Miles_vel_Day t1_jefwyki wrote

That makes me think of another problem with car culture, that's kind of the mirror image of the phenomenon you're describing...

Like you said, a lot of people just forget driving is dangerous. But for people who haven't forgotten, we just get used to living at a certain level of life-or-death stress, for possibly hours a day, when we're in our cars. I don't think it's very conducive to overall happiness.

Don't get me wrong, driving is a really easy game, and it's fun to play sometimes, but the consequences of slipping up and losing can be pretty rough.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jefi2a5 wrote

Vehicle miles traveled has rebounded; it was about 99.3% of its 2019 levels in 2022. (Maybe like 95-97% of what would be expected if growth had continued uninterrupted.) Those are all good places to look for improvement, though.

Speed and Enforcement: Speed has definitely gotten a lot worse, since speeding was essentially legalized during the pandemic and enforcement has not kept up with the need for it since.

Big Cars: Bigger cars a problem, especially when they get in crashes with much smaller cars. It's also a problem that people feel safer in bigger cars - and they actually are, statistically. But everybody else is less safe, and their feeling of safety might make them more careless at the wheel.

Lack of pedestrian infrastructure: Not sure about this one... modern design practices should be, if gradually, leading to better outcomes for pedestrians, but instead they're getting worse. I think pedestrians are just in more danger for the reasons that drivers have gotten more reckless overall.

Another thing that might be playing a factor is an over-reliance on safety features like adaptive cruise control, or worse yet, the Tesla stuff, resulting in drivers who aren't ready to take control when they need to be.

I think the best thing we could do for traffic safety, really, is to have the Ad Council blast out the message that you need to leave proper following distance and should generally try to maximize your distance from other drivers.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jefe9br wrote

Speaking as a member of the private sector who is involved in road safety and is extremely interested in reducing auto fatalities, let me say that "the US" is not in total agreement on whether we should try to improve traffic safety.

Things have backslid really badly since I started my career, it's heartbreaking. Fatalities were increasing even before the pandemic, up about 15% from 2013 to 2019. Now they're up about 30%. (They were level in 21-22, so maybe we've arrested the upward trend, but it's time to bring it back down.)

It's gotta be distracted driving. The sad part is, even knowing that, I still can't say fully truthfully that I never look at my phone for a second when I'm driving.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jefcdj2 wrote

At Yankee Stadium they have a few of the gates set up just for users of some stupid line-cutting service. The result is that there aren't enough gates for everybody else, and you just have to plan around the fact that when you get to Yankee Stadium, it's going to take you a half hour to actually get inside.

There is definitely room to change more stuff that is currently entirely queue-based to appointment-based, given our current technology. But boy, this ain't it.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jeahel5 wrote

I don't "want them so badly." I would be fine with this policy not going into effect. I just think that if we're going to discuss the policy, we should discuss it using the actual facts.

Four people were killed in work zones last year. It would be nice if that number was zero. If cameras could help with that, then I'm open to it.

What is your motivation for defending your right to drive 15+ mph over the speed limit in work zones?


Miles_vel_Day t1_jeag3bz wrote

That's a nice pile of rhetoric but I've cited actual studies. What do you have?

First off, goalposts: your claim wasn't that the problem with speed cameras in work zones is that a private company receives a portion of the revenue - I agree that that's a problem. It's an unnecessary perverse incentive and yet another avenue for rent-seeking in an economy that's drowning in it.

Your claim, though, was that they did not have a safety benefit. Empirical observation, gathered through carefully designed studies, suggests that they do. Do you have statistics that contradict the CDC's findings, or that contradict similar studies that I could pull up from FHWA or NHI?


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea82he wrote

Yeah, I'm a SE CT native and I love that it's so easy for people in my area to get a job that pays really well. It's just a shame that the work they do can't be put towards constructive rather than destructive purposes.

If we ever did cut Pentagon funding, we would definitely need a WPA-type program to scoop up the dislocated workers. At the end of the cold war the government did no such thing, and my hometown was devastated by EB layoffs. "Thankfully," eventually the country became paranoid enough again for the company to thrive, but I do hope that if that needle ever moves in the other direction then workers are given much more support.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea7bv6 wrote

I used to live right across the Thames from the Navy base in Quaker Hill, and then in downtown NL directly across from EB. I always appreciated that in any nuclear war I would've been one of the "instantly vaporized without even realizing it" people. Unfortunately, I've moved over to Middlesex so I'm definitely more in the "slow painful death" zone now.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea5sxm wrote

It might be a good idea to post a second officer down the road a bit from the work zone, and the first officer can radio reports of inappropriate driving and have the second officer pull the driver over. That way the first officer, and his lights, are still at the work site serving as a deterrent and source of visibility.

I wouldn't endorse making this a REQUIREMENT for work zones because I think there would be real availability problems that would slow down construction projects, and obviously construction is already slow enough in the US. But it might be a good idea for select work zones, on larger projects or on more dangerous stretches of road.

Obviously the troopers would endorse this - even more OT!


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea51sw wrote

You're getting downvoted but yeah, it's pretty obvious that a six lane highway with a posted speed limit of what, 55, and a very heavy weave movement to take a left exit a few miles in, isn't really getting sufficient enforcement when it's a regular occurrence to have half the drivers going 85 mph+.

84E from Hartford is another area where incredibly high speeds are tolerated.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea41iu wrote

You know, people used to say this exact same kind of thing about seatbelts.

You might have to accept that what you want to be true, and what somebody is willing to tell you is true, is not necessarily what is true.

The CDC:

>Automated speed camera enforcement is effective in reducing speed and speed-related crashes. In a Cochrane review of studies through 2010 evaluating speed cameras, all studies measuring speed or speeding saw reductions when the cameras were present.6 All studies in the Cochrane review measuring crashes also showed reductions when the cameras were present. More recent research has also found reductions in speeding or injury crashes when cameras were present.

Link, with citations


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea343y wrote

>Speaking of the workers and revenue though.. this is going to rinse lower-class workers. June 1 min. wage goes up to $15/hr. Get caught lacking on your way to work because your brain was mindlessly on "autopilot" for a wee bit? 2nd offense: 12% of your weekly take-home. 3rd offense? 30% of it! That's fair.

Gee whiz, and there's no way whatsoever to avoid it except not driving more than 15 mph over the posted limit when you're just a few feet away from vulnerable workers.

It's annoying and wrong that the fines are so much more onerous the poorer you are, but the problem there is more that the penalty is immaterial to the rich than that it's unfair to the poor.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea2nug wrote

>And making it a lesser civil fine frequently makes it nearly impossible to fight.

State regs about marking work zones are strict and specific enough that if a contractor was violating them in any way, you could easily get one of these tickets thrown out. That's probably why they made the fines (warning, $75, $150 for the first three offenses) relatively low - people will just pay them without complaint to avoid further hassle, even if they are not actually legally liable.


Miles_vel_Day t1_jea19hr wrote

The DOT has strict regulations for how work zones should be marked. If you feel like a work zone has come up unexpectedly, it's very possible that the contractor is violating these regulations. If/when it happens to you again I would genuinely recommend calling the DOT to report what you see.


Miles_vel_Day t1_je1y6ya wrote

I agree with you that the city needs to vastly improve its transit network, and people from the immediate area getting to the hospital without using their cars would be great. But $47 million wouldn't really get you that much in terms of building out your transit, unfortunately. The first stage of the Fastrak line alone cost $600 million...