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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 22:28 
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Just an idea about signage and road furniture .

Do we actually need all the signage and road furniture such as repeater signs for such things as speed limits?

Is there any reason for all these small traffic islands and chicanes in the middle of country roads when a simple set of line markings would suffice at junctions etc.?

A very simple thing to improve traffic flow is to remove ALL obstacles on roundabouts i.e. trees and or flower beds as all they do is restrict vision of approaching traffic from the right (how many times have you started to enter a r/about to find you are met with an approaching vehicle from the right that you cannot see because of foliage etc.)

The simple idea would be to have ALL roundabouts no higher than 12" max height from the floor to enable a clear view of the roundabout.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 20:08 
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Good points........especially if the money saved IS redirected to more important roadsafety factors.

NB, has anyone noticed how much more smoothly the traffic flows when traffilights stop working? :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 08:50 
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NB, has anyone noticed how much more smoothly the traffic flows when traffilights stop working? :lol:

A very good point. IMO it's only very few cases where traffic lights actually help traffic flow. More and more are being erected by me on junctions that have never been a problem before and are now really slow. It's a way of pissing off the motorist to use public transport and IMO a way to suggest congestion charges are need to reduce the council manufactured congestion. No doubt, once congestion charging is brought in, some of the useless lights will disappear and they will claim that the congestion charge has helped congestion.

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 21:14 
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Across EU - we set amber at flashing at night. All have right of way .. but HAVE TO LOOK .. thus putting all responsibility in hand of each road user.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 16:29 
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New to this site. I can see a lot of the sense in removing this, that and the other as distractors, flow disruptors, and general impeders to the good driver as he proceeds at appropriate speeds, leaving sufficient gaps and generally being a considerate road user. I would like to include myself in that group.
However a significant number of drivers scare the willies out of me, either through incompetence, bravado, deliberate danger seeking, or whatever reason. If there is no compulsion to drive without putting others at risk, just relying on individual judgement to dictate how a person drives how are we going to have safer roads.
Safety measures are either proactive - do something now with the presumption (i.e. there is some evidence) it will reduce the risk of harm or reactive - do something after an incident to reduce the likelihood of will happen again.
Virtually all road safety measures are reactions to incidents (yes, I'm sure we can all quote this camera, that speed hump, the other lowered speed limit, with no known reason for it being there) however, waiting for injury, death and destruction seems a poor way to proceed.
The place to start improvements is the driver, whatever you do to the road its the drivers who decides whether this an accident or not - there will always be a choice (always? yes i think so, blown tyre not withstanding) that could have prevented the incident. So a multi-stage introduction to driving - theory, basic skills (50 hours to achieve automation of gears, brakes etc.), motor way driving (experience of driving at speed) night driving, hazard avoidance. tests and checks as they go.
The results of two hours practice and scrape the test can be seen passing me on twisty country roads at gods know what speed.
Other countries, mostly Scandanavian, pay a bit more attention to driver training. We should do the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 17:03 
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Oh, until the roads are populated by competent ,well behaved, thoughtful drivers we need something else. Such as warning signals, reminders, things that will slow the idiots down, more traffic police, penalties.
An argument against speed cameras because of their idiscriminate punishment of drivers who are driving safely according to road conditions is that they cause anxiety, stress, distraction, looking out for them. so remove the cameras.
Replace with extra traffic police (who presumably will be able to discriminate between reckless and well considered fast driving) but won't drivers be anxious, stressed, distracted, looking out for police cars when they are using their judgement in driving at speeds significantly above the speed limit.
I don't know. I know the answer isn't simple.
Apart from obey the law, dont break speed limits, accept the inconvenience, learn to judge speeds as safe without glancing at the speedo every few seconds, err on the side of caution.
Read somewhere on this site about the how stress of being on guard all the time when on nine points negatively affects drivimg performance. Frankly nine points tells me your driving performance isnt up to much any way. Getting caught 3 times! huh!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 17:19 
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NB, has anyone noticed how much more smoothly the traffic flows when traffilights stop working?

NB anybody noticed the "Police, camera action programmes in america of juctions where pedestrians cyclists and drivers are batted to the heavens by those who choose not to obey the "after you" convention.
[I've got a lot of negatives to work out my system]
Positives i'm struggling with but then again there are lots "lets get rid of ..." on this site and precious few have the answer. I'm still looking through so maybe I haven't read the right bit yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 17:28 
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Welcome Spylon.

spylon wrote:
... but won't drivers be anxious, stressed, distracted, looking out for police cars when they are using their judgement in driving at speeds significantly above the speed limit.

... learn to judge speeds as safe without glancing at the speedo every few seconds...

In response to your first point above, no, drivers will not be overstressed looking for police cars as they will be observed on the road, in the traffic in the normal course of driving. If you are exceeding the limit and you see one in the distance in front you just slow gently and no harm is done. Contrast this with a camera van hidden round a corner waiting to trap you at a very safe 37mph.

On your second point, yes, we do learn to drive at safe speeds (85th percentile and all that) without looking at the speedo. It's just that these safe speeds bear no relation to the posted limits which are now frequently ludicrously low. It's when you are driving unnaturally slowly in daft limits that you look at the speedo a lot.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 17:36 
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Okay been reading, found some positive stuff, I might even join in. Another day though. time for tea.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 18:12 
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Quote:
In response to your first point above, no, drivers will not be overstressed looking for police cars as they will be observed on the road, in the traffic in the normal course of driving. If you are exceeding the limit and you see one in the distance in front you just slow gently and no harm is done. Contrast this with a camera van hidden round a corner waiting to trap you at a very safe 37mph.


Classic example of this;
saturday night I was driving home at 1AM and entered a dual carriage way near ,my home. The dual is now 60MPH after being reduced. I was probably doing a safe 75MPH ish on a deserted road in cold conditions.

I noticed in my rear view mirror a car with brighter than average lights coming up behind me at probably 80 plus MPH. I automatically slowed to the speed limit of 60MPH and after about half a mile turned off left along a slip road which led onto a 50MPH stretch (again deserted) by now he was quite close behind and I could see he was a police volvo estate. I continued along this mile long stretch at 50MPH (the limit) and indicated right and turned right at the next island. The police car continued fully round the island and returned back the waty he had come.

he had obviously gathered that I was exceeding the limit on the dual but after following me at a safe speed and observing that i was driving safely he decided not to pull me. (I drive a bright red MR2 with a louder than some exhaust, so prime target for attention).

Now the point being;

(a) If I had gone through a camera at 75ish in a 60MPH I would be fined.
(b) the police obviously didn't think that I was a danger to anyone or would have pulled me over for at least a "chat".
(c) I was obviously being observant by noticing him coming up behind me and proved that I was driving safely enough for the conditions.

So what is best? a police car observing someone and using common sense judgement or a no holds barred , "your nicked regardless" camera? What would have had more respect from me? A pull to suggest I was driving too fast for the road and conditions or a fine in the post two weeks later?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 19:03 
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One of the great things about the human brain is that it is not merely a rules-based, if...then computing system, but one which is able to intelligently adapt and apply experience and guidance to situations which have never before been experienced, and do not necessarily conform exactly to previous experiences or simplistic rules. We need to take advantage of this unique ability in every aspect of road-safety; engineering, motoring, enforcement and judicially. To do anything less is to operate below our potential.

Of course we need a framework in order to guide those with less experience to draw on, and to contain those whose decision-making is below par, or impaired by the other factors of the human mind (emotion or distraction, just for example), but the human brain is the one ubiquitous factor throughout road-safety, and we need ways to effectively cater to it's strengths, whilst mitigating it's shortcomings.

On a side note, may I respectfully put it that this thread may not be the most appropriate place for this line of discussion to take place, and suggest the mods consider splitting it into it's own proper thread?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 03:30 
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:welcome: spylon

spylon wrote:
....If there is no compulsion to drive without putting others at risk, just relying on individual judgement to dictate how a person drives how are we going to have safer roads.

For sure - check out Here and Here.

I agree engineering and road and traffic management all have their place in Road Safety and Development, but none can better a good motorist applying appropriate judgment and managing risk.

spylon wrote:
...The place to start improvements is the driver, whatever you do to the road its the drivers who decides whether this an accident or not - there will always be a choice (always? yes i think so, blown tyre not withstanding) that could have prevented the incident. So a multi-stage introduction to driving - theory, basic skills (50 hours to achieve automation of gears, brakes etc.), motor way driving (experience of driving at speed) night driving, hazard avoidance. tests and checks as they go.
The results of two hours practice and scrape the test can be seen passing me on twisty country roads at gods know what speed.
Other countries, mostly Scandanavian, pay a bit more attention to driver training. We should do the same.

Were you too watching the repeat of the Top Gear episode that reviewed the Finland and in particular Hakinnan's rallying skills to the test with James May ? :)
Teaching 'Driving' needs to enable the inexperienced new motorist to apply, good knowledge, skill and ability in typical situations.

Safe Speed call for the removal of all Speed enforcement cameras as they (as our website proved) are nothing to do with road safety and the disadvantages far, far exceed any possible advantages.
We also request the return of well trained Traffic Police (TrafPol) back patrolling the roads - they are about in some areas of the Country still and those areas show little alteration to the Statistics of KSI (Killed & Seriously Injured or PIA - Personal Injury Accidents). Showing that Camera's are not solving a problem.
There is great understanding of how to drive well - there are many good phrases and concepts - one that I often mention is :
Always drive /ride so that you can stop in, the distance that you can see to be clear. Clear is free from all potential and real hazards.
This self corrects all appropriate speeds for conditions, enables the motorist to travel observing the road ahead and act and react accordingly.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 03:35 
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Responsible driving / Riding can also be summed up using the below principals :
C - Concentration, Courtesy, Consideration, Conditions
O - Observation ~ Observe all about you, by sight, ears & smell
A - Anticipate, Attention, Awareness, Attitude
S - Space - all around you - your Safety Space, Select a Safe Speed
T - Time to react, (only a fool breaks the) Two second rule & Time to plan & execute your journey

------
Then there is the Safe Speed 100 Word Motorists Highway Code :
Drive on the left.
Make sure you can see and be seen.
Keep a constant look out all around.
Be aware of signs and regulations and why they are there.
Be predictable.
Recognise and anticipate danger and keep clear space from it.
Always ensure that you can stop within the distance that you know is clear.
Develop your skills.
Give courtesy, co-operation and space to others. Don't obstruct them.
Never take risks, drive unfit or compete with others.
Safety is paramount and far more important than priority. Take personal responsibility for your safety and the safety of those nearby.
Enjoy.

copyright Safe Speed 2009 -2012 - http://www.safespeed.org.uk

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 04:44 
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Info overload 'increases road risk'
yesterday at 4:28 pm
Overloading motorists with traffic lights and road signs can increase road crashes in urban areas, an urban design expert told Irish delegates today.

By Robert Carry

Speaking at Ireland’s annual Automotive Forum, urban design expert Ben Hamilton-Baillie from Bristol pointed to safety, economic and quality-of-life benefits in better reconciling traffic movements with public spaces in towns and cities.

Hamilton-Baillie stressed the idea of ‘shared space’, part of which involves removing traffic lights, road signs, road markings and other regulatory devices from our streetscapes and placing more responsibility with the driver.

Drawing on pilot schemes from across Europe, he revealed how road-related injuries actually fall when drivers are given more freedom to drive at speeds that are appropriate to the environment. He cited the example of Makkinga in Holland where a total removal of all traffic lights, road signs and markings led to an improvement in both traffic flow and road safety.

He said of the concept, rooted in a belief in human intelligence: “Presume the driver is an idiot, and he will act like an idiot." He continued, “remove a lot of the senseless signs and he will know how to act. Take away speed signs and you will witness how uncomfortable drivers are exceeding the speed which establishes itself as the norm.”

He also revealed how some county councils in the UK had removed centre line markings from roads and saw a reduction in speed and accidents as a result. In addition, pilot schemes which involved turning off traffic lights have been made permanent, as congestion was seen to reduce significantly. He added that he would like to see such developments in Ireland.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 07:52 
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Quote:
turning off traffic lights have been made permanent, as congestion was seen to reduce significantly


Something that I've been saying for years. Congestion only seems to grow with the increasing use of needless traffic lights.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 09:36 
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Maybe, just maybe, you need to examine the system from a paranoids viewpoint ?
Maybe, just maybe, the traffic lights are there to slow the traffic down and cause obstruction ?
How many people "take the bus" because it is "too much trouble to drive through all those traffic lights"
Things get worse when the sequencing is done remotely depending on traffic conditions....how come they never hold the small traffic "queue" up and let the long line through ?
Now....little known, but true: traffic light systems are automatically able to recognise a queue waiting versus an empty space. But many are not enabled. Weird. Large amounts of money are spent building complex traffic control systems which are a lot brighter than council staff, but which are then used as a basic switch....45 seconds that way, 30 seconds the other...et-al.
Then we have complex systems used on high-traffic-density routes that restrict traffic flow by introducing the variable speed limit....to smooth the "traffic wave phenomenon"....and which are largely ignored by all !

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 13:48 
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A work colleague's friend works for Southampton City Council, & says that lights there are indeed partly there to discourage driving.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 15:44 
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For those of you who have been to Southampton, this is all too believable!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 22:16 
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I'm slightly worried that all these "remove everything and let the motorist work it out for himself" schemes will only provide transient improvements. I'm begining to think (but have no proof) that anything "different" makes drivers concentrate a bit more until they get used to it - whereupon they switch off again.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 22:35 
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Mole wrote:
I'm slightly worried that all these "remove everything and let the motorist work it out for himself" schemes will only provide transient improvements. I'm begining to think (but have no proof) that anything "different" makes drivers concentrate a bit more until they get used to it - whereupon they switch off again.

That sounds like the Hawthorne effect, so you may have a valid point here.

"Shared space" may be asking for trouble. Yes it works in European countries, but these schemes are placed where it would be insane for vehicles to be going faster than 20kph (I've seen many of them with my own eyes [thanks to the joys of the Autobahns]); this scheme does not translate to areas that actually need traffic lights, signs, markings etc.

IMO, signs are needed to warn of any hazards that can be reasonably unexpected, but should be a last resort against 1) first designing out the hazard, then 2) making the hazard plainly visible.

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