The Fast And The Furious



This afternoon.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohue after giving the annual Road Safety Authority ‘Road Safety lecture in Dublin Castle.

Rog writes:

“The Faster The Speed, The Bigger The Mess? I suppose they didn’t have enough room for: ‘The Faster The Speed The More Careful The Driver And Less Likely To Cause Accidents [Statistically]’….”


(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

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45 thoughts on “The Fast And The Furious

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        There could be a lot of significant factors but I doubt the citation supporting this claim exists…

      1. DizzyDoris

        I agree. I have studied the geo enabled accident data produced by the RSA. Events in Dublin centre reported in Donegal or Cork and a couple of thousand car crashes per year in the Irish Sea. When you email or phone them up, they won’t even answer.
        Reading the hand scrawls from Pulse is fun mind. “Two cars crashed and neither was hurt” etc.

    1. Booze filth shocker

      Go paolo, intrepid poster not afraid to put his cyber reputation on the line. Tough job, but hey; someone’s gotta do it kid

    1. Ahjayzis

      Cars travelling at speed don’t kill people – people kill people.

      The only thing that can stop a bad driver driving too fast, is a good driver driving faster.

    2. DoM

      I think it’s a fair enough point. Not that driving too fast can’t be an issue, but that it’s far from the only issue, and for some reason is the one that’s fixated on. What about people who tailgate (more dangerous, I’d argue)? Or people who sit in the middle lane (or worse, the overtaking lane!) while on the motorway, oblivious to what’s going on around them? Or people who drive fast in poor visibility? (Worse to go at the speed limit in fog, than just over in the clear, surely??).

      One thing that bugs me is that speed limits are set based on so many factors, some of which are time dependent. So sections of the motorway have a limit of 100km/h because there’s a lot of lanes, and changing lanes there during rush hour would be more dangerous if traffic was moving faster. Yet the speed limit is exactly the same if the motorway is practically empty!

      I only have 2 (now expired) penalty points, for driving at 59km/h in a 50km/h zone. It’s 50 rather than 60 because it’s outside a school – which would be fine, but I got caught at about 7:30am on a Saturday morning, in glorious Summer driving conditions, with nobody else (car or pedestrian) around. Why is the speed limit the same? Why are we fixated on a precise number and totally ignorant of the factors that actually matter??

      1. Ahjayzis

        Fluctuating / time dependent speed limits sound like a recipe for confusion though? No one’s going to run an equation to work out what speed they should be driving at.

        1. smoothlikemurphys

          Normally, they have pretty noticeable lit-up signs that alert people to the current limit.

  1. Testicals

    I’m not so sure it’s very easy to loose concentration dawdling along at 80 kph on a nice open road.

    1. Alfred E. Neumann

      Not to be an asshole, Testicals, but this is why punctuation is important. Do you mean “I’m not sure it’s easy…” or “I’m not sure. It’s easy…”? They’re the opposite of each other, and I really can’t tell which you mean.

    1. Zynks

      If I drive slow enough to notice the green talent on the footpath, I find that the right pair of legs can make me wink a lot, a big problem for single eyed folk..

        1. DoM

          Depth perception through triangulation only works out to about arm’s length-ish. Beyond that it’s all (mostly) based on reference points. Ish.

  2. retroboy

    Watched a documentary about the Autobahn (Modern Marvels The Autobahn) in Germany. Apparently, the speed/less accident thing is true!
    But only in Germany, because German drivers know how to drive proper like.

    1. ReproBertie

      No doubt on motorways, autobahns and interstates it’s safer to drive faster than on twisty country roads but most road fatalities in Ireland do not happen on motorways.

      1. The Old Boy

        Exactly. A major element in the marked decline in road deaths in this country over the last fifteen years has been the major improvements to the road network during that time. Most accidents, of the non-serious type [citation needed, I know, but I’m sure I read it somewhere, so that counts, right?] happen in urban and semi-urban areas at relatively low speeds.

        At any rate, the standard of driving is so poor here that you have to assume that even if you’re all right (and let’s face it, we all think we’re great drivers) the other cars on the road are driven by ginnets.

  3. Domestos

    Probably something to do with higher speeds on motorways, lots of journeys, few accidents, against lower speeds on regional roads, less journeys, more accidents.

  4. retroboy

    This documentary said that for years German cars did not have coffeecup holders, because the germans regard driving as an activity that demands all of your attention (and rightly so!).

  5. tinyd

    I know how much pedantry is disliked around these parts, but shouldn’t that be “The higher the speed…” etc?

  6. deliverancecountry

    Why has Rog’s comment (in all it’s glorious irrelevance) been deleted?
    This thread is utterly senseless now (well, more than usual)

  7. scottser

    such nonsense. everyone knows i’m a brilliant driver – it’s the other gobsheens on the road that are the problem. easy fix though – ban all other cars except for mine!!!

  8. YourNan

    yeah, faster, possibly on a motorbike, hungover and with a couple of bumps to keep you alert, you go right ahead Rog/

  9. Yorge

    There are several, not mutually disjoint factors, and people get confused with that. It is true that if a car is smashed against brick wall going at 5 kph vs 100 kph, the mess happens on the latter. It is also true that driving at high speeds on a country road demands of a higher level of attention than the slower version, but this fact has little to do with the reaction of a driver when faced with an unexpected situation; that I have all of my lights on doesn’t mean I’ll be doing the right thing when needed to.
    Not too long ago I was cycling on a country road and a racer zoomed by me with only inches left to spare. If I would have gone of my course by the slightest of deviations I would not be typing this today. That, to me, is the largest factor: idiots on wheels is the problem. Those are the ones that (a) go too fast (b) think that their adrenaline rush makes them unstoppable and (c) have no clear notion of their own reaction times and/or abilities when faced with unexpected situations.

  10. Louis Lefronde

    Of course most of the accidents happen on rural roads with young male drivers largely to blame. However, the policing of roads (the tax and speed traps) is largely in urban areas like the Rock Road and Stillorgan Dual Carriageway where the cops can shoot fish in a barrel!

    It’s all about the revenue and the targets, in’it

    1. The Old Boy

      Sadly, yes. Low hanging fruit and all that. It’s a problem general to all policing in Ireland and elsewhere, but it’s a particularly visible example.

  11. Sinabhfuil

    Speed and context.
    It’s safe to drive fast if you’re a highly competent driver in a high-quality well-maintained car on a high-quality well-maintained road with good signage and either few other drivers or competent other drivers.
    It’s not safe to drive fast on narrow, twisty country roads – or on city streets.
    Cyclists are especially at risk on city streets, because drivers often don’t realise that a cyclist may have to swerve out to avoid the three horrors of Irish city roadways:
    * Devil doors: people who throw a car door open without looking behind to see if there’s someone coming
    * Potholes and road seams: the unmaintained road surfaces that are now the norm
    * Manhole covers: the slippery-surfaced and often sunken covers of inspection holes which should be on pavements anyway.
    A driver who passes a cyclist too close is endangering life. Passing too close at speed – well, have you ever seen a cyclist who’s been thrown 30 or 60 feet by a car, and what happened when s/he landed or struck an obstacle?

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