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Traffic Engineering Solutions!
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New Government Road Safety Targets
The UK suffers some
3,000 fatalities each year on its roads. The government believes that
reducing the speed limit on most rural A-class roads will be a key
factor in addressing these fatalities. The aim is to reduce the
fatalities to under 2,000.
In 1990 the government introduced targets to reduce casualties by one third by the year 2000 based on the average of the years 1981-85. This was achieved. A further 40% reduction in serious and fatal casualties was a more recent target.
I have every support for an effective casualty reduction programme. Worldwide some 1.2M men women and children die on our roads. Road danger ranks highly in the World Health Organisation causes of death.
BUT the government would do well to listen more carefully to the experts in the many fields. From 1970 I worked with Frank Blackmore on the development of roundabouts that he had been working on for many years. I still fail to fully understand why he had so many battles with the "men from the ministry" who did not seem to be able to listen. I have had much the same experience; working on the new technical memo for roundabouts. TD54/07 was finally published some five years after my initial input. Most of what I requested was lost and much that I would not approve of was added. Why? Unless government listens carefully to the experts, these casualty reduction targets may not be met.
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I have been a Traffic Engineer since Graduating in 1970 and have worked in many different environments, central and local government and the private sector and I now work for myself from a home office. Based in beautiful South Devon I offer my services both locally and anywhere in the world bearing in mind that drawing and report files can be sent around the world thanks to the internet.
My speciality has been with roundabouts and in particular mini-roundabouts; I published Mini-roundabouts - getting them right! in 1996 and have re-written and updated the book since that time. But I have a good practical knowledge of what works and what doesn't and I expect to continue to offer professional expert advice on traffic matters for as long as I am able to. The days of the mini-roundabout training seminars are probably now over as I am not sure I could manage the whole day events that proved so popular in the late 1990s and into the early part of this millennium. But I would be willing to help small groups on a half-day basis using the same or similar presentation techniques.
At my recent presentations on road safety in developing countries I have been very keen on continuity for pedestrian routes. Below are two images, one of the problem at Hanioti in Greece which appeared at these presentations, and how, some two years later it was rectified - so well done.
Ann and I drove down from Thessaloniki around Kassandra in April and noted just how much the roads have improved since 2006 and particularly since my earlier visit in 1998. I believe that this has been widespread and note that the accident rate in Greece is falling. I would like to see a few more roundabouts. There were a few and some had adopted the offside priority rule (yield on entry) while others still had the old yield to the right rule (which does not work well when driving on the right).
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© Penntraff - Nov 2012
On a personal note:
The lack of truth in the development of TD54/07 and other traffic documents is not just an issue for Engineers. I see professional truths compromised in many fields in particular the world of medicine. (My Father was a Doctor.) I know just how much he was bombarded with literature by the big pharmaceutical industry and just how they control the world of the NHS in the UK and the various health bodies abroad. When you think about how much progress has been made in some areas but very little in others such as cancer prevention you have to look at why and the answers lie in the amount of money that there is to be made by selling costly and sometimes dangerous chemicals to the medical profession. The 'flu business is a scandal too.
On another soap-box, I have very great concerns about how projects are funded and how money is created, mostly from nothing in the form of a loan or credit. See www.positivemoney.org.uk for more information on the terrible effects of this on our world.