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Cremazie

New spyware could prevent speeding

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New spyware could prevent drivers from speeding
CTV.ca News Staff

Many motorists would balk at the idea of an electronic back-seat driver that forcefully prevents them from speeding.

But a new device being road-tested by Transport Canada could mean breaking the speed limit will no longer be an option.

Using global positioning satellite technology and a digital speed-limit map, the device makes it difficult for drivers to press down on the accelerator once they go above a certain speed limit.

The idea is sure to appeal to many road-safety experts, but the researcher in charge of the project admits some drivers will not welcome the idea of a machine that forces them to slow down.

"We are trying to assess the operational acceptance issues," Peter Burns, of Transport Canada's road safety directorate, told The Globe and Mail.

The pilot trial is believed to be the first of its kind in North America, but similar devices have already been tested in Sweden, the Netherlands and Britain.

Dr. Burns told The Globe that proponents of such devices are enthusiastic about the potential to reduce deaths and injuries from car crashes, as well as reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, which are greater at higher speeds.


"Excessive speed is a leading road safety challenge," he said, noting that speeding is a contributing factor in 25 per cent of fatal crashes across Canada.

Ten cars, driven by volunteers and outfitted with the Swedish-made speed-limiting system, have been testing the system on Ottawa's roads.

By spring, researchers hope to have collected enough data to see if the system actually changed the drivers' speeding habits before going ahead with a larger trial.

Using another 10 volunteer drivers, the project will also test the Otto Driving Companion, a less intrusive and commercially available system designed by Persentech, a Winnipeg firm.

The dashboard-mounted device also uses GPS technology, but only warns drivers with a voice alarm and a light if they start speeding.


The $290 devices are on sale in Winnipeg and Ottawa and will be available in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer starting this week.

Company president Frank Franczyk said he has sold 400 of the devices in Winnipeg alone and that customers appreciate the blue speed-warning light and even the voice that warns them they are going too fast.

Some even say their children speak up when they see the alarm go off.

"They say, 'Hey mom, the blue light's on. Why are you speeding?" Franczyk, who has plans to expand the service to Toronto, Hamilton, Vancouver and the United States, told The Globe.

In Europe, proponents have said that the technology should be mandatory in all vehicles and that insurance companies might offer discounts to drivers who use it.

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The $290 devices are on sale in Winnipeg and Ottawa and will be available in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer starting this week.


Hey Harley, will you race to get one? I can't wait to get my hands on one and smash it to pieces!
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Speeding is fun. I'm pretty sure that if they make these things manditory and insurance companies/cops try to use them to extort money out of speeders, there will be lawsuits galore. Most people aren't cool with Big Brother.
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...and if I need to race somebody to the hospital? Can I sue the company when they die?? This is ridiculous.
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I always figured the best way to stop yourself from speeding was to drive a Toyota Echo...
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I always figured the best way to stop yourself from speeding was to drive a Toyota Echo...

[post="49681"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Maybe every other car should be outlawed. Then we wont speed. Do they want to come live my life for me too?
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That's just plain stupid. Violation of freedom as well. The rich bastard who owns a Diablo has the right to spend his money to pay for expensive gas, speeding tickets, and high insurance premiums. It's his right. I've always dreamt of the 401 to remove speed limits like the Autobahn. It'll be the dreamland for Camaros, Corvettes, GTOs, etc...
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That's just plain stupid. Violation of freedom as well. The rich bastard who owns a Diablo has the right to spend his money to pay for expensive gas, speeding tickets, and high insurance premiums. It's his right.

I've always dreamt of the 401 to remove speed limits like the Autobahn. It'll be the dreamland for Camaros, Corvettes, GTOs, etc...

[post="49690"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


It's kinda funny that this is the same country that is extending rights for everything, soon pot could be legal, but you won't be able to drive 111km/hr on Highway 2 :huh:
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Speeding gives small town cops something to do. Otherwise, they'd be sleeping in their cruisers 100% of the time instead of just 80%.
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Speeding gives small town cops something to do. Otherwise, they'd be sleeping in their cruisers 100% of the time instead of just 80%.

[post="49701"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

This is true. Speeding tickets are also the #1 source of revenue for many police precincts.

With speeding, drivers get where they want to go faster, and cops make more money catching the idiots who speed. Everybody wins. :P
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This is true.  Speeding tickets are also the #1 source of revenue for many police precincts.

With speeding, drivers get where they want to go faster, and cops make more money catching the idiots who speed.  Everybody wins. :P

[post="49710"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I suppose they could earn revenue electronically, but it takes the fun aspect of the pursuit out of the equation. Its something that's part of our driving culture. Imagine Smokey and the Bandit if Burt Reynolds had one of these electronic boxes in his Pontiac. Lame.
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Now, as long as a system such as this is never mandated, here are a few perceivable effects of its presence: 1. Reduced insurance payments 2. Rental agencies can keep their fleet at legal speeds. 3. Police can use it as a bargaining chip when people without the system are caught speeding. "If you get this installed on your vehicle, the points that we are about to put on your license will be removed" 4. On unofficial "high speed" roads (read:the entire NY metropolitan area), vehicles with this system installed won't be able to keep up with traffic. A bad thing, indeed, but maybe it will encourage others to slow down. But we all know that by the end of this century the cars will be driving us, anyway.
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Of course, this completely ignores PASSING someone, which is a legal way to speed. This also would prevent someone from speeding up to avoid getting T-boned...or any other legal reasons to speed. This is BS...and I bet it wouldn't fly in the US.
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Of course, this completely ignores PASSING someone, which is a legal way to speed.

[post="49729"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Actually, according to Florida statute at least, passing is only legal if (among other things) the speed is kept at or below the speed limit at all stages of passing.

Yellow also means 'slow down.'
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...and if I need to race somebody to the hospital? Can I sue the company when they die?? This is ridiculous.

[post="49676"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



YES, great point... I'd also anticipate a few psychos who disable theirs or jut drive an old Five-Oh Mustang and they have a field day stalking their pery...


Big Brother Sucks!!! It's bad enough that Europeans are smitten wiht stupid speed radar cameras. The only thing I do agree with is red light cameras but then again the otehr day I sat at a damn intersection for like 7 minutes at 3am and the light would not turn green, I had enough I ran the red esp. since there were like 2 other cars on the road a tthe moment and both were behind ME waiting for the same light to turn.

I better not get a dam,n ticket in the mail.
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Big Brother Sucks!!! It's bad enough that Europeans are smitten wiht stupid speed radar  cameras. The only thing I do agree with is red light cameras but then again the otehr day I sat at a damn intersection for like 7 minutes at 3am and the light would not turn green, I had enough I ran the red esp. since there were like 2 other cars on the road a tthe moment and both were behind ME waiting for the same light to turn.

[post="49735"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Dude, in the wonderful province of Alberta :blink: they already have photo Radar for speeding and red lights. To make things even better they announced on the 15th of November they were going to put photo radar on poles as opposed to vans parking on the side of the road. Big brother is trying his best to piss us off! Edited by Cremazie
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Actually, according to Florida statute at least, passing is only legal if (among other things) the speed is kept at or below the speed limit at all stages of passing.

Yellow also means 'slow down.'

[post="49730"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Oh, well it is different in Indiana then because the logic is that if one is going into the oncoming traffic lane one should do the passing quickly.
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Just to play devil's advocate, I can understand the reasoning behind putting these automated devices in place. Speeding, like it or not, is illegal, and it's made illegal for a reason. Car crashes at higher speeds are more likely to kill people. Cars can become more difficult to handle at higher speeds. It's the police department's job to enforce speeding laws.

But they can't control all speeding violations. That's where the devices come into play. The particular system in question is dangerous because there are situations where speeding may save your life (as mentioned by Croc), but its intentions are good. Automated cameras also serve the purpose of catching EVERYONE who excessively speeds down a given road, but it doesn't take better judgement into account.

If it's well advertised that a speeding camera is put in place, then maybe the drivers will pay more attention to it and drive safely. Hell, what police should do is bluff the driver into believing there's a trap, and that alone could save lives.

The ones that piss me off, though, are the hidden cameras that you know nothing about until a few weeks after driving through the town...

"The village of Sangwachizta charges you with a speeding violation..." At which point you ask yourself, what the hell is the village of Sangwachizta?

One thing I won't be surprised to see in the future would be a production version of Toyota's amazing Pod, the innovative vehicle that adapts to your emotions and automatically slows down to a stop when it detects that you are "too angry to drive".

[/rambling]
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Speed laws and speed enforcement has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with revenue generation. For this reason alone, speed governors on vehicles won't be allowed: the government won't collect enough revenue, the police won't be needed to hand out tickets, the Courts will be freed up, there will be layoffs and so on. None of that will be allowed. Proof? Why are police always located on straight, lonely stretches of road where it is guaranteed people will speed, yet school zones and crosswalks are free of any such nuisances? Maximum revneue; minimum time and effort. The fact that the government allows photo radar alone is proof that it has nothing to do with safety: how can you be deterred when a ticket arrives in the mail a few weeks after an event? And if the warning signs are faked, everybody will just ignore them. Put realistic speed limits on our roads and highways then allow people to use common sense. If anything, stiffen driver testing. It seems anybody can get a license these days.
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Cremazie: Well my chances of ever moving out there just went from slim to NONE! Sorry to hear that. B.B. sucks! :(
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Controls speeding, eh? What about a construction zone that just opened? You're going 55 and then the const-zone is 35.. is it going to throw you down to 35 asap? Right.
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