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  #51  
Old 08-13-2011, 09:20 AM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
I wouldn't sign it because that tackles the problem from the wrong end. Require meaningful driver education and safe travel at higher speeds follows naturally.
Well, Zeichen, I have exactly the opposite opinion on it. Germans might become good drivers because of good driving schools, but that doesn't explain why they also have best vehicle fleet for personal transportation, best car industry and arguably best roads. I believe that comes from building Autobahns for 80+ years now and never placing all-out speed limit on them.

If you want to survive in such environment, you have to have good skills, good vehicle (even if you stay at 80 mph) and good roads. So, I think all of that comes from having Autobahn, not other way around.

There is no better motivation, no matter how lazy person is, than trying to stay alive.
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  #52  
Old 08-13-2011, 10:34 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
If you want to survive in such environment, you have to have good skills, good vehicle (even if you stay at 80 mph) and good roads. So, I think all of that comes from having Autobahn, not other way around.
I agree with you ... but we don't have an autobahn and I think that, coupled with the American individualism you referenced earlier, influences how we would get there.

Normally, I agree that the speed limits can safely be raised, or at least I disagree with those who believe increased speed limits imply increased accident/fatality rates. But I remember a few years back when Montana briefly reinstated a "reasonable and prudent" daytime speed limit on their rural Interstates. They had to abandon the experiment and return to a fixed limit because too many people were driving like fools (mostly out-of-staters, if memory serves). The right response would be to cite said fools for imprudent speed, but thanks to our litigious mentality, that would probably clog the court system with defendants arguing that they were judged subjectively and unfairly. So it's an example of your "they WILL find a way to make it YOUR problem" principle: The response was to hobble the smart/skilled drivers with an objective limit, rather than educate the stupid/unskilled ones.

So my objection to the "90+mph" thought experiment would be that it's too big a jump. The roads aren't up to it and the drivers need to understand, down to their bones, that the importance of paying attention goes up exponentially with speed.

Quote:
There is no better motivation, no matter how lazy person is, than trying to stay alive.
Totally agree, but for those who try and fail, their heirs and relations often go to great lengths to punish someone else for their loss, rather than accept that the dearly departed may have been 100% at fault. I think that attitude is an impediment to expanding the envelope.

On further reflection, I have to admit my opinion on this is colored by living in the Northeast. The traffic density here demands substantial increases in good behavior, skill, and vehicle and highway maintenance to accommodate any appreciable bump in the Interstate speed limit. I've spent a lot of time in the Midwest and West and would say the situation is better out there in all respects--not as far to go.
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  #53  
Old 08-13-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
My personal pet peeve are the a-holes who know there is an imminent lane merge coming and yet wait until the last possible second to merge and then try to force themselves into line.
I have the opposite problem.. When there is a construction lane closure, everyone in this area immediately stops and merges to the open lane as soon as they see the sign which might be a few miles back from the closure. It gets so bad it starts to block traffic lights and cause congestion miles before the actual closure. I tend to go straight to the merge point before merging because it makes better usage of the space, and I get dirty looks for it. Of course, if it is a normal street merge (non-construction), I agree with you, I plan my merge so as to be fluid and at-speed.
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  #54  
Old 08-13-2011, 12:45 PM
Vulpes Vulpes is offline
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I work with a few people from Europe, and their input is this:

1. Driver education in Europe is no joke.
2. You must pay through the ass to get a license.. Thousands..
3. The drivers test was described to me to be an all day affair, and they will flunk you for smiling wrong.
4. Availability of public transportation makes a car a luxury item.

So, with the cost being high and the level of effort being large, not to mention the availability of reasonably priced public transportation, it removes those people from the road that should not be driving. You know, the ones that are afraid of going too fast and have not-so-good hand-eye coordination.
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  #55  
Old 08-13-2011, 04:00 PM
rickb55 rickb55 is offline
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In regards to raising the speedlimits on our highways is that they are in very poor condition (at least where I live). I'm always on the lookout for potholes and they seem to be everywhere like swiss cheese.
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  #56  
Old 08-13-2011, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rickb55 View Post
In regards to raising the speedlimits on our highways is that they are in very poor condition (at least where I live). I'm always on the lookout for potholes and they seem to be everywhere like swiss cheese.
+1

We have systematically neglected roads and other public infrastructure in this country for the past 30 years.

Everyone wants great roads but they cost money and no one wants to pay for public goods anymore in this country. They also complain about fuel taxes, which are the primary mechanism of funding the limited upkeep on the crap roads we have.
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  #57  
Old 08-13-2011, 06:06 PM
jsleemd jsleemd is offline
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I am not a tea party member but I don't think the answer to lack of public service is simply more taxes. There is so much waste in government, I am afraid more revenue would simply mean more waste. Look at the USPS, they have 120000 more employees that they need but they can't just let them go without congressional action. We are subsidizing the USPS to the tune of 20billion/year. That's twice as much as the auto industry bailout. The answer is less entitlement, and spending cuts balanced with temporary tax increases to get the house in order. The public sector has had it way too good for too long. The roads are in a shambles because it takes way too long to get them fixed. With all the public sector rules about mandatory breaks and work hours, I hardly see any workers on all the construction sites. What a waste of tax payer dollars and a complete hassle for us drivers.
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  #58  
Old 08-13-2011, 06:38 PM
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I don't want to make this political because the loonies over on the OT board might wander over but I have a few responses.

1. Most road construction is funded by states and counties which have been cutting back on road budgets because over the past 30 years whenever times are good taxes get cut but are nearly impossible to raise. Thus has led to increasingly tighter and tighter budgets and almost no budget flexibility during bad times.

2. Most public spending like roads is a loss leader and generates substantial economic returns. Even the often maligned USPS generates way more economic return than it costs. For what it does 20 billion is a pittance. My only beef with USPS is that it heavily subsidizes wasteful commercial junk mail.

3. Do you think road construction is an easier or cheaper in Europe? Don't bet on it. The difference is that they have made the choice to pay for it, se haven't.
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  #59  
Old 08-15-2011, 05:48 PM
gcreese gcreese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD 335is View Post
Lots of rants here about everything the "other guy" is doing wrong, but how about some introspection? How many of you (honestly):
  1. Stop completely at every stop sign, even if you're turning right, regardless of whether anyone else is even in sight? Rolling stops are so common in my area that if you actually stop you might get rear-ended and someone else at the intersection will certainly grab your right-of-way.
  2. Come to a full stop at every red light before turning right (if local law allows it)? Again, right-turners in my area treat red lights like a yield sign.
  3. Always use your blinker every time you turn at an intersection or change lanes on the freeway? This is so infrequent that I'm usually amazed when I actually see someone signal.
  4. Drive at a safe speed on residential streets? The speed limit on residential streets in my neighborhood is 25 MPH, I drive 28 (digital speedo on my S2000), but I have seen cars that have to be going 35-50! My wife drives under 30 in our neighborhood and she actually had a pizza delivery guy pass her on a residential street with the Pizza Hut sign on top of his car! (She called Pizza Hut.) I NEVER speed in a neighborhood, even if I'm late.
  5. Maintain a 3 second gap between the car in front of you, even if the driver is an idiot and driving 65 in the left lane?
  6. Stay out of the left lane unless passing, if there's space to move over?
  7. Wear your seat belt every time, even it you're just running to the store?
It's my personal opinion that if you're not doing everything I listed above, you are setting a bad example and you are just contributing to the overall degradation of common courtesy while driving.

I may drive like an enthusiast and I may not be driving the speed limit on a freeway, but these are my personal driving commandments. How many of you have personal driving commandments?
I actually do all of the things you list. Since I live in Massachusetts that makes me a pretty rare bird.
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  #60  
Old 08-15-2011, 05:54 PM
Hasek9339 Hasek9339 is offline
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I agree!! Drivers in the USA are not serious about driving! People in Germany and Europe in general are!!!!
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  #61  
Old 08-15-2011, 07:38 PM
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in 2001 Driver Licence cost in Germany was around $2,000.00 (don't remember DM or USD)
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  #62  
Old 08-16-2011, 07:57 AM
PaceBMW of Mamaroneck PaceBMW of Mamaroneck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB330 View Post
in 2001 Driver Licence cost in Germany was around $2,000.00 (don't remember DM or USD)
if the cost was that high im sure every driver would take their privelege much more seriously. i remeber they mentioned on top gear once that people shouldnt be given a license unless they love driving, otherwise they may half@ss it. their example was you wouldnt let jeremy clarkson near an oven because he hates cooking, and therefore wouldnt be any good at it.(couldnt find the clip )
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  #63  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:15 AM
The Swede The Swede is offline
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Don't you have toll-roads in USA? Many expensive road-projects are financed through tolls here in Europe. In that way the people that uses the roads pay for them, not al the taxpayers.

I also have another question... do you need to drive a car with MT at your driving tests? Here in Europe if you take the driving test in a car with an automatic tranny you arn't allowed to drive cars with a manual.
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  #64  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:25 AM
PaceBMW of Mamaroneck PaceBMW of Mamaroneck is offline
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Originally Posted by The Swede View Post
Don't you have toll-roads in USA? Many expensive road-projects are financed through tolls here in Europe. In that way the people that uses the roads pay for them, not al the taxpayers.

I also have another question... do you need to drive a car with MT at your driving tests? Here in Europe if you take the driving test in a car with an automatic tranny you arn't allowed to drive cars with a manual.
we do have toll roads here but it's not apparent where all the revenue is going to when you look at the conditions of the road. My commute from NJ to NY runs about $15 each way, and the roads are atrocious. I have no idea how many people make that drive everyday, but I imagine the money collected at the tolls must be enough to keep the roads in way better condition than they are now

also, we dont have to have an MT to take the driving test, and you can drive manual even if you take the test on an auto

Last edited by PaceBMW of Mamaroneck; 08-16-2011 at 08:26 AM. Reason: whoomp there it is
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  #65  
Old 09-09-2011, 12:03 PM
rsc0711 rsc0711 is offline
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Education is a problem...You can get a license in most states w/ no training if you are over 18.

Most Americans don't know, or just don't care about the following:

You can't cross/turn through a double yellow
You can't change lanes over a solid white
Slower traffic keep right
Fog lights are for fog

In this country you are liable to get shot by someone with road rage if you call them out on their driving. I make it a point to give a wide berth to vehicles w/ extensive body damage.

The roads are terrible here in California when compared to Europe, no doubt.
Do the math: the Federal fuel tax hasn't been raised since 1993 and is $.18 a gallon vs .65 Euro per liter in Germany.
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  #66  
Old 09-10-2011, 02:31 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Originally Posted by rsc0711 View Post

In this country you are liable to get shot by someone with road rage if you call them out on their driving.
This brings me to another point that was not said before (thanks for bumping the thread). Like with any addict, no "intervention" or period in expensive clinic will do anything if the addict doesn't truly understand that he/she, in fact, DOES have a problem.

What you said is just the extreme consequence of everything said previously in this thread - nobody likes to be called out if they are doing NO WRONG. Big majority of American drivers are not a-holes, they just have no clue they are doing something wrong. As long as the whole nation is brainwashed into believing that all our traffic deaths are result of speeding and drunk driving, there is absolutely no hope we will ever have safe driving environment.

I'm particularly sensitive to the issue because, unfortunately, I usually spend 30-40 weeks a year traveling for business and, if at all possible, I chose to drive rather than fly. Every single time on those relatively long drives I see something that is just unthinkable in other first-world countries and couple of times I was personally in danger - all because we either have inadequate laws for traffic safety or inadequate drivers driving legally.
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Last edited by Mark K; 09-10-2011 at 02:32 PM.
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  #67  
Old 09-10-2011, 04:27 PM
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European drivers are just as bad and just as self-entitled (if not more so) than Americans. Ever visit Berlin? Drivers have taken the sidewalks as their parking spaces (this was 20 years ago, things might have changed). Municipalities have taken to installing metal posts every six feet to discourage such actions - this makes a perfect parking spot for a Smart car and I saw drivers in Marseille make perfect use of such spaces.

Many drivers in Italy don't understand what the left lane is for, so the driver directly behind the rolling roadblock will straddle lanes 'cause he doesn't know if the left or right lane is going to free up first and he wants to hedge his bets.

After 2 weeks of driving in Europe it was such a relief to drop the car off and let someone else do the driving.
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  #68  
Old 09-10-2011, 06:07 PM
Gianny Gianny is offline
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Why can't Vignette for Austria and Switzerland be sold at the welt?
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  #69  
Old 09-13-2011, 01:01 AM
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Alfred G Alfred G is offline
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This weeks's title of the leading German news magazine "Der Spiegel":



Streetfight - Boor Republic Germany

(Mainly about the daily fight cyclists vs. pedestrians and car drivers in large cities)
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  #70  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:52 AM
bigjae1976 bigjae1976 is offline
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My main gripe about driving in the US...I don't mind if someone travels in the left lane. But for god's sake...move over if someone is behind you.

I imagined the US having no speed limits on the highways...then I laugh and cringe at the same time. But if you want to see what a bad driver really is, go hang out in the far east. China, Korea, Philippines...all TERRIBLE drivers. Japan is the lone exception among the asian countries that has somewhat orderly traffic.
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  #71  
Old 09-14-2011, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD 335is View Post
Lots of rants here about everything the "other guy" is doing wrong, but how about some introspection? How many of you (honestly):
  1. Stop completely at every stop sign, even if you're turning right, regardless of whether anyone else is even in sight? Rolling stops are so common in my area that if you actually stop you might get rear-ended and someone else at the intersection will certainly grab your right-of-way.
  2. Come to a full stop at every red light before turning right (if local law allows it)? Again, right-turners in my area treat red lights like a yield sign.
  3. Always use your blinker every time you turn at an intersection or change lanes on the freeway? This is so infrequent that I'm usually amazed when I actually see someone signal.
  4. Drive at a safe speed on residential streets? The speed limit on residential streets in my neighborhood is 25 MPH, I drive 28 (digital speedo on my S2000), but I have seen cars that have to be going 35-50! My wife drives under 30 in our neighborhood and she actually had a pizza delivery guy pass her on a residential street with the Pizza Hut sign on top of his car! (She called Pizza Hut.) I NEVER speed in a neighborhood, even if I'm late.
  5. Maintain a 3 second gap between the car in front of you, even if the driver is an idiot and driving 65 in the left lane?
  6. Stay out of the left lane unless passing, if there's space to move over?
  7. Wear your seat belt every time, even it you're just running to the store?
It's my personal opinion that if you're not doing everything I listed above, you are setting a bad example and you are just contributing to the overall degradation of common courtesy while driving.

I may drive like an enthusiast and I may not be driving the speed limit on a freeway, but these are my personal driving commandments. How many of you have personal driving commandments?
Check to all of the above. It's a common sense, especially in city like NY.

On my residential block there's a least one serious car accident a week, usually 2-4 cars are involved as a result of offender's car "bouncing" all over parked cars. Lethality is a result of one of these accidents every other month. I keep writing to DOT to put a stop sign in the area, but they deem the block safe. Try and not put seat belt on these streets.

You absolutely have to stop on stop signs here because every other guy does not. It's either because they drive an S-Class and stop sign does not apply to them or they drive a beater Maxima and don't really care if they get into fender-bender.

Now that I write it, I realized that driving in Tri State area is a non-stop avoidance of morons.

One thing that should absolutely added to the list:

Check your interior mirror non-stop to make sure you don't have 9000lb hummer two inches away from your rear. Big SUV drivers think they come with insta-brakes and would definitely stop faster than 3000lb sport sedan.
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  #72  
Old 09-14-2011, 07:37 AM
PaceBMW of Mamaroneck PaceBMW of Mamaroneck is offline
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  #73  
Old 09-14-2011, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
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... but that doesn't explain why they also have best vehicle fleet for personal transportation, best car industry...
Blame it on the German Motor-vehicle Registration System. A Standard Inspection takes about 2 hours, and covers over 300 individual checks. Anything safety related will fail the car. New cars usually get a 2 year interval, older cars [4+] get a 1 year interval. Inspectors train for 6 years and are personally liable for allowing cars in the road. Police have unlimited authority to stop and check compliance.

It is very tight,
more than 1 drop of oil in 60 seconds = FAIL
tires/wheels not certified for that model of car=FAIL
certified Angel Eyes=FAIL
aftermarket exhaust must be certified for specific car/model/engine. if you piece a system together all parts must be certified for use with each other.

Having imported several cars in to Germany, it can be very frustrating
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  #74  
Old 09-14-2011, 04:12 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Originally Posted by ChuckE89 View Post
Blame it on the German Motor-vehicle Registration System.
Oh, I know that, it's everywhere in Europe - I owned three cars when I lived in Italy and obligatory tech inspection was there long time ago.

If done reasonably (your list below is little bit too strict), I would welcome it here. On one of my trips I was locked in the pack on Interstate I-75 in Michigan forced to drive in right lane and in the front of me, in the left lane was this abomination of 2-feet-off-the-ground beat up pick up truck with ATV on the bed. Doing 75 like everybody else and fishtailing as the cargo shifted with the wind. I thought I was going to end up pretty badly, but then exit came and I was able to blast past him in the right lane and lose him for good.

How can a vehicle like that be legal to drive on public roads is beyond me. At least classify it as farm machinery - that way they cannot drive on Interstates and are limited to 35 mph (I believe).

Quote:
Having imported several cars in to Germany, it can be very frustrating
Yes, but the result is the purest form of envy - at least from my perspective. I'd go through all that pain immediately, starting tomorrow, in order to drive leisurely 100 mph on long trips and cut my driving time in almost half. Even outside of Germany, where limit is 130 km/h, driving on Interstate-like road is much less stressful than driving here. EDIT: the reason being strict discipline on truck traffic (55 mph while cars can do 80 mph and often there's a ban on trucks passing and going into left lane) and left lane discipline from everybody else.
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Last edited by Mark K; 09-14-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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  #75  
Old 09-14-2011, 05:07 PM
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Posts: 170
Mein Auto: '11 335i
My big problem with drivers in the US, especially in the northeast, is that they take getting passed personally. I passed countless people on mountain passes and two lane roads in Austria/Switzerland/Italy. Nobody tried to speed up to prevent me from making a safe pass. They just kept going about their business. After landing in PHL returning from MUC, I was on the NE Extension going 90mph. I caught up to a car reasonably quickly. I could tell as soon as I got within 200 feet, he started speeding up to prevent me from passing. I'd say he was going 80mph prior to my arrival. I just don't get it...let me go by. Nothing personal, but I'm going to pass.

I've had other instances on two lane roads in PA where drivers try to speed up when I try to execute the pass. They go from 5mph under the limit to 20mph over. Madness I tell you!
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First ED on 9/7/2011 - LeMans Blue 335i MSport

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