Road Safety News
 

Partnership scoops road safety award

Wednesday 17th October 2012

A partnership comprising Telford & Wrekin Council, Clearview Traffic and Jacobs won the Road Safety Project of the Year Award at the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards 2012.

The partners received the award at a ceremony in London on 11 October, for the Chetwynd Road Safety Scheme.

This innovative safety scheme originated when the local highway authority and Telford & Wrekin Council commissioned Jacobs to carry out a collision investigation route-based study on the A41, which highlighted Chetwynd Crossroads as an ‘accident black spot’. It was decided to create a pioneering new scheme, in partnership with Clearview Traffic, to decrease the number of accidents on this dangerous stretch of road.

The scheme, a ‘first’ in the UK, relies on Astucia Hardwired Road Studs and Vehicle Activated Signs. During the hours of darkness, the junction layout is defined through the use of Astucia SolarLite Road Studs, highlighting the road layout and usage. An approaching motorist travelling in excess of a predetermined trigger speed illuminates the VAS, and the Astucia Hardwired Road Studs brighten from the solar illumination level to warn of the junction layout and encourage speed reduction.

Click here to see the scheme in action, or for more information contact Louise Turton at Clearview Traffic on 01869 362863.

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Honor, anything that reduces accidents/injuries caused by anything is good. I'm just pointing out that it is simplistic to think that if an engineering change reduces accidents by 10 a year at that location for example, that 10 accidents overall really have been prevented. If that engineering change just moved them somewhere else, then it was a dangerous waste of time because it prevented that money being spent on something that that could have been effective, proper policing, for example.
Ian Belchamber, Poole

Agree (6) | Disagree (6)
0

The development of systems and infrastructure improvements are part of the human condition - we start to do things, invent things and then see how we can make them better, safer, cheaper and so on. This pilot is a good example of an idea to make the highway system work better, taking account that human beings are not robots; they lose concentration, get distracted, make mistakes. This does not remove responsibility from drivers but it isn’t an either or situation, is it? We should be BOTH improving the highways AND educating and empowering drivers. Improving the infrastructure at a place where a number of people have made the same mistake is a sensible, cost effective action.

We now have headlights, road markings, ABS, ESP, seat belts, airbags - if everyone drove perfectly all the time, would we need any of them?
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (3)
+3

Anyone who needs flashing lights in the road in order to be safe shouldn’t be driving, and if the flashing lights prevented that driver from having an accident here, the probability is that they will just have it further down the road. If you idiot proof one section of road, it might appear that you have reduced accidents but you probably just moved them. “More dangerous” parts of roads are simply like accident “magnets”. Almost all accidents are caused by bad driving, the only thing that will significantly reduce this is properly targeting bad driving.
Ian Belchamber, Poole

Agree (5) | Disagree (10)
-5

Anytime I see an expensive stud installed I wonder if a good quality normal stud would have done a similar job, and also ask "what else changed at the site". I have no doubts that the scheme will deliver safety benefits, but could a cheaper scheme (e.g normal studs/VAS alone and a series of islands) have also produced the same results
Pete, Liverpool

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)
+4

That is a really good idea and seems to work well judging from the video (is the final car going at quite a lick, or is it just a wide-angle lens?).

It shows proof of concept and probably has few negative side effects, but I expect it costs a fair sum. It would be good for all future installations to be within scientific trials so that any effect on road safety could be demonstrated and a genuine cost/benefit established.
Dave Finney - Slough

Agree (3) | Disagree (4)
-1

Without wishing to detract from the efforts and good-intentions of those involved, in particular the innovative technical aspects, I too wondered if perhaps a period of time should be allowed to elapse to see if there is an improvement before considering awards, unless as Idris says, it is for the concept alone?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)
+2

The trigger speed level was specified by the local authority after a period of monitoring speeds at that particular junction.
Louise Turton

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)
+7

In principle the scheme seems promising - at least at night. Though perhaps the VAS will help during the day too.

But what is missing is accident data - is there any meaningful data yet, or is this award based on having a good idea rather than any evidence that it works?
Idris Francis Petersfield

Agree (3) | Disagree (9)
-6

Appreciate the response and I didn’t want to seem like a busybody, but having installed dozens of these myself, I know how crucial the trigger speed is. It strikes me that at this sort of junction on this sort of road, with respect to the VAS, target “audience” (if you like) are not just those exceeding the posted speed limit, but those travelling at a legal, but still too high a speed to be able to stop in time if another vehicle were to cross their path at the approaching junction, which is why I queried such a high trigger speed. A lower threshold of say 40mph would inevitably warn more drivers and decrease the likelihood of a collision. Hope you don’t mind the well-intentioned feedback.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (3)
-1

Thanks for your comments, 105 Astucia Hardwired Intelligent Road Studs and 200 Astucia SolarLite Flush Road Studs have been installed on this stretch of road. The SolarLite solar powered road studs are constantly emitting light in the hours of darkness and the Hardwired studs have been programmed to constantly emit low level light during the hours of darkness, enabling drivers to see the hazard ahead at all times, if a vehicle were to exceed the speed limit on passing either of the VAS signs they would flash “Slow Down” with the hardwired studs automatically change from low level light to full brightness, warning the driver that they are exceeding the speed limit and illuminating the hazard even more, dramatically increasing the driver’s visibility of the road ahead. I hope this helps with your concerns.
Louise Turton

Agree (10) | Disagree (1)
+9

Looking at the video, the VAS and the studs appear to only be activated at 55mph and above - so anyone travelling at say 54mph presumably doesn't get a warning of the imminent hazard? The stopping distance from 54, compared to 55, is to all intents and purposes the same.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)
+1