Unlimited Speed Test.

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 14:41
ThreadID: 109745 Views:4464 Replies:19 FollowUps:63
This Thread has been Archived
Have you been brain washed - I think I have !

We undertook a complex 3 week journey to get to the impressive Exploroz Trilby gathering with a major objective being to
drive the Northern Territory no speed limit highway just north of Alice Springs.

This is a great tourist attraction and we had no qualms about the extra 1500kms it added to our trip.

I prefer to do things legally and we had waited for 12 months to get a chance to drive this road
all the time hoping that the trial wouldn't be discontinued before we got there.

Our previous 4800 Patrol could just get to 200kmh but our new 4800 GU patrol is an auto and I didn't think it would go as fast
but wanted to know.

Finally we were in position, it was a near perfect day as we stopped to take a photo of that rarest of highway adornments.
The big de-restriction sign.





We took off for the run, still not believing that in this day and age that a government would actually let humans
make there own choices about what is and is not a safe speed to drive at.


We cracked 110kmh , a speed at which you would get shot for exceeding in Victoria, and on we accelerated.

120 , 130 (the general N.T. maximum) and then 140kmh.

By 150kmh the car was feeling a little sluggish, understandable I suppose as we were loaded for the 3 week trip and had just taken onboard another 200lt of petrol (if Opal fuel can be called that).

This cars top gear is an overdrive so we dropped it back to 4th (a 1:1 drive), and the car perked up a bit.

The optimistic speedo read 180kmh but GPS said 160kmh, soon we were through a genuine 160kmh and going but then it happened !

I was gaining fast on a car about 1/2 km ahead when I noticed a dot to its right.

The dot was an odd color, sort of orange.

Instinct cut in, having never ever got a speed camera fine, we backed off, and within a few seconds the dot had resolved
itself into a car as it passed by the car ahead in our lane, but by now we were down to 150kmh and then 130kmh as the on coming car approached and passed.

Sure enough it was a highway Patrol car whose outlandish colour scheme made it identifiable at nearly a kilometer.





You just wouldn't read about it - months of preparation , nearly 3000km from home and within minutes of entering the test zone this highway patrol car was waiting.

Now your probably thinking, why slow down ?
Technically speaking I could do any speed, however thats when I realized I have been brainwashed by the system.

Years of compliance to arbitrary rules just caused an automatic protection reaction.

There are better and safer roads in Victoria but if I had entered a Stargate and reappeared on one of them at that speed next to a Vic police car it would have been not just a fine or court appearance but impounding of the car and walk home.

No wonder the world is what it is !

Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

Back Expand Un-Read 2 Moderator

Reply By: Member - John G - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 16:35

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 16:35
G'day Robin

Maybe deep within your subconscious a tiny voice was saying 'this is way too fast in a fully laden car'. And how was the heart rate? Faster than the Km/hr?

Cheers
John
AnswerID: 540031

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:33

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:33
Hi John

Actualy 160 isn't really very fast and car is rated for more, I have been faster in a taxi on way to an airport , so no issue with heart rate.

What I did find interesting though was the road surface , it was well maintained bitumen but with large coarse stones , I thought to myself at the time that this surface would be pretty hard on poor tyres and was happy that instead of taking my 33's I took my 32's (despite the next stop being a Simpson crossing) with there lower rotating mass and which were in near new condition.

Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825749

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 16:52

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 16:52
"The dot was an odd color, sort of orange."

And I wonder Robin, if it had been a much less noticeable colour, how this might have tuned out?
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 540032

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:54

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:54
Hi Allan

I guess there are two possible ways it might have turned out but it probably would have turned out a 3rd way as I believe this particular model car has a speed limiter (180?). So It probably would have ended in a wimper.

You probably know from other posts that I'm a big fan of evidence based analysis but I suspect that even with zero accidents many just won't be able to accept the outcome of the trial , even the trial itself apparently seriously upsets some other states.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825751

Reply By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:33

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:33
Rode a powerfull motorbike around Oz in 2004 speed limit was open in the NT back then , cruised many K's at 160+ . Was up there a few months ago on a even more powerful bike . I gave it a couple of top speed runs North of Alice that first section of road is bloody rough .
Speed might be open but it's all up to the Poilce if they think the conditions are not right or your vehicle is not up the whatever speed you might be going , it's called dangerous and you will be booked .
AnswerID: 540037

Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:05

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:05
The most important thing is that you can drive to all the conditions, your own, the cars, the roads and the weather, and overtake anyone at a safe speed to minimise the event with little fear of prosecution provided you do it safely. Constantly watching the speedo isn't necessary. Best of all is that it really gets up the nose of Harold Scruby.
2
FollowupID: 825755

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:07

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:07
Hi Jack

I agree with your observations , and noted in my reply to John that the road surface seemed hard and rough on tyres, and not as good as a road I drive often (eastlink).

I was aware as you say that police do keep an eye on things to ensure that cars and conditions are suitable and this is fair enough.

I have expanded the performance of my car in all directions without things like Bullbars , Pack racks or Oversize tyres which can all reduce stability.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825756

Reply By: tazbaz - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:51

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 17:51
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Inappropriate Rule .

Forum Moderation Team
AnswerID: 540038

Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:27

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:27
Could have been worse if you Stargated to SA, your car might have been crushed for that.

Great opportunity to have a play Robyn, and a real novelty, but as Jacko said you can still be booked.
I bet they were having a real close look as they went past you.

Absolutely an incredible coincidence you happened to pass a patrol car at that time, it sounds like literally on your ramp up of speed, so maybe within 5 or 10 minutes of hitting the open speed zone ?
I guess you could drive out there for days sometimes and not see a patrol car.

So what speed did you decide to sit on after this ?

Personally, with an open limit on our roads I'd be fine with maybe 125, 130 tops . . . if it is daytime, the road is straight, verges are wide / clear of vegetation (cover for animals), and general visibility is good.

All it takes is one roo, camel, bird, whatever, another drivers inattention, or a lapse of your own concentration for a slit second, and the risks at dramatically higher speeds can lead to a much more devastating result.

I'd be also worried about something mechanical letting go too, 4wds with CVs, mud worn unis / bearings spinning a million miles an hour :/

My concern with law enforcement of speed is the bookings at low tolerance, portraying someone drifting over an arbitrary speed limit by a few ks occasionally (before correcting) is such a danger on our roads.
Fatigue and inattention on long drives is a far greater issue.

Anyway, happy travels.
AnswerID: 540040

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:46

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:46
I have an imagine to maintain Les so I am unable to tell you the speed I sat on after the run however I have encoded the information at the bottom of this post , Hint -> you can decode it with a mirror.

That was what so unbelieveable Les - straight after the sign I took off and went straight for it and the patrol car passed me within 2 minutes.
Actually I was on my way to Ruby Gap and took the turn off just a few km later.

I'm not really interested in speeding but just needed to know how the car really handled the conditions so I won't get a surprize one day.
I'm just as interested in modifying the car to do 1km which is 1/2 its rated minimum.

You are so right about other issues - not long after this we drove the Finke Ghan track in which we encountered not less than 1000 railway spikes on the road and then another week later and estimated 10,000 goats leaving Trilby for Cobar at 5am (60kmh), however on the goats we noticed almost none amongst the road kill and our co-travellers said you have to be going 160kmh to get one.















59
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825757

Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 19:22

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 19:22
That's a good speed, we do around that in convoys when we do Earth trips . . . many say for the n/a diesels to keep up with us :D
But it really is a good speed for 4wd economy and general road conditions / carrying some load.

You aren't wrong about the goats up that way, I drove to Brissy late last year, did Willcania - Cobar and overnighted at Horses & Coaches campground (the 1/2 way mark for my drive).
The goats from 50km before Broken Hill right through there were in their many (many) hundreds, and not a dead one in sight.

I noted the signs that they are culled from time to time by the property owners through there, probably a decent little extra revenue for them.

So Trilby is on that road ?
0
FollowupID: 825758

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 19:57

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 19:57
Les there is a dirt road from Wilcannia to Bourke following the Darling and roughly in the Middle is a place called Louth and Trilby is on other side (western) of Louth.

From Louth to Cobar is a long straight goat infested road of about 130km.

Apparently the station owners like at Trilby can catch and sell any goats on there property and earn some side income.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825762

Follow Up By: Erad - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:30

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:30
We have just returned from a trip, part of which was Lightning Ridge to Broken Hill via the main highways. Goats everywhere around Cobar, also Wilcannia. Very few dead ones. Lots of emus as well around the Ridge.

A comment made about the farmers culling goats - Many a country school child has been put through private schools using the annual goat roundup to finance the kid's school fees. There is a very large market for goat meat in Oz.

Another major problem in the NT especially is camels. They reckon there are over 1 million of them roaming wild. Hitting a camel at even 100 km/h seems not a good idea - for the camel or for me.
0
FollowupID: 825765

Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:34

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:34
Thought it was near Louth, I didn't stop there last year, mission for the day was Brissy southern subs by late arvo.

Next time through, I plan to go Wilcannia to Cobar via that road / track all the way along the west side the river.
It looks a lot more interesting.
0
FollowupID: 825767

Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:41

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:41
Of course in my posts above I meant Wilcannia - Bourke road :/
0
FollowupID: 825807

Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:48

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 18:48
I've driven 200+ in the NT when it was all unrestricted and also in Germany. I reckon its too fast, things happen too quick but good to try once or twice and cross off the list. I think around 130 is a really good speed, most civilised countries seem to agree. I had an auto Pathfinder in the NT when unrestricted and it wouldn't go over 160, it kept kicking back a gear if I put the foot down. Back a few years it used to be strange crossing the border from NT to SA and having to do 110 after punching it out a bit, it felt like you could get out and run faster.
AnswerID: 540043

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:20

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:20
Its strange Mike but I agree that things happen to fast also.
Not road conditions or oncoming traffic but mostly dangers of animal strike over so much of Australia.

Don't know what you do but on those long straight roads I set car on cruise control and have foot ready to go straight on the brake.

I think this saves 100 msec or so on reaction time and what I don't need is having to take eyes off the road to monitor an oncomng Patrol car or constantly check to see if I'm 2 kmh over a limit.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825764

Follow Up By: Top End Az - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:32

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:32
Yep. In a fourby 130 is a nice balance before fuel economy starts to go out the window. About 150-160kph in my Toyota Aurion (3.5V6) is the sweet spot and good on the juice. Depends on your rig etc. The section of unrestricted highway is only a couple of hundred k but govt is looking at extending. Not a massive difference on your driving time.

When it was unrestricted the whole way Darwin to Alice was an 11-12 hour drive for the 1480km. As said above: if you are going high speed and your car/tyres aren't rated then the boys in blue will pull you over.
However, I have had the joy of overtaking a copper years ago at 160kph only to have him overtake me much faster minutes later. Long straight flat roads in my car which was in good condition. Cop having a laugh at me in his V8. Is nice when the govt isn't trying to get you at every turn.
0
FollowupID: 825766

Reply By: Honky - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 19:30

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 19:30
Umm, any idea on how much fuel you were using.
Just a matter of interest as I believe in realistic speed and certainly not having a go.

Honky
AnswerID: 540045

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:41

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:41
Hi Honky

I don't really know how much fuel but I bet it was a lot , I had just driven from MacDonalds Port Augusta to MacDonalds Alice springs some 1242km without re-fueling and got 14.7lt/100km which for me was excellant but only averaging 95, but i would expect the high speed run to be approx 30lt/100km which is what I use when exploring off track in things like Simpson.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825768

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:51

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:51
I did the run on a motorbike in the late 80's. Was quite happy sitting on 150, but you could see the fuel guage moving. Backed off in the end so I could make it to the next pit stop.
0
FollowupID: 825769

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:53

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 20:53
btw - this whole debate is rahter "hypothetical" when you drive a 4 speed 40 series with a naturally aspirated 2H engine.............
1
FollowupID: 825770

Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 08:33

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 08:33
scott m
first time I entered the territory was in a big 2H campervan. I came from kunununurra and when I crossed the border I instinctively put the hammer down... speed went from 90 to just over 100....
0
FollowupID: 825922

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 10:34

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 10:34
g.o.m - lol - the drag races on the Emu clay-pan were a hoot !!!
0
FollowupID: 825936

Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Oct 11, 2014 at 11:01

Saturday, Oct 11, 2014 at 11:01
You blokes wouldn't know how good you've got it, with those 2H powerhouses - until you've driven a Series 3 Landrover Stn Wgn, with the 2.25L diesel.
A neck-snapping 55HP, and zero to 80kmh in 8 minutes!
90kmh was fully achieveable down a 1 in 4 grade, with a 100kmh tailwind!
0
FollowupID: 825993

Reply By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 22:15

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 22:15
When I rode around Oz in 2004 I don't think the NT even had a Highway Patrol they did in 2007

AnswerID: 540062

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:37

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:37
There's a large % of ex-West Australian police in the NT Police force. Their Commissioner of Police is a former West Australian senior police officer.

The entire NT Police force takes its cues from the W.A. Police force, and their "highway patrol" force is modelled on the W.A. Police force highway patrol model.
As a result, you'll find you'll get the same treatment on the highways in the N.T., as you get in W.A.
They're strict and they're always sharp-eyed, and they can pick an offender from kms away.

Since the episode in the North of W.A. in 2006, when a double murderer on the run attacked and tried to kill a highway patrolman, and was shot dead on the spot, the highway patrol blokes in outback W.A. and the N.T., are just that little more edgy than they used to be.
0
FollowupID: 825802

Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Oct 11, 2014 at 10:49

Saturday, Oct 11, 2014 at 10:49
Ron
as an aside that police officer recently retired.
he remained in constant contact with the parents of the female victim of his assailant.
They really appreciated that he never went to trial and had a chance to plead his case down
In a first ever the officers handcuffs were framed on his retirement along with words of thier symbolisism to the victims family and presented to her parents
0
FollowupID: 825990

Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Oct 11, 2014 at 10:51

Reply By: Elvin D1 - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 22:28

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 22:28
Getting away from the subject but the video below shows just how easy modern Euro type diesels do this.Interesting the revs never get over about 3700 and top gear is 200klph.I have a current XR6 and it would run out off steam trying to keep up with my Jeep.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6-Ajpy5TJs

Elvin
AnswerID: 540063

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 23:41

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014 at 23:41
You just have to worry that a moose/elk doesn't step out in front of it. :-) Sorry, couldn't resist. I agree though, the ease that the TDV6 Euro diesels can get you to 200+ is unbelievable. And so is the fuel economy.
0
FollowupID: 825778

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 07:47

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 07:47
I think this is nuts, as is the NT cowboy stuff about speed limits. I was much more interested looking at your photo of the road condition at the side of the road than the road surface. In Europe and places with very high speed stretches you drive on roads with wide, smooth run off areas at the sides. Plus most of those roads are fenced off so nothing can wander on to the road. In the nt, things sure wander and hop onto the road. At those speeds, diverge a little to miss, even as a reflex, and you are into that rough stuff at the side with one lot of wheels. In a higher centre of gravity 4wd, you chances of a roll over are high. In a lot of spots its much worse along the Stuart because the shoulder is a real ridge, unlike the section you have shown. Catch the edge of you tyre in that at high speed and you are toast. Of course, you may be the sort of driver who doesn't make mistakes like that, but those roads aren't the multi lane divided highways of Europe. They are too narrow to allow you to miss the bloke coming the other way who loses it for any of the above reasons. And they do. The number of tourists using those roads in rented 4wds who have never driven on anything apart from European roads is high. 4wd rollovers with tourists are all too common.
High speed in itself doesn't bother me, on roads made for it. But NT roads sure aren't made for it. It's just another exercise in NT chest puffing and testosterone.
AnswerID: 540068

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:03

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:03
It looks like the evidence doesn't support your arguement Mike - but I am happy to wait for the results and hope that if evidence supports the higher speed then we could all get behind it as opposed to coming up with another reason to knock this apparently (so far) , successful test.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825797

Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 10:13

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 10:13
That is true Robin. The data actually showed an increase in fatalities when the speed was dropped to 130.
0
FollowupID: 825872

Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 12:02

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 12:02
You’ve got to like statistics, they can be made to do anything you want them to.

You need to consider both urban and rural road deaths if looking at what it has done since 2007 as only rural roads had an unlimited speed limit, not urban roads.

If you exclude urban road deaths post-2007 when the rural speed limit was restricted to 130kph from unlimited, rural fatalities actually decreased, not increased.

And don’t take my word for it, it appears in the NT Government Hansard in 2009 reproduced in part…

Quote

"We have adopted a speed limit on our main highways that is responsible and workable; the road toll is down in areas where 130 km/h limits were introduced on 1 January 2007.

Tragically, five people have been killed in 130 km/h zone areas this year, seven in 2008, and six in 2007. This compares to an average of more than 12 people per year in the five years prior to speed limits, with 16 people dying in 2002, 16 in 2003, 11 in 2004, 14 in 2005, and six in 2006.

The fatalities recorded in the now 130 km/h zone on the Stuart Highway are particularly tragic, averaging over nine fatalities per year prior to speed limits.

Since the introduction of speed limits this has reduced to an average of five fatalities per year to date - five too many." Unquote...

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
0
FollowupID: 825880

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 14:31

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 14:31
Gotta love those figures Baz

They go 16 16 11 14 6 - before the change indicating a significant drop was underway before the change even occurred !

Must have been Global Warming !
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825887

Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 16:28

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 16:28
Hey Robin

Don't you go bending those statistics any more, they're at breaking point already!

But as a matter of interest, I don't think you can actually view the research that the NT Government used or relied upon for this trial, apparently "Cabinet in Confidence" so I'm led to believe...

A good topical post BTW...

Cheers, Baz

Ps: how much carbon did you emit on that test?

;)
0
FollowupID: 825893

Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 11:41

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 11:41
C'mon Robin,
As a "trial", this stretch is useless. What is being trialed? Are we talking about really returning to generally unlimited speed limits across NT Highways? Are we talking about having a few stretches for the hairy chested? I don't know and the NT guv has been very coy about what they are trialing. It looks and always has looked like an NLP token to the cowboy element who somehow felt their manhood had been challenged with the speed limit.
There is a huge difference between a return to the general unlimited limit and providing a little section to get your rocks off. Bit like having a burn out pad for the boys somewhere out of town. I agree that when you gear yourself up for a bit of a drag on a specially delineated stretch that you probably have set your vehicle up carefully beforehand and that the adrenalin will be all running with the novelty of the thing and so concentration will be at peak. That's a very different deal to simply having it as the norm.
I don't mind high speed, I really enjoy European freeways. If we want that sort of speed, lets demand proper roads for it, with smooth verges, divided multi lane highways and proper fencing to keep animals out of the firing line. And lets tell our leaders that we want this so much we are prepared to pay the appropriate taxes to make it reality.
1
FollowupID: 825941

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:31

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:31
....."NLP token to the cowboy element who somehow felt their manhood had been challenged"......
YEEEEEHAAAAAAA.

It appeals to the Dramatists of this world.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825944

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:36

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:36
I would tend to agree that just that stretch isn't much of a trial , but perhaps its the thin end of the wedge and it took some courage and dodging a lot of flak to just get it going.

We are encouraged by them already trying to extend it , and I would like to see the tourism benefits and the other side effects anded into any study and conclusions - but as Landys figures above show there was a > 2:1 ratio of accidents during period when speed was a constant 130kph so yes it will be hard to get meaningful results - and that usually means the spin will dominate.

Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825945

Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 09:01

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 09:01
Discussion on this section of road tends to focus on the speed at which you can travel, and the potential benefits it brings, little, if any, is given to how fast you can stop a vehicle.

I once worked with Michael Hawker, the great former Australian Wallaby, whose philosophy on risk management came down to there being nothing wrong with driving fast cars, just as long as you have the brakes and capability to stop it when something unforeseen happens – it was great advice that has resonated for me on many occasions in both my professional and personal life!

Stopping time needs to take account of a few things, but most importantly, the time it takes the driver to perceive or see a potential hazard, the time it takes for the driver to respond, both of which can be affected by the length of time the driver has spent behind the wheel, fatigue, or maybe even the presence of alcohol in the system.

Speed and alcohol have partnered in the deaths of many on our roads, especially in country areas.

Beyond these two factors is the vehicles ability to respond to the driver inputs, the braking capability of the vehicle and condition of the braking system, how good are the brake pads, and when was the system last serviced.

It has been estimated that these four factors alone can use anywhere between 2-4 seconds in time, at 100 kilometres per hour this equates to anywhere between 50-100 metres of vehicle travel.

And this is before giving consideration to the tyres on the vehicle, whether they are suitable for high speed travel, and in a condition that is optimal for the task.

Consider two vehicles travelling on this road, in opposite directions, both travelling at a speed of up to 200 kilometres per hour; a closing speed of 400-kilometres per hour, or broken down into metres per second, a closing speed of around 110 metres/second – one football field per second for those that are familiar with a Rugby field !

Once you start to add in the response time of the drive to react to a potential hazard and ability of the vehicle to respond to inputs from the driver, the distance closed can be upwards of 400-metres, plus the distance it then takes to stop both vehicles at this speed.

And it is important to remember that the braking capability of a vehicle does not increase with the speed of the vehicle, so if you go from 100 kilometres per hour to 200 kilometres per hour, or two times the speed, the braking distance required is quadrupled – this is basic physics.

The section of road in question has a single lane only in either direction, so there is the possibility of either driver being on the wrong side of the road, at any time, as it passes slower vehicles.

If you were racing cars on a race track, with all vehicles going the same direction, you would be required to undertake specific training prior to being allowed to participate. Are we comfortable with the “lowest common denominator driver” on this unlimited speed road to be equipped to travel at high speed?

If a poll was conducted on how people rated their own driving ability I’m guessing not many would be in the “poor” category, most would be in the “good” category – we all tend to overestimate our ability.

Reading some of the feedback both here, and elsewhere, it seems this road has attracted many simply to “test” their vehicle at speed. But why not do that on a race track if that is your interest?

And whilst a Nissan Patrol may be capable of travel at the speed indicated, it is doubtful that Nissan manufactured the four-wheel drive vehicle with the intention it would travel regularly at these speeds, especially if loaded for touring…

Porsche and other high performance car manufacturers’ do, and they have the appropriate equipment to ensure the vehicle can do it safely – the driver is another issue altogether.

My only experience on this section of road was in July this year, when I was overtaken by a large RV that based on my own speed and perception was travelling at around 130-kilometres per hour. The driver was all over the place, and over the centre line at times, for whatever reason. Perhaps he was drinking a coffee or trying to light a fag, or simply, the vehicle didn’t handle well at those speeds.

But it left me wondering why anyone in an RV, or on holidays would actually find themselves with a need to travel at these speeds anyway.

Each to their own, if it can be done safely, and that is a big “if”, but for me I’ll take my time to enjoy the scenery at a more leisurely pace…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 540074

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:14

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:14
Landy, that's a good post. As they say - "it ain't the speed that kills, it's the sudden stop, that does it!"

I've driven a vast number of kms and owned some high powered vehicles. When I was 23 I bought a new HQ Holden with a 308 V8 and 4 speed and I installed a high speed diff in it (2.78 ratio).

I was an unashamed speed demon, and I thrashed that HQ like I was Fangio. In the days before blanket speed limits, I would regularly sit on 180kmh on gravel roads and 200kmh on the better sections of bitumen.
I dragged off a traffic patrolman in an E38 Charger one night, he chased me for 40 kms and only caught me, when I just gave up because I was running low on fuel.
He never charged me with anything, he just thought I'd gone a bit fast through the last country town at 11:00PM. He was very interested in what I had, that went so fast, though!
I never pranged seriously, and looking back it was probably just the lack of traffic that aided that.

One thing I learnt about high speed driving is that things happen 3 times faster than you expect, at very high speeds.
That bend that is a doddle at 100kmh, becomes a horribly sharp curve, that makes the tail hang out, as you wipe out the roadside white posts with the back bumper, as you try to take it at 180kmh!

When things go wrong at high speed, they go horribly wrong - and 3 times faster than you're used to.
If you haven't mentally tuned your brain into sharpening your reflexes and concentrating your attention on what's happening - you're toast when things suddenly turn pear shaped.

The autobahns are just fine for extremely high speeds, because of numerous important points, but initially subtle points, in their design.

1. The autobahns are dead smooth, with no ripples, sunken culverts, undulations, or major variations in road surfacing that can assist in loss of control at very high speeds.

2. Everyone is going the same way, the same as racetracks. Having vehicles travelling at extremely high speeds in opposite directions with no centre lane divider, is a recipe for disaster at some point, when a mechanical failure or driver mistake happens.

3. The autobahns have limited entry points and those entry points are strictly engineered and controlled to produce minimal conflict when traffic enters the autobahn.

4. Animals, slow-moving vehicles, ag equipment, and every other accident-causing possibility or conflict, is either removed or fenced out of autobahns.
This is not the case with Australias outback highways.

We share the outback roads with animals on the loose - many highway entry points that allow slow-moving vehicles to enter - and we allow every vehicle under the sun from bicycles to experimental solar cars, to caravans and roadtrains, to share that highway.

This is basically a recipe for disaster, to then allow vehicles to travel at unlimited speed when there is such a disparity in road user speeds, and constant potential for animal collisions.
A collision with a steer or camel would almost certainly result in fatalities at 180-200 kmh - no matter how good your vehicles safety equipment is.

The greatest single concern I have with this unlimited speed scheme, is overtaking.
There is a real and pressing danger that a vehicle travelling at extremely high speed, carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre, could easily collide with someone making an entry to the highway from a side road - as so many people entering highways DO NOT ensure that there's no-one carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre, right at the point they enter the highway.

People entering highways look to the direction and side of the road that they expect cars to be on - but they never expect anyone to be on the wrong side of the road, when they enter that highway.

I have seen some particularly bad head-on smashes caused by this precise set of circumstances.
At 200kmh, you have no hope of avoiding anyone who enters a highway, towards you, right as you're carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre.
2
FollowupID: 825798

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:25

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:25
Why would you test a Nissan Patrol on a race track Baz , and which track ?

I have and they all have serious bends in them well before the car would get to top speed.

Much safer for everybody on a dead straight flat open road where you can see ahead enough to brake safely.
Race tracks are for high speed manovers , wheel spin and sliding , not for higher speed touring in a straight line.

You have listed a number of the potential downsides to the new limit, but not the upsides.

In the rush to condem a higher speed limit, the real effects of that butterfly flapping its wings in South Africa tend to get lost.

The devil will of course be in the detail, but as always we need real evidence based results.

There will always be idiots like you describe but the seemingly simple extra concentration on what you are doing as opposed to falling asleep seems to be winning over the physical aspects.

I will accept the results of a proper study which ever way it goes - but can everybody else ?
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825799

Follow Up By: Nargun51 - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:27

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:27
Assume that the driving skill set of the readers of this forum follows a normal distribution curve, which means that that 75% of the readers of this forum have a driving skill set that is average or below average of the drivers participating in the forum.

Perception of driving ability is something that has been well researched and most studies indicate that at least 75% of people consider themselves to be above average drivers.

Of course, this inconsistency can be explained away by “lies, damned lies and statistics”.

Hey, but this is the WWW and we can claim what we want, including that we’re all Fangio incarnate

0
FollowupID: 825800

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:33

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 10:33
"as always we need real evidence based results."

= 'Wait until some fatalities occur'
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825801

Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 11:25

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 11:25
Hi Robin

Any study would need to be long-term to get any true or accurate picture of the success or failure, and will be open to misinterpretation.

A study that takes say 2-years might reveal there have been no accidents or fatalities, but this is all it confirms, it doesn’t confirm it was either safe or unsafe. A study lasting three-years, or longer, might indicate something different – it will all come down to the spin either side of the debate wants to put on the research.

I’ve neither condemned or endorsed the need for a higher speed limit, but I do pose some questions that are quite relevant to the debate, you see in a rush to condemn the issue of safe and satisfactory braking, for example, the real effects of that butterfly flapping its wings in South Africa tends to get lost, equally!

But to your specific point on why would you test a Nissan Patrol on a racetrack, I’ll answer with a simple question – why the need to test a top speed anyway? And yes, perhaps it is poor form to answer with a question, so I’ll acknowledge that you are most entitled to test your vehicle in any way you want.

However, your point about it being much safer for everyone on a dead straight flat open road where you can see ahead enough to brake safely, needs to be put to question.

First and foremost, what makes it safe for other road users? The legality of doing it on this section of road is one aspect, doing it safely is paramount.

This is still a test, an experiment remember, so it hasn’t been established that there is anything safe about it on an open road, at least not for the test you were looking to perform, equally there is no real evidence to suggest it isn’t. But there are plenty of caveats that can be raised before attempting it.

Mind you, if you are on a racetrack it is safe for me and others!

We won’t be on the same racetrack at the same time. And prior to doing a test on a track I am confident you will need to demonstrate competency, something you are not asked to do prior to an on-road test.

Notwithstanding, you might be called upon to demonstrate you had competency in the event something goes wrong…

Secondly, in the situation I describe, which is more than plausible, the driver’s eyesight in vehicles closing at a speed of 110 metres/second will need to be first class and all but perfect. At that speed you’ll need to be able to see at least 500 metres ahead to enable time to respond and the vehicle to brake.

And in times counted in seconds a driver needs to observe an obstacle or danger, process it, and this means mentally calculating its future position, and then responding appropriately.

Increasing speed almost certainly degrades the ability of detection, evaluation and response. I’m sure there are plenty of studies to confirm this…

Whilst I’ve certainly got an open mind, I not sure that the NT road test will satisfy either side of the debate as it findings will most likely be tenuous and oblique, at best.

Cheers, Baz
0
FollowupID: 825804

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:10

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:10
Most of the above is a load of bull , I have travelled the NT many times when the speed limit was open .

Three times I was on a Bike that could travel at very high speed all the other times was either a 4x4 or a car some times towing .

I saw bugger all vehicles traveling at warp speed . I have now been in the NT , 4 times since the 130K limit was imposed both bike and 4x4 , I couldn't tell any difference .

You will get the idiot driver anywhere , it will not make any difference to them what the speed limit is .

Jacko
0
FollowupID: 825805

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:21

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:21
You know Jacko , thats the real effect.

Most just drive comfortably along at a speed they consider ok without the extra pressure of having to watch the speedo constantly.

We concentrate to much on playing up the extremist point of view.


P.S. Baz -I agree with you on the spin angle but all tests and studies have the purpose of predicting ahead and using those results.

You might be surprized to know that no special competency is required to get on a race track (not on race days) , there are special days for playing and you just have to sign waivers and basically where a helmut.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 825806

Follow Up By: Slow one - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 13:53

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 13:53
Jacko,
I gotta agree with you, re the speed others travel at. Most sit between 95 and 110 in the unrestricted and 130kph zones. When travelling between Tennant Creek and Alice you may get one or two doing 130 kph+ and I haven't struck anyone over a guesstimated 160kph. You can pick them as they have a fuel tanker following them up.

Robin will probably only do that speed once and now he has tried it he will settle back to a more relaxed number. I must agree about watching the speedo all the time to make sure you are not a couple of K over. One thing about high speed is, at least those drivers don't wander onto the wrong side of a straight road and have head on, they are even to busy concentrating to do their hair in the mirror or text and look at Facebook.

To those who talk about unlimited zones ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS. If something happens you HAVE TO PROVE you were travelling at a safe speed consistent with the light, road conditions and that you had full control of the vehicle, if you are alive and you can't prove you were not at fault then that becomes big, big trouble for you, especially if any passengers or others are injured.
0
FollowupID: 825811

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:49

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 12:49
G'day Robin, I have followed this post with interest, & find myself agreeing with many
points raised re the safety issues that may arise due to having no speed limit.
I would be most interested to see a list of the upsides you suggest exist so that I may
form a more balanced judgement. At this point I feel your premise that 160 kph + in
a heavily loaded 4wd wagon on a single lane road (unfenced ?) poses no increased safety threat to you or other road users is not quite cutting the mustard. But I am more than willing to take into consideration the perceived advantages as well, &
perhaps my current mindset will change as a result...cheers....oldbaz.


AnswerID: 540083

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 14:59

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 14:59
Hi Baz

I am not putting the case for unlimited speed with this post and I don't want to pre-judge things because it is the purpose of the trial
to test this.

But many of the posts above and yours illustrate just where the negative perceptions come from and I will comment on this.

First to solve a problem it has to be identified correctly.

So question 1 is what is the cause of the problem ?

Almost all replies above have taken the wrong track by referring to specific defects , like bad road, not enough time to react , car not up to it etc.

It is pretty well universaly accepted the the real cause of accidents is something else which comes under the general heading of driver distraction.

Driver distraction from task at hand includes - fatigue, using phones, day dreaming , boredom, aclohol etc.

This is the fundamental reason why the higher speed limit appears to work.

Its really that simple - at speed one concentrates more and the main cause of accidents is hence reduced.

(Note we are talking NT here with long boring hours of straight driving.)

Now its a reasonable argument to say that given an accident happens then speed makes it worse ?
So some would like to have their cake and eat it to, but that isn't human nature.

When graphs of the above 2 factors are drawn then the saftey factor of increased concentration wins

i.e. Kiss works.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825814

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:17

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:17
Oldbaz the only thing I will say about traveling at a comfortable speed in the right vehicle is I tend to be more switched on and stay focused on what I'm doing , on my bike 130 was quite ok my 4x4 with a reasonable load I cruised at 125 a fair bit last time in NT .

Last time I was at Alice I got talking to a Cop on a trail bike , he was ex-highway patrol , he was ok with the open section there had been no incidents at that time , he said boredom seemed to be the biggest issue .

Another good thing about a higher speed limit 130 or open even better is overtaking those bloody long Road Trains , I like to get passed em as quick as I can

Heavily loaded 4wds , I doubt you will see any doing 130 let alone 160+

Jacko


0
FollowupID: 825817

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:33

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:33
The point you raise re concentration is very valid & one I had not considered in this context. I have no doubt that raised speed also
raises your personal concentration, but I don't necessarily accept that
applies to all drivers. I am quite happy to agree that the real cause
of accidents is driver distraction, or lack of concentration. But I am unable to grasp that increased speed alleviates this problem, thus
reducing the main cause of accidents. With all due respect, I find that assertion simplistic, & I cannot support it.
Might I suggest that regular rest stops, say every two hours as generally proscribed, will be more beneficial to reducing distraction
& loss of concentration, than tooling along at 160 kph.
I cant support that theory with any trial results either, so I guess we must agree to disagree on this one...cheers.....oldbaz.
1
FollowupID: 825819

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:40

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:40
My response above was directed towards Robin, & not Jacko, whos
follow up appears in between , but
might I say, Jacko, that Robin has admitted to doing 160 kph, in a
heavily laden 4wd..I did not have to see it...cheers....oldbaz
0
FollowupID: 825820

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:16

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:16
I was speaking with a couple of locals at Tibbooburra a few weeks back and they commented on how they hate driving on sealed roads, the boredom factor (getting drowsy) is a big issue for them and said that on dirt roads you are always alert and concentrating on the road in front.

0
FollowupID: 825822

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:38

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:38
Alby, a fair bit of truth in that - my HJ47 was built and set up specifically for remote travelling on unsealed roads - given the limitation of the top speed (90-100 kph) on sealed roads I find very tiring and distracting after a while. Once I'm on the dirt and have to start concentrating (also necessary given it's got armstrong power steering) I find to everyones surprise that the boredom factor doesn't set in. Mind you the shoulders get a bit 'weary' by the end of the day.
1
FollowupID: 825847

Reply By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 14:59

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 14:59
G'day Robin,

Good post, but you didn't call in for a Cuppa?

I travel between Alice & Tennant regularly, my personal best so far is 3 1/2 hours, that's an average speed of just over 144 km/h, my 70 series tops out at 160 km/h so no record speeds there.

A "normal" trip to Alice is usually around 4 to 4 1/2 hours, problem is that I use around 135 liters of diesel to do it, most travelers can't afford the fuel burn at relative high speeds so most travel at a comfortable 110 to 120 km/h.

AnswerID: 540089

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:01

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:01
Oh, as far as being brain washed to slow down for police cars, we give them a wave when overtaking or passing them, they usually wave back, not like some caravaners...

0
FollowupID: 825815

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:37

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:37
Sorry Jeff , if I was within a hundred or 2 kms I would have dropped in and complained about the current service at Mt Dare.

So whats that 500km for 135 lt ? - gee thats more than I'd use.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825825

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:13

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:13
No prob's Robin,

Haven't heard much from Mt Dare since we left, Dave & Mel should still be there as far as I know.

The V8 drinks more than I do! ;)

0
FollowupID: 825843

Reply By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:51

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 15:51
I would like a device where you guys put an emitter in your car and I put a receiver in my car and my car detects when your car is 5km away so I can get the hell off the road and let you past. Life is too precious. ;-)
cheers
Kevin
Suitcase
Prado SX and a little van

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 540092

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:09

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:09
They are called eyes and ears Kevin - not using them adequately has been determined as the principle danger.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 825821

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:19

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:19
The two most dangerous types of drivers that I have seen on any territory roads are:

Firstly - "the locals" in old, poorly maintained POS cars, that wander all over the road, usually with six or seven passengers.

Secondly - caravaners travelling at 85 km/h wobbling all over the road with no regard for other road users, these usually travel in clusters of three or more.

I can get past these with no problems, but I feel truly sorry for the road train driver that gets stuck behind them.

1
FollowupID: 825823

Follow Up By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:43

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 16:43
What about the guy in his ute towing his camper at 95kph that is still alert and with it and takes breaks and lets the road trains through but still ..... nah .... not worth it.
cheers
Suitcase
Prado SX and a little van

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825827

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:31

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:31
RUK42

It's not the people who are "doing the right thing" at any speed that are the problem.

I sat behind a caravan a few weeks ago just past the start of the de-restricted zone north of Alice the car/caravan was sitting on 85 km/h & it was wobbling from the side of the road & across the center line.

I actually slowed down so that I had about 200m between us for about two km & when I got to a straight bit of road accelerated past.

Then there was the group of Motorcyclists, 8 of them travelling at 10 km/h, 4 on the left & 4 on the right in the on coming lane, I had to flash the lights & sound the horn to get them to move onto the left lane so that I could pass.


0
FollowupID: 825844

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:33

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:33
Grrr should be 130km/h.
0
FollowupID: 825846

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:44

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:44
"Firstly - "the locals" in old, poorly maintained POS cars, that wander all over the road, usually with six or seven passengers."

Jeff, that was the unspoken statistic in the original justification for reducing the speed limit. No-one was game to say that probably 80% of the fatalities weren't on the main drag by people doing 160 kph. Usually on dirt roads in overloaded and "alcoholically" challenged vehicles.
0
FollowupID: 825848

Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:08

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:08
Robin talking about the NT speed limit, coming back from the Finke Desert Race this year I sat on 130-140 from Alice Springs to the SA boarder...... one thing I did notice was I found it harder to site on 110, more tiring and distracting.

Yes speed limits are a funny theory.

They have just launched a new ad here in SA and I believe it has aired in other states where they say to drive slower and you will have more of a chance to avoid an accident.

Here is the ad....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvLaTupw-hk

The issue I have with this and speed limits is not all accidents happen at that same speed or distance so the out come is different.

If a vehicle (A) is travelling at 130kph (speeding) and a vehicle (B) on a side road pulls out 150m in front of vehicle (A) is it going to have a better or worse outcome compared to a vehicle (A) doing 100kph (speed limit) and a vehicle (B) on a side road pulls out 550m in front of vehicle (A).

If the distance between vehicle (A) and vehicle (B) was a constant then yes they can argue speed will make a difference but seeing in all accident distance is a variable there argument is incorrect and in general they are miss leading the public.

Again here we see another ad saying the guy who failed to give way was the good guy and the speeding driver was the bad guy.

Yes speeding makes them money.

They do the same with the tobacco and alcohol....... tell you how bad it is but if everyone was to stop the government would loos an important income stream.

As for mind conditioning.... yes it starts at a very early age.
AnswerID: 540101

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:10

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:10
Opppssss should of been

"If a vehicle (A) is travelling at 130kph (speeding) and a vehicle (B) on a side road pulls out 150m in front of vehicle (A) is it going to have a better or worse outcome compared to a vehicle (A) doing 100kph (speed limit) and a vehicle (B) on a side road pulls out 550m in front of vehicle (A).

If the distance between vehicle (A) and vehicle (B) was a constant then yes they can argue speed will make a difference but seeing in all accident distance is a variable there argument is incorrect and in general they are miss leading the public."
0
FollowupID: 825841

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:12

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:12
No edit button and I did it again.....

"If a vehicle (A) is travelling at 130kph (speeding) and a vehicle (B) on a side road pulls out 150m in front of vehicle (A) is it going to have a better or worse outcome compared to a vehicle (A) doing 100kph (speed limit) and a vehicle (B) on a side road pulls out 50m in front of vehicle (A).

If the distance between vehicle (A) and vehicle (B) was a constant then yes they can argue speed will make a difference but seeing in all accident distance is a variable there argument is incorrect and in general they are miss leading the public."



Forget the 550m in the other posts
0
FollowupID: 825842

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:31

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014 at 19:31
No worries Kool One , I think I got the message.


Actually I wish to ask you a different question, as I recently drove the Finke rail road and part of the actual race track.

I picked up a souvenir rail spike and I would have thought most would do the same

So how come there are so many spikes left on the road - I reckon we dodged 1000 before giving up the count.


You know that ad, like so many is partially correct but doesn't tell the whole story and as people see thru it and the spin , so
public faith is further eroded.



Your comment about finding it better at a higher speed echos in several other comments above.

Now it is not yet proven, but lets consider for a minute that increased concentration does reduce accidents faster than the speed increase causes them.

Wouldn't that put the cat amongst the Pigeons - how many do you think would actually speed up to reduce the accidents ?
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825845

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 07:07

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 07:07
If you do 500 kms at 200kph then you are on the road 2.5 hours. If you do 100kph you are on the road 5 hours. If you consider fatigue or inattention to be important factors then it may well be that faster speeds are in some ways safer. If you are on the road for less time then you will meet less cars and less animals plus you will be more alert. It's an interesting time and motion study anyway... :-)
0
FollowupID: 825859

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 20:29

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 20:29
Spikes?????

Years ago there was a test done regarding the use of radar detectors in the USA.

They found people with radar detectors were more observent, aware of there suroundings and had quicker reaction times compared to the drivers who did not use radar detectors even that those with radar detectors would drive faster.

The funny thing is if you take all the percentages of what causes accidents for some strange reason they add up to about 180%..... Most data is based on 100% as the maximum.

0
FollowupID: 825904

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 14:15

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 14:15



These are spikes I refer to - they litter the road adjacent to the track I was surprized to see so many as I would have thought that most would have been picked up long ago.
Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825953

Reply By: Jackolux - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 00:32

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 00:32
Yep Oldbaz , Robin did admitted to doing 160 kph, in a heavily laden 4wd , so what I say , it was probably a one time only thing , a quick squirt for 1 or 2K's

Like I said before I took my bike out to that section of road back in May this year , I checked the road waited for any on coming traffic to clear ,

I would of made Robin look like he was standing still , doesn't mean I would travel at that speed for the full length of that open section .

Jacko
AnswerID: 540118

Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 00:45

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 00:45
The "Speeding up to reduce accidents" statement cannot be used as a stand-alone argument to validate the argument for much higher highway speed limits, or unlimited highway speeds.

The only place where that statement has validity, is when there is a slow driver in amongst a large majority of drivers doing higher speeds.

The Solomon Curve was validated many decades ago, and proves up what I said in my post above - above the danger of serious disparity in road user speeds, being a major factor in providing an elevated level of crash risk.

The Solomon Curve
AnswerID: 540119

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 09:47

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 09:47
Actually I have agreed that for a long time Ron, the issues here are that there are several major risk factors and determining the strength of each under the NT conditions is a little harder - hence while I have views I would like to see the results fairly represented.

What concerns me is the likely spin.

You can sort of see it now - imagine a single bad accident happens and test is called off - later on you find that it happened as a result of a police chase or some other non-valid condition.

Its worth remembering the last line in that link next time one gets pulled up for speeding.

I was just sticking with the traffic flow Officer as Solomons research shows it was safest way to drive !





Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 825868

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 20:46

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 20:46
Actually I think the Solomen Curve is a calculation used when travelling above the average speed of the surounding traffic and not the signed legal speed of a given area.

The theory is if everyone is travelling at say 60kph in a traffic stream and one vehicle is traveling at 68kph the chances of an accident is increased.

But if everyone is travelling at 68kph in a 60kph zone the chance of an accident is greatly reduced.

Rule 101 of physics states the higher the velocity the greater the energy the greater the impact.

Drive slow = less enegry = lower the impact.
Drive faster = more energy = greater the impact.





0
FollowupID: 825907

Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 07:37

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 07:37
Robin

An interesting topic and given the NT government has extended the distance the unlimited speed is permitted on gives some indication of where this will settle. Mind you, it was an election promise, so the issue is politicised. And rationale often goes out the window when issues are politicised.

But putting that aside…

Given this is essentially a “risk management” exercise it is important that the negatives are highlighted, discussed and debated. Risk management is all about understanding the risks (negatives) looking at what risk can be mitigated, and concluding whether the residual risk is balanced appropriately against the rewards (the positives).

Much has been written about driver’s concentrating more at higher speeds and higher speeds reducing driving times with a subsequent conclusion that it is safer. This has been put forward as an argument for higher speed limits on the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne for example, and it has some merit.

However, what is often lacking in that discussion is the relationship between higher levels of concentration and the earlier onset of fatigue; I’m confident studies will demonstrate that relationship. How can that be managed in the context of an unlimited speed road?

Whilst I have focussed on increased speeds increasing the risk, especially on this section of road for the reasons outlined, I think the real problem that causes accidents on our rural roads in Australia is three-fold.

Constant speed (regardless of the speed)
Monotony, and
Fatigue.

The only real solution to this is regular rests on long-drives. The government and operators of heavy vehicles recognise this and is the primary reason for having laws to regulate it.

Ultimately, we are talking about a limited section of road in the Northern Territory. It is most unlikely we will see unlimited speed zones appearing across Australia, as the risk/reward equation won’t stack up in most places.

Territorians appear to be supportive of this initiative given the long distances between centres and the NT Government is clearly sympathetic so I suspect the “trial” will roll into a permanent change.

Hopefully the road doesn’t turn into a tourist attraction that simply attracts people to “give their vehicles a go” there are other avenues where that can be pursued…

And closing, I suspect like other posters have highlighted, that most will approach this sensibly – at least we can only hope for that!

All good food for thought…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 540121

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 08:00

Thursday, Oct 09, 2014 at 08:00
It does indeed attract tourists. Robin did a 1500 km detour to drive the road. I drove a high powered car up to the Territory over 10 years ago when the whole place was unrestricted. I had 2 goals, to see the sites and to top 200kph in a car just to see what it was like. The second goal lasted under 5 minutes (much to my wifes relief). With that itch scratched, I settled on a sensible speed of around 130. My dad used to legally do 160 out around Hay in a Kingswood back in the 60's, but the road toll back then was pretty aweful as well so no recommendation there.
0
FollowupID: 825861

Reply By: tim_c - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:52

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:52
I dare say a part of the difference is that similar roads in Victoria would carry more traffic, more likely to have driveways or other road users - it is not just the smoothness of the bitumen surface or the straightness of the road that determines what is or isn't a safe speed for any given stretch of road.

At the risk of being accused of provocation, I'd say your reaction suggests, not so much a brainwashing by the system into compliance, but a tendency to drive with a continual guilty conscience caused by a habit of NON-compliance. A driver who complies with speed limits has no need to even back off the accelerator (much less think about using the brakes) at the mere sight of a law enforcement officer.
AnswerID: 540167

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 17:37

Friday, Oct 10, 2014 at 17:37
Hi Tim

Actually its a good question wether provocative or not.

Some of the people I drive with might be better to answer it.

At first thought it might seem hard to make an unbiased comment but in my long role of having to tell people hard facts I might try.

At least in this case millions of dollars won't swing on what is said.

I would tend to think I drive below average speed so I tend to doubt that a habit of non-compliance exists , my guess is I just enjoy being ahead of the system but I'm willing to explore wether or not others have different opinions.

Robin Miller

Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 825961

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)