on the edge

computers & technology, books & writing, civilisation & society, cars & stuff

Greg Black

gjb at gbch dot net
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If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

FQE30 at speed


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Worthy organisations

Amnesty International Australia — global defenders of human rights

global defenders of human rights

Médecins Sans Frontières — help us save lives around the world

Médecins Sans Frontières - help us save lives around the world

Electronic Frontiers Australia — protecting and promoting on-line civil liberties in Australia

Electronic Frontiers Australia


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)

Software resources

GNU Emacs


The FreeBSD Project

Tue, 09 Nov 2004

Speed limits do more harm than good

I generally regard speed limits as stupid and hold the people who set them and those who enforce them in contempt. This morning I saw a classic illustration. It’s school time, so there’s a limit of 40 km/h in a narrow street with the usual assortment of badly parked cars, kids milling about, etc. There’s also a cop with a hand held radar gun.

I’m in a line of cars, all travelling at around the limit (which is the right speed for the conditions). The front car sees the cop, and jumps on the brakes just in case. The next two cars take their eyes off the road at the same moment to check their speedos. Result, three cars joined nose to tail with a total repair bill approaching $10k. Luckily, no kids chose that same moment to step into the road.

If there was no set limit and therefore no case for the cop to be there revenue-raising, these drivers might all have kept their eyes where they should have rather than diverting their attention from the real world to their speedo. The authorities pretend that these speed limits are imposed to make things safe for the kids; in reality, they add to the dangers.