Friday, 4 July 2014

Watching speed in new 20mph zones . . .


Watching speed in new 20mph zones

Cited at:

WIGAN Council has turned to the latest technology to monitor the speed of motorists as part of its ongoing attempt to make residential roads safer.

The local authority has installed 25 radars in the borough’s 20mph zones to check how fast people are travelling and whether lowering speed limits near homes is proving effective.

The monitoring equipment will not be used to catch people speeding and no personal information about drivers or vehicles will be captured.

Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith said: “Our hope is that over time average speeds will fall. We’re not expecting to see immediate changes. We appreciate this is a long term project as a change in behaviour is needed and this won’t happen overnight.

“The monitoring equipment is a crucial part of the process as the data will give us an idea of where to concentrate our efforts in encouraging motorists to reduce their speed.”

However, the move comes as the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) claims there has been a 26 per cent increase in accidents in 20mph zones and calls for more research to prevent collisions.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Roads are being given a 20mph limit but they do not seem to be delivering fewer casualties. We are concerned this is because simply putting a sign on a road that still looks like a 30mph zone does not change behaviour.

“In locations with a proven accident problem, authorities need to spend more on changing the character of roads so that 20mph is obvious and self-enforcing.”

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