About Us

Welcome
to the road safety website that gives you - perhaps a grieving relative - some real and useful information concerning prevention of fatalities where they have occurred as a result of excessive speed/s.

The information on these web pages is primarily intended and designed to provide you - the everyday motorist - with knowledge about top-speed limiters (functions) in late model vehicles.
The information dose not equivocate on facts that mean a viable remedy is available:

Regrettably, and for many people who have lost a loved one, much of this information is not readily available elsewhere, or, has been misrepresented and equivocated to such an extent that you may believe that a subsequent (ESL) remedy is not actually viable.  Although the complete opposite is true, there appears to be very little public knowledge of its existence.

It would almost appear - perhaps because of marketing pressure - that there is a collusion of silence (“Don’t tell them, and they won’t ask for it”) at both a political and commercial level.
I.e. < 5-teens-killed-sigle/car-crash... ><  -112Mp/h_driver_kills/two-innocents- >.

Are normal day to day drivers being put at risk on our roads by collusion between manufacture'ers and marketers, simply for the sake of profit? - and the ego vulnerability of younger male drivers?
Acknowledging that a significant percentage of the male driving population are highly enamoured with performance capabilities of their vehicles, would it not make social sense to engage these 'limiters' which would allow impressive acceleration, but limit top speed.

Introduction to assembled articles:
The articles and information have been assembled to substantiate the issue/s in respect that road safety would be improved by the utilization – at a more socially acceptable level – of a speed limiting function that is ALREADY installed in many late model vehicles.
This ability to limit the excessive top speeds of vehicles - being not currently implemented - may be a matter of collusion between manufacturers, marketers and law makers.
The articles are presented in the hope of illuminating this collusion in the minds of the reader.

NB. Contrary to popular sceptical believe, electronic computer programme activated speed limiters do not affect a vehicles performance; that is, until a specified target speed is attained. Many vehicles currently on our roads have this activation speed calibrated to as much as 220km/h or even greater!
Read also:What is an ESL for detailed explanation, and/or "engine power restrictions examined..."

A Message for the families of high speed crash victims:
Have you had a loved-one killed or injured as a result of crash where one or more of the vehicles were travelling at an excessive speed? That is; a speed greater than 25km/h above the open road maximum.
Recognising the sensitivity of the whole issue and subject, it may nonetheless be constructive and important for you, to be aware of the information in this site; the intention being that you may be able to help prevent or minimise similar types of tragedies happening to other families.
Although ‘brutal’ in terms of the message "now" being imparted, the fact that you may only now be discovering that the remedy has been available for more that 20 years is the fault of traffic safety authorities, not the writers of the website.
Refer also
:
Negligence >below. . . additional information pending - or "Matekohi Morgan..."- or
external < LINK "Why haven't they done this years ago ?!?! >.

 

Articles - in this section:
Summary of the 'evolution' of the electronic speed limiter (ESL)

The Medical Emergencies Question

What Effects would speed Limiters have on a drivers performance

Being "effectively" restricted

Why do cars need to go so fast? & Was John Key a boy-racer? (page 7).

Association/implications for recreational motor sport.


Summary of electronic speed limiter evolution:

Reckless speeding by irresponsible drivers has been a serious problem since cars were first invented, and steadily became more of a problem as the ethos of mechanised vehicle revolution gained pace.
A natural consequence of engineering a motor car so that it has adequate power, especially if it is a large car, is that the power will also facilitate the ability for an excessive top speed – a speed that should never be used on public roads.  Unfortunately, boys being boys – as the saying goes – the cars are often driven at these unnecessary speeds.

The resultant problems of this [speed] are attested by the deaths of innocent people such as Laureen Rielley [formerly of Christchurch] >Refer to page seven>below.
That is, there has been no effective method for having a car with adequate power, without, as a consequence, it being able to attain a ridiculous top speed as well. . . or has there?

During the 1980s a quiet yet significant revolution took place regarding how the fuel and air mixture (induction) was delivered to the engine cylinders. This change in how a cars’ engine received its petrol, provided a range of improvements – one being that top speed could be restricted without affecting performance [power].  Up until about 1984 most vehicles had devices called carburettors to mix the air and petrol.  By 1994 many/if not all cars had a new system called electronic fuel injection, which utilises computer chip technology to manage how the fuel injectors [a relatively straightforward magnetic valve-switch type device] receive their fuel and deliver it to the cylinders.

This change to EFI was significant because it suddenly meant that the top speed of the vehicle could be restricted – without affecting the power up to that point.   See also: www.-How fuel injectors work and “What is an ESL”. In a 'nut-shell', what happened was that a top speed limitation function was electronically embedded into the computer chip activated engine control unit (ECU) of these modern cars.
This website suggests
an activation margin of about 20km/h above the open highway maximum; to provide a socially responsible regulation - for this underutilised mechanism.  That is, vehicles that were “regulated” in New Zealand for example, would not be able to exceed 120km/h – give or take about 4km/h either side of this speed, attributable upon variations in wheel diameters [which must not exceed five percent of manufacturers specifications to comply with NZ Warrant of Fitness regulations] and to other minor 'variations' attributable to mechanical nuances.

Regrettably though, most distributors have been reluctant to instigate, or to even talk about, this new - since 1990/94 - safety feature, why?    Similarly, many Politicians have either not been properly informed, or, appear not to want to engage the obvious safety benefits of the new technology also.


Negligence:

If you are the relative of a loved-one who has been killed as a result of a late model car or motorcycle travelling at an excessive speed you could do worse than to make use of, and become conversant with, the information provided in these articles.

For example, in a 2004 Newspaper article about improvements to seat-belt technology' and in particular, webbing clamp seat-belts,
re: The Northern Advocate 16/ 04/ 2004 (then) LTSA safety director David Wright states; When technology like this exists and is widely available we have to ensure that New Zealanders enjoy the benefits of it.
An obvious query therefore: Electronic speed limiter technology has been widely availablesince 1992 (and could, by 1999, have had any of its minor technical application problems solved) so why is/was there no similar call, from David Wright, to utilise this existing technology?
Read also:
Other Speed-limiter Information on the Internet”  and  "Matekohi Morgan"

 

Activation "Margin" - not legitimised . . .
NB. Having an "activation margin" on ESL functions does not mean that this speed is therefore legitimised. Though totally fallacious, some detractors may attempt to argue that it is. Their same argument however, could be levelled regarding the (totally excessive) top speeds of many vehicles currently restricted at this point! Importantly, traffic enforcement officers generally have flexible powers of discretion, allowing for small margins above the open-highway limits; but, this (discretion) does not imply, in any way, or that this website is suggesting [other than in special circumstances] that any speed greater than 10km/h above open-road-maximum ought be overlooked by an enforcement officer.
The need for an "activation margin" is explained in the article 'Other Speed Limiter Info On Internett' and refer also: page six- below.

The Medical Emergencies (question)
Even in dire emergencies the speeds of non-emergency vehicles would very rarely need to exceed 120km/h - for fear of adding to the trauma of the patient. The occasional, but rare, need to travel faster would never override the benefits of low threshold ESL activation.  Some detractors have been known to present this ‘medical emergencies’ scenario, as an excuse, reasoning that these hypothetical emergencies could somehow outweigh the value of other lives saved through a reduction of high speed tragedies.
For longer range emergencie
s, helicopters are available in NZ & Australia.

Note: Acknowledging the availability of specialist equipment, where deemed necessary - such as that used by the armed forces etc - emergency service vehicles would obviously be exempt - and there would be no complications with availability of ECU upgrades and/or the computerised information for these.
Again, there will be detractors that will say that because a small percentage of vehicle owners will find ways to obtain and update their ECU software [to be strictly controlled under regulation -as with equipment in other sensitive industries e.g. security "Key" Codes.... and many more examples] the regulation is too difficult to 'police', making it not worthwhile?
This however, is the old "chest-nut" type argument - in this case by apologist's for reckless speed on public roads - arguing that a small percentage of 'displacement' of desired compliance by the motorist means that we should not bother with promulgating laws at all. They may as well argue that because there will always be the occasional driver who drives drunk (even when the NEW alcohol interlocks become commonplace!...) we therefore shouldn't bother with drink-drive legislation!

Intriguingly however, some of the people who would attempt to invoke the above, ridiculous argument, are the same boffins who have called for the unworkable and impractical engine pwr restrictions for CARS!?

NB. It is, after all, ILLEGAL for ordinary citizens to be in possession of many types of material that is potentially harmful . . . including many types of computerised data. – Refer also: Can the systems be made ‘Tamper-proof’.

Effects of Speed limiters on Drivers Performance:

For many people this is the important question surrounding the application on speed limiters.
It is covered more comprehensively in Overtaking Competencies but in this section we provide the following summary of the main points.

Some motorists have a mistaken belief that if the activation speed is too low it could lead to situations where an overtaking vehicle might become “trapped”, in the face of oncoming traffic.
This notion is completely flawed when analysed concerning the statistics associated with these types of scenarios.
In actual fact this scenario is very unlikely to occur, unless the driver of the overtaking vehicle is extremely incompetent in the first instance, and, is already an extreme risk on account of the current (i.e.-180km/h) restriction of their vehicle at this point!   E.g. to cite one obvious aspect, drivers are already making judgment errors that result in them becoming ‘trapped’ - as it were - and in some of these instances, because their speed is exceptionally high, they are having serious crashes (in any case) - notwithstanding their current 180km/h restriction.  Read also: "Two Dead After Driver Passes on Yellow Lines."

The argument regarding how much extra speed, is possibly needed to overtake large trucks / two cars etc, is often greatly over-stated. Too many people see it as an overtaking efficiency problem deserving of a safety status that somehow makes the greater benefits of ESL restriction unworthy.
[In their argument, the need to pass safely and efficiently - and purportedly necessitating a very high top speed - is put as being of greater value than the safety benefits achieved by speed limiter restriction.
It is fairly obvious that the same (detracting) argument could be levelled regarding the top speeds of cars currently restricted at this point... i.e. it is infrequent and patently ridiculous primarily because of the huge range of speeds of cars, and the totally excessive top-speeds in many specific cases.]
NB. This is also endorsed by the Australian Road Safety Org: ANCAP, who, after a study into the benefits of top-speed limiters, stated that "There are myths and misunderstandings about the need for reserve power and excessive speed when overtaking. In nearly all circumstances a decision to use excessive speed to overtake greatly increases the risk of a serious crash and it would have been much safer to brake than to accelerate - . . .".

Additional footnote regarding "time over the line": The amount of time required to overtake a large truck and trailer unit that is travelling at 95km/h – without your vehicle exceeding 120km/h - is approximately 11 seconds; from your initial manoeuvre over the centre line, to when your vehicle crosses back to the correct side.   [NB. A research report into speed control devices, by Troutbeck (1984) and Lay (1991) suggests that on rural roads the overtaking vehicle typicaly travels abouy 13km/h faster than one being overtaken- - resulting in a time-over-line of 12.5 seconds.]

Aborting an overtaking manoeuvre is not as arduous as many people imagine - unless you are doing 150km/h and you are as uncoordinated as www--Mark Sainsbury! Refer also, our article; Mark Sainsbury- engine power restrictions. Other websites that cover the subject of overtaking in detail, similarly advocate being able to 'abort' -and planning of the manoeuvre with contingencies in mind. Refer: "The Stages of Overtaking- Can I Abandon..." > &   www.-overtaking/fatal_analysis/reporting... >.

The only negative effect on drivers’ performance that might result from a limitation to 120km/h is that some drivers, with superior skills, and who might occasionally use a speed of 135km/h to complete an overtaking manoeuvre, would be prevented from their endeavours to use these illegal speeds.
This could mean that on some trips, this group of drivers may feel disadvantaged by this restriction, resulting perhaps in slightly longer travel times for them.

Although this may seem intolerable for these highly skilled drivers??, they could be placated to some degree, in the knowledge that their small inconvenience would also be beneficial to saving innocent lives of less competent motorists.
Three examples of such lives that might otherwise have been saved, would be Mrs Annie Borgman - killed on SH1, 15/ 01/ 2006, near Wellsford New Zealand, or, another much loved grandmother, killed the previous weekend, on Waitohi-Temuka highway, South Island NZ; and Lois Marjorie Booth, killed October 2007 near Auckland when a high performance car was overtaking on yellow lines (Read also: Two Dead After Driver Passes on Yellow Lines…).

Note: It is easy to feel what could seem to be an appropriate amount of grief at the reading of these incidents, but it should be mentioned that this rush to the emotions might be more to do with attempted self placation than genuine concern.
It is important to note, that in respect of the death of Annie Borgman, the driver of the vehicle that crossed the centre line - later colliding with the car she was a passenger in - may have been attempting to use excessive speed to overtake. Witnesses have said that they sighted the Mercedes vehicle overtaking (other vehicles) recklessly, just prior to the crash.  Re: Sunday Star Times 22/ 01/ 06. Could it be suggested that the driver of the [at fault] vehicle, was intending to utilise the same speed providing escape scenario(s)? - that relate to the type of scenario that some incompetent idiots have suggested could be of greater importance than the reduction of other velocity related incidents?
Whatever the answer to these questions, the result thus far, has been fatal for the driver of the Mercedes, and for Mrs Borgman.  The (flawed) reasoning of the "idiots" has also resulted in serious injuries to children in this crash - injuries that may use up thousands of health dollars, over ensuing months.
See also: Overtaking Competencies> for greater explanations and analysis of similar tragedies.

Illustration: Herald On Sunday, 02/ 11/ 2008 reports one man killed and three injured in head-on crash, Drury, Auckland. "A high powered car crossed the centre-line while overtaking and collided with an oncoming . . ." Note:This fatality exemplifies that many of the drivers who crash whilst overtaking are incompetent in the first instance, regardless of how fast their car can go!
[www.
Research_Report_PR/96_Speed_Control_Devices-for-Cars; =...Analysis of data provided and by Lay (1991) and Troutbeck (1984) suggests that a typical passing manoeuvre on rural roads the overtaking vehicle travels about 13km/h faster than the vehicle being overtaken - resulting in a typical overtaking time of 12.5s.]
Q;  Could the activation margin mean that 120km/h is therefore legitimized?

A;  No.  Having a speed limiter activation that is 20km/h above the maximum speed allowed under law does not mean that this speed is legitimized.  Traffic enforcement officers have always been enabled with flexible power/s of discretion, and usually allow a margin of about ten to twelve km/h over the maximum - when on the open highway.
This does not mean however, that (even) 106.5km/h is in any way legitimized if the relevant ‘road/ weather/ traffic’ conditions indicate that it should not be.  Those genuinely interested in reducing road trauma will note that though a degree of "margin" is necessary because of application aspects, it is a "margin" only - and unlike the ones already in place [@180km/h & 220km/h] it would not allow for the ridiculous and excessive speeds that kill innocent people.   Refer also, above article; "Activation Margin..."

 

Being effectively" restricted
. . . a short analogical essay" about the subject:

1 Why do cars need to go so fast ?

2 Was John Key a boy-racer? . . . in 1981  -  91  or 2001 . . . ?

In keeping with the backwards thinking by some of the (incompetent) people who have stonewalled on the remedy offered by the ESL functions in modern vehicles, we should address the second question, ‘first’.

When Hon John Key was at the demographic age where he may have been predisposed to being a ‘boy-racer’ he was evidently courting “the lovely” Bronagh.  Also, about that time there was significant civil unrest in NZ, caused by the infamous Springbok (Rugby) Tour.  Mr Key has stated that he was so smitten with Bronagh at that time, that he did not have the energy nor inclination to become involved in any of the “protests” - concerning the springbok tour - and who could blame him.

Bronagh Key, Wife of former NZ Primeminister

It is possible though, that he and Bronagh may have occasionally hooned around a bit in vehicles.  He obviously was not in the habit of using excessive speeds however, because there is no record of him being involved in any crash. More importantly though is that almost any vehicle that he and Bronagh would have owned at that time would have had a CARBURETTED type engine, and not EFI (see: electronic fuel injection).

Therefore, [and excluding scenarios involving ‘extremely rare’ medical emergencies] any excessive speed that he might have used would have been solely his own responsibility - because his vehicle was unable to be effectively restricted.

However, this [responsibility aspect] had all changed by 1991, (refer: 'ESL speed limiter evolution, Page three <above) and since then the ability for people such as John Key to say; Enough (death/s) is enough. . . and these terribly incompetent road safety people ought to just use the remedy that is available..! has indeed been a completely valid option, for parliamentarians.

In keeping with the issue therefore, it will be interesting to see if John Key is willing to run withthe gamblethat at some stage in the next ten years, someone in his administration will not need to attend a funeral (in support) of a friend/associate of their teenage son/daughter. . . because the friend has been the victim in a high speed crash.

1981  /  91  or  2008. . . ?
Whilst no one actually got killed during the Springbok Tour protests, there have been quite a number of fatalities in NZ, since 1981, that are attributable to vehicles travelling at totally excessive and unnecessary speeds.  Many of those killed have been completely innocent, such as the late Laureen Rielley.
The question for John Key in 2001 (or should that be 2011...?) is whether he should accept a similar gamble to the one that Hon Ruth Dyson evidently chanced, in 2005. She evidently assumed that ‘statistically’ there was little likelihood of a teenager - or perhaps the mother of a fellow parliamentarian - being the innocent victim of an associated (completely avoidable high speed) crash in her electorate area, at some stage in the following three years . . . [almost to-the-month as it has transpired]. Read e.g: Death of Laureen Rielley / Response by Aaron Keown > next >

Answers - Question 1:
Cars do not need to go any faster than about 18-20 percent above the maximum open road limit.
The reason they have habitually been able to go so fast however, is that up until about 1990 there was no “widely available” and effective method for restricting their top-speed without, at the same time, affecting other performance.  But, after the early 1990s EFI technology started to be widely used instead of carburetors - and the ability to restrict the ridiculous top speeds, became a "reality".    Read also: Summary of Electronic Speed-limiter evolution<above.

Unfortunately for victims such as the late Laureen Rielly of Christchurch, there are quite a few very incompetent and self-centered people in the road safety industry Inc. [including it would seem, Ruth Dyson and Harry Duynhoven] who don’t think we need to use such technology with any urgency at all.

It will be interesting to see if the late Laureen Rielley’s son, Aaron Keown who was (then) Act Party political Candidate, has the political fortitude to ask questions of relevant people, concerning this issue.
A copy of this essay should be made available to him, for comment/action, though it ought be noted that he has been made fully aware of the wider issue concerning the availability of the (top speed) ESL functions. Admittedly he will still be grieving at time of writing but to be an effective politician you have to be prepared to absorb harsh realities from time-to-time.  As hard to bear as it may be for Mr Keown, he needs to think of the statistical probability that between January 2011 and December 2014 another 160 people could be killed on New Zealand roads, simply because cars do not need to go so fast at all! And, it is up to people like him - to stop their grandstanding about the tragic, yet completely preventable, death of his mother - and take the opportunity offered by ESL regulation to do something positive about preventing it happening to others.

NB. Aaron Keown has previously been made aware of the information regarding top-speed limiters, as covered in this website, but he has chosen to ignore it – preferring instead to grandstand on TVNZ News, campaigning for harsher penalties.  Readers may like to reflect on what would have been the most effective initiative for preventing the unnecessary death of his mother in a high speed incident, May 2008.


...
Excerptintelligent speed adaption, through satellite integration etc, would be very expensive to implement widely however, and always be reliant on the GPS network.
Conversely, the on-board 'Top-speed only' recalibration (of ECU) method will still work even if all satellites were destroyed by meteors!- and the cell phone network collapsed at the same time.


Association/Implications for Recreational Motor Sport:

Note: There is no suggestion that through regulating these ESL functions there is an agenda to sabotage the enjoyment of Motor Racing.  Motor racing is generally performed on closed circuits.

In fact, ESL regulation would most likely improve the membership of motor racing clubs and organizations - and this could only be beneficial for the general skill levels and attitudes, of the drivers concerned.
An important fact here also, is that without the involvement of motor racing, we may not have had the electronic speed limiter as early as we did.  As explained in other articles in this website, ESLs [electronic speed limiters] evolved via a need for electronic ‘Rev-limiters’ in racing cars.  This happened in the late 1970s - and was accelerated by the advent of computer-chip technology in vehicle engine management systems.


Footnote on acceleration: In most situations, increased acceleration performance will provide greater car control - and therefore safety.  Vehicle occupants in a modern car are unlikely to be killed if they crash, into a stationary object, whilst performing a Doughnutetcetera, at 75km/h.

Some relevant Math’s: There is a 76 percent increase in kinetic energy when velocity increases from 120km/h through to 160km/h.

 

Consideration: "If we genuinely want to prevent the deaths of innocent bystanders such as Erin Jane Burgess we will employ the use of these Smart-Safety Devices on modern vehicles...". re; < 5-teens-killed/in single-car-crash... > < two-innocents'-killed-by-car-driven-at-112Mp/h... >.