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Flashing signs better at cutting accidents

SPEED CAMERAS could be less effective at cutting speeds and preventing accidents than warning signs that flash at approaching motorists, transport researchers claim.

An evaluation of vehicle activated signs (VASs) carried out by UK transport research body TRL concludes that they deliver a 'substantial accident reduction without the need for enforcement such as speed cameras.'

TRL evaluated 62 VASs in Norfolk, Wiltshire, West Sussex and Kent over the last five years.

It discovered that signs flashing up speed limits to approaching vehicles cut the number of injuries by 58% and the number of deaths and serious injuries by 60%.

A similar reduction in injuries was recorded at sites where signs flash up warnings about hazards like junctions and sharp bends.

TRL says that across all VAS sites, the number of accidents has been cut by 31% after allowing for other factors like general road safety improvements.

This compares with data from the first two years of six pilot Safety Camera Partnership schemes where local authorities and police joined forces to install speed cameras. These cut personal injury accidents by 14% and the number of deaths and serious injuries by 35%.

INFOPLUS www. trl. co. uk/abstracts/ 548summary. pdf

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