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step in the right direction
driver behaviour
driving instructors
young drivers
miles per hour
Smart Technology Takes Control Away From New Drivers In Nottingham
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Smart Technology Takes Control Away From New Drivers In Nottingham

Nottingham parents will soon be able to exercise control over how their children drive. A device has come into use which when fitted to a car will enable parents to impose limits on vehicle performance and driver behaviour. Is this a step in the right direction for road safety?

Nottingham road safety groups have been considering many proposals to improve safety for young drivers. They account for over 12,000 crashes a year, half of which involve serious injuries of fatalities. The device consists of a master key which is kept by parents and used to set limits on the vehicle whilst the ignition key is given to their child. The sense of freedom that used to be gained from becoming a driver has been lost but safety must be paramount.

The device has many functions to used control driver actions and vehicle performance. Audible warnings are given to the driver when the car reaches certain speeds with maximum vehicle velocity capped at 80 miles per hour. As there is a speedometer in front of the driver the audible warnings aren't really necessary and could prove to be a distraction. A noise occurring every time a car reaches a certain speed whether accelerating or slowing would soon be ignored by the driver and the irritation caused by the sound could affect behaviour and actually create danger on Nottingham's roads. By the time the driving test has been passed a feel for speed should have developed in the driver as well as enough decision making and planning skills to drive sensibly. There is no real logic to capping the top speed of a car at 80 miles per hour when this is a full 10 miles per hour above the legal limit. The car is capable of being driven too quickly for any given situation so there is no real safety benefit in capping vehicle performance.

Another function of the device is to limit the volume of the car radio until the seatbelt has been fastened. This could be viewed by Nottingham driving instructors as a rather immature way to treat a new driver. Presumably the seatbelt would be fastened before moving off so any distraction from the radio would be of little consequence. Car radios always turn on at a certain volume to avoid shocking the driver with sudden and unexpected volume. If the radio is too loud then simply turning it down before moving off would be the solution. Fastening the seatbelt upon getting into the car should be second nature by the time a driver has become qualified so the value of this function in terms of road safety is minimal.

Other monitoring devices or black boxes as they are known are an increasingly common fixture in vehicles with the number set to rise by three quarters of a million in the next year. Insurers offer lower insurance premiums to those who voluntarily fit monitoring devices to their cars. Surely a greater emphasis on driver training and education with an emphasis on personal responsibility during driving lessons Nottingham area would yield better results than attempting to control human behaviour through technology.

Street Talk

Hi Russell, Thank you for a great article. At the pace of technology we may very soon have autonomous vehicles.

  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for your comment Geoffrey. I hope we will never see a replacement for the skilled and competent driver. Driving is one of the few true freedoms we have left and it would be awful to see this handed over to computers.

  about 1 decade ago

I believe that the human instinct can not be artificially created.

  about 1 decade ago
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