Friday, 4 July 2008

Safety for the pylons?

Construction radar boosts safety: Police

The use of photo radar for speed enforcement in construction zones has dramatically increased safety conditions at roadway construction zones according to Winnipeg police.
The evidence:
Police started using photo enforcement because of ongoing safety concerns at the Bishop Grand Boulevard bridge construction work ... During the first three days of use in both directions on the bridge (April 29 to May 1) a total of 1,967 citations were issued to motorists speeding through the construction zone. During the last three days of available data (June 18 to 20), a total of 532 citations were issued.
So based on stats from one (of many) construction zones, using two different periods of time -- one on the spring and one in the summer -- they have concluded that workers are safer! Safety = β(1 / citations) + ε. I wonder what the t-value is on that coefficient?

Aside from drawing conclusions based on data with no statistical value, there's the small little additional concern that THERE ARE NO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS PRESENT!! I drive through there all the time and there are never construction workers around. If they are working at all, they are over on the other span of the bridge -- you know, the one that is closed down? But most often when I see those photo radar traps, it is in the evening or the weekend when construction workers are no where to be seen at all.

These radar traps are total bullshit. This is not exactly breaking news though. Take for example the radar trap on Route 90 and Corydon. The stretch that has a limit of 50 km/h, and a camera, even though Public Works presented a report to the City council back in Jan 03 that stated it should be higher? Or how about the report that shows that the city used misleading statistics in an attempt to cover-up the program's failure to reduce accidents.

Funny how the "When Passing Workers" part of the speed limit signs have disappeared from most construction sites. Makes one suspect that perhaps protecting the workers is not top priority.

8 comments:

pissinginthetent.com said...

Thanks for the heads up on Route 90 and corydon....I thought it was 60 there....if I was going 61 I would get a ticket.

I got 5 tickets in a row in one week because I thought Inkster at sinclair was 60 KPH.......cross McPhillips and it turns into 60 KPH.
I was going 61 , 62 .....as soon as they started arriving in the mail, I knew...but by then I racked up 5 tickets.Went down to Broadway to try to fight them, and the magistrate just happened to be a girl I used to bug in school....I paid full price.

cherenkov said...

The 85th percentile speed that people tend to drive is the industry standard for setting speed limits. The 85th percentile speed on Rte 90 was 64 km/h. That was in mid-December in 2001, back when people used to live in the houses on that stretch of road, and presumably includes rush hour traffic on potentially slippery roads.

I tried to fight a ticket from that location based on the premise that enforcing the ticket does not serve the purpose or spirit of the law. The judge didn't comprehend my argument. :-( My ticket, by the way, was with perfect road conditions in late evening in the summer with little other traffic around. It's just indiscriminate and stupid. ARRRG.

David Watson said...

I turned off the Pembina overpass to go east on Bishop Grandin. As I was busy merging into traffic on Bishop Grandin at speed I accidently noticed the speed sign. Before I could slow down the camera van below the underpass snapped me. Pop. Pop. It was as ethical as jacklighting a deer.

Graham said...

Yeah this whole speed trap thing is very well adressed in an article i linked to...

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/traffic

Adresses the nanny-state approach to traffic in North America.

I'm totally with you on the Bishop thing, everybody knows that van is parked sooooooooo inconspicuously. What is weird about that one to me, is that "60km/h when passing workers" signs are nowhere to be seen.

Putting up signage that states "when passing workers" automatically gives the driver some level of responsibility.

They were doing work on route 90 just south of the perimiter a couple weeks ago, and they had signs that said "when passing workers," and not only that, but the workers were working right exactly in line with the pylons, practically IN the traffic. Their solution? They had a guy stand where the workers were, and held out a stick, forcing drivers to the shoulder.

Everyone obeyed the 60 when passing workers more or less, but slowed RIGHT DOWN when somebody was actually working there.

Speed traps in construction-less zones...well you can't deny they made a pile of money on those 2000+ tickets.

Unapologetic Ex-Winnipegger said...

Speaking of causality, t-values and the like (you made my day by actually giving RELEVANT discussion!), I wonder when they flog the mantra that SPEED KILLS how often there are other factors - i.e. alcohol, etc.

I don't think some soccer mom going 60 on Route 90 (a speed of 50 on such an important artery is a major design flaw) is putting lives in jeopardy. Some 50 Cent wannabe pounding a few or smoking a spliff before hitting the road and treating the roadways like some version of Project Gotham Racing on the other hand...

Car and Driver once said it best - "We must not confuse law enforcement with revenue generation."

cherenkov said...

I used to subscribe to Car and Driver. John Phillips made me laugh my ass off sometimes .. I should resubscribe.

Anonymous said...

Yeah watch that Bishop Grandin merge lane coming off Pembina (going east). You get basically no warning that there is a construction site ahead and boom, they got you. I am not sure whether I'm nailed yet or not. It's been a week now. It would be my first ticket in five years. The last one I deserved -- this one is insanely unfair (if I get it). Stay tuned...

cherenkov said...

Anon. Ya, it's sneaky. Usually merging off Pembina onto Grandin I'm accelerating up to 80 to merge with the traffic.

 
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