AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
According to a recent survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of drivers say speeding is a problem in the U.S.
We all know that speeding can reduce the fuel economy of your vehicle, but just how much of a difference does it make?
AAA is urging Illinois legislators not to raise the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on state roadways.
Speeding is dangerous. Speeding at night time while drunk is just stupid. Doing all that with young children on board has to be among the dumbest things a person can do.
However, Oregon Police had to deal with just such a driver this morning. Maria Elena Andres, 30, was cited for speeding at about 2:20 a.m. Her car finally stopped after a half-hour chase, which ended with the police using a spike strip to pop the tires on her 1998 Mercury Sable.
When the state troopers approached her car, they found her four-year old son and nine-year old daughter in the back seat. Thankfully they were belted in the car and unharmed.
Andres was taken to Lane County Jail and was charged with eluding the police, driving under the influence of intoxicants, and two counts of reckless driving. Her children were turned over to the Department of Human Services.
The exact details of her fines or jail time have not been published, but at least her children are in safer custody.
[Source: Oregon Live]
Think you’ve got an original excuse to explain your speeding? Think again. A traffic unit from London, Canada released a list of the most common excuses for speeding with some amusing results.
Take a look through and see if you’ve used any of the following:
- “I’m running out of gas and need to get to the next gas station.”
- “I have to go to the bathroom.”
- “I’m late for work.”
- One speeder told the officer that it was a new car and he wasn’t used to it.
- Another told the officer that his father had passed away. It turned out to have happened — 6 weeks prior.
- One motorist said he was speeding to get home because his father was possibly dying. The officer led the way and called an ambulance only to find out it was all a lie.
- Another motorist sped past a police cruiser and when stopped his excuse was that he thought police didn’t like to be tailgated so he wanted to get in front.
- Recently a woman was ticketed for speeding on her own street. Police were conducting speed enforcement near her home. The fire department attended the area as well for an unrelated matter. When the woman saw the fire department she raced toward her home to see what was going on only to be given a ticket for speeding.
We imagine that these excuses aren’t specific to Canadians… what excuses have you ever tried to get out of a ticket? Have you tried one of these? Tell us in the comments, or better yet tweet us @AutoGuide.
Arizona police can do little more than throw a hissy fit over a video garnering YouTube fame where someone pilots a Bugatti Veyron to 225 mph on a public road over the course of seven runs.
Although we have to believe the video’s uploader because the speedometer isn’t shown during the runs, it’s evident from how quickly objects whip by that they’re probably hitting their stated speed.
Mind you, the Veyron’s 8.0-liter W16 engine – in all of its quad-turbo glory, is capable of higher speeds, though probably not on unmanicured pavement. Were that the case, the driver might have touched the 253-mph top speed it’s capable of in Top Speed mode.
Regardless, we’re treated to seeing one of the world’s most notorious bad boy cars shooting past the camera several times, as well as a cabin shot during their max-speed run. The video caps off on a cheeky note, with the car pulled over by a member of the Arizona highway patrol, though not during any of their eyelid-peeling runs.
Watch the video after the jump.
America’s five fastest roads have been ranked and surprisingly, the average driver’s need for speed has been dampened. American’s are traveling more slowly than they were a few years ago, likely due to rising gas prices and increased traffic enforcement.
The average speeder traveled 81 mph on America’s top ten fastest roads, which is down from 85 mph last year. The fastest road in the U.S is located on the northbound section of Arizona State Route 79, between Saguaro National Park and Phoenix. The top speed recorded on this section was 94 mph, and 5% of drivers use this road traveling an average of 88 mph, even though the speed limit is 75 mph.
With gas prices on the rise, people are driving more efficiently but the decline in average speed has also been linked to the struggling economy and high unemployment. High unemployment is keeping younger drivers off the road, and they generally engage in the riskiest behavior on roads.
The top five fastest roads include:
5. Arizona State Route 77
4. Eastbound MI-5 Michigan Highway
3. California State Route 73
2. Oklahoma State Highway 33
1. Northbound Arizona State Route 79
If you tend to be a little heavy on the gas pedal, chances are you’re in need of a marriage councillor’s services. According to a study conducted by a British online used car channel, Tesco Cars, speed is the biggest fight starter between partners on car rides.
Speeding was the main source of “carguments,” with 22 percent saying that’s what got them miffed at their partner, followed by getting directions wrong (18 percent), tailgating (13 percent) and parking (5 percent).
When it comes to speeding, both men and women are up in arms about their partners going over the speed limit. For women, 21 percent said this factor would most likely start a cargument, compared with one in four men.
“Most couples will have argued about something in the car at one time or another,” said Rebecca Ryan, Marketing Manager of Tesco Cars. “Given the potentially serious consequences of speeding, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it is the chief cause of fights.”
Here’s a list of what’s most likely to start a cargument:
Driving too fast: 22.72%
Getting the directions wrong: 18.01%
None of the above: 15.86%
Driving too close to the car in front: 13.31%
Being too aggressive: 11.83%
Choice of music of radio station: 4.70%
Driving too slow: 4.57%
Children fighting in the back: 3.90%
The North Carolina state government will implement the “Run and You’re Done” law beginning December 1 2011. Governor Bev Perdue signed the bill into law on June 23. This new law allows North Carolina to seize the vehicle of anyone convicted of felony speeding to elude.
The vehicle would then be auctioned off to the highest bidder, bringing revenue to the police agency responsible for the seizure. The entity responsible for selling the vehicle will keep seizure fees and sales fees. Then the remainder of the profit will be distributed to the county government like a normal fine.
Under the new law, the seized vehicle can be sold even if the actual owner of the vehicle is unaware of its use for speeding. Police will need to place a legal advertisement in the newspaper on two occasions and paste up three handbills near the place of seizure before selling the car. In total, the process can be done in 24 days. A provision has been put in place forbidding the sale of highly modified performance vehicles. The modified vehicles are to be “turned over to such governmental agency or public official within the territorial jurisdiction of the court as the court shall see fit, to be used in the performance of official duties only.”
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
Sometimes you lose track of how fast you’re going. You’re wrapped up with stuff you’ve got to do, your favorite song is on the radio or you’re trying to follow directions. Now, there’s a speed monitoring app that encourages safe driving and protect your rights.
The My Max Speed for smartphones stays on top of how fast you’re going. Helping to keep you at a safe and legal limit, users can log their rates of speed every 5 seconds they’re driving. This information is stored on a spreadsheet, so you can review your speed at different intervals. When you’re reviewing the spreadsheet display in the app, users can tap one speed recording to display the exact physical location in a map format.
This app comes in handy if you get a speeding ticket. You can use it when you get pulled over to see if the speed matches that of what the law enforcement officer reports. This could save you some cash and points if the police officer’s radar gun settings aren’t calibrated. And if you get pulled over for speeding but get burned for something else along with it (like not wearing a seatbelt), having proof that you weren’t speeding may impact other citations that you could be charged with.
The My Max Speed has a large display area that makes it easy to see how fast you’re going, and stores speed snapshots in five minute segments for evidentiary purposes. The spreadsheets can be exported to Excel, Word, Power Point or other software, and the reports can be sent to an email address or can be shared on Facebook.
My Max Speed is available for free in an ad-supported version and for $4.99 in an ad-free version from the Android Market or http://iconosys.com/productlist.php?id=262.
The state of California is considering lowering speed limits and shortening yellow light times. The Senate Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Assembly Bill 529. This bill proposes to rewrite the state’s speed trap law so that cities would be able to round down all speed limits. The measure passed the full Assembly by a 77 to 0 vote on May 19.
Jurisdictions within California must set the speed limit at 35 MPH under current law, if traffic is shown moving at that speed. The speed limit must be rounded to the nearest 5 MPH increment. However, a locality can reduce the limit to 30 MPH if there is a safety issue. The proposed legislation would allow jurisdictions to lower the speed limit to 30 MPH without any justification needed by rounding down 5 MPH.
Once the limit is lowered to 30 MPH, the jurisdiction is legally allowed to shorten its yellow light times from 3.6 seconds to 3.2 seconds. Even if that 0.4 seems minor, that difference will generate a significant amount of additional revenue by red light cameras. The red light camera tickets can cost between $405 to $505 each. There was a 110 percent increase in citations reported by the Texas Transportation Institute when yellow lights had shorter times. Interestingly, the majority of those extra violations occurred within the first 0.25 seconds.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
Ron Dennis, chairman of McLaren, was given a 6-month license suspension after running a red light near his home in Surrey, England. Having already racked up 9 demerit points on his license through previous speeding fines, Dennis was hit with another 3 for his exploits, resulting in an automatic ban.
Dennis claimed that he failed to stop due to fears that the car behind him would crash into him, since both cars were travelling at a high rate of speed. Dennis also asked the judge to give him his license back so that he could meet work and family commitments, but his request was denied.
[Source: Get Surrey]
A resident of Vancouver, British Columbia saw his Ferrari get auctioned off by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, after they seized the vehicle for excessive speed in September.
The Ferrari was racing a BMW M6 in the north end of Vancouver, and was clocked traveling 124 mph in a zone designated for speeds of around 40 mph. Reports state that the Ferrari narrowly missed a mother and her children.
Provincial laws allow the police to seize and take possession of vehicles involved in excessive speeding or reckless driving incidents. The Scuderia ended up selling for $306,000, with the money divided between the vehicle’s owner and the government in an 80/20 split. The BMW M6 will be auctioned sometime next week.
[Source: The Province]
A 19-year-old man near Toronto, Canada has been charged with careless driving after bragging about going 87 mph in a 25 mph residential zone.
Vladimir Rigenco was given a 2006 BMW M5 by his parents as a reward for doing well in high school. Predictably, Rigenco also had a proclivity for speeding and bragging about it online – so much so that fellow forum members expressed alarm and notified the police after one incident.
Rigenco posted a thread about speeding in a subdivision, where he wrote comments like “I hit 140 [kilometers per hour] in like 6 or less seconds lol,” and “I cant stop racing with this car.”
A forum member in the United States tipped off police, who then canvassed the neighborhood. Police eventually found an eyewitness who saw Rigenco’s unsafe driving, and decided to lay charges.
Rigenco’s lawyer Aaron Spektor claimed that Rigenco’s parents aren’t knowledgeable about cars and were unaware of the M5′s capabilities.
“What business does he have behind the wheel of an M5? A 500-horsepower car?” “Suffice it to say, it’s gone. He doesn’t have it anymore. They took it.”
[Source: The Toronto Star]
We all know the side effects of speeding – tickets, loss of points, perhaps even ending up in an accident. Now a new Canadian study shows that driving decreases life expectancy.
For all you drivers with heavy feet, the study presents some eye-opening facts. It determines that every hour you spend behind the wheel leads to a 20-minute loss of life expectancy (this is due to the risks of a fatal car crash). But here’s the good news – it also found that by slowing down just two miles per hour, the average driver would increase their life expectancy by three hours per year. Sure, it may not seem like much, but it all adds up in the end.
“When drivers speed to get to their destination faster, they actually lose more time because the savings from faster travel are offset by the increased prospect of a crash,” says Dr. Donald Redelmeier, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and the lead investigator in the study.
Make small changes to your driving habits and reap big rewards. By showing down just 2 mph, it would translate to approximately 3 million fewer property-damage crashes, one million fewer injurious crashes, and 9,000 fewer fatalities. In dollars, it could reduce crash-related property damage by about $10 million each day – not too shabby for adding a couple of minutes onto your drive time.
Researchers based their findings on a combination of computerized traffic modeling, national statistics covering driving on public roadways, and the laws of physics. Results were calculated by the computer model by taking into account average distances and time drivers in the United States spend traveling daily, the number of annual crashes categorized as fatal, injuries and property damage, and the expected time losses due to accidents.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
A report out of Europe claims that BMW and General Motors are collaborating on a system that will scan road signs, including speed limit warnings and relay the information to drivers. The system still has a few kinks being worked out, but the objective is for the system to be able to display warning signs as well as speed limits for any road the car is being driven on.
Technology like this might add a little pizazz to an otherwise unremarkable car, but there’s certainly the prospect of a slippery slope with this sort of system. Invasive speed limits mandated by the government might not be far off, and that could quickly spell an end to one of the greatest pleasures of driving, the complete autonomy one has when behind the wheel of a car.
A 20-year-old Dutchman borrowed his father’s Bugatti Veyron, only to have the car seized for going 50 mph over the speed limit. Michel Perridon, the director of Trust International BV, a former sponsor of the now defunct Spyker F1 team, leant the supercar to his son last Thursday, shortly before the car was taken by police. Perridon’s son was clocked going 100 mph in a 50 mph zone. The man also had to forfeit his license as a result of the speeding charge.
Dutch police have begun implementing aggressive campaigns against speeding, and vehicle seizures are an increasingly common method of punishment. While highway speeds are limited to 75mph, the 50 mph limit applies to most roads in the country. It was unclear if and when Perridon will be able to get his car back, which is known as the first Veyron in the Netherlands, and valued at $2.4 million (including taxes).