Road Rules http://roadrules.ca en California Desert Cities Designed for the Automobile http://roadrules.ca/content/california-desert-cities-designed-automobile <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">514</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Although the history of Palm Springs, California dates back thousands of years, modern Palm Springs is relatively young. Incorporated in 1938, the city is celebrating its 75-year history this April as one of the most famous summer-in-the-winter playgrounds in the world, frequented or visited by Hollywood stars, European royalty, international business tycoons and, at Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s Sunnylands, many world leaders. Canadians from all parts of Canada have wintered in Palm Springs for many years and the number of ‘snowbirds’ continues to grow. </p> <p>Seventy-five years young makes Palm Springs and the other even younger ‘down-valley’ desert cities almost pure offspring of the automobile. All of the desert cities attach northward to the Interstate 10 (I-10), the southernmost transcontinental highway in the US Interstate Highway System stretching from the Pacific Ocean at State Route 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway) in Santa Monica, California to Interstate 95 in Jacksonville, Florida.<br /> Arteries of the highway system extending south from the I-10 designate the main checkerboard layout originally developed by the US federal government in the late 1870’s to encourage completion of a railroad to the Pacific through land grants to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Many of these arterial roads are named after movie stars, presidents, founding fathers, and highlights of the desert geography.</p> <p>Visitors enjoy hearing that Sunnylands, for example, is at a corner or a road named of “Bob Hope”. The arteries extend southward to the secondary Highway 111, which is the extension of the southbound main street of Palm Springs, Palm Canyon Drive. Highway 111 is the main southern artery linking all of the cities. All of these arteries are multi-laned, divided roadways with right and left-turn pullouts, including dedicated left turn signal guides.</p> <p>Pavement markings reinforce the modern well-lit 3-D signage. Pedestrian crossings are of the latest design. Speed limits are well marked and any changes or variations are often reinforced with flashing signs. Traffic on both arteries and secondary roads is relatively light and traffic jams are highly unusual. Most street parking is free. Most shopping mall parking is free and abundant. Vancouver visitors, starving at home for such an efficient and easy to use road system, might wonder whether such an elaborate infrastructure is overbuilt for the population it supports. </p> <p>Despite this high quality infrastructure, however, reports of fatality and injury from crashes are regular features of the local newspapers. The usual culprits prevail: drunk drivers, excessive speeders (when the speed limits are already astronomical at 50 MPH!), distracted drivers, and lots of senior drivers. Young men, though, predominate as both victims and delinquent drivers. </p> <p>One wonders what Hans Monderman would have thought of the desert cities roadway infrastructure. He was the Dutch road traffic engineer who developed the mentally challenging urban design concept of "shared space", whereby minimizing the demarcation between vehicle traffic and pedestrians by removing features such as curbs, surface markings, traffic signs, and regulations would, theoretically, improve traffic efficiency and safety by forcing each road-user to skillfully negotiate a movement directly with others.</p> <p>Mr. Monderman, however, was focused on European pre-automobile cities which, because of ancient road design, require a much different approach to living with the automobile.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/553&amp;title=California Desert Cities Designed for the Automobile" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/553&amp;t=California Desert Cities Designed for the Automobile" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/553" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/553&amp;title=California Desert Cities Designed for the Automobile&amp;summary=Although the history of Palm Springs, California dates back thousands of years, modern Palm Springs is relatively young. Incorporated in 1938, the city is celebrating its 75-year history this April as one of the most famous summer-in-the-winter playgrounds in the world, frequented or visited by Hollywood stars, European royalty, international business tycoons and, at Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s Sunnylands, many world leaders. Canadians from all parts of Canada have wintered in Palm Springs for many years and the number of ‘snowbirds’ continues to grow. Seventy-five years young makes Palm Springs and the other even younger ‘down-valley’ desert cities almost pure offspring of the automobile.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/553&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/553&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=California Desert Cities Designed for the Automobile&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/553" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 15:09:00 +0000 Cedric Hughes 553 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/california-desert-cities-designed-automobile#comments How Movies Portray Driving: Reality and Fiction http://roadrules.ca/content/how-movies-portray-driving-reality-and-fiction <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">513</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>The origins of moving picture technology, like the origins of automobile technology, date back to the 19th century. Twentieth-century ingenuity and industriousness developed them to their current state of sophistication.</p> <p>In many respects, the way we think about ourselves, our potentialities, and our relationship with others, and indeed the world at large, has been shaped by the way these two technologies have intertwined, and continue to intertwine. A big generalization for sure, but perhaps it underlies the difficulties we are having, collectively, with controlling distracted driving behaviours.</p> <p>Through the ‘magic of television’, for example, we are used to seeing real life characters we admire look and talk to us directly while they are driving. A particular cooking show host, for example, often transports her kitchen creations by car to the friends she so generously feeds and entertains. In close-up she drives and talks, recapping the purpose of her efforts and tantalizing viewers with the delights of the ‘reveal’ we are about to see. You are ‘so with her’ on this journey.</p> <p>But as with cooking, timing is everything and there is the matter of the niggling feeling that if the cook doesn’t get her eyes back on the road soon and concentrate on her driving and the road ahead, all of her lovely platters, bread baskets and cake trays may come to a tragic end when she brakes suddenly. Of course we never actually see ‘this take.’</p> <p>We can debate forever the influences of fictional portrayals on real world behaviours, but whether or not we ever fully understand the connection, we can say with certainty that there are many stock portrayals of the automobile in ‘moving pictures’ that achieve the intended dramatic effect but that would likely be catastrophic in real life. Even the simplest shot of two characters —one driving— in the front seat of a moving car as the setting for an intense conversation or for discord, is fraught with risk. But this is a common motif.</p> <p>In one recent film, a husband actually jumps out of a moving car driven by his wife while she is attempting to give explanation to her misbehavior. While this dramatic action is intended to show us how upset he is, the complete lack of physical harm in these circumstances must be pure fantasy.</p> <p>The flip side of the “absurd risk/no injuries” scenario is the scene that dwells on a driver happily driving along having a nice day. We then know that this is not going to end well and the scene usually portends for the driver, unexpected disaster. And even when a character’s eyes are firmly fixed on the road ahead, the movies often (rightly) show the risk from internal distraction.</p> <p>Chases involving automobiles continue to become ever more cleverly choreographed and fantastical. Perhaps we have reached the point where the fantasy is so highly developed that any connection to real world consequences has long been severed. Action heroes, real or animated, are in reality just cartoon characters.</p> <p>Movies are just movies, with the results controlled by a scriptwriter. Day to day driving is not scripted. And the outcome is controllable only to a limited degree by driving carefully. The unexpected is always the reality.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/552&amp;title=How Movies Portray Driving: Reality and Fiction" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/552&amp;t=How Movies Portray Driving: Reality and Fiction" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/552" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/552&amp;title=How Movies Portray Driving: Reality and Fiction&amp;summary=The origins of moving picture technology, like the origins of automobile technology, date back to the 19th century. Twentieth-century ingenuity and industriousness developed them to their current state of sophistication. In many respects, the way we think about ourselves, our potentialities, and our relationship with others, and indeed the world at large, has been shaped by the way these two technologies have intertwined, and continue to intertwine. A big generalization for sure, but perhaps it underlies the difficulties we are having, collectively, with controlling distracted driving behaviours. Through the ‘magic of television’, for example, we are used to seeing real life characters we admire look and talk to us directly while they are driving. A particular cooking show host, for example, often transports her kitchen creations by car to the friends she so generously feeds and entertains.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/552&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/552&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=How Movies Portray Driving: Reality and Fiction&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/552" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 17:31:07 +0000 Cedric Hughes 552 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/how-movies-portray-driving-reality-and-fiction#comments Progress in Reducing Dependence on Oil? http://roadrules.ca/content/progress-reducing-dependence-oil <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">512</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>In mid-March 2013, the US National Research Council in the report Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels assessed the potential for vehicle and fuel technologies to achieve substantial reductions in petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 relative to 2005.</p> <p>Specifically this report attempts to determine how the ‘on-road light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet—for the past century powered almost exclusively by the internal combustion engine operating on petroleum fuel—could reduce, using 2005 as the baseline, “petroleum use by 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, and GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050.”</p> <p>Two reasons motivated this assessment: the ongoing concern over US energy security, given the continuing high level of petroleum importation—LDVs account for almost half of US petroleum usage, half of which, in turn, is imported, and concern over the effect of GHGs on climate—LDVs account for about 17 percent of total US GHG emissions. </p> <p>The report examines the technologies that “could contribute significantly” to achieving these goals but also the barriers potentially hindering their adoption. It identifies what it calls “four general pathways”: highly efficient internal combustion engine vehicles, and vehicles powered by biofuels, electricity or hydrogen.</p> <p>Natural gas vehicles, a potential fifth pathway, are discounted because, while capable of contributing to the reduced petroleum consumption goal for 2030, their GHG emissions are too high for the 2050 GHG goal. For many reasons consumers today are enjoying more car for their ‘buck’ than they have in a long time.</p> <p>The report predicts, however, that ‘transition’ will come with an increased price tag. “All the vehicles considered,” it says, “will be several thousand dollars more expensive than today’s conventional vehicles, even by 2050, and near-term costs for battery and fuel cell vehicles will be considerably higher.” While it notes that driving costs per mile will be lower, especially for natural gas or electric vehicles, vehicle cost will likely be a significant issue for consumers.</p> <p>Predicting what is achievable where the factors include predicting complex technological developments, consumer reaction and behavior, and, indeed, even the continuing relevance of the underlying premises is almost impossible. Nevertheless a few items in the report stand out as unassailable:</p> <p>1. Policies designed with the achievement of these goals in mind will be essential.<br /> 2. As the report puts it “All the successful scenarios combine highly efficient vehicles with at least one of the other three pathways. Large gains beyond the standards proposed for 2025 are feasible from engine and drivetrain efficiency improvements and load reduction….”<br /> 3. Battery costs will drop but limited range and long recharge times are likely to limit all-electric vehicles to local driving.<br /> 4. Battery technology development faces serious challenges.<br /> 5. Developing the fuelling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles also faces serious challenges.<br /> 6. GHG benefits from electric or fuel cell vehicles may still depend on the successful implementation of carbon capture and storage.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/551&amp;title=Progress in Reducing Dependence on Oil?" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/551&amp;t=Progress in Reducing Dependence on Oil?" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/551" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/551&amp;title=Progress in Reducing Dependence on Oil?&amp;summary=In mid-March 2013, the US National Research Council in the report Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels assessed the potential for vehicle and fuel technologies to achieve substantial reductions in petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 relative to 2005. Specifically this report attempts to determine how the ‘on-road light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet—for the past century powered almost exclusively by the internal combustion engine operating on petroleum fuel—could reduce, using 2005 as the baseline, “petroleum use by 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, and GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050.” Two reasons motivated this assessment: the ongoing concern over US energy security, given the continuing high level of petroleum importation—LDVs account for almost half of US petroleum usage, half of which, in turn, is imported, and concern over the effect of GHGs on climate—LDVs account for about 17 percent of total US GHG emissions.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/551&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/551&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=Progress in Reducing Dependence on Oil?&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/551" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 19:03:55 +0000 Cedric Hughes 551 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/progress-reducing-dependence-oil#comments Keep Your Eyes on the Road http://roadrules.ca/content/keep-your-eyes-road <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">509</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>As the search for technologies to address distracted driving continues, the problem also continues despite laws against it and educational efforts including messaging in all forms of media. One media effort, <a href="http://www.distraction.gov">www.distraction.gov</a> is the official US government website devoted to distracted driving. It begins with a definition of distracted driving that every driver should keep in mind (paraphrased):<br /> Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Distractions include:</p> <p>1. Texting —Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.<br /> 2. Using a cell phone or smartphone<br /> 3. Eating and drinking<br /> 4. Talking to passengers<br /> 5. Grooming<br /> 6. Reading, including maps<br /> 7. Using a navigation system<br /> 8. Watching a video<br /> 9. Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player.</p> <p>To the above list should be added:</p> <p>10. Supervising children<br /> 11. Managing pets, such as dogs</p> <p>The site lists the following key facts and statistics (and cites sources) underlying the definition. Regarding texting and why it is defined as the “most alarming distraction’: </p> <p>• In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009 (CTIA-The Wireless Association)<br /> • Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (VTTI –Virginia Tech Transportation Institute)<br /> • Texting takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, long enough at 55 mph/88kph to drive the length of a football field blind. (VTTI)</p> <p>Regarding using a cell phone or smart phone:</p> <p>• 40% of all US teens report being in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew Research Centre)<br /> • Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Monash University)<br /> • Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)<br /> • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)</p> <p>Examples 3 through 6 are ranked so highly because they are habitual for so many drivers that it’s easy to discount them as distractions. We live, after all, in a drive-through world. The last three items seem so obviously distracting, especially item 8 —Watching a video— as to be almost unnecessary. Many of these come with warnings and built in dis-functionality while the car is in gear. But these, too, are no longer novelty frills and, indeed, have become habitual to the point of disregard as distractions. </p> <p>Seeing other drivers involved in distracting activities remains common. Hence the following statistics on <a href="http://www.distraction.gov:">www.distraction.gov:</a></p> <p>• In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in distracted driving crashes —3,267 in 2010.<br /> • In 2011, 387,000 people were injured in distracted driving crashes —416,000 in 2010.<br /> • In 2010, 18% of injury crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.<br /> • 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of distracted drivers. </p> <p>Obviously many drivers continue to believe that they can defy these odds.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/550&amp;title=Keep Your Eyes on the Road" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/550&amp;t=Keep Your Eyes on the Road" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/550" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/550&amp;title=Keep Your Eyes on the Road&amp;summary=As the search for technologies to address distracted driving continues, the problem also continues despite laws against it and educational efforts including messaging in all forms of media. One media effort, www.distraction.gov is the official US government website devoted to distracted driving. It begins with a definition of distracted driving that every driver should keep in mind (paraphrased): Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/550&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/550&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=Keep Your Eyes on the Road&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/550" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 01:11:58 +0000 Cedric Hughes 550 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/keep-your-eyes-road#comments The Car Knows When You Are Driving Without Due Care http://roadrules.ca/content/car-knows-when-you-are-driving-without-due-care <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">508</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Driver assistance systems provide information to drivers, intervene in critical situations to carry out the driver's commands more securely, while still not wholly relieving the driver of responsibility, but if necessary, will assume control in emergency situations. Emergency brake assist, traffic sign recognition, electronic stability control, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, intelligent headlamp control, adaptive cruise control—all of these systems fall under the rubric of ‘driver assistance’. All of them, in various degrees, have proven their effectiveness in avoiding or reducing the consequences of driver mistakes.</p> <p>Indeed, without these technologies, traffic safety experts believe the goal of halving fatality and injury on the roadways of the highly motorized countries in Europe and North America is probably unattainable. So even as the self-driving, wholly automated, automobile remains the panacea, expect the list of driver assistance systems to continue to grow, especially as automotive engineers struggle with attempting to offset the effects of evermore in-vehicle distractions from infotainment technologies and on-road distractions from dense urban traffic and the stresses and strains of modern driving life.</p> <p>One of the latest such systems, developed by world-wide auto parts supplier Continental and researchers at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany, aims to maintain driver awareness at optimum levels even during wholly automated driving situations. Installed in a 2013 Cadillac XTS, a prototype now called the ‘Driver Focus’ vehicle, the system is designed to draw a distracted driver’s eyes back to the road.</p> <p>Consisting of an infrared driver analyzer camera positioned in the car’s steering column to track the driver’s gaze, a series of forward-looking sensors positioned to detect a potential traffic hazard, and a single line of interior LED lights that wrap around the entire cabin, the system is activated by the sensors detecting a potential traffic hazard at the same time the analyzer camera detects that the driver’s eyes are not on the road. When these two eventualities intersect, the trail of LED lights wrapping around the cabin is activated—hence the term ‘halo’ for this system.</p> <p>Zachary Bolton, Project Engineer for Algorithm Development at Continental Automotive Systems explains: “[A] comet starts at the point where the driver is currently looking, and then moves to the critical area where the driver needs to focus. The light trail acts as an intuitive guide to the driver.” The prototype driver analyzer camera is the key element of this system. Consistently illuminating the driver’s face, the infrared camera recognizes the direction of the driver’s gaze regardless of the ambient light intensity, color, or shadows. The camera is “focused directly on the driver’s face, so it is only his or her movements and actions that are being tracked in-vehicle,” Mr. Bolton has noted.</p> <p>Whether or not this ‘halo’ system will become the optimal, practical solution and hence establish a new standard, the need for technology systems designed specifically to address distracted driving is unassailable. According to the US Department of Transportation, each day, crashes in which distracted driving is a causal factor lead to 10 deaths and 1,100 injuries.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/549&amp;title=The Car Knows When You Are Driving Without Due Care" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/549&amp;t=The Car Knows When You Are Driving Without Due Care" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/549" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/549&amp;title=The Car Knows When You Are Driving Without Due Care&amp;summary=Driver assistance systems provide information to drivers, intervene in critical situations to carry out the driver's commands more securely, while still not wholly relieving the driver of responsibility, but if necessary, will assume control in emergency situations. Emergency brake assist, traffic sign recognition, electronic stability control, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, intelligent headlamp control, adaptive cruise control—all of these systems fall under the rubric of ‘driver assistance’. All of them, in various degrees, have proven their effectiveness in avoiding or reducing the consequences of driver mistakes. Indeed, without these technologies, traffic safety experts believe the goal of halving fatality and injury on the roadways of the highly motorized countries in Europe and North America is probably unattainable.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/549&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/549&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=The Car Knows When You Are Driving Without Due Care&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/549" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Tue, 19 Mar 2013 18:35:40 +0000 Cedric Hughes 549 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/car-knows-when-you-are-driving-without-due-care#comments Computer Monitored Driving May Lead to Lower Insurance Rates http://roadrules.ca/content/computer-monitored-driving-may-lead-lower-insurance-rates <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">507</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>"Telematics" is the word first introduced in 1978 to denote the long-distance transmission of computer-based information. As the technologies encompassed by this term evolved so its meaning expanded to include the various automatic systems in automobiles, such as emergency warning systems, GPS navigation, integrated hands-free cell phones, wireless safety communications and automatic driving assistance systems.</p> <p>Lately the term ‘telematics’ is also being paired with ‘insurance’ to describe a new type of auto insurance that, instead of setting rates based on crude demographic data, can set a personalized rate for a customer who is willing to have his or her driving behavior recorded and delivered directly to the auto insurer.</p> <p>Insurers are taking a variety of approaches to determining what driving record data is relevant for setting personalized rates. As a recent article in The Economist magazine puts it: “In America, the focus is on how much time a car spends on the road, or pay-when-you-drive”. Europe, where Britain and Italy lead the field, has typically emphasized driver ability, pay-as-you-drive, tallying how often brakes are slammed or corners taken on two wheels.</p> <p>Some devices include location-tracking options that can figure out if, say, a car is doing 80mph in a 50mph zone. There are also two approaches to recording driver behavior: one involves installing a device in the customer’s car that records the relevant data and sends it directly to the insurer; another uses interactive Smartphone based technology. </p> <p>In Europe ‘telematics insurance’ is increasingly popular. In May 2010, a British insurance company, insurethebox, pioneered telematics-based car insurance and rapidly acquired more than 75% of the telematics car insurance policies in the UK. When a ruling from the European Court of Justice that insurance premiums after 21 December 2012 must be ‘gender-neutral’ resulted in an increase in insurance rates for young woman under 25 years of age to the same levels as those paid by (more crash-prone) young men, the insurer seized the moment.<br /> Insurethbox, having collected over 450 million miles of telematics data confirming that young women are safer drivers than young men and cost insurers much less, launched a ‘sister-brand’—Drive Like a Girl, which it describes on <a href="http://drivelikeagirl.com">http://drivelikeagirl.com</a> as follows: Drive like a girl can help you [meaning both young women and young men] beat the EU Gender Ruling by putting the power in your hands - letting you prove how safely you drive, and be rewarded accordingly.”<br /> Other insurance companies like telematics insurance too. Dave Pratt, the general manager of the telematics division at the American underwriter, Progressive says it provides “a way of actually identifying better drivers” and that this is a “huge advantage.” A side benefit is the help it gives with identifying insurance scams such as inflated claims. Progressive says “a third of new business comes via its telematics scheme.”<br /> Progressive has also addressed invasion of privacy concerns by customers and regulators alike by not monitoring cars’ locations and by limiting data collection to a six month period thereby establishing a ‘snapshot’ of driving frequency and style that sets a permanent discount.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/548&amp;title=Computer Monitored Driving May Lead to Lower Insurance Rates" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/548&amp;t=Computer Monitored Driving May Lead to Lower Insurance Rates" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/548" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/548&amp;title=Computer Monitored Driving May Lead to Lower Insurance Rates&amp;summary="Telematics" is the word first introduced in 1978 to denote the long-distance transmission of computer-based information. As the technologies encompassed by this term evolved so its meaning expanded to include the various automatic systems in automobiles, such as emergency warning systems, GPS navigation, integrated hands-free cell phones, wireless safety communications and automatic driving assistance systems. Lately the term ‘telematics’ is also being paired with ‘insurance’ to describe a new type of auto insurance that, instead of setting rates based on crude demographic data, can set a personalized rate for a customer who is willing to have his or her driving behavior recorded and delivered directly to the auto insurer. Insurers are taking a variety of approaches to determining what driving record data is relevant for setting personalized rates.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/548&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/548&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=Computer Monitored Driving May Lead to Lower Insurance Rates&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/548" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 21:05:42 +0000 Cedric Hughes 548 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/computer-monitored-driving-may-lead-lower-insurance-rates#comments If the Police Say You Are Guilty, You Must Be Guilty? http://roadrules.ca/content/if-police-say-you-are-guilty-you-must-be-guilty <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">506</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Hill Air Force Base located about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City is an Air Force Materiel Command base of the United States Air Force. It is the largest employer in Utah with about 10,000 civilians on the roll. Its primary mission is to provide engineering and logistics management for F-16 Fighting Falcons, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, and Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.</p> <p>Michael Choate, an aircraft logistics specialist worked at the base until his retirement. But his record, alas, was not without incident. A few Halloweens ago, driving while dressed in costume, he was stopped by Utah state trooper and ‘breathalyzed’ three times. Although each test reportedly produced a zero blood alcohol reading, the officer charged Mr. Choate with impaired driving. With his security clearance and ultimately his job on the line, Mr. Choate was forced to spend $3,800 and four days off work to have this DUI charge dismissed.</p> <p>It now appears that Mr. Choate may not have been the only non-impaired driver ever ‘caught’ by the officer who arrested him. A 49-page lawsuit filed in December 2012 by attorney Michael Studebaker against the arresting officer, State Trooper Lisa Steed and the Utah Highway Patrol alleges that the officer filed bogus DUI reports, so many in fact that the suit includes a request for classification as a class action involving as many as 1,500 complainants and dating back to every one of the officer’s DUI charges since 2006. </p> <p>The State of Utah, as many Road Rules readers likely know, has some of the strictest liquor laws in America and a long tradition of a teetotalling citizenry. Nevertheless, Trooper Steed, from the time she joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 2002, managed to excel at nabbing drunken motorists, so much so that she set records that resulted in her becoming the first woman to be named trooper of the year at the end of her first five years on the job. She had a knack for nabbing drunken motorists; an “uncanny talent” as one of her supervisors once described it.</p> <p>Ms. Steed is now unemployed after having been fired from the Utah Highway Patrol. The Utah Highway Patrol stands accused by the lawsuit of ignoring Ms. Steed’s patterns of higher-than-normal DUI charges and of waiting too long to remove her from duty. Mr. Studebaker has been quoted as saying, “If we don’t stand up to Lisa Steed or law enforcement, they just pull people over for whatever reason they want.”</p> <p>Ms. Steed has denied the allegations and is trying to get her job back. The Utah Highway Patrol has declined comment. Dozens of drivers nabbed by Ms. Steed have expressed a willingness to tell their stories and be included in the lawsuit. Hence the class action request. </p> <p>While law enforcement overreach is a popular theme in TV shows and Hollywood movies, real life cases implicating individual officers acting alone like the Steed case appears to be are rare, especially in the area of traffic law enforcement. Systemic overreaching by law enforcement is one of the issues that well-designed regulatory systems contain and control. Careful record keeping and analysis is an important administrative tool for these purposes.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/547&amp;title=If the Police Say You Are Guilty, You Must Be Guilty?" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/547&amp;t=If the Police Say You Are Guilty, You Must Be Guilty?" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/547" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/547&amp;title=If the Police Say You Are Guilty, You Must Be Guilty?&amp;summary=Hill Air Force Base located about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City is an Air Force Materiel Command base of the United States Air Force. It is the largest employer in Utah with about 10,000 civilians on the roll. Its primary mission is to provide engineering and logistics management for F-16 Fighting Falcons, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, and Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles. Michael Choate, an aircraft logistics specialist worked at the base until his retirement. But his record, alas, was not without incident. A few Halloweens ago, driving while dressed in costume, he was stopped by Utah state trooper and ‘breathalyzed’ three times. Although each test reportedly produced a zero blood alcohol reading, the officer charged Mr. Choate with impaired driving. With his security clearance and ultimately his job on the line, Mr. Choate was forced to spend $3,800 and four days off work to have this DUI charge dismissed. It now appears that Mr.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/547&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/547&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=If the Police Say You Are Guilty, You Must Be Guilty?&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/547" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 21:45:03 +0000 Cedric Hughes 547 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/if-police-say-you-are-guilty-you-must-be-guilty#comments From Drones to Driverless Cars http://roadrules.ca/content/drones-driverless-cars <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">505</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>The use of unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) – also called drones – in ‘targeted killing’ is a national security topic not commonly addressed in ‘the US national conversation’. In early February 2013, however, the US Senate confirmation hearing for the nominee for CIA director, John O. Brennan, offered a unique opportunity for public airing of the many complex issues it involves, given Mr. Brennan’s role as a top counterterrorism adviser to the President and a leading architect of US drone policy.</p> <p>Although ‘collateral damage’ questions were raised, there having been some cases in which precision was degraded to blunt force, the sophistication of drone technology was a given. The more pressing matter seemed to be what legal framework should govern the use of this type of weaponry now and in the not so distant future as the other 14 countries with known operational armed drones continue to develop this military capability.</p> <p>David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker likened American’s current position with drones to its position with nuclear weapons in 1945. “… This technology … is going to change the morality, psychology, and strategic thinking of warfare for years to come. [And] … it’s inevitable that other countries —including countries that are hardly American allies—will follow. Then what? We want to have it both ways: to be rid of terrorist threats without going to war in the old way, and not to have to think about the ramifications.”</p> <p>Drone vehicles have also been developed for underwater uses for military, industrial and scientific research purposes, and as ground vehicles for “both civilian and military use to perform a variety of dull, dirty, and dangerous activities.” In the US, the development of remote-operated and autonomous unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) has been spurred by ‘The DARPA Grand Challenge’, a competition funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the most prominent research organization of the US Defense Department.</p> <p>There have been three ‘Grand challenges’ to date, the last one in 2007 requiring the competing unmanned vehicles to navigate in under six hours a 96 km urban area course while obeying all traffic regulations, negotiating with other traffic and obstacles, and merging into traffic. Six teams completed the course with Tartan Racing from Carnegie Mellon University winning the $2 million prize with their vehicle "Boss," a Chevy Tahoe. The 2012 challenge focuses on humanoid robotics with the primary goal of developing “ground robotic capabilities to execute complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments.”</p> <p>This snapshot of the current advanced state of development of unmanned vehicles—mostly for military purposes— raises questions about the development of the driverless car: the current state of its technological sophistication, the nature of the legal framework that will need to be in place during its ‘uptake’ period and the efforts underway to build this framework. We should be asking these questions. The driverless car holds the promise of the safest, most fuel efficient and free-flowing transportation system the world has ever seen.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/546&amp;title=From Drones to Driverless Cars" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/546&amp;t=From Drones to Driverless Cars" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/546" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/546&amp;title=From Drones to Driverless Cars&amp;summary=The use of unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) – also called drones – in ‘targeted killing’ is a national security topic not commonly addressed in ‘the US national conversation’. In early February 2013, however, the US Senate confirmation hearing for the nominee for CIA director, John O. Brennan, offered a unique opportunity for public airing of the many complex issues it involves, given Mr. Brennan’s role as a top counterterrorism adviser to the President and a leading architect of US drone policy. Although ‘collateral damage’ questions were raised, there having been some cases in which precision was degraded to blunt force, the sophistication of drone technology was a given.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/546&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/546&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=From Drones to Driverless Cars&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/546" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 01:16:55 +0000 Cedric Hughes 546 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/drones-driverless-cars#comments Drinking and Driving and Penalties Based on Reliable Evidence http://roadrules.ca/content/drinking-and-driving-and-penalties-based-reliable-evidence <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">504</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>BC’s drinking and driving laws under the BC Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) are back in the news. The Port Moody police announced at the end of January 2013 that a review of the screening devices they had been using for roadside breathalyzer testing has confirmed calibration errors resulting in faulty readings in 14 out of the 174 immediate roadside suspensions they issued in 2011.</p> <p>A police spokesman said, “As a department, we’re sorry for any inconveniences this has caused drivers. We’ve learned a lot from this mistake and updated our policies and procedures to prevent incidents like this … in the future.” The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles said it “has reviewed each file and will be contacting the 14 affected drivers cancelling their Immediate Roadside Prohibitions and penalties.”</p> <p>Only days later, a successful court challenge prompted the Justice Ministry to cancel the requirement for 1,137 drivers who failed roadside breathalyzer tests — i.e., they blew over .08— to attend the responsible driving program and install ignition-lock systems in their vehicles. All of these cases occurred prior to the November 2011 ruling in which parts of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) rules that came into effect in BC in September 2010 were found to be unconstitutional for failing to provide sufficient challenge and appeal mechanisms.</p> <p>This latest successful court challenge was based on the discrepancy between the new IRP rules and a pre-existing provision in the MVA. The new IRP rules mandated the education/equipment requirement with no regard for the driver’s driving record and whether or not this was a first time incident. Other provisions of the MVA, however, say that the education/equipment requirement is discretionary on the part of the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles based on reviewing the person’s driving record.</p> <p>If nothing more, this news is a reminder of the new rules, an update on the enforcement efforts behind them, and an update on their effectiveness. We have learned that since the rules came into effect, 40,000 IRPs have been issued and “about 26,000 drivers failed … and were given 90-day driving prohibitions as well as referrals to education and ignition-interlock programs.”</p> <p>In total 35,000 people have been subjected to the ‘education/equipment’ requirement. The good news is that the ‘lives saved’ tally continues to rise. In June 2012, the government said drunk-driving fatalities had fallen by 44% in the first 17 months of the new rules—a percentage representing 71 lives saved. In January 2013, the BC Justice Minister was quoted as saying the government will “stick to its impaired-driving program that has saved as many as 104 lives since September 2010.”</p> <p>It is also a reminder of the ongoing debate about the appropriate level and exercise of regulatory control over drinking and driving behaviour. While there is widespread intolerance for impaired driving and, accordingly, widespread support for deterrent laws, balancing ease of enforcement against protection for individual rights under the law remains contentious. No doubt efforts to find the right balance will need to be ongoing. The Rule of Law requires due process.</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/545&amp;title=Drinking and Driving and Penalties Based on Reliable Evidence" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/545&amp;t=Drinking and Driving and Penalties Based on Reliable Evidence" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/545" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/545&amp;title=Drinking and Driving and Penalties Based on Reliable Evidence&amp;summary=BC’s drinking and driving laws under the BC Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) are back in the news. The Port Moody police announced at the end of January 2013 that a review of the screening devices they had been using for roadside breathalyzer testing has confirmed calibration errors resulting in faulty readings in 14 out of the 174 immediate roadside suspensions they issued in 2011. A police spokesman said, “As a department, we’re sorry for any inconveniences this has caused drivers.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/545&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/545&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=Drinking and Driving and Penalties Based on Reliable Evidence&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/545" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 18:10:57 +0000 Cedric Hughes 545 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/drinking-and-driving-and-penalties-based-reliable-evidence#comments The Achievements of Henry Ford http://roadrules.ca/content/achievements-henry-ford <div class="field field-name-field-articlenumber-value field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Number:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">503</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>On January 29th, 2013, PBS broadcasted Henry Ford on “American Experience,” the acclaimed and multi-award winning documentary series that “brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present.” Somewhat tepid ‘heads-up’ reviews in our various daily newspapers suggested that Henry Ford’s story and the footage used in this telling were ‘old hat.’ For automotive history buffs perhaps.</p> <p>Not so, we think, for many Road Rules readers even despite their rarified interest in and knowledge about all things ‘automotive.’ It is well worth seeing and, if you missed it, a visit to <a href="http://www.pbs.org">http://www.pbs.org</a> provides the complete transcript, a summary of the timeline, and lots of the original historical video included in the documentary. </p> <p>‘Why now?’ the interest in re-telling this story is intriguing. Sarah Colt, the writer, director, and producer, explains (the interview with her is on the above-noted website) that she finds Henry Ford’s role as a world transformer particularly relevant today as we experience the rapid tectonic shifts wrought first by computerization and next by internet access via ever smaller and more powerful ‘smart’ devices.</p> <p>Her biggest challenge was getting to know the person behind the legend, discovering his interiority, and then trying to make some sense of the immense contradictions that no doubt fuelled both his vast achievements and colossal misjudgments and failures. As time marches on, the latter, made mostly towards end of his life, have tended to overshadow and diminish the enormity of his achievements. </p> <p>This documentary reminds us of the extent to which Mr. Ford’s early genius as a mechanic, his industriousness as a poor farm boy—the eldest son of Irish immigrants—intent on making it in America, his risk-taking recklessness, and his idealistic beliefs in the rightness of self-discipline and hard work—“what he committed himself to in terms of producing a durable, affordable, effective automobile changed American life, changed American business, and changed Americans one by one, as it continues to affect us today.”</p> <p>It also shows us that whether or not he ever fully acknowledged or apologized for his failings, one way or another, he was personally brought to account -or his descendants (at least) set things right. In 1919, despite winning his libel suit against the Chicago Tribune for calling him an "ignorant idealist … and an anarchist enemy of the nation,” he was publically embarrassed by the exposure of his ignorance, inarticulateness and semi-literacy in areas of general knowledge.</p> <p>A defamation suit in the late 1920s forced an apology from him to American Jewish organizations for his anti-Semitism so scurrilous as to have caught Adolf Hitler’s attention and fandom. In 1943, despite for many years having criticized and undermined his loyal and talented son, Edsel, he was shattered by his son’s early death at the age of 49 years.</p> <p>‘Why now?’ may also be a matter of centennial marking. We learn that “By the fall of 1913, Ford had established the first automobile assembly line in the world, … controlled nearly half the American car market … [and] had achieved his coveted goal — his company was now producing 1,000 cars a day.”</p> </div></div></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="service-links-delicious first"><a href="http://del.icio.us/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/544&amp;title=The Achievements of Henry Ford" title="Bookmark this post on del.icio.us." class="service-links-delicious" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/delicious.png" alt="del.icio.us" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://roadrules.ca/node/544&amp;t=The Achievements of Henry Ford" title="Share on Facebook." class="service-links-facebook" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/facebook.png" alt="Facebook" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-google-buzz"><a href="http://www.google.com/buzz/post?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/544" title="Buzz this post on Google." class="service-links-google-buzz" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/google_buzz.png" alt="Google Buzz" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-linkedin"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=http://roadrules.ca/node/544&amp;title=The Achievements of Henry Ford&amp;summary=On January 29th, 2013, PBS broadcasted Henry Ford on “American Experience,” the acclaimed and multi-award winning documentary series that “brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present.” Somewhat tepid ‘heads-up’ reviews in our various daily newspapers suggested that Henry Ford’s story and the footage used in this telling were ‘old hat.’ For automotive history buffs perhaps. Not so, we think, for many Road Rules readers even despite their rarified interest in and knowledge about all things ‘automotive.’ It is well worth seeing and, if you missed it, a visit to http://www.pbs.org provides the complete transcript, a summary of the timeline, and lots of the original historical video included in the documentary. ‘Why now?’ the interest in re-telling this story is intriguing.&amp;source=Road Rules" title="Publish this post to LinkedIn" class="service-links-linkedin" rel="nofollow"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://roadrules.ca/sites/all/modules/service_links/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" /></a></li> <li class="service-links-facebook-like"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://roadrules.ca/node/544&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;action=like&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;width=100&amp;height=21&amp;font=&amp;locale=" title="I Like it" class="service-links-facebook-like" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Facebook Like</span></a></li> <li class="service-links-twitter-widget last"><a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=http://roadrules.ca/node/544&amp;count=horizontal&amp;via=&amp;text=The Achievements of Henry Ford&amp;counturl=http://roadrules.ca/node/544" class="twitter-share-button service-links-twitter-widget" title="Tweet This" rel="nofollow"><span class="element-invisible">Tweet Widget</span></a></li> </ul> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 19:10:54 +0000 Cedric Hughes 544 at http://roadrules.ca http://roadrules.ca/content/achievements-henry-ford#comments