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Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Speed Balloon

Speed balloon in action.
Q. What is a speed balloon?

A. Well it works the same as a speed camera but it is thousands of
pounds cheaper and doesn't criminalize drivers.

Q. How does it work?

A. By regression to the mean which, put simply, is that lightning
rarely strikes twice or where your balloon is. So, like the camera
people, you can then claim that your balloon stops accidents. Try
it. Put one outside your house and stop accidents. And the good news
is that it still works when flat. In fact you don't even have to
blow it up.
During the 4 hours that the above balloon was on test there wasn't one single accident.


  1. Oh dear, the regression artefacts at single sites are more than compensated for when the casualties are counted on the whole of the road network in a county.
    Your demonstration means little in the science of casualty reduction.

  2. Yes of course it is simple Bob, but true. It saves explaining regression to the mean to the ordinary public. But the most dangerous and untruthful of sound bites 'speed kills' is OK then? On examination it is the reverse. If the Earth were not travelling at 30Km per second (very fast) around the solar system, we all die. The faster mankind got so life expectancy went up not down, speed is motion and when it stops so does you heart too. So 'speed kills' is false isn't it? But regression to the mean is well understood and applies at camera sites and is used in the lucrative anti driver dishonesty. Fact is that speed cameras have not improved casualty figures at all. Only the Road Safety Industry promote those ideas. Me? I am a voluntary road safety worker and an expert to boot. I have no vested interest other than the truth and focusing on real road safety. Now big money is the motive Bob. Follow the money.

  3. Are you able to illustrate your non-causal link between speed and collision frequency/casualty severity with anything in the way of tangible practice or research? Can you point to any worthwhile work that goes against the positive relationship?
    Your Earth rotation is rather silly, in my opinion, as I look out of my window with 2 cars parked upon the Earth travelling at 30km/s I conclude that they too are travelling at 30km/s because they appear to be travelling at 0mph across the Earth's surface. Would that make a difference to your theory above Keith?
    Think back to your days in the police Keith; were you not taught the drivers sight perception and field of view change with respect to the speed of the vehicle against the Earth travelling at 30km/s? I believe you were if you were any sort of driver above the normal beat bobby.
    Your 30km/s Earth speed makes no sense in the field of traffic speed; if it did we would have 108,000,050km/h speed limits for example. Why do vehicle speedometers indicate speeds well below 108,000,000km/h?

  4. Hang on Keith, just thought, why not have a think about driving a space shuttle down the high street at Mach 15?
    Would you negotiate the hazards with the same efficiency?
    See, we can both do the ridiculous and irrelevant!

  5. Missing the point Bob. 1) You have had to qualify
    the sound bite 'speed kills' on its own, it is false is my point. It is therefore the biggest money spinning lie there is. 2) Of course speed affects the outcome and severity of an accident but that is after it has happened. Why not focus on the causes of which 'speeding' cannot be one and physics wouldn't support that it is.

    So if you are going to focus on the 6th form argument that slower speed means less severity, then simples; just stop all traffic completely. The evidence that this is already overplayed is that there is less death on the road already, from all causes than by accidents in the home after 300,billion driver miles a year so what is the real issue then Bob? Why all these lucrative groups? Why 43 camera partnerships all spouting the same propaganda when one could do that? Follow the money Bob. Follow the money