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Speed down, save lives!

Brake, the national road safety charity founded and lead the annual Road Safety Week, which takes place this week, the 20th – 26th November. This year’s theme is ‘Speed Down Save Lives’ which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of driving too fast.

Vehicles are more powerful than ever before and reach high speeds quickly. We all live busy lives and there is a temptation to speed up in the hope of saving time, but we are increasing the risk to lives!

The ‘Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2016 annual report’, shows a total of 1,792 people were killed in reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain in 2016 and there are several influences, including speeding. There are also external effects such as the weather, which can influence behavior (for instance, encouraging/discouraging travel or closing roads) or change the risk on the roads by making the road surface more slippery.

The latest findings from ‘THINK! further highlight the impacts of speeding:

  • Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road accidents
  • The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph
  • Fatal accidents are four times as likely on rural “A” roads as urban “A” roads

Here’s why it is important to get the message across that ‘Speed Down Saves Lives’:

  • Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in one in four (23%) fatal crashes in Great Britain.
  • Drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none.
  • A recent Brake survey found that four in 10 (40%) UK drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30mph in 20mph zones.

Clearview Intelligence have been working hard at getting across various messages this year to improve safety on the UK's roads and have several case studies which show that the right solution in the right location can significantly reduce speeding.

Clearview's award-winning vehicle activated dynamic speed warning solution on the A75, Stranraer to Gretna aims to do just that. In November 2016, Transport Scotland commissioned Clearview Intelligence to conduct speed surveys at twelve locations along the A75 from Stranraer to Gretna Green. The surveys highlighted a recurring problem along the length of the A75 with the 85th percentile speed being unacceptably high, most notably with HGV’s. Scotland TranServ, as the road operator, wished to put in place a solution that would encourage speed compliance and change driver behavior. Clearview Intelligence provided vehicle count and classification with variable speed awareness and vehicle activated signs (VAS) across six locations that has resulted in increased visibility of the need for speed compliance and a change in driver behavior. This innovative thinking was recognised as the winner of The Highways Awards - Road Safety Scheme of the Year 2017.

Another solution we worked on to combat speeding was the A78, Fairlie. Evidence from traffic surveys identified frequent speeding offences with drivers passing through the village in excess of the 30mph speed limit. A speed compliance system, integrated with existing traffic signals, was designed and installed by Clearview Intelligence as a UK ‘first’.

Clearview worked with supply chain partners Dynniq Group and Coeval Ltd, to design and install a speed compliance solution which incorporated advanced wireless vehicle speed detection, vehicle speed activated signs and the existing traffic signals. The system slows down road users who persist in driving above the speed limit by intentionally stopping them at the signalised junction. This measure effectively slows their progress through the village and aims to positively influence driver behavior before an offence occurs. The solution can be widely replicated in urban areas to encourage speed reduction.

It’s clear to see speed reduction solutions can have a dramatic impact on road safety and how by targeting individual stretches of roads that are known to be most dangerous, we could see much reduced road fatality statistics in the near future. 

 

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