Impressive Tech?

So, I saw this the other day while waiting at a set of traffic lights.


I was impressed because the sign seems to imply that the van is “restricted” to particular speeds in different areas.

Restricted to me means that the driver can NOT go above those speeds when on those types of roads. I just wonder how it works. I will grant you that the tech for this already exists and I’m not entirely sure why it isn’t compulsory.

You can fit a vehicle with a GPS receiver and a set of maps so it “knows” where it is. This is connected to the ECU and hey presto, you can’t go faster than the speed limit allows. It should be easy enough. There might be some issues with travelling on the motorway over a bridge and the GPS thinks you are suddenly in a 40 zone but this can be worked around I am sure. I am not sure why these aren’t the law.

Anyway, if the van uses impressive tech then that’s brilliant. If the tech is a biological ape then that’s shit.

I’ve asked Sky. When I get a response I’ll put it here!

Slip Lane

This communication has been brewing for a few weeks now. It is time to let off some steam. I have two driving issues that I wish to highlight.

Slip Lane
When I learnt to drive I was told that the slip road to a motorway or dual carriage way was for cars to speed up and be able to enter the main carriage way safely. As even the slowest trucks generally do around 60mph it seems reasonable to expect drivers to SPEED UP to at least 60 mph so that we can all enter the motorway in the safest fashion possible. This does not seem to happen.
Many times recently I have been sitting in my car at 40 or 50 mph while trying to get onto the motorway because the idiot in front of me won’t speed up. It’s a motorway you moron. Let’s get a move on and be safe, or just don’t drive.

The roads to where I live are a little narrow and twisty and different. I understand that people who aren’t from around here might want to take things easy. I don’t mind that. I find it a bit irritating but it’s fair enough in all honesty. So these drivers potter along the lanes at 40mph. I understand.
What I don’t understand is that these morons then continue to do 40mph through the village. It’s a 30 zone, FCS. There are kids playing in the field and old people and cars parked everywhere. If you insist on driving slowly along the national speed limit roads then please do the same in the village and be aware of your surroundings. It’s 30mph for a reason. The throttle isn’t stuck at 40mph, lift off a little.
Those who recklessly speed through the village are a different matter.

Rant over for now.

The Slip Road

Along with previous posts about driving [Thank you and Throttle] I would like to add this short rant.

I have noticed a number of people recently who take the slip road to join the motorway (mainly the M20 near me) who decide to continue at the mediocre speed they were doing before the motorway.
This is clearly dangerous. The whole point of the slip road is to allow traffic to match the speed of the vehicles on the main carriageway. Most traffic seems to travel near 70 miles per hour on the motorway so heading down the slip road at 40 to 50 mph is just plain dangerous. It’s no surprise that I get annoyed when my safety is put at risk because another driver on the road doesn’t have the confidence to drive at a proper speed.

The highway code says [my emphasis]:


Joining the motorway. When you join the motorway you will normally approach it from a road on the left (a slip road) or from an adjoining motorway. You should

  • give priority to traffic already on the motorway
  • check the traffic on the motorway and match your speed to fit safely into the traffic flow in the left-hand lane
  • not cross solid white lines that separate lanes or use the hard shoulder
  • stay on the slip road if it continues as an extra lane on the motorway
  • remain in the left-hand lane long enough to adjust to the speed of traffic before considering overtaking

Put your foot down please and stop endangering my life.

Making It Look Easy

Recently I have taken up jogging. This is a normal summertime hobby with the aim of helping lose my winter blubber and get fit. This year is slightly different as ww has decided to do this also. There is a little bit of competition there but it is rather unfair at the moment as ww has slight activity-induced asthma!

We have found a 5Km route around the vineyards and fields surrounding our village. There is a bit of vertical work to do as we live at the base of the North Downs and there are ups and downs on the route!

At the moment I can run the 5Km in about 32 minutes. Let’s say that this is about 6 mile per hour. Which would give a pace of about 10 minutes per mile. Now for the scary bit. . . . The current world record for the mile is under four minutes. If we take the four minutes as the correct time for ease of calculations then that is 15 mph or 2.5 times my current speed. An athlete I am not!

The London Marathon was recently run in a time of just over 2 hours. Assuming it to be about 2 hours you get a speed of 13 mph which isn’t that much slower than the speed for the mile and yet these athletes keep it up for 2 hours. VERY impressive. The human body is quite stunning! An athlete I still am not.

I think this is part of a bigger social phenomenon that professional people make things look very easy because they do it all-day every-day. Professional footballers make playing in the premiership look easy (although for £50,000 a week I’d make sure I could hit the net EVERY time). Professional athletes make it look easy, professional sports drivers make it look easy.
Even in my profession (teaching) I think we make it look easy. I have had people come and observe my lessons and I think they think it looks easy. Then when they get the chance to do it themselves a lot of them are rubbish and have no idea and to be honest won’t be able to do it after lots of practice. It takes the right kind of person with the right kind of practice to be good at their chosen profession. Not everyone can do it. The following is a misnomer:

you can do anything you set your mind to

Unfortunately this was said by Ben Franklin whom I would normally hold in high esteem. Perhaps it should be re-phrased:

you can do anything you set your mind to as long as you have the natural ability