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I need to travel on motorways to get to my boat and I'm assuming a number of boaters do too, so I'm asking for advice on speed.  I travel at 70 on the standard motorway, not a mph less, and quite a few people fly past me at 80 - 90 and more, including on the M25 where there are cameras everywhere. Question 1: How do they get away with it?

On some sections there are variable speed limits on gantries across the road, and, by and large, people observe these limits - but elsewhere there are the big square signs with a single speed limit with its red circle on the "floppy" bent-over posts, and nobody seems to observe these at all. What do readers of this forum do?

Finally, as you approach some congestion spots, there are variable speed limits again on gantries with the red circle meaning they are mandatory going in stages down to 60 then 50 then 40, and again nobody seems to take any notice, slowing down only when the traffic ahead is slowed. Are these signs just meant to be interpreted as a warning to gradually slow down with regard to actual speed, or are they meant to require you to limit yourself to the stated speed at the point where you reach the sign? What do the panel think? 

Edited by system 4-50

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People take chances.  Sometimes they get away with it but you aren't in their house when the little envelope drops through the letterbox.

I remember on one occasion speed restrictions within motorway roadworks were catching people by the tens of thousands.

Secondly, have you checked your speedo.  At 70, my speedo reads about 5-6mph fast, as confirmed by satnav and those roadside speed checks that display your speed back to you.

George

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1 hour ago, system 4-50 said:

I need to travel on motorways to get to my boat and I'm assuming a number of boaters do too, so I'm asking for advice on speed.  I travel at 70 on the standard motorway, not a mph less, and quite a few people fly past me at 80 - 90 and more, including on the M25 where there are cameras everywhere. Question 1: How do they get away with it? (1)

On some sections there are variable speed limits on gantries across the road, and, by and large, people observe these limits - but elsewhere there are the big square signs with a single speed limit with its red circle on the "floppy" bent-over posts, and nobody seems to observe these at all. What do readers of this forum do? (2)

Finally, as you approach some congestion spots, there are variable speed limits again on gantries with the red circle meaning they are mandatory going in stages down to 60 then 50 then 40, and again nobody seems to take any notice, slowing down only when the traffic ahead is slowed. Are these signs just meant to be interpreted as a warning to gradually slow down with regard to actual speed, or are they meant to require you to limit yourself to the stated speed at the point where you reach the sign? What do the panel think?  (3)

(1) They take a risk and gamble that the cameras aren't working.

(2) I stick to the speed limit on the sign. You don't know who is watching

(3) If the figure is surrounded by a red ccircle then it is a legal speed limit sign.They are NOT a warning, they are the limit at that sign/gantry and the speed you should pass it. The gradual reduction is so that you can gradually reduce your speed between each gantry and not have to brake.

And I have been informed today that many of the gantries on the M25 are now active continuously so are checking 70 mph even if the gantry is not lit with a lower speed.

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Current Home Office guidelines are speed limit plus 10% plus 2mph, which on a motorway is 79mph.

Most (nearly all) car speedometers read high. (Construction and Use specifies the permissible error as +10%, -0%, so manufacturers always set them to over-read, usually by 5% or so. The error gets worse as the tyres wear.)

If you are caught by a camera van on a bridge, you deserve to get done, as your observation skills are lacking. 

Fixed roadside cameras are also fairly prominent, although some are very good at blending into a grassy background. They aren't too common on motorways: there are a few, but they can suffer from cosine error when the speeding vehicle is in an outside lane. so are not commonly used, apart from in a few hot spots. 

Average speed cameras are more effective, partly because they check every vehicle, and partly because it is very difficult to judge average speed between each one, so most people, me among them, stick to the limit or just under, especially if they're associated with roadworks.

On "Smart" motorways, Gantry cameras may be average speed or instantaneous speed. They are quite well concealed, and it's best to assume every gantry has them.  If the gantries are showing a reduced speed limit, it's advisory, unless it has a red circle round it, and you have passed a "Variable Speed Limit in Force" sign, which you should have seen and noted! 

It's up to you how you manage the risk ...

 

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1 hour ago, system 4-50 said:

...quite a few people fly past me at 80 - 90 and more, including on the M25 where there are cameras everywhere. Question 1: How do they get away with it?

Do they get away with it? Granted the cameras may or may not always record their offence, but when they are prosecuted only they, their insurance company and their postman will know!  If it helps, console yourself that, however fast they think they are, their comeuppance overtakes them within a fortnight.

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1 hour ago, system 4-50 said:

I need to travel on motorways to get to my boat and I'm assuming a number of boaters do too, so I'm asking for advice on speed.  I travel at 70 on the standard motorway, not a mph less, and quite a few people fly past me at 80 - 90 and more, including on the M25 where there are cameras everywhere. Question 1: How do they get away with it?

On some sections there are variable speed limits on gantries across the road, and, by and large, people observe these limits - but elsewhere there are the big square signs with a single speed limit with its red circle on the "floppy" bent-over posts, and nobody seems to observe these at all. What do readers of this forum do?

Finally, as you approach some congestion spots, there are variable speed limits again on gantries with the red circle meaning they are mandatory going in stages down to 60 then 50 then 40, and again nobody seems to take any notice, slowing down only when the traffic ahead is slowed. Are these signs just meant to be interpreted as a warning to gradually slow down with regard to actual speed, or are they meant to require you to limit yourself to the stated speed at the point where you reach the sign? What do the panel think? 

As a certain Mr Eastwood once said in character,"Do you feel lucky?" The other drivers may well get away with it, or they may not, you never can tell until the little envelope drops through your door.

Since I no longer own a car, all of my driving is in hire vehicles, most of which seem to have cruise control. With that it is the easiest thing in the world to effortlessly stay within the speed limits, which is what I do. The other reason for it is because with a hire car, should you activate a speed camera the hire company put an additional £50 charge on the hire for administrative costs of forwarding the penalty notice to you. I don't feel that the 'pleasure' of travelling at 78mph fully compensates for the additional £150 plus 3 penalty points since that is more than I've usually paid for the car hire, so I don't do it.

One thing I do find fascinating with cruise control it that you get to find out just why your speed keeps increasing without it. On about 70% of the cars that you catch up with on cruise control, as soon as you start to go past them, they pick up speed. Now I just let them, if the cruise control takes me past them so be it, if they want to play silly buggers, let them get on with it.

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On smart mways I always use the variable speed limiter, better than cruise control, no need to keep adjusting as in cc just use the go pedal as normal. Cars are gradually being introduced with them, they are a handy bit of kit, prob be standard in years to come especially with electric cars ready to take over ic engines. 

 

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2 minutes ago, nb Innisfree said:

On smart mways I always use the variable speed limiter, better than cruise control, no need to keep adjusting as in cc just use the go pedal as normal. Cars are gradually being introduced with them, they are a handy bit of kit, prob be standard in years to come especially with electric cars ready to take over ic engines. 

 

I've seen it on some of the cars I've hired but never used it (not really knowing how it works). Does it mean that if you ever need to accelerate out of a 'situation' it'll prevent you exceeding the speed limit?

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22 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

I've seen it on some of the cars I've hired but never used it (not really knowing how it works). Does it mean that if you ever need to accelerate out of a 'situation' it'll prevent you exceeding the speed limit?

Kickdown on an auto disables it, I don' know about manuals, I would think it has a full throttle switch. It's a Mercedes invention I think, their cars have had them for the last 20 years I believe, patents last 20 years so prob why manufacturers are starting to use the technology. Once you get to grips with it (not difficult) it's very handy especially round town as you can ignore the speedo and keep your eye on traffic. You can do full power acceleration and it will reduce power just before the limit is reached, very smooth and progressive. Our '55 C class Merc speed limiter is brake assisted, if it goes downhill it uses first stage light braking, without brake lights, if closed throttle isn't sufficient to prevent overspeeding. Second stage is heavier with lights, if hill is even steeper it will also change down, works flawlessly. Our other older car is a' 03 Merc SLK which just relies on downchanges. 

Edited by nb Innisfree
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11 hours ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

 

One thing I do find fascinating with cruise control it that you get to find out just why your speed keeps increasing without it. On about 70% of the cars that you catch up with on cruise control, as soon as you start to go past them, they pick up speed. Now I just let them, if the cruise control takes me past them so be it, if they want to play silly buggers, let them get on with it.

ditto............   after I've passed them for the third time they seem to begin to understand that there is no need to compete.

I always use cruise control, speshully useful through motorway roadworks (where the cones are so often extended in distance and duration quite unnecessarily).  Whatever happened to the policy of 'lane rental' for roadworks contractors?

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9 hours ago, nb Innisfree said:

Kickdown on an auto disables it, I don' know about manuals, I would think it has a full throttle switch. It's a Mercedes invention I think, their cars have had them for the last 20 years I believe, patents last 20 years so prob why manufacturers are starting to use the technology. Once you get to grips with it (not difficult) it's very handy especially round town as you can ignore the speedo and keep your eye on traffic. You can do full power acceleration and it will reduce power just before the limit is reached, very smooth and progressive. Our '55 C class Merc speed limiter is brake assisted, if it goes downhill it uses first stage light braking, without brake lights, if closed throttle isn't sufficient to prevent overspeeding. Second stage is heavier with lights, if hill is even steeper it will also change down, works flawlessly. Our other older car is a' 03 Merc SLK which just relies on downchanges. 

Our CLK is the same and when I was driving lorries it was fitted to them [mercs] now trying to remember if any others had it?

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12 hours ago, system 4-50 said:

I need to travel on motorways to get to my boat and I'm assuming a number of boaters do too, so I'm asking for advice on speed.  I travel at 70 on the standard motorway, not a mph less, and quite a few people fly past me at 80 - 90 and more, including on the M25 where there are cameras everywhere. Question 1: How do they get away with it?

On some sections there are variable speed limits on gantries across the road, and, by and large, people observe these limits - but elsewhere there are the big square signs with a single speed limit with its red circle on the "floppy" bent-over posts, and nobody seems to observe these at all. What do readers of this forum do?

Finally, as you approach some congestion spots, there are variable speed limits again on gantries with the red circle meaning they are mandatory going in stages down to 60 then 50 then 40, and again nobody seems to take any notice, slowing down only when the traffic ahead is slowed. Are these signs just meant to be interpreted as a warning to gradually slow down with regard to actual speed, or are they meant to require you to limit yourself to the stated speed at the point where you reach the sign? What do the panel think? 

You are obviously not using a sat nav. In the 50mph roadworks there is always someone in the middle lane 'doing the speed limit' but in fact they are not as their speedo reads too high. I drift past at 51mph on the sat nav.

Also with a decent traffic cam, the sat nav tells you which gantries have the cameras, hence cars don't slow down for the others. On the routes I travel, the floppy bent over posts don't have cameras so some cars don't slow down with them.

Watch out for the guidelines quoted above. Yes that is the official line. I got caught by a 30mph camera and cited for doing 33mph. On the speed course I had to do....... there were 3 people who were being done for 32mph....all caught on the same stretch of road. You can be done for less than 10% but it is not normal.

......and the rest of the speeders? Their son in law works in the camera team. Don't laugh! Evidence our ex next door neighbour. Up and down the A470 to Merthyr each day and never caught. Just a quick phone call did the job.

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It has been widely reported very recently that some areas are focusing on a lot less tolerance, and that any transgression of limits can result in the dreaded letter.  That is, you can't rely on "plus 10%, plus 2mph", (or any other "margin").

Now that of course could be a hokum scare story, not supported by fact.

However, I'm happy to let others test the validity of it, and am trying very hard to stick within prescribed limits.

Anecdotally, many people are caught by average speed checks, simply because they don't actually understand what it means.

In recent times I have increasingly noticed large towns where really quite small signs say an average speed check is in place for the town, with little clue to the area covered.  Bedford is an obvious example I have encountered, and presumably it means if you happen to average over 30mph between two inconspicuous cameras that is enough to get done.  The cameras do not appear to be painted yellow, or obvious in any way, (if indeed there are actually many of them, even!).

Easier not to risk it, but of course that's what they  want you to think.

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13 hours ago, system 4-50 said:

I need to travel on motorways to get to my boat and I'm assuming a number of boaters do too, so I'm asking for advice on speed.

Simply stick rigidly to the road speed limits when driving to your boat.

Once you get on board your boat, and set off boating, simply do the same, (4 mph, slowing down for nothing).

You will very quickly gain back any minimal time you might have saved whilst driving to the boat, but completely avoiding any chance of a speeding conviction.

If that's not enough, increase canal speed to 5mph, as there are no cameras on the cut! :P

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13 hours ago, system 4-50 said:

I need to travel on motorways to get to my boat and I'm assuming a number of boaters do too, so I'm asking for advice on speed.  I travel at 70 on the standard motorway, not a mph less, and quite a few people fly past me at 80 - 90 and more, including on the M25 where there are cameras everywhere. Question 1: How do they get away with it?

On some sections there are variable speed limits on gantries across the road, and, by and large, people observe these limits - but elsewhere there are the big square signs with a single speed limit with its red circle on the "floppy" bent-over posts, and nobody seems to observe these at all. What do readers of this forum do?

Finally, as you approach some congestion spots, there are variable speed limits again on gantries with the red circle meaning they are mandatory going in stages down to 60 then 50 then 40, and again nobody seems to take any notice, slowing down only when the traffic ahead is slowed. Are these signs just meant to be interpreted as a warning to gradually slow down with regard to actual speed, or are they meant to require you to limit yourself to the stated speed at the point where you reach the sign? What do the panel think? 

You are probably doing about 65 mph and police forces still allow at least a ten mph margin for error so the speed catching gadgetry doesn't trigger until around a genuine 77 mph at least so if you go along at a steady indicated 80 like as not you will be ok and not causing the tail back you now cause :D

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I've noticed recently that some of the gantries on the M5/M6 have cameras mounted on them.  These are not the managed motorway ones, but other gantries which now have a camera mounted on the nearside support.

 

There is no doubt that speed limits are increasing in number, and many 40mph ones are being reduced to 30 (not to mention the likes of Bristol with a blanket 20mph).  What I dislike about these limits is that the low speed might be appropriate at certain times of the day, but at others times it is difficult to keep your speed down with no other traffic around.  Having said that, my last ticket was about 30 years ago on part of the M4 with a mandatory 50 limit. Even recently the signs are not that prominent and I understand it was a nice little earner.

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On 07/02/2018 at 09:48, dor said:

Even recently the signs are not that prominent and I understand it was a nice little earner.

 

I'm not sure that is the case. The guvverment probably just demands that speed enforcement is self-funding, a bit like the canals (in the future).

So rather like income tax rates, income from enforcement is a bell curve. No enforcement, no fines, no income. And at the other end, 100% enforcement would also result in no income from fines as no-one would speed. (Given we have the technology we could have 100% enforcement now if the govt really believed their own propaganda about speeding being so dangerous.)

So somewhere in the middle of this there will be a 'sweet spot' where the level of enforcement encourages drivers to take a chance, but enough of them get caught to generate the income to pay for the cameras, administration etc thereby creating a whole industry of employment and economic activity. 

Cynical? Moi?

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
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14 hours ago, system 4-50 said:

Question 1: How do they get away with it?

As others have said, how do you know they do? There might be lots of letters on doormats that you don't know anything about!

The important point, to my mind, is what does it matter if others choose to drive faster than you? It's actually none of your business. Drive according to the conditions and don't break the speed limits. Whether or not you agree with (1) the limit and (2) its level of enforcement, spare a thought for the police officers who have to deal with the mess when somebody splatters themselves (or others) down the road, and then have to break the news to the relatives. We are all perfectly safe at 80mph -- until the moment we suddenly find that we are not.

11 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

Cynical? Moi?

No, pragmatic.

31 minutes ago, dor said:

but at other times it is difficult to keep your speed down with no other traffic around.

Why is it more difficult? Take responsibility!

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The 10% + 2mph is only advisory, the particular police area deciding wether to apply this allowance. I'm not sure what the situation is with the gantry cameras on the m25 is, the cameras are only fitted to a small number of gantrys but I don't know many people who have been caught by them, unlike the taller yellow average speed masts which appear to be very efficient, particularly on the m3!

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On 07/02/2018 at 10:18, Machpoint005 said:

Why is it more difficult? Take responsibility!

 

Playing Devil's advocate, I find it more difficult because my cruise control doesn't work at 20mph or below. :P

Swerving off topic slightly, does anyone know why this is? Everone I know with CT says theirs does same.

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It’s interesting how differently the speed limit thing is handled here. For a start, it is illegal to have the speed camera warning system set up on one’s satnav and if one is pulled over by the police they have the right to check to see if it is operating. 

Secondly, the amount of grace one is given, over the limit, is much less than the Uk, about 5% seems to be it.

When I got caught not concentrating and doing 81 in a 70kph zone, it got me one point off my licence and a 45€ fine, but the point was returned 6 months later as there had been no more infractions since the original offence.

Doing more than 40kph over any speed limit loses you your licence on the spot: a friend’s wife was caught still doing 90kph as she arrived in a village (automatic 50kph limit) and the gendarmes were there with a hand held camera. She had her licence taken off her on the spot and had to call for a lift home...

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3 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

Playing Devil's advocate, I find it more difficult because my cruise control doesn't work at 20mph or below.

Fairy nuff, neither does mine, but isn't it a question of being in the right gear? My car won't take 6th at 20mph!

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On 07/02/2018 at 10:33, Machpoint005 said:

Fairy nuff, neither does mine, but isn't it a question of being in the right gear? My car won't take 6th at 20mph!

 

My van is automatic and knows better than me what gear it wants to be in....

 

Reminds me of that other insurance question "what gear were you in at the time of the accident?"

Answer: "tee shirt, jeans and trainers".

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3 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

My van is automatic and knows better than me what gear it wants to be in....

My car is automatic and also knows better than me what gear it wants to be in ... it can also change gear much faster than I could!

I drove my son's Volvo the other day. Aren't clutch pedals an unnecessary nuisance?

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16 hours ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

As a certain Mr Eastwood once said in character,"Do you feel lucky?" The other drivers may well get away with it, or they may not, you never can tell until the little envelope drops through your door.

Since I no longer own a car, all of my driving is in hire vehicles, most of which seem to have cruise control. With that it is the easiest thing in the world to effortlessly stay within the speed limits, which is what I do. The other reason for it is because with a hire car, should you activate a speed camera the hire company put an additional £50 charge on the hire for administrative costs of forwarding the penalty notice to you. I don't feel that the 'pleasure' of travelling at 78mph fully compensates for the additional £150 plus 3 penalty points since that is more than I've usually paid for the car hire, so I don't do it.

One thing I do find fascinating with cruise control it that you get to find out just why your speed keeps increasing without it. On about 70% of the cars that you catch up with on cruise control, as soon as you start to go past them, they pick up speed. Now I just let them, if the cruise control takes me past them so be it, if they want to play silly buggers, let them get on with it.

I have a big lump of nissan navara. I use the cruise control most of the time, even in 30 mph limit if the traffic is light. I find it improves my fuel consumption, and takes my mind off worrying about creeping over the limit especially on the motorway roadwork 50 average limits.  65 mph on the motorway is fast enough for me these days and happy to relax both feet on the carpet instead of tailgating at 85 in the outside lane waiting for the brakelight or the heartattack  whichever comes soonest. Age has its advantages.

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