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Sunday 2010-04-18


Proposition: Cars and similar vehicles should be required by law to have at the rear a prominently-visible digital readout of their current speed.

Advantage 1: it would be that bit easier to match the speed of the car in front, which is generally a Good Thing for efficient traffic flow. (Actually you might want a low-pass-filtered version of the speed of the car two in front, or something; anyway, whatever it is you want, the extra information will do no harm.)

Advantage 2: it would act as a mild deterrent to speeding.

Advantage 3: it would make it slightly easier for police to catch people speeding.

(What's that you say? Sometimes driving faster than the limit is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and sometimes the police prioritize fundraising over safety when it comes to catching speeders? Quite possibly. In which case, the thing to do is to fix the laws or the speed limits, not to rely on the fact that sometimes it's inconvenient to tell whether someone's speeding or to prove they are.)

It might be difficult to do this visibly enough to be useful without obscuring the view through the rear window; that might be sufficient reason not to do it.