Um, You Didn't Happen To Be Cruising, Did You?

from the good-enough-for-government-work dept

Who knew? Apparently cruise control kills! You thought you were being a good citizen, conserving fuel by using your car more efficiently and avoiding varying speeds that can cause traffic problems and accidents. But, the reality was you were causing all sorts of problems -- at least in Belgium. The Belgian government has decided to outlaw cruise control on certain stretches of road in an attempt to reduce accidents. Now, public safety is an admirable goal; but it is unrealistic to think that making cruise control illegal will be of much help. Enforcement would seem to be nearly impossible. To "catch" a driver in the act of breaking the law would require an accident in which the state of the cruise control during the crash has to be knowable after it has occurred -- or would require a really honest driver. While the rise of car black boxes makes collecting vehicle state information possible, once you've reached the point where a black box reading is needed, you'd think that the problem was much bigger than someone relying too much on cruise control. Speaking of which, shouldn't speed and recklessness laws cover the effects of using cruise control inappropriately?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Gijs, 26 Jan 2005 @ 12:43am

    The whole story

    News sites never post the whole story :), After a very serious car/truck accident involving a big truck with cruise control last year killing 5 poeple that where about 23 years of age. The goverment dicided to ban the use of cruise control.
    Hope this makes the story clear..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), 26 Jan 2005 @ 1:11am

    Re: The whole story

    Interesting. It's still not clear, however, that *cruise control* was the cause of the accident -- rather than a driver who didn't properly handle his truck. Why blame the technology?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Cruiser Dude, 26 Jan 2005 @ 4:54am

    How Cruise Contril Kills

    Try driving in norwthwestern Ontario with cruise control. The car maintains a constant speed, but you feel like you are on a roller coaster. Thee road is hundreds of miles of twists, turns, and hills.

    I made the mistake of trying to leave cruise control on, but I nearly went off the road. You really do have to adjust your speed when going over hills on narrow roads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Chris, 26 Jan 2005 @ 5:03am

    No Subject Given

    I rarely use cruise control because I do feel less alert when it is on. I think the lack of involvement in controlling the cars speed can sort of lull a driver into a less engaged state.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    TJ, 26 Jan 2005 @ 6:42pm

    Less rigid solution?

    How about starting with an education campaign, explaining why cruise control is dangerous on certain stretches of roads that are really twisty etc.? Post warning signs at these areas. That might be as effective or more-so than just making it illegal. People don't follow authority without reason well, just look at obedience to speed limits when they are posted too low for the road conditions.

    Sooner or later someone will dream up a tech solution to shut off cruise control in certain areas. As lawyer-happy as the computers in new car's are, I'm surprised cruise control doesn't stop working when the windshield wipers are on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.