legal limit

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.

legal limit

Post by please » Tue Oct 18, 2005 12:27 pm

A recent poll in a British newspaper revealed that most lorry drivers were on the road in breach of the resting period imposed on them by law. Now, if I want to use the term "legal limit" in describing this situation (as in "most drivers were found speeding over the legal limit" or "most drivers drink alcohol above the legal limit") what should I say?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by dalehileman » Tue Oct 18, 2005 3:45 pm

Please, that's a legitimate question because the term so often applies to alcohol that it might confuse the reader. I was going to suggest, "...exceeding the legal limit for the duration of a roadside rest period" when I realized that I was committing the very faux pas that you had anticipated and were trying to avoid because it seems to say that the law imposes a limit on the BAC you are allowed to have while resting

In short, I haven't answered your question; but it's a good one, and I will think about it some more
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by kagriffy » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:54 pm

I don't think I'd use the phrase "legal limit" at all, because (as Dale points out) it seems to be used most often in connection with alcohol. Instead, I would describe the situation by saying something like the following: "Many drivers are taking less than the legally mandated rest periods." (Dale, they wouldn't be "exceeding" the limit, because the mandated rest periods are minimums, not maximums. No one would be concerned with a driver resting too long, but a non-rested driver could be hazardous.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature:
K. Allen Griffy
Springfield, Illinois (USA)

legal limit

Post by dalehileman » Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:00 pm

Kag: Thank you for the correction. I had imagined tens of thousands of truckers vying for a limited number of available shelters and therefore a limit on the time one might occupy each one
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by Shelley » Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:19 pm

How about "exceeding the legal limit for continuous hours at the wheel"?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by dalehileman » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:57 pm

Shelly, sorry no. Your phrase can also mean there is a top limit to the BAC you are allowed during a period in which you drive your car continuously for more than two hours
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by please » Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:17 am

It sounds easy but, as you can see, it isn't. I hope someone will come up with a formula, or I should continue to abuse my own rest periods. For further complications you can take a look at the HGV driving regulations site http://www.transportcafe.co.uk/dh_7_36.htm. But please do not blame me if that leads to more frustration.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:09 am

'Please':

I fail to see what the basic problem is with the regulations. Are you having trouble understanding something, or are you trying to find a way to express something specific? In either case, please state the situation clearly, otherwise we will continue to stagger through a morass of hints and misunderstood allusions to we know not what.

Dale:

In my view, it would be perverse to construe "exceeding the legal limit for continuous hours at the wheel" as making any reference to blood alcohol content (which I assume is what BAC is supposed to stand for). The intended meaning of Shelley's suggested wording seems quite unambiguous from the context, not to say obvious.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

legal limit

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:54 am

"Mr T Rucker, a lorry-driver from Trailertown was recently fined because the tachograph fitted to his vehicle revealed that by driving for 72 hours without a break he had exceeded the legal limit."

What’s the problem?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

legal limit

Post by Phil White » Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:37 am

It's not so much that "legal limit" is associated with alcohol. The term "limit" strongly suggests a maximum limit, and in this case, a minimum requirement is meant. I simply wouldn't use "legal limit" because, as K. Allen pointed out, "No one would be concerned with a driver resting too long."

The other problem that K. Allen points out, namely that you cannot apply "exceed" to a minimum requirement in the way that is meant here is one I'm confronted with almost every day, as German has a pair of words, one meaning to exceed/overshoot and the other meaning to "fall short of"/undershoot. In English, we don't have a neat, precise antonym of "exceed". When confronted with the problem, I have always found it necessary to paraphrase along the lines of "failed to meet the required..." or "fell below".
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

legal limit

Post by dalehileman » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:36 pm

Erik: Forgive, then, my feeble thrust at humor
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by mike2005 » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:02 pm

Please
I may have missed the point , please advise me if that is the case.

Would it be reasonable and clear to say:

"most lorry drivers were on the road in breach of the legal limit of driving hours imposed by law, by failing to take breaks at the appropriate times and duration"

Mike
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by dalehileman » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:48 pm

Mike very good
ThoI might have said "...the legal limit for continuous driving hours without rest..."
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by please » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:47 pm

The law is well and kicking, and it looks quite happy with its own wording. We are discussing here the description of a situation where the breach of the law involves the avoidance of the rest periods imposed on the drivers. We also want to use the term "legal limit" to describe this situation.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

legal limit

Post by mike2005 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:04 pm

It seems cumbersome but is this along the right line?

"most lorry drivers were on the road in breach of the legal limit between rest periods"

Mike
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Post Reply