Technology is now being developed to catch speeding motorists without emitting tell-tale radar signals by listening to the doppler shift of the engine sound as it passes.

I don’t know how it copes if the car is accelerating or decelerating at the time but if it works, that’ll put a stop to people avoiding being caught speeding by using radar detectors.

I have absolutely no sympathy for those who complain about speeding fines and cameras. If you don’t want to pay the fines, don’t break the law. It’s not as if the speed limit is a secret.

6 thoughts on “Eeeeeyoooow!

  1. I’m all for punishing bad drivers, especially people who feel no remorse for their lawbreaking, but we need to revise the laws as well as revising the ways to catch people who break them.

    For example, a school “20mph zone” could be conditional on whether the school is actually in use or not. Is it safer that I slow down from 30mph to 20mph during the school summer break, when no children will be there for a month and a half? Probably not. Will people be inclined to break this rule? Absolutely, because it has no real purpose during these times, and once they start breaking it during school holidays and on weekends, they could get into the habit if doing it all the time. Making this conditional might actually make drivers think about why the restriction is there.

    Also, the current motorway speed limit in the UK is 70mph, whereas a lot of modern cars often operate more efficiently at around 80mph. I’m not going to pull out statistics and prove this, but I think it’s about time that a review was carried out to see if the speed should be changed. In terms of safety, with modern cars I’d doubt if there’s much of a difference on a road that’s dedicated to fast travel.

  2. > For example, a school “20mph zone” could be conditional on whether the
    > school is actually in use or not.

    It is. Didn’t you have Driver’s Ed? (Hmmm… I suppose it might vary by jurisdiction, though. I’m in Ohio. Where are you?)

  3. Oops #1
    The Doppler shift idea is good but it won’t work. If a car is decelerating, the measured speed will be too high — unless, of course, they have a very sophisticated scheme using TWO microphones. Remember, you saw it here.

    Oops #2
    Ben Basson, just who told you that that cars are more efficient at 80 than at 70? That sounds like a rationalization to me. Now we know how fast you drive.

  4. My understanding is that efficiency drops off above about 55-60mph, not massively significantly up to 70mph but quite noticeably by the time you get near 80mph. Having a higher speed limit will mean that even those who care about efficient driving will find it difficult to maintain a fuel-efficient speed because of pressure from drivers around them.

    And besides, given that so many drivers fail to maintain a safe distance between vehicles even for the current speed limit, raising speeds further is just asking for trouble.

  5. > It is. Didn’t you have Driver’s Ed?

    I’ve never seen one in England. The signs clearly say 20mph, nothing about it appears optional.

    > That sounds like a rationalization to me. Now we know how fast you drive.

    Despite holding a valid UK driving license, I don’t actually need to drive.

    The speed at which a car reaches its maximum fuel efficiency does change from model to model, so perhaps I’m exaggerating when I suggest that “most” cars would be better off at higher speeds. I am however also pointing out that I’ve seen no real research done on this, and the speed limits in this country haven’t been changed in years.

  6. My understanding matches Alan’s, and I believe there has been plenty of research on the efficiency of cars at various speeds. You will probably find it well-documented if you do some looking.

    I, however, do agree that speed limits should be raised in many areas. I believe the standard 55 mph limits in the states were set during or shortly after the major gas shortages in the ’70s – we’re no where near those levels now.

    But my real beef is that nearly everyone, at least in major cities, regularly exceeds the speed limit by A MINIMUM (!!) of 10 MPH. How did we come to regard the law so casually?! You’ve no idea how annoying it is for me, as a “non-speeder”, to continually have jerks riding up my rear (while I’m in the slow lane of a 4 lane highway) because I dared to travel at the legal speed.

    Meanwhile, the cities basically use it as a “voluntary tax / lottery”, where if you get caught you get to donate to the city’s funds. There doesn’t seem to be any real intent to actually reduce the speeding / rampant law-breaking, and this infuriates me.