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Funnily enough I was thinking about this the other day when driving on a single track road with pot holes big enough to break my front wheels if I wasn't careful. Road safety was one of the things on Breakfast TV this morning.

I was wondering has any research actually gone into how bad road surfaces actually contribute to accidents and air pollution as well. I've seen councils put speed humps in on roads that see one car per hour on average yet either side the road is broken up even down to the clay base. God forbid any car or motor cyclist trying to stop quickly when a child walks out without looking. Same for a Cyclist.

Air pollution when you sat there bouncing along how much extra fuel does it need over a smooth well maintained surface?

The news mentioned accidents involving cyclists went up. Not surprising considering cyclists numbers have increased tremendously over the last year or so yet safety training hasn't seemed paramount and if you watch most cyclists if they drove a car like the way they ride they'd be locked up or banned in week if they did the same in the car.

I beginning to think the gains to be made by ever reducing the speed limits are getting smaller it would be better concentrating on other factors such as proper training for cyclists better road surfaces and better awareness for pedestrians.

There is also a question over whether drivers should be regularly retested. Not using the the standard driving test but rather a examiner sits in with them and watches how they drive and read the roads and see if they are capable of making proper progress and can assess hazards properly.

 

 

 

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Don't think we need more state medling, just fixing the roads will do :)..

Don't know. When you get people driving at 25mph in a d-restricted zone and there aren't any hazards clearly they are not up to either passing the test or if they have passed it no longer have the ability to drive properly or should have failed.

Most annoying Sheffield has got loads of money to fix the roads but the company they have employed Amey are not doing it properly so in two or three years we will be back in safe position. Oh the days when the Utils used to be in public hands and you used too see that big roller pressing all the aggregate back down properly and more tarmac being laid until the road surface was flat and even better it stayed flat for years after.

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Don't know. When you get people driving at 25mph in a d-restricted zone and there aren't any hazards clearly they are not up to either passing the test or if they have passed it no longer have the ability to drive properly or should have failed.

Most annoying Sheffield has got loads of money to fix the roads but the company they have employed Amey are not doing it properly so in two or three years we will be back in safe position. Oh the days when the Utils used to be in public hands and you used too see that big roller pressing all the aggregate back down properly and more tarmac being laid until the road surface was flat and even better it stayed flat for years after.

country lanes around here are a nightmare , contact silage cutter tractors and trailers hauling past at 40 mph between you and a hedge and crumbling lanes is quite an experience !!.

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country lanes around here are a nightmare , contact silage cutter tractors and trailers hauling past at 40 mph between you and a hedge and crumbling lanes is quite an experience !!.

Try some of our roads then.

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Try some of our roads then.

cities seem to suffer with their roads ,Glasgow is terrible for pot holes ..

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Don't know. When you get people driving at 25mph in a d-restricted zone and there aren't any hazards clearly they are not up to either passing the test or if they have passed it no longer have the ability to drive properly or should have failed.

Most annoying Sheffield has got loads of money to fix the roads but the company they have employed Amey are not doing it properly so in two or three years we will be back in safe position. Oh the days when the Utils used to be in public hands and you used too see that big roller pressing all the aggregate back down properly and more tarmac being laid until the road surface was flat and even better it stayed flat for years after.

Such people could be committing an offence of driving without reasonable consideration for other road users depending on their reason for driving so slowly - it does remind of an incident many years ago when one of our traffic motorcyclists pulled a fellah up for driving too slow - the fellah replied that he had been driving all his life and never had an accident - our man replied, perhaps you haven't but I bet you have caused loads - at this point political correctness started to creep in and the fellah stood on his dignity and made a complaint against our man who ended up getting a rollicking from the inspector - I felt quite sorry for our man who was a good sensible copper and his action to me made a lot of sense.

 

The trouble with roads is that people drive on them.

Funnily enough I was thinking about this the other day when driving on a single track road with pot holes big enough to break my front wheels if I wasn't careful. Road safety was one of the things on Breakfast TV this morning.

I was wondering has any research actually gone into how bad road surfaces actually contribute to accidents and air pollution as well. I've seen councils put speed humps in on roads that see one car per hour on average yet either side the road is broken up even down to the clay base. God forbid any car or motor cyclist trying to stop quickly when a child walks out without looking. Same for a Cyclist.

Air pollution when you sat there bouncing along how much extra fuel does it need over a smooth well maintained surface?

The news mentioned accidents involving cyclists went up. Not surprising considering cyclists numbers have increased tremendously over the last year or so yet safety training hasn't seemed paramount and if you watch most cyclists if they drove a car like the way they ride they'd be locked up or banned in week if they did the same in the car.

I beginning to think the gains to be made by ever reducing the speed limits are getting smaller it would be better concentrating on other factors such as proper training for cyclists better road surfaces and better awareness for pedestrians.

There is also a question over whether drivers should be regularly retested. Not using the the standard driving test but rather a examiner sits in with them and watches how they drive and read the roads and see if they are capable of making proper progress and can assess hazards properly.

If I had my way I would do away with all these so called road calming measures - we have humps, we have chicanes, we have roads narrowed to one lane taking only alternate traffic, we have roads narrowed to a bottle neck at junctions and don't forget those damned road safety cameras, all designed by people in various planning departments in the mistaken belief that it makes our roads safer but in effect they P people off and p*ssed off drivers don't drive very well, so it can be counter productive. In addition with all the braking and acceleration it is more costly in fuel putting more carbon into the atmosphere, wearing out car parts, so they need replacing more often, the manufacture of which causes more carbon to be discharged into the atmosphere, eventually making it hotter and hot and bothered drivers drive worse still.

 

I would design roads to keep traffic flow moving and as smooth as possible where the motorist can make reasonable progress even in a built up area. Things like extra lanes at junctions and filter lights can work wonders if properly phased.

 

The problem we have is that the majority of drivers are not taught to drive properly in the first place - how is a driver going to know properly how to conduct himself on motorway when he has been taught to drive and taken his test on urban roads?

 

Ideally we should have a two stage driving test - allowed to drive after the first test but with limitations, then before he can have the full freedom of the road, continue training towards an advanced standard where there is a great emphasis on road positioning, defensive driving, observation and anticipation to a system. This works - I took my police advanced course many years ago and passed the test and the lessons I learned remain with me until this day - the raison d'etre is to be able to make progress SAFELY. The system was designed by police forces back in the 30's who were concerned about the high number of police vehicle accidents at that time.  

 

The introduction of the advanced driving courses made a dramatic difference to those figures and continue to do so to this present day - of course, even the best drivers, being human are not immune to accidents but their accident rate per mile is far less than average.

 

If ever you take notice of the police programs on the TV involving the cars and motorcycles often travelling at speed but in a smooth controlled manner you will begin to get an idea of what it is about.

 

Not everybody will pass the advanced stage but if this occurs then the driver should consider whether he should be driving at all - a driving licence is not a God given right and the saving of life on our highways takes priority over somebody's sensitive sensibilities and the convenience of being able to do the school run.

 

It is not speed itself which is the killer but it is INAPPROPROPIATE SPEED which is, that is the wrong speed at the wrong time in the wrong place and without the proper training to handle it.

 

I feel fairly confident that if we were to have proper design of roads and proper training of drivers the extra costs involved would end up self sustaining due to fewer accidents, time and fuel saved and less wear and tear on vehicles.

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I think potholes, especially the bigger ones, are a safety hazard, for various reasons, but are unlikely to significantly increase local pollution levels.  

 

Traffic calming measures are the other way around.  They tend to improve safety locally, not necessarily reducing the likelihood of collisions, but certainly cutting the likelihood of them causing fatalities.  Due to knock-on effects on neighbouring roads that are not traffic calmed, their contribution to the downward trend in national accidents/fatalities is more open to question.  They do, however, increase local pollution levels by making journeys increasingly "stop-start". 

 

I have often read that "traffic calming and lower speed limits will improve quality of life for everyone", but that's not consistent with my own experiences as a pedestrian.  Much of it is probably due to my visual impairment.  The theory goes, traffic calming makes motorists slow down and take more care to allow for the increased hazards, while pedestrians are less affected, and thus tips the balance more in favour of pedestrians. Unfortunately, my visual impairment often makes it tricky for me to allow for the increased hazards, especially when trying to find a good spot to cross a road where I have a good view of oncoming traffic and am unlikely to trip over a speed hump.  "Shared space" schemes are alright on roads that don't have much traffic but on major roads they are a nightmare for the visually impaired.   Even 20mph limits can be a problem, if the council starts putting 20mph limits on roads where it is generally safe to do at least 30mph (this is a widespread issue in Exeter).  This is because it results in reduced compliance with local speed limits and therefore more variable traffic speeds, making it trickier to assess how fast oncoming traffic is going.  Especially when you get a few thinking, "In for a penny, in for a pound" and doing 60mph.

 

There are two main ways that we can improve road safety: try to improve behavioural standards among drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, or dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator to legislate for the minority.  I tend to favour the former approach in this type of situation but the latter is typical of the modern British "dumbing down" approach to improving safety across society as a whole- I think it is often preferred simply because it is the easiest way of "doing something".  The state of our roads is due to repairing potholes, rightly or wrongly, being relatively low on the priority list for council spending.

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If drivers "drove" safely to the road and conditions at that time I am sure many accidents and hold ups would be prevented, same as planning ahead, instead of sharp acceleration/braking coming to a junction of any type maybe it  is better for them and others around them to allow time to slow down and stop instead if needed?

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The real problem with pothole is car damage, they make the suspension on a car wear down quicker. 

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If drivers "drove" safely to the road and conditions at that time I am sure many accidents and hold ups would be prevented, same as planning ahead, instead of sharp acceleration/braking coming to a junction of any type maybe it  is better for them and others around them to allow time to slow down and stop instead if needed?

However driving properly doesn't allow for mechanical failure or mishaps of another nature.

Generally speaking people who fail to make progress properly also fail to read the road ahead properly as well. They also add to pollution due to the engine not being run at it's optimum efficiency.

I mentioned it before the more annoying people again mostly those who fail to make progress properly also fail to drive at a constant speed with road speed varying by over 10 mph for no reason what so ever. I've been behind people varying by up to 20 mph constantly. Trying to keep the correct distance with those people is very difficult. 

I was watching one person this morning doing 28 to 30 mph in a sixty mile zone. They were being tail gated by a Lorry okay which shouldn't happen but on the type of road there was no way the Lorry should have been capable of tail gating them. The slow driver did manage to negate a cyclist properly which normally confuses such drivers completely.

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If drivers "drove" safely to the road and conditions at that time I am sure many accidents and hold ups would be prevented, same as planning ahead, instead of sharp acceleration/braking coming to a junction of any type maybe it  is better for them and others around them to allow time to slow down and stop instead if needed?

Agree with most of this, there is far too much stop/start traffic on our roads because for some reason people can't read the road ahead and alter their driving accordingly.

If I see a red light coming up I'll drop my speed gradually and travel at a crawl up to it. 9 times out of 10 the light has changed to green as I approach it and I increase my speed again. I like to keep moving, even if I have to slow right down.

This works fine if I'm at the front of the queue, but if I'm behind a line of traffic or even one other car then 9 times out of 10 I've got to stop for traffic that drove full speed to the light, and consequently had to stop for the red.

Recently, a junction on my commute route has been changed so that lights are now sperate for left and right turns, and the difference is amazing, a vast improvement to the movement and flow of traffic. It allows the left turn traffic to be on green most of the time, while the right turn lane has to wait for the oncoming traffic to be stopped. A simple alteration that has made a huge difference.

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Agree with most of this, there is far too much stop/start traffic on our roads because for some reason people can't read the road ahead and alter their driving accordingly.

If I see a red light coming up I'll drop my speed gradually and travel at a crawl up to it. 9 times out of 10 the light has changed to green as I approach it and I increase my speed again. I like to keep moving, even if I have to slow right down.

This works fine if I'm at the front of the queue, but if I'm behind a line of traffic or even one other car then 9 times out of 10 I've got to stop for traffic that drove full speed to the light, and consequently had to stop for the red.

Recently, a junction on my commute route has been changed so that lights are now sperate for left and right turns, and the difference is amazing, a vast improvement to the movement and flow of traffic. It allows the left turn traffic to be on green most of the time, while the right turn lane has to wait for the oncoming traffic to be stopped. A simple alteration that has made a huge difference.

Agree

 

I use the natural momentum including inclines and falls in the road, mixed with the right gear selection to reduce the need for any extra acceleration or braking, when I was learning to drive my instructor said to me to avoid extra speed/braking as both not only could cause a hazard but cost money also.  By driving sensibly and planning ahead you can save a few £££'s on every trip.

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Agree

 

I use the natural momentum including inclines and falls in the road, mixed with the right gear selection to reduce the need for any extra acceleration or braking, when I was learning to drive my instructor said to me to avoid extra speed/braking as both not only could cause a hazard but cost money also.  By driving sensibly and planning ahead you can save a few £££'s on every trip.

I agree, too. Forward thinking saves ££££s!

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As a carry on from my previous post in this thread I make no apologies for this one but the attached links shows some horrific details of the last moments of a motorcyclist's life and if you feel it will upset you don't watch - the deceased's family and the police agree to release footage from a helmet camera in order to make people aware of some dangers involved and if it saves just one life it will be worth it but I hope it will save many more.

 

 

This accident involved a motorcyclist who was travelling at excessive speed, estimated to be 97 mph along a single carriageway where he had the right of way and a junction to the left. A car approaching from the opposite direction turns right at this junction into the path of the motorcyclist and a collision occurred.

 

The way I see it that when travelling along the road, whether it be in a car on two wheels, one should always look out for the unexpected and have a plan "B" in mind because the unexpected sometimes happens and if you don't have an escape route in mind you could be stuffed. 

 

In this case I believe it is quite likely that the motorist did look ahead for any oncoming traffic before starting his right turn - it may be that then his attention was focused on the road he was entering and he did not expect a motorcycle to be heading towards him at nearly 100 mph - I feel sorry for him but as the law stands he was convicted of causing death by careless driving and will no doubt carry the burden of this horrific crash for the rest of his days.

 

As far as the motorcyclist was concerned he really was travelling too fast for the circumstances but he did not behave any differently to a lot of motorcyclists who are temped to enjoy the exhilaration of speed. He did not make any allowances for the hazard ahead which was a junction and an opposing car clearly positioning itself to make a right turn. He did not expect the car to turn right into his path, yet accidents are often caused this way.

 

The dropping down of speed to a more acceptable level, plus dropping a couple of cogs would have a) given the motorist more time to see him and b) given him an escape route of turning to the left into the junction in front of the car, or turning to the right to go behind it and that way an accident may have been avoided altogether but even if it was not the injuries would have been less likely to be fatal.

 

At the same time advanced drivers and riders of the police service often travel at such speeds when it is needed but they have been trained to access the risks and to employ a system of defensive driving/riding and I feel sure that they would not have approached this junction in the same manner as the unfortunate motorcyclist in this case since the avoidance of potential hazards becomes instinctive.

 

But let this be a salutary lesson to those of you who do travel on 4 and 2 wheels - the task requires 100% concentration for 100% of the time, any less and you are more vulnerable.

 

It is also possible for those who wish to take civilian courses of advanced driving or riding with the IAM which are really very cheap considering you learn a skill which may one day save your life, however national speed limits apply on these courses whereas with the police they do not.

 

The emphasis is on making progress safely - as was dinned into me there is little point in responding to an emergency if you are unable to reach the scene through being involved in an accident.

 

Safe driving and riding everybody.

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Looking at the video I would say the blame lies with both as the visibility didn't seem to restricted. One driving too fast and the vehicle turning miscalculating the speed.

 

Going back to Red lights. Modern cars with stop and start actually driving slowly too them uses more fuel. What I find interesting is if you do a manual stop start for when the engine management doesn't kick in it uses more fuel.

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Looking at the video I would say the blame lies with both as the visibility didn't seem to restricted. One driving too fast and the vehicle turning miscalculating the speed.

Going back to Red lights. Modern cars with stop and start actually driving slowly too them uses more fuel. What I find interesting is if you do a manual stop start for when the engine management doesn't kick in it uses more fuel.

I've never understood stop start, surely it eats through starter motors and requires a colossal, heavy battery?

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Agree

 

I use the natural momentum including inclines and falls in the road, mixed with the right gear selection to reduce the need for any extra acceleration or braking, when I was learning to drive my instructor said to me to avoid extra speed/braking as both not only could cause a hazard but cost money also.  By driving sensibly and planning ahead you can save a few £££'s on every trip.

Too many people don't have your superb acumen. I have done an advanced driving course. You have to talk through what you are doing -  aware and conscious driving. It makes you very aware that you are sharing your space with a poorly trained, unaware and un-alert majority.

 

I still get scared...very scared!

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There is nothing more infuriating than someone tootling along at 30 in a 50-60 zone. If you don't feel comfortable going a reasonable speed on a good road in good conditions, you shouldn't be on the road, frankly.

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Drive at the speed limit (given conditions) has been my instruction...no dawdling at (hmm...I do km now) 50 in a 70 or 90 in a 110. It encourages impatience!

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The trouble with roads is that people drive on them.

 

 

Never a truer word spoken. I've nearly been struck about 3 times in the past couple of months walking to work...usually at rush hour or during the school times. It's not on and people seem to forget that appropriate indication is for the benefit of ALL road users not just other vehicles. Some people seem to not know what an indicator is......Just two weeks ago I was crossing a side road when a car came steaming into said side road without giving indication. Any car turning IN to a side road has to give right of way to the pedestrian so they probably would have been in big big trouble with the law had they made contact. Yet they had the audacity to beep their horn at me.....is potentially mowing someone down and losing license/ doing some jail time worth it just to pick your 'little darlings' up a minute or so earlier?

 

Another type of idiot driver is the one which seems to be oblivious of what a pedestrian crossing is, either flying past you or stopping half way across them and obstructing your path across.

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Too many people don't have your superb acumen. I have done an advanced driving course. You have to talk through what you are doing -  aware and conscious driving. It makes you very aware that you are sharing your space with a poorly trained, unaware and un-alert majority.

 

I still get scared...very scared!

I do at times as well and I was trained to an advanced standard on a police driving course - the thing which scared me the most was being on the M5 during the holiday season with traffic travelling at 60 mph nose to tail with the drivers appearing quite oblivious to the danger of this - I think it is because we are so much more aware of the things which can go wrong and I do like my 'escape routes'.

 

I was quite shocked after I retired when I went into freelance accident investigation and interviewed a police woman who had been involved in a shunt on a motorway - I asked her why she did not leave more room - she told me that she kept close to the vehicles in front because if she didn't other would move in and fill the gap - my response was well let them, your life is more important. I would have thought she should have known better.

 

Drive at the speed limit (given conditions) has been my instruction...no dawdling at (hmm...I do km now) 50 in a 70 or 90 in a 110. It encourages impatience!

Agreed, I actually got flashed just over the border coming into France from Spain on the A9 - I didn't realise it was only a 110 limit - the French aren't too good at signing them - I didn't realise that they were installing speed cameras either and was probably doing 140 kph - luckily it was a hire car from Spain and at the time to French did not have access to the Spanish keeper records - I am not sure whether that has changed yet but anticipate that vehicle keeper records and possibly driver records will become available throughout the member states of the EU but just in case I am not quite so heavy on the gas these days.

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Mike go on the Autobahn and drive at 150 mph a few feet behind the car in front. If a lorry wants to change lane it just does so and it's for other road users to get out of the way. Scary to watch and the scariest ride I ever had to an airport.

 

A lot of drivers don't understand that when turning into a side road and someone is crossing they have to stop. Ideally they should look before turning if they are driving properly.

 

The worst ones are cyclists who are above any type of road rules and times common sense. If they don't get you on the road they'll get on the pavement. A massive campaign on safety is needed for them and compulsory test and insurance is needed.

 

Anyway off to walk to work in a bit for brief bit of entertainment of bad drivers , motorcyclists and cyclists.

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Mike go on the Autobahn and drive at 150 mph a few feet behind the car in front. If a lorry wants to change lane it just does so and it's for other road users to get out of the way. Scary to watch and the scariest ride I ever had to an airport.

 

A lot of drivers don't understand that when turning into a side road and someone is crossing they have to stop. Ideally they should look before turning if they are driving properly.

 

The worst ones are cyclists who are above any type of road rules and times common sense. If they don't get you on the road they'll get on the pavement. A massive campaign on safety is needed for them and compulsory test and insurance is needed.

 

Anyway off to walk to work in a bit for brief bit of entertainment of bad drivers , motorcyclists and cyclists.

 

I wish we could make cyclists use cycle paths when available too.

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I wish we could make cyclists use cycle paths when available too.

 

Cyclists are an issue for pedestrians and motorists. Pedestrians don't want them on the pavement, motorists don't want them on the road, no-one wants to deal with the hazards that a bad cyclist can bring. I've had them ring their bell at me before now on the pavement...a bloody cheek considering they're meant to be on the road unless it's a designated cycle lane.

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