Sometimes you just read something in a newspaper that just annoys the bejesus out of you and it so happens I am in a crabby mood. Take a bow Brisbane Times online, a Fairfax effort.
RACQ has warned motorists not to rely on their vehicle's cruise control to regulate their speed in the Clem7 tunnel.
The tunnel is named after Clem Jones, Lord Mayor of Brisbane in the 1960s. He was responsible for the end of Brisbane trams. Boo.
The motoring body has received a substantial number of complaints from members who believe their cruise control feature had not prevented them exceeding the speed limit inside the tunnel.
Is a technological item within the tunnel interfering with cruise controls, I wondered?
More than 4000 speeding fines were handed out in the Clem7 tunnel and RACQ believes among those fined were members relying on cruise control to keep their car under the 80km/h speed limit.
Not an unreasonable expectation. You should be able to.
RACQ executive manager of vehicle technologies Steve Spalding said cruise control did not stop a vehicle speeding up when travelling downhill.
"Cruise control is feeding in engine power much as the driver would do with the throttle pedal," he said.
Sprouting his mechanical knowledge by using throttle pedal when everyone else says accelerator. Throttle can mean different things to different people. A car's accelerator means one thing.
"The difference being when you are going on a downhill section it is the same as the driver pulling their foot off the gas but it doesn't stop gravity pulling that vehicle speed up.
He just can't say that accelerator word. Americans fill their cars with gas. We fill our with petrol or gas, that is LPG. Good to hear Clem7 has sections.
"On a downhill gradient a vehicle will creep and depending on the type of vehicle and some of the more technical aspects it may creep by a couple of kilometres an hour or it might creep by five or ten depending on the gradient or the vehicle."
The main technical aspect being friction. Pity none of us know what that is.
He said there were steep sections in the tunnel. But with limited surrounding visual “clues”, motorists may not realise they were travelling down hill.
Those damn sections again. They'll do you in every time. Never mind surrounding visual clues. Your car is speeding up. What more of a clue do you need?
“We urge motorists to bear this in mind and also not to rely on cruise control in the tunnel but rather keep a close eye on their speedometers and make sure they stay under the 80km/h,” he said.
Finally he says something sensible.
"Cruise control is not a speed limitor and it doesn't substitute the driver taking responsibility for the speed of a car."
Nor is it a speed limiter. One silly spelling error and it engendered all this work for me. Glad I don't get paid to write and I can make as many errors as I like.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries spokesman James Goodwin said people needed to be aware of using cruise control in areas where they know there will be speed cameras.
There, ipso facto, only worry about exceeding the speed limit when cameras are around. I suggest you set your cruise control no higher than the speed limit.
"Cruise control can be a useful tool but ultimately the driver is still in control of the vehicle and particularly in areas downhill and uphill, there will be variations in the speed while the engine and the cruise control system catches up," he said.
I certainly hope, cruise control notwithstanding, that drivers do remain in control of their vehicle. In fact keep control of your car too.
Mr Spalding reminded motorists to read their car's handbook and get a better understanding of how their car's features work.
I wonder if handbooks (do we say handbooks? Don't we say owner's manuals?) remind drivers that long known laws operate that were discovered before cars, that is, you pick up speed when going downhill.
What tedious tosh.