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High speed single carriageways: where's the risk analysis?

Road accidents and deaths are always going to be a fact of life when 'by design' we encourage ordinary people of all ages to tear down the same narrow strip of tar towards one other at 60mph, separated sometimes only by a white line.

Just how sensible is this in terms of hazard identification and risk assessment? The many thousands of safety specialists and philosophers we have these days should hang their heads in shame.

Viewed from this safe distance, and as an engineer always trying to be practical, it seems that exemplar training of ordinary people as drivers, vehicles with more crash protection and less fancy bits, rational thinking about the use of such strips of tar, and no alcohol is what we should
be aiming for in the next 100 years. It will take that long.

As an ordinary driver tearing down an ordinary road in an ordinary car at 60mph, I often look at the vehicles approaching me probably doing the same speed and think, "this is really so stupid, I'm within range of a fatal 120mph crash"– but I have to go on anyway, it's the way it is.

Fingers crossed I'm still here, but next week?

JOHN ADDISON,
John.addison@mottmac.com

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