Driver Location Signs

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Steven
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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Steven » Thu Sep 26, 2019 07:26

DanT97 wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 01:04
Doesn’t anyone want to help me get these signs installed in Scotland?
SABRE is not a campaigning organisation.

I suggest you write to Transport Scotland and get the official response from them, outlining their benefits.
Steven

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by FosseWay » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:52

On the phone location issue: When using my phone's GPS to track hikes and cycle rides, I often find that the trace is notably divergent from reality, and this problem increases the more obstructions there are between me and the satellites, such as tall buildings, steep-sided cliffs/hillsides and (to a lesser extent) trees. In a dense urban area the effect can be significant enough to place me on a parallel road to my real position, or in the middle of a building and positioned such that an emergency responder may go to the wrong side of the building to find me. If you know where you are - either because you are familiar with the place or because you know where you are with reference to a map - it is always going to be more accurate to give that information than rely on the phone. If you are travelling and have kept an eye on where you are and can pinpoint it precisely on a map, you can do likewise on Google Maps and then read off the coordinates Google provides if you drop a pin there.

I don't have a problem with What3Words as such, but find it to be overly precise. It gives a false sense of precision to quote to 3 square metres if your phone's GPS is only accurate to 10 square metres in the most favourable conditions. It's a bit like saying me confidently stating that the meteorite that killed off the dinosaurs fell 65,000,033 years ago precisely because it says 65 million in a book published in 1986.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Vierwielen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:44

Driver location signs smell of beign a good idea until some politician saw the word "kilometre" in their description and promptly counted out how many vote they would lose to Nigel Farage et al if they promoted the use of DLSs on account of the use of the "K" word. The fact that their use might save lives does nt appear to feasture highly in their priorities.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Johnathan404 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 15:12

Vierwielen wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:44
Driver location signs smell of beign a good idea until some politician saw the word "kilometre" in their description and promptly counted out how many vote they would lose to Nigel Farage et al if they promoted the use of DLSs on account of the use of the "K" word. The fact that their use might save lives does nt appear to feasture highly in their priorities.
I'm not sure that's true. Why does the motorist even need to know what the unit of measurement is? It has no effect on how you use the sign. Most motorways don't start at 0 so the signs won't even tell you how far from the start of the road you are, only where you are.

I'm as sceptical of the Daily Mail as the next person and I don't doubt they might make a story about it, but they make a story about a lot of things and very little of it lasts more than 48 hours.

If politicians were that bothered about "saving lives" as you put it, there would be plenty of ways to get around the issue of the unit of measurement.
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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Vierwielen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 18:39

Johnathan404 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 15:12
Vierwielen wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:44
Driver location signs smell of beign a good idea until some politician saw the word "kilometre" in their description and promptly counted out how many vote they would lose to Nigel Farage et al if they promoted the use of DLSs on account of the use of the "K" word. The fact that their use might save lives does nt appear to feasture highly in their priorities.
I'm not sure that's true. Why does the motorist even need to know what the unit of measurement is? It has no effect on how you use the sign. Most motorways don't start at 0 so the signs won't even tell you how far from the start of the road you are, only where you are.

I'm as sceptical of the Daily Mail as the next person and I don't doubt they might make a story about it, but they make a story about a lot of things and very little of it lasts more than 48 hours.

If politicians were that bothered about "saving lives" as you put it, there would be plenty of ways to get around the issue of the unit of measurement.
I frequently use driver location signs to log my progress. Both Wikipedia and CBRD give the DLS readings at various junctions and given that value and the current value, I can work out how far I am from the junctiuon and also how long it should take to get there. If you are on a clear road and drive at 120 km/h (75 mph), you cover 2 km per minute.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by RichardA35 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 19:01

Alternatively, the distance to forward destinations is repeated after each junction on a far larger sign so saving the peering through traffic and the mental arithmetic.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Johnathan404 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 20:11

Vierwielen wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 18:39
I frequently use driver location signs to log my progress. Both Wikipedia and CBRD give the DLS readings at various junctions and given that value and the current value, I can work out how far I am from the junctiuon and also how long it should take to get there. If you are on a clear road and drive at 120 km/h (75 mph), you cover 2 km per minute.
Good for you. But that has nothing to do with "saving lives", so I'm now even more confused about what your concern was.

What's more, the vast majority of motorists don't need to mentally calculate how long it "should" take to get anywhere, because they insist on using a gadget which tells them exactly how long the journey is likely to take. Most people do not care how long it is likely to take to get to the next junction, it is of no relevance to them. You are not going to change that.

So this is a use you have created for DLS that virtually only you use, and you're then saying DLS can't be used to save lives because politicians are worried that metric-haters will find out that one person on SABRE also use DLS to carry out mental arithmetic in metric? Daily Mail readers have the capacity to worry about a lot of things but I don't think that is going to be high on their agenda.

It doesn't make any sense. If you enjoy doing mental metric arithmetic with the information on DLS then good for you. We are a society of people who like doing things our own way. But you don't need to make out that it's some-kind of dark secret that the powerful elite wouldn't approve of, because it isn't.
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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Fenlander » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:39

FosseWay wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:52
I don't have a problem with What3Words as such, but find it to be overly precise. It gives a false sense of precision to quote to 3 square metres if your phone's GPS is only accurate to 10 square metres in the most favourable conditions. It's a bit like saying me confidently stating that the meteorite that killed off the dinosaurs fell 65,000,033 years ago precisely because it says 65 million in a book published in 1986.
Yup, giving an exact 3x3 square to the emergency services which could in theory narrow it down to even which lane the emergency is in when your phone could have drifted off to the other side of a motorway several lanes and the entire other carriageway away is not helpful.

On a local level here's the gist of the facebook conversation I saw relating to a road closing accident yesterday on a busy S2:-
OP- Accident, road closed other side of VILLAGE.
Lots of people- where?, which road?, other side from where?
OP- The other side to where you go into the village near the farm with the horses.
Lots of people- north or south?
Another person- I've just driven past, it's blocked half the road, traffic is bad but you can just squeeze past, I'd go the back way if I were you.
OP- Going north
Lots of people- It's closed going north from the village or closed going north into the village?
OP- It wasn't closed when I went past but looked like it might be soon.
Lots of people- sod it, I'm going the back way regardless to pick the kids up from school.
3rd person- Lots of traffic coming down my sideroad, is the main road closed?
4th person- Wasn't when I just came past
Lots of people- Well that was a waste of time, set off early, went the back way, got stuck in traffic down the back way then arrived only to be told the road was open the whole time.

An hour later the police tweeted they were closing the road for half an hour to allow recovery of a vehicle from a ditch, half hour later there were many comments stating recovery had already taken place with only one lane blocked for about 10mins.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Vierwielen » Wed Oct 09, 2019 19:44

Johnathan404 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 20:11
Vierwielen wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 18:39
I frequently use driver location signs to log my progress. Both Wikipedia and CBRD give the DLS readings at various junctions and given that value and the current value, I can work out how far I am from the junctiuon and also how long it should take to get there. If you are on a clear road and drive at 120 km/h (75 mph), you cover 2 km per minute.
Good for you. But that has nothing to do with "saving lives", so I'm now even more confused about what your concern was.

What's more, the vast majority of motorists don't need to mentally calculate how long it "should" take to get anywhere, because they insist on using a gadget which tells them exactly how long the journey is likely to take. Most people do not care how long it is likely to take to get to the next junction, it is of no relevance to them. You are not going to change that.

So this is a use you have created for DLS that virtually only you use, and you're then saying DLS can't be used to save lives because politicians are worried that metric-haters will find out that one person on SABRE also use DLS to carry out mental arithmetic in metric? Daily Mail readers have the capacity to worry about a lot of things but I don't think that is going to be high on their agenda.

It doesn't make any sense. If you enjoy doing mental metric arithmetic with the information on DLS then good for you. We are a society of people who like doing things our own way. But you don't need to make out that it's some-kind of dark secret that the powerful elite wouldn't approve of, because it isn't.
An example that I had in mind is described here. After an accident on the M5, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue received a number of calls, but some were so vague (or plainly incorrect) that they did not know whether there was one accident or two, or which lanes were affected or even where the accident was. As a result emergeny services from four different locatiosn were mobilised in order to deal with an incident (or incidents) along a 40 mile stretch of motorway. This meant that resources that might have been needed elsewhere were tied up.

In 2001/2, I worked in Italy where they also have a form of driver location signs on their equivalent of "A" Roads. (See here for the 19 km marker on the SS4). These signs seem to be so ingrained into the Italian way of life, that advertisers use them to direct motorists to their restaurants or garages (eg "XYZ Restaurant on SS4; km 17.2"). If this sort of use of locations signs had been ingrained into the British way of life, then the Devon and Somerset Fire Rescue Service would have known exactly where the incident was.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Vierwielen » Wed Oct 09, 2019 19:50

Johnathan404 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 20:11
We are a society of people who like doing things our own way. But you don't need to make out that it's some-kind of dark secret that the powerful elite wouldn't approve of, because it isn't.
I am not sure that I agree with you.

I arrived in the UK from South Africa in 1978. A few years previously I had received a South African Identity Document. My number had 13 or so digits. A note came with the document explaining the meaning of each digit - 6 digits for date of birth, 4 digits for sequence number (0000 to 4999 for males, 5000 to 9999 for females), one digit to denote your race, one to denote whether or not you were a South African citizen and a check digit. In contrast, when I got my British driving licence (the old green type), I could cut off the bottom right hand corner if I did not want my date of birth to appear on my licence, even though it was encoded into my licence number, but they were not telling me that.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by WHBM » Thu Oct 10, 2019 07:25

Johnathan404 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 15:12
Vierwielen wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:44
Driver location signs smell of beign a good idea until some politician saw the word "kilometre" in their description and promptly counted out how many vote they would lose to Nigel Farage et al if they promoted the use of DLSs on account of the use of the "K" word. The fact that their use might save lives does nt appear to feasture highly in their priorities.
I'm not sure that's true. Why does the motorist even need to know what the unit of measurement is? It has no effect on how you use the sign. Most motorways don't start at 0 so the signs won't even tell you how far from the start of the road you are, only where you are.

I'm as sceptical of the Daily Mail as the next person and I don't doubt they might make a story about it, but they make a story about a lot of things and very little of it lasts more than 48 hours.

If politicians were that bothered about "saving lives" as you put it, there would be plenty of ways to get around the issue of the unit of measurement.
Ah, but it's true.

I've told this one before but at university in the 1970s we had a visiting lecture from an official from the MoT, who had been there when motorway junctions were first numbered some years before.

The original plan was to number them based on mileage from a start point, which for roads from London was from the centre. So on the M4 it started at J7 at Chiswick, J9 at Isleworth, J14 at Hounslow, J190 at Llanelli, etc. This had the advantages that you knew the distance between junctions, how far to go, any new junctions readily slotted in, and intermediate mile signs were possible as well. A full plan was prepared and sent to the minister for approval.

The minister said that metrication was government policy, they would be ridiculed if they introduced a new mile-based scheme today, etc. So No.

The team then redid all the plans in kilometres, and sent them up for approval again.

Meanwhile, government reshuffle, minister had changed. New minister said public didn't like kilometres, felt they were being forced on them, they would be ridiculed, etc. So No.

Team hacked off by now, rather grumpily redid them all again based on sequential numbering. And that's how we got what we have got. If the story had got to the Yes Minister scriptwriters I'm sure they could have worked it in.

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Re: Driver Location Signs

Post by Vierwielen » Thu Oct 10, 2019 14:32

At least this is better than what the Italians do - they name all their autostrade junctions and number the bridges over them.

I have often wondered whether or not it would make sense to number our motorway services by referncing the closest location marker value - eg Winchester Services would be "Winchester Services (S96)" while places like South Mimms would have two numbers, depending on the motorway (and only that motorway designation would appear on that motorway's roadsigns).

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