Vehicle activated signs tackle speeding and tailgating in Scotland

10.03 | 18 April 2019 | | 6 comments

Motorists caught speeding or tailgating on a prominent road in Scotland will receive warning alerts, as part of a new scheme to deter ‘potentially life-threatening behaviour’.

Vehicle activated signs (VAS) have been installed along the A701 as part of the scheme – carried out by Scotland TranServ and Clearview Intelligence on behalf of Transport Scotland.

Drivers travelling too close to the vehicle ahead will be warned to leave a two second gap – while those speeding will be made aware of the speed limit for their vehicle, along with a message to slow down.

In incidents where a vehicle is both speeding and tailgating, the latter message will take precedence.

Vincent Tait, Scotland TranServ’s strategic road safety manager, said: “We continue to work effectively with our supply chain partners, developing innovative road safety solutions that deliver real results and save real lives.

“Around the world authorities recognise the driver epidemic that is ‘close following’. This solution hits drivers directly, behind the wheel as they engage in this potentially life-threatening behaviour.”

The A701 scheme was commissioned following a review which showed that speeding was a factor in 73% of collisions along the route – above the national average.

It follows a similar initiative on the A75, installed in March 2017, which first year monitoring shows led to a 31% reduction in collisions.

Chris Keenan, Clearview Intelligence’s general manager for Scotland, said: “Following a review of accidents over a five-year period, it was highlighted that tailgating and speeding were responsible for most of the incidents along this route.

“Through a single road safety initiative, we aim to tackle both of those problems and issue warnings relevant to the behaviour of the driver and their vehicle classification.”



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    Very interesting Bob, but possibly your last comment should have been addressed to Nick?

    Hugh Jones
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    The problem is Hugh that many drivers and others believe what you believe and have just mentioned and it’s not the truth.

    The truth of the recommended stopping distances is not as presumed by many to merely be the distance that one is behind another vehicle and be able to slow and stop if that vehicle slows and stops. The stopping Distance is far from that and in that there lies the problem.

    Let’s say you are 30 ft behind another vehicle travelling on an urban road limited to 30 mph. and it slows because a bus in front of it is stopping. You see the brake lights and you can also slow and stop. That is what you and many believe is the safe following distance.

    However if under different but similar circumstances you are now 30ft behind another vehicle, no bus this time but a car comes out of a side street and in front of that vehicle in front and they collide. This time you see no brake lights or a very brief flash of brake lights and then what do you have? You have an obstruction of two vehicles directly in your path and you are driving towards them at 30 mph. or 45 ft per second and remember you have given them the safe distance of a mere 30ft. Where is your safe stopping distance now? It does not exist, it has never existed. The laws of physics apply and you will definitely collide with that vehicle in front and if you have a vehicle behind you doing the same speed and at the same distance it’s more than likely that he will rear end you also.

    If that vehicle behind was to be a 40 tonne HGV it will ride all over you and squash you and and your passengers as is sometimes seen on motorway incident.

    That what the ‘Safe and Full Stopping Distance is all about and why it’s important to give that distance at all times. The greater the speed the greater the distance that should be given Simple.

    This is why Highways England have done an intervention with regards to Tailgating but the failure to give appropriate safe space is only one facet of the problem as failure to give safe space effects every road user in just about every way.

    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

    Bob, surely the fact that the person you were talking to thinks that they should be travelling behind a vehicle at such a distance so that they can stop without colliding into the front vehicle if it brakes and stops is fine?
    Perhaps it is the use of the stopping distance phrase that is your issue? You only need to be the “stopping distance” away from a stationary object such as a brick wall when you become aware of it and start the braking process. I think I got that right? It also comes into play when going around a “blind” bend.

    Nick Hughes, Preston
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I know that I was the last to contribute to this article but this is important.

    I was speaking to a young lady who had recently passed her driving test and she spoke to me about safe stopping distances that her instructor had mentioned. That the safe distance is the one where when the vehicle in front stops and you can stop behind it and not collide with it then that is a safe distance. That to her meant that every time when she was following another vehicle then when that vehicle in front slows and stops and she could do the same thing then that would mean that she was the safe stopping distance behind.

    It’s no wonder that we suffer tailgating, rear end shunts or collisions at junctions or roundabouts or on main roads or motorways if that is the safety principle taught to learner drivers and accepted by examiners.

    Agree (4) | Disagree (2)

    I agree Hugh but like everything else we must remember that the 2 second rule only applies at lower speeds, ref. Highway Code S 126. speeds up to 40 mph only and at any speeds higher than that, from 50 to 70 mph the distance in terms of time gap should be ‘more than the 2 second rule’ and that should be 3 seconds. Otherwise one will not be able to stop in time should the vehicle in front come to an unexpected, untimely and immediate halt, as if it were involved in a collision.

    People tend to forget the higher speeds and the time to be higher than the 2 second rule. Something we should not forget if we want to be safe on our roads.

    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    From the evidence of the photo, the sign is not very effective…those cars look too close together at anything above 20mph!

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

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