Why do people speed on the freeway? With the exception of those grossly exceeding the speed limit, the general sentiment seems to be that the majority of commuters may be speeding several miles above the speed limit but doing so to enhance traffic flow in a relatively reasonable manner.
So, here’s an interesting approach, one that seems to involve more carrot than stick. Instead of relying largely on the punitive model to address speeding on the freeway, implement a better system of traffic regulation for more efficient travel and safety. This system relies primarily on providing information to the commuter to regulate traffic flow and to avoid travel obstacles. The system(http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/smarterhighways/ ) has a series of reader boards, one for each lane of traffic, which displays a variable speed limit based on road conditions. So, if there’s a blocking condition in, say, the HOV lane then the reader boards are used to channel traffic more efficiently to avoid further problems such as secondary accidents.
On the social front, despite misgivings about the dominance of technology in the regulation of human behavior it seems that some sacrifice may be necessary to promote a highway system that doesn’t rely solely on building additional lanes to accommodate additional cars. Ideally, it seems that reducing the total number of cars might be the more rational approach but short of economic forcing through such things as higher cost perhaps we shouldn’t expect things to change anytime in the near future. So, in other words, sustainability is the mantra of the future if it isn’t already. The promotion of that idea along with other positives such as public safety will drive our evolution to a panopticon society. We’re well on our way to this in Washington state(http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/) with its increasingly integrated system of roadway cameras, both on the freeways and on the local streets.
What does any of this have to do with GPS? Well, it might signal the transformation in how we perceive devices which function only as receivers and a semblance of decline in ubiquity of these devices even though some of those as standalone devices function exceedingly well in their performance. Rather, these devices will be seen more as components of an integrated system causing the lines to blur as technologies converge. Even the evolution of the camera which is touted as an example of the standalone device shows this transformation as its information storage technology has changed so that a computer is often used to enhance and store images.
So, on the larger scale we may see smarter highways while on a more local scale we will see smarter cars and more informed drivers. All of this led by the communication of information supposedly in the quest for prosperity. It just remains to be seen if the changes we’re seeing auger increased prosperity and happiness for the majority of the people or whether we should expect more stratification and control if the gulf expands between the haves and the have-nots.
The Simplest Solution would be to enforce the rule that says slower traffic keeps to the right.
You only get to use the left lane for passing.
Seneca is thinking ahead.
Consider the traffic reports on some GPS units. My 765T has the feature but unfortunately traffic is not available in my location yet. The Tenn Dept Of Trans has installed cameras and sensors here so I hope this means we might get traffic here.
My point is that traffic flow is essential to the smart highway system. If re-routing vehicle to alternate routes - and not all of them the same alternative - were possible with a combination of timely knowledge of traffic conditions and appropriate receivers in vehicles to implement the rerouting, then lots of poeple's time and vehicle fuel would be saved.
Hallelujah.. I'm glad to see there's finally someone with some common sense. Congratulations "Ozme 52".. you get a Gold star!
I can't count the number of drivers (especially the silver tipped hair ones in Florida), who putzy along in the left lane clogging up traffic because they aren't using the left lane as it should be used.
Few years ago wife and I were on interstate a few states North of Florida. Up ahead was two long lines of traffic with about 16 or 17 vehicles in left lane. Took over 20 minutes to finally get up and around the first vehicle in left lane.
I guess you don't have to guess where this "TRUE" story's going. Florida license plate. What can I say!!?
So true how traffic flow (and patience) whacks out when the passing lanes can't be used to pass.
I used to think it was a regional habit thing because I'd notice Maryland drivers (I'm one so don't flame me) seemed to also do that wherever I'd go. Then I thought it was a metro area/congestion thing after watching the same behavior increase around London & Birmingham over many years while driving in England on business. In the beginning it was refreshing to see everyone practicing 'lane discipline' over there. As long ago as 6 or 7 years it got as bad as D.C. metro here.
Congestion does have something to do with it, imo. But it's also just forgetting to be considerate. Gets exacerbated by people who don't let you change lanes when your signal is on, too. Any more I get in the left lane as soon as possible if I need to make a left. Although I do the speed limit there & not faster I annoy a lot of people but I know the odds of getting over soon enough are generally slim.
If the new systems could help with those sorts of things also, it would be great!
I know that JD4x4 was thinking about the coming "smart highways", but I wanted to note that I greatly appreciate my 765T for telling me way in advance which lane I need to get in.
In some cities, lane changing is not an easy task in afternoon rush hour traffic.
I have seen signs in TX especially on I-40 in the panhandle that say "Left Lane Only For Passing" or something to that effect. Do these help avoid the slow traffic in the Left Lane? I don't remember having a problem there but I'm only there a couple times a year.
IMHO (based on almost 60 years of driving -including a few years as a Law Enforcement Officer) most traffic issues are caused(or exaserbated) by people driving with their heads firmly embeded up thier postieriors.... no matter where they are from /how old they are/etc...
Remember the Golden Rule of traffic: Lead, follow, or get out of the way....
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