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UK Satellite Puts The Brake On Speeding Drivers

From: peter <[email protected]>
Subject: Satellite puts the brake on speeding drivers

  ------- Forwarded message follows -------
Now your Fascist Rulers, bloody control freaks all, want to drive your car
for you. Where will it end - with a control device hooked up to your body
telling you when you can have sex? All for your own good, of course.

Notice the implicit Gradualism below - first you are forced to give in on
seat belts, for your own good, of course, and now that is being used as a
precedent for forcing this abominable contraption off on you, once again
for your own good, of course.

To hear it from your godless collectivist masters, nothing short of
complete slavery is good for you. You are forced to let the govt and the
special interests totally dominate every aspect of your life, so you can be
a "good" little peasant.

You can have it.

Bob Knauer


Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 1999
ISSUE 1684           Tuesday 4 January 2000

Satellite puts the brake on speeding drivers
By Jon Hibbs, Political Correspondent

COMPULSORY electronic speed limiters that would
prevent drivers from exceeding the legal limits could be
fitted in all cars within 10 years if ministers accept the
findings of government-funded research to be presented to
John Prescott next month.

The Deputy Prime Minister will be
told that recent advances in vehicle
technology now enable road speed to
be controlled automatically. He will
be advised that extensive trials have
been so successful that a phased
programme introducing a new
generation of vehicle speed governors in Britain would
dramatically reduce traffic congestion, cut road accidents
and save lives.

The results of a three-year investigation into the feasibility
of installing what is known as "intelligent speed
adaptation" will present the Government with its biggest
hot potato in transport policy since the arguments over the
introduction of seat belts.

The revolutionary system works using the combination of a
satellite navigation system to pinpoint the location of each
vehicle, an in-car computer loaded with a digital road map
encoded with the speed limits for each street in Britain and
a device to choke off the fuel supply if the speed
restrictions are breached.

Safety campaigners maintain that fitting this as a standard
feature on private cars would save two thirds of the 3,500
deaths caused on the roads every year and reduce by a
third the annual total of 320,000 accident injuries.

Although the equipment itself would only cost a couple of
hundred pounds, and is likely to get cheaper in future, it is
certain to be fiercely resisted by motor manufacturers, who
rely heavily on the subliminal image of fast cars to sell
new products.

It also raises acute civil liberty issues for motorists, with
the prospect of a wave of public antipathy to the idea of an
electronic "Big Brother" over-riding the person in the
driving seat. However, the researchers believe the project
presents policy-makers with the 21st-century equivalent of
the dilemma over seat belts, which the motor trade fought
against for years but is now, as a result of legislation,
widely accepted as a life-saver.

The trials commissioned by the Department for
Environment, Transport and the Regions were undertaken
by a team at Leeds University in conjunction with the
Motor Industry Research Association (Mira).

Their final report is expected to recommend that the system
should be phased in over a decade, with the system
remaining voluntary for existing cars but required on all
new cars by, say, 2005 and becoming mandatory once
sufficient adapted vehicles are on the road - perhaps by as
early as 2010.

Ministers were given a presentation on the latest findings
by the Highways Agency last month and were informed that
the technological advances promised to make a variety of
vehicle control, identification and location measures both
feasible and cost-effective.

However, the Department of Transport warned yesterday
that the technical possibilities of "intelligent speed
adaptation" had to be balanced by the regulatory
implications. "We are investigating this but not necessarily
adopting it," said a spokesman.

"There are considerable benefits that could be had in
accident reduction and fuel savings, but it might also mean
that people find other ways of speeding up their journeys
or excuses for driving."

The report will claim that positive benefits would start to
flow from the system once 60 per cent of vehicles were
fitted with it, since that would have the effect of slowing
down the overall speed of traffic. The researchers say that
as well as slowing down traffic speed, the technology also
offers dynamic implications for traffic management -
rendering traffic-calming schemes redundant, making speed
cameras unnecessary and virtually eliminating prosecutions
for speeding.

In addition, the restrictions could be timed in order to slow
down traffic outside schools when children were going in
and out, when roads were congested in the rush-hour or
after accidents or when bad weather made driving
conditions dangerous.

Dr Oliver Carsten, head of the Leeds University team,
defended the external imposition of speed restrictions as a
method of enforcing the law. He pointed out that other
countries such as Sweden and Holland were also looking
at similar developments.

He said: "The roads are risky enough as they are, and the
idea that people should have the freedom to flout the law is
an odd concept when it is a legal requirement that you
comply with the speed limit. People thought we were crazy
for suggesting this, but when you drive the car you hardly
notice the speed limiter unless you are deliberately trying
to push things too fast, and it works extremely well."=20

Dr Carsten said: "It is the most effective safety system
anyone could think of, far more effective than road humps,
and much more effective than even we first thought. It is
now up to the politicians to make decisions about whether
to move ahead with implementation."

John Fowkes, of Mira, insisted the technology did not
require much modification to vehicles, but admitted that
both the motor industry and motorists would be wary of
being forced into a mandatory system. But he said: "Five or
10 years hence we may have sufficiently severe traffic
problems that it might become more acceptable to the

"Centralisation is too good a bait for the greed of the rulers; even
those who once preached decentralisation, always abandon their doctrine
on coming to power.  You can be sure of that."


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