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LETTER: Lights could be solution to speeding

By shill  |  Posted: August 19, 2014

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Having followed the recent correspondence about the speed of vehicles (and the consequent collisions, injuries and fatalities) on the A30 west of Shaftesbury, it is clear that a new approach is needed.

The road down the hill from the Ivy Cross roundabout is a three-lane single carriageway, and a National Speed Limit zone starts a little way down.

In my experience, some vehicle users are already exceeding the zone limit before they even reach it!

Having assessed a number of drivers in various types of vehicles over the years using this hill, it appears to be commonly misunderstood that it is (unbelievably!) a dual carriageway and therefore it doesn’t really matter what speed you do, does it?

There is no intrinsically poor design or layout of the road from the roundabout all the way to Fern Hill for competent drivers. The problem is the sheer number of ‘vehicle users’ who choose to ignore the rules, as they know they are unlikely to be caught. Being ‘caught’ seems more to the forefront of most people's minds than the chance of causing, or being involved in, a collision due to loss of control at speed. Such events are not ‘accidents’.

The solution is to impose speed sensitive traffic lights at the bottom of the hill, backed by a red light camera. Drivers travelling within the speed limit will not be hindered, whereas those who insist on exceeding the limit will find themselves stopping every time. Along Sherborne Causeway a lowered limit, with average speed cameras, will have the same effect at relatively little cost, certainly less than the cost of just one serious injury collision. Modern average speed cameras can be environmentally unobtrusive, although one has to be careful, as many vehicle users will then claim they are ‘hidden’.

Philip Hastings, ONWARD Driver Training

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