Road Safety News

F1 conference session will focus on speed management

Thursday 21st July 2016

One of the Fringe sessions at the 2016 National Road Safety Conference will comprise five varied presentations all based around speed management.

The aptly named F1 fringe session will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 15 November (day one of the conference).

Two of the presentations will focus on average speed cameras, another two on 20mph limits and the final one on a new system developed by a parish council road safety group.

Richard Owen from Road Safety Analysis will present the findings from a study looking at the effectiveness of average speed cameras, carried out on behalf of the RAC Foundation, which is due to be published in September 2016. The presentation will show how simple ‘before and after’ analysis techniques compare to rigorous statistical modelling and what this means for others wishing to review road-based interventions.

Geoff Collins, sales & marketing director for Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK, will present a case study looking at the A9 average speed camera installation which runs along the entire 220km length of the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness. This case study will explore what has happened to driver behaviour, vehicle speeds, journey times, crashes and casualties in the period since the system went live in November 2014.

Rod King MBE and Nicola Wass, founders of 20’s Plenty for Us and So-Mo respectively, will look at how community campaigning sows the seeds for engagement and driver behaviour change.

Their joint presentation will look at community aspirations for lower speed limits and how this can develop a mandate for change; and how engagement that recognises and develops those community aspirations can be harnessed for changing driver attitudes and behaviour.

This will be followed by a presentation by Peter Mann, service director for transport at Bristol City Council, who has been instrumental in the deployment of 20 mph speed limit areas in Bristol.

The session will close with a presentation by Charles Pedrick, a local councillor in the village of Rodborough in Gloucestershire, who, as chair of Rodborough’s Road Safety Working Group, has developed an ANPR based radar system that uses a cloud- based software solution to provide bespoke data.

The system can produce a report from the database and show, in descending speed order, the registration numbers of vehicles that are exceeding the legal speed limit, between any two dates. The registration number of a speeding vehicle can be entered into the database to see if there are other instances of that vehicle speeding in the local community, and a report can be produced for the police.

The system is available for use by other parishes, villages and towns across the UK.

The Fringe programme at National Conference runs alongside the main programme, with delegates free to move between the two. In total, there will be in the region of 40 presentations across the two-day conference.

2016 National Road Safety Conference
The 2016 National Road Safety Conference is being hosted by Road Safety GB South West Region in Bristol on 15-16 November and is co-sponsored by Colas, Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK and Insure The Box. More than 200 people have already registered to attend the event and 16 companies will participate in the exhibition which runs alongside the conference.

 The agenda includes sessions focusing on road user psychology, public health and road safety, and social marketing, social media and engagement.

 Click here to register to attend the conference; click here for more information about exhibiting alongside the conference; or for more information contact Sally Bartrum (delegate registration and exhibition) or Nick Rawlings (speakers and agenda) on 01379 650112.


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This discourse between Charles and others is facinating. I would never have been allowed to make as much comment as he has had in all the years I have been contributing. Where did such a dialogue get us....absolutely nowhere. It was like listening to kids arguing who is or was the best football player in the world. As they appear to come from completetly diffrent camps why can't they just agree to differ?

Come on RSGB you can do better than that. If it carries on there may be a further loss of interest by others in the site as it seems to be being utalised by some for a singular purpose.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

Steve: About ten years ago, one of the speed camera vans in North Wales filmed a woman driving whilst applying her make-up. As a result, she was prosecuted and received 6 points on her license. Phone use, setabelts offences, dangerous overtakes, eating and reading at the wheel have all similarly been detected by the methods used for speed enforcement.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

I am not trying to pigeonhole anything. I am calling the attention of readers to contrary statements made and the resultant actions taken. The continued spread of automated camera based systems put in place on usually our statistically safest roads ie Motorways and some A roads for "safety reasons" is I think disingenuous.

I also worry about the lack of enforcement on much more prevalent and dangerous activities I see on the roads everyday which cannot be put down to a number and left to a machine and therefore is ignored. My point is, if I did 70mph on parts of the M62 at 9:20am I am guaranteed to get a ticket but I could do 59mph, without a seatbelt talking on my handheld phone doing my makeup while reading a book and eating a bacon sandwich 30cm off the bumper of the car in front of me in confidence I would not be stopped or have any sanctions against me.
Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

Just because there is a fringe session at a road safety conference focusing on speed management does not infer that the whole of road safety is focused on it. Please don't try to pigeonhole road safety in its entirety down to one subject.
Iain, Scotland

Agree (6) | Disagree (4)

So, contrary to assertions by commenters on this forum about speed not being the be all and end all we find yet again that it is being focused on. It has been stated time and time again that speed above the speed limit of the road, from official statistics is a contributory factor in a vanishingly small number of collisions. I wondered how long it would be before there would be calls for 20mph limits (imposed on many communities) were then subject to draconian enforcement. As stated before, speed is not the main issue for road safety and hasn't been for a long time, but it is the easiest to measure and therefore punish. Please change the record and stop draconian enforcement totally at odds with the scale of the problem and not even addressing (arguably increasing) the actual causes.
Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.

Agree (11) | Disagree (8)

Hugh, you clearly expect all motorists to behave the same - if they are to be able to conform with the requirements of the archaic road model we are currently saddled with. However, as we cannot engineer that, those requirements are not sustainable - so the model cannot work. Humans (unlike superhumans such as yourself) cannot maintain the 100% levels of concentration and maintain 100% error-free operation required by the current model to deliver safe operation.

When we add the fact the priority system that (most of) the current model relies on is decidedly anti-social and counterproductive in terms of pollution and congestion as well in terms of safety, it still surprises me how many would rather keep trying, ever more forcefully, to hammer square pegs into round holes than admit there is a better idea.
Charles, England

Agree (6) | Disagree (5)

Your responses are exasperating Charles. Did I not say in the first paragraph of my last comment how much the behaviour of motorists varies so much? Despite that you're now saying that I'm assuming that all motorists behave the same - just for the record, once more - they don't. That is the underlying fundamental cause of the problems on the road and should inform and influence all road safety campaigns. It would be nice if all motorists conformed to a certain minimum standard of behaviour, but they don't - too many fall below it and that will always be the problem regardles of the highway layout and the road user hierarchy.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Hugh, on the contrary, it is you who seems to assume that all motorists come out of the same mould on a production line and should all behave identically. I am a realist Hugh, and recognise that there are differences between them. Short of expecting new drivers to take some sort of personality changing drug, or denying driving licences to those who do not conform the the authorised personality profile, we are never going to get a suitably homogenous set of drivers who are all 100% tolerant of and all 100% able to comply with the unnecessary challenges presented by our 80-year-old road model.

That said, we do know how to provide a road model that plays to the strengths, and tolerates the weaknesses, of most personalities. So why not go for a road model that fits most, rather than futilely trying to pile ever increasing layers of regulation, enforcement and penalties onto the current system in an attempt to shoehorn all personalities to fit it?

(And be careful not to confuse "shared surfaces" with "shared spaces", they are not the same thing at all.)
Charles, England

Agree (6) | Disagree (6)

Possibly you presume all motorists are equal Charles and therefore any departure from what might be acceptable, safe and considerate (or not) can only be down to the built environment which, logically to you, has to change. Not so - the behaviour of motorists varies from the anti-social, couldn't give a damn, 'get out of my way I'm a motorist' mentality to ..well the opposite really and those in between.

As we don't seem to be able to weed them out at driving test stage, we're stuck with them on the roads which is why I keep coming back to management (of speed in this case) amongst other things and enforcement.

The present highway system is fine (including shared surfaces where appropriate) - it's some its users that are the problem. If you did somehow change the highway layouts and road user hierarchy, the problems caused by the few would still be present.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (8)

Hugh, you misunderstand me (hopefully you're not misrepresenting me). My experience is not based on the inconsiderate and selfish behaviour of any motorists. Far from it, I don't blame motorists for reacting normally to the situation they find themselves in, and I cannot see what good further regulation or control can do.

My experience is based on the road model that we have inherited, almost unchanged for 80 years, and as unfit for purpose now as it was 80 years ago. I know we can do better, because there are some places where, despite also being used by "normal everyday" motorists, the problems simply do not occur. So what is the difference between the places where the motorists behave in a sociable and considerate manner to other road users and the places where they don't? It is an environmental thing, clearly.

And yes, I'm not only a pedestrian, I am also a cyclist and an occasional motorist too. And in neither mode do I see why I have to wait at road junctions or pavements for streams of other users who got there after me to pass.
Charles, England

Agree (8) | Disagree (3)

No, I'm superhuman Charles.

I thought you had said in a comment a while ago that you were indeed a motorist? Your attitude towards motorists, wholly from a pedestrians's point of view is therefore understandable and your experiences are no doubt based on the inconsiderate and selfish behaviour of some, which I agree needs regulating and controlling - we're back to speed management again.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (7)

Hugh, Rod (re: Shared Space), the reason I pointed to shared space schemes is that they show that civilised roads and streets rely, not on regulation and enforcement, but on lack of regulation and the leaving of priority decisions to human nature.

The precursor to the Poynton scheme was the turning off of the traffic lights. That cheap intervention alone delivered significant improvements, significant enough to commit serious money to making environmental improvements made possible by the removal of the traffic controls. As a result, the town is now reaping the benefits of revitalisation, less pollution, less crashes, less conflict and an altogether more pleasant on-street experience for all. Money well spent.

It is the lack of controls that make the (possibly counterintuitive) difference. If the controls aren't removed then the kind of cautious and respectful behaviour seen in Poynton will not happen. It is time to sit back and learn, and not to find excuses and try and put obstacles in the way of such improvements. And no Rod, such schemes do not need speed limits, although they will almost certainly have to include token speed limits to comply with one of the arcane traffic laws that still prevail, and to provide a backstop to enable some sort of action to be taken against the anti-social and wanton criminal element that may rear their ugly heads. And no, we don't need change to our insurance liability laws either to make this work. It works because we are human beings and need to be allowed the freedom to behave as such, and for no other reason.

And Hugh, if I were to drive, I would probably comply with the prevailing conventions and road rules in place. And being a humble human being too, comply with the laws of human nature. So I too would probably not make sufficient allowance for (errant) traffic of lower priority than myself, make pedestrians wait to cross the road, go too fast through green traffic lights, even speed up approaching green lights in case they change, and generally drive at an inappropriate speed for much of the time. Do you suffer those weaknesses too Hugh, or are you superhuman?
Charles, England

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)


Poynton is not a "rule free" area and as Hugh says costs approx £4m pounds for a junction where just a couple of hundred yards away motorists "revert to normal" once the physical and visual environment is back to normal. I think its reasonable to suggest that the success of the likes of Poynton is that it is atypical and this is what influences drivers to go slower and take greater care.

And you should be aware that Coventry, like all the other shared spaces in Europe, rely on a 20mph/30kmh environment, with many having "presumed liability".

But you still need to put some flesh on your proposals. Your talk of 1930's "giving streams different priorities" and "failed ideas", together with an absence of any detail in proposals lacks credibility.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

Charles: I haven't seen the Poynton layout first hand apart from video clips etc. and being in the audience at a presentation by the designer/archiect, but if it works in that location, fine - I think it cost 4 million pounds. Previously, I believe it was a congested juntion with potential for conflict with pedestrians having to wait at controlled crossings to cross, whereas now they can all mingle together, a bit like a supermarket car park with an informal layout and slow traffic speeds.

I did get the impression however that you wanted this to be the norm on all roads - even where there isn't an existing problem. Can you clarify that? Also, the idea of a shared space like Poynton is that road users are encouraged to be more cautious and respectful to each other, but isn't that what they should be doing now on normal roads? If the traffic flows slowly but surely through the Poynton junction again fine, but what happens when it doesn't - do drivers revert to type, get impatient and go just a little bit quicker and carelessly when they reach the shared space?

Where the Councils don't have millions and millions of pounds to spend on such schemes at loactions which you may specify, we have to use the existing arrangement which does 'work', provided drivers do what they're supposed to - which brings us back to speed management, to bring us back to the news story.

I'd still like to know how you drive on normal roads Charles - do you treat them all as shared spaces regardless, or do you subconsciously perhaps, still see yourself as the dominant road user with priority?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

Rod, the two key sentences in my reply are: 'And indeed we have seen some of the more enlightened authorities introducing some significantly more successful "back to first principle" priority abolishment ideas that have delivered safer, less congested and more sociable roads. These are the ideas that I think we should be exploring, evaluating and evolving.'

And the key phrase there is "priority abolishment" (excuse my English). i.e. abolish the 1930s idea of giving different streams different priorities. It has worked in Poynton (unless Hugh can convince us otherwise) and in Coventry and various other places around our countries. Why are you (and others) still advocating failed ideas rooted in an obsolete traffic model? We need appropriate (probably variable) speeds, and not uniform inappropriate speeds.
Charles, England

Agree (11) | Disagree (6)

With respect Charles, you saying something 'doesn't work' or it has 'failed' does not mean they actually have!

I'm curious to know how you drive? Do you drive at walking pace to allow any pedestrians who might wish to, to cross in front of you because they were at that part of the road before you? Similarly, when you approach a traffic signal on green, do you nevertheless stop, risking a rear-end shunt, to allow peds who were already there waiting, to cross? I suspect you follow the generally accepted 'norm' for motorised travel which 'doesn't work'.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (9) | Disagree (6)


I did read your reply and it left me no wiser. And that's why I asked the question again. Simply suggesting that you want a system that is "fit for purpose" without providing any detail is hardly credible. As I have said, we know what you want to dismantle but haven't a clue what you want to put in its place!
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (11) | Disagree (9)

Pat, what law or regulation gives motorists the priority on the roadway? What is your justification for condoning making a pedestrian wait for traffic that gets there after they do? Why, do you think, the road design should encourage traffic to flow too fast for pedestrians to able to cross safely between it, in turn, and do you think it is just and fair? Also see my answer to Rod - here:

Hugh, yes, but the failed measures that you list are not fit for purpose. The roads should (and could) be shared equally by all road users. What is the justification for making any one user wait for a stream of others who arrived later? That's not the acceptable social norm in other aspects of day-to-day life, why do you think it should be accepted on the roads? The weird thing is that there are places in our countries where road users of all modes coexist in harmony - why the reluctance to accept that that change is necessary elsewhere? Hugh, I see "Cheshire" in your sig. Have you ever seen what's happened there in Poynton? If you have, can you give us your opinion on it please. Also see my answer to Rod - here:

Rod, please read the reply I gave last time you questioned me similarly - here:
Charles, England

Agree (10) | Disagree (5)

C'mon Charles

Don't keep it a secret. Exactly what would you do? And of course I don't mean what you would dismantle, but what you would put in its place.
Rod King, Cheshire , 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (12) | Disagree (8)

Where I live and places I have lived before, we have highways for mixed use, generally split into footways/footpaths for pedestrians and then carriageways for motorised vehicles, the general principle being that the vehicles don't encroach on the footways and the peds don't encroach on the c/ways unless crossing, having first checked that it is safe to do so.

Where there is a steady flow of traffic making informal crossing difficult, controlled crossing points such as zebra crossings, pelican/puffin signals are provided supplemented by refuges elsewhere if necessary and also pedestrian stages on any junction traffic signals. For the more disadvanted and vulnerable pedestrians we have School Crossing Patrols, audible and tactile indicators of the 'green man' stage and tactile paving to identify crossing points. The idea is that peds can cross safely when the traffic stops for them.

Novel idea - I'm surprised it hasn't been tried wherever you live in England, Charles. Where traffic is light, but informal crossing is difficult due to speeders that is one of the reasons why speed management beomes a necessity.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (10)

Hi Charles,

Your emphasis about pedestrians having at least equal priority and not have to wait for cars streaming past is entertaining. On normal roads (i.e. not pedestrianised, not shared space areas etc) people generally avoid placing themselves in potential danger that would likely occur if they were to challenge the "supremacy" of vehicles.

You are welcome to try to change that established mindset but perhaps you may be more effective by lobbying the legislators and those who are involved with changing attitudes - but only if they agree with you of course.

Me? My view? I'm in the pragmatist camp that thinks that roads are not safe places at present (for a whole host of reasons) and doing what we can to minimise road casualties until that situation changes. I will carry on in that vein until pedestrian equality with vehicles on the road network becomes ubiquitous through the efforts of people like yourself - if ever.
Pat, Wales

Agree (15) | Disagree (0)

So we have three sessions looking, not at ways of improving road safety or of improving road utility or even investigating whether the guaranteed capping of traffic speeds to some arbitrary limit would deliver any worthwhile benefit. No, they will be looking at the effectiveness of specific measures for trying to enforce arbitrary speed caps - regardless of the point. I wonder if anyone expects the sales & marketing director from a speed camera supplier to reveal that, although better compliance is achieved, no overall road safety or road utility benefit is achieved.

No wonder I still can't cross the road without having to wait for a stream of cars, lorries and buses to fly past. Even if those vehicles were all travelling at exactly 20mph I would *still* have to wait for them - and possibly for even longer! What a misguided waste of effort - it beggars belief.
Charles, England

Agree (14) | Disagree (12)

The ANPR/radar idea developed by Mr Pedrick could be the answer to the problem of non-compliance in 20 limit roads, which for me has been my biggest concern with them.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (14)