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 Post subject: How Times Change
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2004 20:39 

Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 17:25
Posts: 94
I've been lurking about for a while but thought I'd use my first post to highlight a discrepancy in Government messages - and how they change over the years.

I should firstly say that I am a professional highway engineer, transport planning, policy, that sort of thing. I am increasingly disillusioned with the RTA = excessive speed arguement. In 15 years of accident investigation, a small proportion are due to excessive speed, but are usually coupled with something else.

Anyway, on with my post:

Criteria for speed limits, as you may know are set by a DfT document called Circular Roads 1/93 - it sets out the criteria for imposing speed limits. Often, these criteria are ignored by local councillors (but don't even get me started on that one!)

I'll put in some direct quotes from the front of that document:

The establishment of speed limits is also a method through which legal sanctions can be brought to bear on those who drive markedly faster than is reasonable on that road. Specific speed limits cannot, on their own, be expected to reduce vehicle speed if they are set at a level substantially below that at which drivers would choose to drive in the absence of a limit.

My emphasis. So we are able to decide for ourselves? Kind of rules out the "that's the speed limit and is therefore safe" arguement, non?

Limits may be introduced because of a poor accident record, however it is not axiomatic that a speed limit is the best cure

Say no more.

Other measures such as warning signs, improvement of junctions, superelevation of bends and new or improved street lighting are likely to be more effective.

No mention of cameras, then?

A study of types of accidents, their severity, causes and frequency can indicate whether an existing speed limit suits present conditions or whether it needs to be changed. Such systematic study may well lead to the conclusion that a particular accident problem might be better met by a local safety scheme, than by a speed limit order which would be unlikely in itself to influence driver behaviour significantly.

Again, I wonder how often this is carried out. Actually, I don't wonder, I know. Very infrequently.

And finally, becasue I'm a nice guy, some defence against conviction in a 30:

The use of repeater signs on lit 30 mph roads is expressly forbidden by paragraph 6(1)(b) of the Traffic Signs (Speed Limits) General Directions 1969 (SI/1487). This is because if there were repeater signs on some lit 30 mph roads but not on others drivers might claim that the absence of repeaters led them to believe that some speed limit other than 30 mph applied. They are reported to have done so when repeaters were allowed. The sign at the start of the limit must therefore be conspicuous. There have been cases where drivers have been given no indication other than the lighting itself that the speed limit has changed.

Repeaters don't have to be signs. They can be road markings or other such things.

thanks for reading *waves*

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