed limits set intentionally low so that – *gasp* –
If George Orwell were alive today and had read this story from The Daily Telegraph, he'd be standing in the middle of the Rue de la Loi, shouting "I told you so!" at the top of his lungs. In a bid to decrease the 30,000 deaths on European roads each year, the European Commission is seeking to require speed-limiting devices on all vehicles.
A pair of French-Canadian scientists are claiming that birds understand speed limits. As ludicrous as it sounds, it begins to make sense once you dive a bit deeper into it. See, the two professors, one from the University of Quebec at Rimouski and one from McGill University in Montreal, began studying birds in France back in 2006.
Oh, Montana, how we miss your speed-limitless ways of the mid-1990s. We were carefree and young then, driving a 10-year-old Chevrolet that in no way, shape, or form was designed to travel at its top speed for hours on end. But that didn't stop us, we the "reasonable and prudent," and neither did it stop our digital dashboard from just flashing "85" over and over and over again. We'll never know how fast we were really going, but suffice it to say, we were traveling at the speed of youth.
A new law is going on the books in Texas that will simultaneously eliminate the state's lower nighttime speed limits and raise the potential maximum speed limit to 85 mph. The 85 mph limit will be limited to rural areas, while most places will see a max of 75.
Ever since automobiles first appeared over 100 years ago, every automaker has tried to make them go faster. And they succeeded. Nearly every year, cars became more powerful with higher top-end speeds. But then, in the mid-1950s, we hit a plateau. The national speed limit was set at 70 miles per hour, and we've been stuck at that rate ever since. As a result, the automobile has made absolutely no progress as a transportation device in over half a century.
It's probably a safe bet that many Autoblog readers find speed limits very annoying in general. To that end, it turns out that a significant number of limits in Michigan may, in fact, be illegal. Researchers have known for years that when it comes to safety, speed limits should be set at the 85th percentile traffic flow speed. The reality is that most drivers move along at what they consider to be a safe speed for the conditions regardless of the posted limit. To minimize accidents, the limit sh
A study out of the Netherlands by consulting firm CE Delft predicts that a strictly enforced 80 kilometer per hour (50 mile per hour) highway speed limit could slash CO2 emissions by 30 percent. The study is careful to acknowledge that the results only apply to the Netherlands and that results will vary significantly elsewhere.
If you have a TomTom, the eye in the sky has been watching you and tracking your interstate speeds over the past two years. Don't worry, TomTom isn't going nark you out – it's tracking the data from its Speed Profiles program to help fleet drivers find the fastest routes around the nation. The two years of data collection shows that, overall, Americans tend to drive within the acceptable limits of the law overall, but the average speed of your journey will typically be determined by where
When it comes to cars, they do things a bit differently in Canada. While our neighbor to the north has long been considered more progressive than the U.S., it was the United States that introduced pollution controls, and until recently, Canada never actually had any rules requiring them. The same goes for fuel efficiency standards. A couple of years ago, the government of Ontario passed a law that could result in automatic confiscation of your car if you exceeded a speed limit by more than 50 km
Transport for London plans to begin a six-month trial of a new technology that will artificially limit the top speeds of taxis, buses and government fleet vehicles. Called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), the system will keep track of speed limits all over London and prevent operators from accelerating past that legal limit. The device is capable of slowing the vehicle down regardless of the driver's wishes.
Transport for London has just begun testing a new technology that will artificially limit the top speeds of taxis, buses and government fleet vehicles. Called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), the system will keep track of speed limits all over London and will prevent operators from accelerating past that legal limit. The device is capable of slowing the vehicle down regardless of the driver's wishes.
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has itself in a total tizzy over a proposal to limit speeds on rural single carriageways to 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph). If that wasn't enough blasphemy to begin a barrage of bellicosity, they say the government plans to enforce this "speed bully" policy with a blanket of average speed cameras along the nations byways. At whose feet does the ABD lay the blame for this attempt at a national standard? Their elected representatives? The insurance lobby?
Keeping your car moving under the speed limit is one of the tips that commonly appears when people talk about saving fuel. It's probably one of the tips most people respect the least, though, which can bring joy to some traffic authorities can then "remind" motorists - via a ticket and a fine - to drive slower. A website created to promote slower driving has even published a complete report on how much time you really save when you drive above the limit. Surprise: it's not much. For instance, fo
Recently, we reported on so-called eco-towns in the U.K. which have imposed 15 mile per hour speed limits in an effort to reduce pollution. We're pretty sure that their end-goal is to remove vehicles from the roads entirely, not simply forcing them to slow down. It seems that other towns are lowering speed limits for a completely different reason: safety. The city of Portsmouth has recently become the first city in Britain to impose a 20 mile per hour speed limit for nearly every residential str
In an effort to thwart habitual speeding, Transport Canada has developed a new system that can make exceeding posted limits difficult or impossible. The device utilizes GPS and a speed limit map coupled with technology that caps a vehicle's top speed based on the legal speed of the road being traveled. Once the vehicle arrives at the predetermined speed limit, the device makes it very difficult to go any faster. For now, Canada is looking to slap this stingy speed governor on the vehicles of per
If there is anything worse than someone doing tortoise-like speed in the left lane, it's someone doing tortoise-like speed in the left lane and driving next to someone doing tortoise-like speed in the right lane. Oklahoma State Troopers aren't having any more of it and have begun enforcing the state's left lane law.
As we announced here, the new speed limits around the city of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) to reduce pollution are coming into effect very soon. The new limits will be instated before the end of fall and they require that in a radius of approximately 10 miles around the city, the maximum speed limit will be 80 km/h (50 mph). We already knew the reaction from the Car Dealers Association (Faconauto) was that these speed limits were not logical. Today we get the reaction from the RACC (Reial Autom&
Three days ago we scoffed at an EU official's suggestion that a speed limit should be applied to the remaining sections of Germany's famous Autobahn that remain free to speed. While reports indicated that speed-loving Germans were up in arms over the idea, a recent poll shows that two in three believe a speed limit should be instituted. Whaa? Conducted by ZDF television, the poll showed that 54% of those surveyed favor an 80 mph speed limit, while 10% would like a limit even lower. There were st