Could trees be a safety camera alternative?
A DfT study found that planting rows of trees along the roadside could be as effective as safety cameras in reducing speeds, reports the Telegraph.
According to the Telegraph, a trial in Norfolk found that creating an avenue of trees and hedges created a 20% fall in the number of motorists driving at speeds between 40 – 60mph.
The experiment at four villages showed that drivers dropped their speed because of the cut in their peripheral vision. Overall average speeds fell by 1.5mph.
Mike Penning, road safety minister, said: “The success of Norfolk’s road side tree planting scheme proves that it is possible to use imaginative solutions to cut speeding on rural roads leading into villages rather than just resorting to cameras.
“I hope that other councils will be inspired by the success of this scheme and consider whether they might be able to use similar programmes to reduce road casualties on their rural roads."
Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety, said: “If visibility is too good cars are more likely to overtake when it is not safe to do so.
“Poor visibility can lead to rear-end shunts, because drivers can’t see the road ahead. Well planted trees can strike a happy medium.”
Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety, said: “They certainly have their case, but trees are not necessarily an alternative to speed cameras. Clearly you don’t want people driving into them and killing themselves.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph report.