Silly Limit — Mobile Speed Cameras — No Workers Present
Staffordshire Road Safety Partnership has been caught red-handed enforcing a temporary lowered limit on a dual carriageway in roadworks devoid of workers, and where no lanes are even coned off (see below).
Restrictive speed limits, cones and cameras in roadwork areas completely devoid of workers are becoming an increasingly familiar sight to British drivers.
The ABD accepts that there are some roadwork layouts that require a lower limit even when workers aren't present, like contra-flows, and we aren't complaining about them. But clearly senseless limits are being imposed on motorways and dual carriageways which are too low, start too soon, extend way beyond the end of the roadworks, and are often applied months before and after any actual work is going on.
“The Highways Agency are putting adverts on petrol pumps telling drivers to respect workers and take extra care in roadworks,” said the ABD's Nigel Humphries; “but they show no respect for drivers so how can they expect any in return? Miles of restrictions and cameras with not a worker in sight simply wind people up. They need to apply limits sensibly and appropriately — then they will gain respect.”
A local driver has sent us a link to his YouTube videos of cameras enforcing the temporary 50mph limit in the A500 works near Stoke-on-Trent when no workers are present and the dual carriageway is clear of hazards.
In the first video, the full length of the works are filmed clearly showing no workers or related hazards, with the road topography being identical to the section before the temporary limit, yet a mobile camera van is enforcing the 50mph limit just after passing the 'Asda' sign on the left:
In the second video, the limit has subsequently been reduced to 40mph and enforced with Specs average speed cameras:
“The ABD supports sensible measures to protect a workforce in roadworks, but the best way to do this is to ensure that restrictions are properly targeted and so avoid undermining respect for safety measures by constantly crying wolf.” continued Humphries; “The appropriate driving speed is dictated by the road layout and the prevailing road conditions. The damning video evidence of the A500 roadworks is the perfect example of camera enforcement for reasons that have little to do with road safety and more to do with revenue raising for the Treasury. The ABD supports sensible speed limits, sensibly enforced. Unfortunately, all too often we see the draconian enforcement of silly speed limits — something that undermines genuine safety measures.”