Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Road rules once again

Okay let's try this again. The pretty sign with a number in it is a conditional maximum limit. That doesn't mean that if you travel at that speed it's 'safe' it depends on the conditions. That number has, normally, been determined by considering at what speed the majority of vehicles travelling in good light conditions, with good road conditions can safely do.

Given that it's dull and icy no-one should be travelling at that speed.

Likewise given said conditions vehicles should allow some extra distance between themselves as even though the main roads look clear you may not stop in quite the distance you might think.

Finally although it is dull it's not dark. If you want to put your side-lights on for reassurance feel free, but there's no need to put your full lights on. Unless you can't see without them on in which case you have much more troubling problems to contend with and probably shouldn't be driving at all. Sadly as far as I know there is no rule about lights except when you must have them turned on. So in theory you could (and I know some that do) drive around in broad daylight with them turned on.


Orphi said...

More puzzling is the guy who was driving past with his fog lights on. Now, sure, the horizon four miles away did look kinda foggy. But it wasn't exactly limited visibility.

On the other hand, maybe it was actually foggy wherever he just came from…

FlipC said...

Yes I see many with at least front fog lights on, you know those double set of headlights they've had fitted.

And yes I hear the excuse that it might have been dark/foggy at some point during their driving; but that's the same level of excuse as leaving your indicator on after making a turn. If you don't know what your car is currently doing you're not fit to drive.

Orphi said...

Some people just have their fog lights on every single day, always. Which is just silly.

This guy might have been over-reacting to the weather, or it might have been more foggy where he came from. Unlike a turn, fog generally doesn't just suddenly start and stop, but fades out very gradually. It can be hard to notice the gradual change in conditions.

…or maybe this specific guy really was just an idiot. :-)

FlipC said...

Just driving in with a very light mist and there were those driving along with their full lights on. When I left the house I turned my sidelights on, I saw the mild mist and turned my full lights on and saw no difference to the light levels so I turned them back down again.

Driving along I could quite clearly see those with just their sidelights on and was dazzled by those with full lights on.

Orphi said...

Heh, I remember when we travelled to the Isle of White. Now that was fog! And no amount of playing with the controls for the lights made a scrap of difference.

Why, we stopped off at a service station at one point, so we could stretch our legs. Picture the scene: It's night, and with the engine stopped it's completely silent. You can't see the street lights, only vague orange orbs above your head.

I stepped about 6 feet away from the car, and suddenly realised that I couldn't actually see the car any more! Nor the two other people standing within 12 feet of me!! It was hard to believe that the world actually existed; it seemed that I was in an empty void filled with endless myst. Jesus, that was scary! o_O

In the end, we had to find the car by calling to each other, triangulating the direction of the voices, and homing in on the center point. It's really quite something to be unable to see a large metal object only a few feet away.

Driving to the ferry, I don't think we once exceeded 4 MPH. No matter what light settings, you could literally only see the road a few feet in front of the headlights. The fog was so dense and swirly. Sea myst? Not half!

…so yeah, when I see a bright sunny morning where the horizon 4 miles away is slightly indistinct, and yet people are driving around with their main beam and fog lights on, I'm not too sympathetic. :-P