Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I've observed speed limit signage near the entrance to Boquete indicating 40KM. (This was also a question on my driver test.) If my math calculation is correct, this 40KM equals ~24MPH.

Recently I saw a woman carrying a small child and trying to cross the street, when a car acting like a low flying vehicle came traveling so fast that it almost couldn't stop in time to avoid a collision. A scary scene that would have been captured on our dashcam.

What is the fine for speeding?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Twin Wolf Technology Group said:

The fine for speeding used to be $50 but recently all of the fines were increased.   I will have to look it up but I thought it increased to $100 or $150 now.

 

That would have a negative impact on my holiday spending.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trouble is, to do more enforcement, you need more cops, cars, radars, judges, bureaucrats etc. until the giving of speeding tickets to raise money becomes the end in itself.

Left to their own devices, drivers tend to drive at speeds that they feel are safe (non-suicidal). The threat of tickets is far, far removed from the behavior that causes accidents and has little if any effect on it. 

Randomly giving speeding tickets to otherwise safe drivers is like taking the prostates out of 100 healthy men in the hope that one of them will actually have dangerous cancer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

depends on how fast you were going and who you are. I got stopped by a motorcycle for going twelve kph too fast. I got out of the car and asked him how much it would cost. He said over 100, maybe 150 he responded while writing the ticket. About then my wife got out of the car. She is Panamanian. They talked for a few minutes, he smiled, completed the ticket and said it would cost me $20 in the Chiriqui Mall. And that is what I paid the next week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, MarkoBoquete said:

 

The threat of tickets is far, far removed from the behavior that causes accidents and has little if any effect on it. 

OK, Mark. 

Let's assume that these statements are facts and not just your opinions.

Randomly giving speeding tickets to otherwise safe drivers is like taking the prostates out of 100 healthy men in the hope that one of them will actually have dangerous cancer.

How would you propose to reduce highway deaths caused by speeding given the circumstances?

Please don't suggest building better safer highways because that's just not going to happen.

Edited by Keith Woolford
  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IIRC the evidence suggests that speed differentials, rather than speed itself, increase the risk of collisions. Also, 4-lane highways have a much higher safety factor than 2-lane roads. The evidence suggests (and this corresponds to my own observations) that drivers stubbornly sticking to posted limits or lower, in the face of higher speeds in the environment, pose a higher danger to all motorists than those following the flow of traffic even if the flow is significantly higher than the posted limit.  

Edited by SunsetSteve
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, speed in itself is a factor in a lot of collisions and most certainly a large factor in the severity of injuries and deaths.  No matter how you look at it, the presence of a police officer with a radar will slow down traffic, albeit for only a short time because most folks know if you pass one radar check point there is little chance there will be another a few miles down the road.  Unfortunately, appealing to people's "common sense" doesn't always work because some folks just don't have any.  We have all been passed on the highway by the ego driven idiot driving at 160k or more and if you were able to stop him and ask why, the answers would be something on the lines of "Im a good driver", "what harm is it doing" or "I have a good car, it is meant to go that speed".  It seems to me, from years of experience, that the only solutions revolve around punative fines (think thousands instead of hundreds) and licence suspensions, the latter backed up by jail time if flouted.  You could also throw in vehicle impoundment and sale as well.  Improving roads will never be enough, there is always the one jackass with the Bugatti that wants to exceed the safe speed limitations of the road.  As someone previously noted, it is generally the speed differential that is the major problem, everyone driving at 80 or 100k usually results in few accidents.

Last comment, a lot of us are older but still seem to think we have the reaction times we had when we were 20.  As a personal example, I took police pursuit driving courses and drove, "back in the day" at speeds and in a manner that I would never try to replicate now, my reaction times are just not as good as they once were.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me that speeding in congested or even in lightly populated areas is the most dangerous, and yet I see the least enforcement there. Taxis and other vehicles speeding through town, through Alto Boquete, and through small communities, for example, face increased risks of cars entering from side roads or driveways and of people, particularly children, wandering into the roadway. Yet I've observed little to no speed enforcement in these areas. The cops all are on the open road with radar guns.

One of the most frightening experiences of my life was narrowly missing running over a child is Los Algarrobos shortly after our move here. He was in a bus kiosk on one side of the road when his mother appeared on the other side and beckoned him. He ran directly to her just a few feet in front of my car. I stopped mere inches from him and clearly would have hit him had I been traveling more than 40 KPM. I was so shaken that I now creep through those areas where people congregate.

Edited by Bonnie
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ATTT in Volcan, right in town, are worthless. Not only do vehicles speed on the main street but on other streets--any road that is paved. People walk along those roads, often without sidewalks.  The speeding vehicles (cars, buses, trucks) are dangerous to people and animals. I  "tweeted" ATTT about the problem. Did it do any good? Of course not.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keith,

If you look at actual accident statistics, it turns out that the vast majority, as I recall something like 80-90%, occur at intersections. Cars traveling the same direction on the open road seldom have problems, regardless of the speed. But that is almost the only place where radar cops operate. It's a money making scam. I approve of speed enforcement on the Interamericana at the entrance to towns, since people have a hard time slowing down on their own. 

You have complained about the 80kph speed limit in Alto Boquete - I completely agree with you. That shopping district is a series of uncontrolled intersections and very dangerous for all concerned. Should be 60.

But the reality of it is that 99.9% of accidents are caused by human error. People talking on cell phones, texting, eating, having sex, drunk and/or on drugs, including lots of "good" people cruising around on prescription meds clearly labeled as "Do not operate motor vehicles..." 

So the radar cop standing by the side of the road watching cars whiz by is using one very crude measurement of the "safety" of that car. He/she can't see inside the car, can't see that they are all snorting coke and chugging Jack Daniels, or whatever. The malignant drivers, who may indeed cause death, and the perfectly safe drivers who will never cause an accident are indistinguishable to the cop. That's my point. 

How to make it all safer? Get the freaking humans out of the driver's seat. Self driving cars are rapidly proving themselves far safer than human drivers. WE, the aging baby boomers, will be the biggest and most grateful market for these cars. And it will happen MUCH faster than we expect, because the development is being driven by commercial technology, not government agencies and endless funding cycles. No, they will never build safer roads, but Elon Musk is showing how to build much safer cars. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

99.9% of accidents are caused by human error.  

Mark, it seems like you're just pulling these numbers off the top of your head and forcing me to look up statistics which disprove you. 

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Safety Traffic Administration the 'Critical pre-event reason for crashes' can be attributed to the Driver 94%, Environment 2%, Vehicle 2%, Unknown 2%, of the time.

Driver-related Critical reasons include the 'recognition' error of 41% (inattention, internal and external distractions, inadequate surveillance), and Decision error accounted for 33% (driving too fast for conditions, driving too fast for curves, false assumptions and misjudgments of others' movements, and illegal maneuvers)

Driverless cars may be a good option for the future, but they're not going to save any lives now.

Edited by Keith Woolford
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the most salient problems with driving in Panama is that the driving education is poor.  I know one person who received their license this year by paying a fee instead of taking the driver's test.  I have another friend who has had a license for 20 years and does not know how to drive!  She just renews and never drives.  

A solution might be to give tickets and then excuse the ticket if a driving course is completed.  At least then, perhaps more drivers would know the rules.

I think taxi drivers should have to take an annual test. 

How many drivers do you see signaling for a lane change?  Or signaling at all?  It is difficult to avoid an accident if you have no idea what the other driver is going to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cardboard cops would slow us down every time...even knowing they were there.  Seeing flashing lights on a car coming from he other direction slows us down every time.  Maybe we need to flash our headlights at these fast flyers coming at us when we see them.  More speed limit signs sure would be nice.  "One-way" signs on the David streets would be a blessing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Brundageba said:

The cardboard cops would slow us down every time...even knowing they were there.  

 

Hahaha...the cardboard cops would look more "authentic" if the motorcycle wheels weren't a foot off the ground.

There was one between Concepcion and David, but it's long gone. Probably stolen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, C Richardson said:

As much as I hate to admit it I have almost run over locals in about 25 different instances. The only solution is taking extra care and not being quick to accelerate.

 

Frightening of course. I've observed that many locals don't even look before stepping onto the roadway. Mom taught me to look left then right then look left again before entering the street where cars are traveling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the one factor here can be described as lack of "situational awareness".  It is present in both the pedestrians and drivers.  Pedestrians, for whatever reason, seem to think that a 4000 lb vehicle can stop on a dime if they walk in front of it.  Drivers in a lot of cases are actually unaware of pedestrians (or other drivers) and do not think about what the other person may do.  Add into the mix the almost complete disregard for turn signals and you have a dangerous situation for everyone.  As North American drivers we expect a certain standard of behaviour by others - when we rely on that and it is not present then collisions will occur.  THEN, throw taxi and bus drivers into the mix and you have mayhem.  We need to drive very defensively, I know that is not "fun", but neither is being responsible for injuries or deaths.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Bonnie said:

Good points all. I think it's important that we bring this subject up periodically just to remind each other how important defensive driving is here.

Expect the unexpected.

Someone died early this morning when they fell out of the back of a pickup truck after leaving a disco.

https://twitter.com/PROYECCIOSOCIAL/status/673487512879411200

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three people were killed in a three strings of accident incidents in Chiriqui. Road fatalities in the providence now at 71 for the year. The second link shows 446 traffic deaths on Panama's highways during 2015.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/3-dead-5-injured-in-separate-chiriqui-accidents

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/speeding-suv-brings-traffic-death-toll-near-450

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Yesterday my husband saw a car back out of a parking space and T-bone a passing vehicle in the vicinity of El Constructor.  Today 3 times this nearly happened to him!   He mentioned that had he not seen it happen the day before he might not have been as fast on the horn.  Demolition derby out there !!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Panamanians in general, women and men, are aggressive drivers.  Besides Panama City we have seen that Chiricanos are very aggressive when driving too.  The statistics shows it clearly.  

So I recommend to all of you to practice defensive driving.  Have all your rear view mirrors in shape and put your eyes on the road in every direction.   I am still lucky because I havent had any car accident in more than 15 years when driving in Panama.  The only car accidents I have had were fender benders accidents because the other driver was distracted when driving.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...