VIDEO - Change Your Mind About Speeding

video iconThis is an anti-speeding television advertisement from Australia that debuted in 2002. It is my favourite anti-speeding video and puts a very different face on the consequences of a crash when exceeding the speed limit by only 5 km/h. For all of you who don't hestitate to travel at 10 over because the police don't bother you this may be a good indication that it isn't the police that you need to worry about.


The limit has nothing to do with the kinetic energy at impact

If the speed limit was 65, the results would have been exactly the same.

It is essential to educate all drivers about the effect of speed on kinetic energy of impact, but it is harmful to confuse this issue by concentrating on the speed limit itself.

Drivers need consider a host of factors when deciding on what speed to drive, and the posted limit is only one of them.

Such things as visibility, traffic congestion, outside temperature the condition of their car (brakes, tires etc) all SHOULD be factored in to safe driving, but the only thing mentioned is the posted limit, which is usually arbitrarily set, having no bearing on anything physical.  There are sections of the Hope-Princeton (for example) where the posted speed is well above the safe driving speed due to narrow roadway and tight corners, yet a short distanct further on, the road is straight and wide yet the speed sign is the same.

New drivers need to know the basic physics of motor vehicle operation, yet apart from a few simple braking distance facts they are not required to know anything.

Once again, ICBC lets us down, by not ensuring that drivers on our roads know what they are doing.



It's a cleverly contrived video that makes it's point ...

... but let's face it, if drivers are going around panic braking all over the place then there's something seriously wrong with their observation skills - and the idea that rigidly driving at or under the speed limit is going to keep them safe is ridiculous.

But I must take issue with the comment regarding ICBC; rather than letting us down, they have improved standards in BC.

They brought in Graduated Licensing, they separated the Class 7 and Class 5 test requirements so as to make the Class 5 more challenging (including a freeway use portion of the test, which had never been done before) and introduced a proper Class 6 Road Test instead of a parking lot farce.

And just how do you 'ensure' that drivers on our roads 'know what they are doing', pray tell?  Which jurisdictions in Canada or around the world actually manage to do this?

It would require an expert like Sue MacNeil and her team - with al of the proper equipment - to accurately ascertain driver proficiency in all aspects.

I'm glad to hear that freeway

I'm glad to hear that freeway driving is required for the class 5 now.

ICBC is the agency responsible for setting standards, I believe.  If they are not, then please amend my comments from ICBC to whatever that agency is.

The standards may have improved, yet I daily see drivers that are:

  • incapable of safe lane changes.
  • apparently unaware of the correct lane into which to turn at intersections
  • apparently unaware of how to enter or exit a freeway.
  • unaware of the four-way stop procedure.

I would like to see mandatory driver training for example.  Learning to drive from a competent instructor is the best way I can think of to instill good driving habits in new drivers.

Also, in addition to the current restrictions on Class 7 drivers I think that it would make sense to add a restriction on the engine size or horsepower of the vehicles that they are permitted to drive.

Also, I like the point you make that an observant, prudent driver rarely needs to make panic stops -- but they do happen.

All the best,

Standards and actualities ...

ICBC 'inherited' authority and methodology from the existing licensing system - which I think was running under the auspices of the Motor Vehicle Branch of the Ministry of Something-or-other (various agencies seem to have run it at one time or another).

They're kind of a unique entity, inasmuch as they're north america's largest auto insurer while also being responsible for licensing standards.  This motivates them, however, to improve licensing and testing.

The freeway requirement is a step forward; emphasis is on the ability to smoothly enter and exit without disrupting the flow of traffic, as well as responding to directional signs and lane use.

(Did you know that in the UK, you're not even allowed on the motorway until after you've passed your Driving Test - and although most people there take driver training, they don't take any more once they've passed - so there are a lot of horrible and/or ignorant drivers on the motorways)!

When you see a driver who apparently doesn't know how to properly perform simple maneuvers such as turns and lane changes, it's always tempting to ascribe this to ignorance (i.e. a lack of training or knowledge) or failure on the part of the licensing authority to determine skills (i.e. poor testing procedures) but it just isn't that simple!  Take my pet peeve - drivers who don't signal their lane changes.  To me, it's fundamental and simple enough, required by law in all circumstances.  Chances are that the driver 'read the book' and passed the Knowledge Test and understood this as a condition of obtaining his Learner license.

When the driver took his practical (Road Test) examination, he either signalled all of his lane changes or he didn't pass, in all probability (in fact, one of the key changes that ICBC made to the Road Test was to make Communication one of the five primary skills required).  So how come there are so many drivers out there who don't signal their lane changes?  Because they're too damn lazy, and they don't get ticketed for it.  Nothing to do with education or testing.

There is of course the chance that the driver didn't gain his original license here in BC; ICBC has reciprocal agreements with many jurisdictions in north america and around the world.  But those countries all have more or less equivalent - or higher - testing and licensing standards as we do here.

So it's back to how individuals choose to drive, once they have passed their Road Test, that's the problem!

how individuals choose to drive

I totally agree with CompetentDrivingBC on this point.  Since there is no possible follow up on training until you are well into your 70's or 80's (and then only if someone reports you) no one seems to care about following the rules of the road as there is so little recourse for poor driving, and isn't society all about "me" at the present time anyway?

The 5 kph speed differential message

A very well produced video. However, given the fact that our speed limits are arbitrarily set based upon our politicians opinions as opposed to engineering and objective research, the video's conclusion convinces me of nothing, except that it is to my advantage to avoid colliding with a truck altogether.  Had the truck pulled across the road 5 meters closer, both vehicles would have had a serious crash.  5 meters farther away, and neither would have collided.

Lulling drivers into believing that following the speed limit precisely on it's own will save them, rather than pointing out the real benefits of looking as far down the road ahead as possible to enable reacting in time to avoid a collision altogether is a true distraction to our goal of safer roads.

The impact (pardon the pun)

The impact (pardon the pun) of reducing speed is even more dramatic when you look at the following chart:

The numbers above are based on the formulas given in: Speed and road accidents An evaluation of the Power Model TOI Report 740/2004 Rune Elvik, Peter Christensen, Astrid Amundsen


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