Fleet News

Row as road safety schemes backfire

TRAFFIC calming measures do not work on the majority of company car drivers and instead are causing them to drive more dangerously, flout laws and crash.

As many as seven in 10 fleet drivers admit to having broken speed limits to make up for time they believe they have 'lost' due to measures such as speed cameras, speed bumps and 'right of way' chicanes.

One-third of company car drivers claim they have had an accident trying to make up for lost time caused by traffic calming, according to a shocking new survey.

More than half admitted to driving too closely to the vehicle in front and driving aggressively after negotiating areas with traffic calming. Less than a third believe the measures make the roads safer and, on average, the drivers reckoned it added 20 minutes to a normal journey.

The survey, called Rebel Fleet Drivers and conducted by Autoglass, illustrates high levels of ignorance among company car drivers of the aims of traffic calming.

Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass, said: 'We believe more persuasive arguments need to be made for these measures. If the UK's drivers continue to rebel against them, they will only create new danger spots and the stark option is that calming may have to be extended even further.'

The main complaints from drivers were that traffic calming measures seemed designed purely to catch motorists out, make journeys longer than they need to be and were unnecessary. More than half thought this was the case.

Doggett added: 'The effectiveness of traffic calming measures in improving safety at danger spots has been clearly proven but it seems they are having an adverse effect on fleet drivers' behaviour elsewhere.

'Drivers appear to exaggerate the inconvenience and lost time in order to justify their actions.'

But safety experts said it was drivers who were the problem. Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: 'It's well documented that speed cameras and traffic calming save lives and are placed in areas with a history of accidents. Ignoring them could put you more at risk of having a crash.

'It is unreasonable for drivers to suggest they don't know what speed cameras and traffic calming are for. Changing attitudes to speed is an ongoing battle.'

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'We do as much as we can to educate drivers through campaigns, education and raising awareness, but at the end of the day, it's the drivers' responsibility to drive within reason. It needs common sense.'

The spokesman said drivers needed to factor in more time if they believed the calming measures would impact on their journeys. Clinton added: 'Employers can do their bit by ensuring they have a safe speed policy in their driving for work strategy which ensures that journeys are planned so the drivers can complete them without feeling pressurised to break road traffic laws.'

Doggett agreed, saying: 'Fleet managers must do more to ensure that their drivers understand that road safety measures are working to keep them safe, not to inconvenience them.'

  • For copies of the report call 01234 279592

    The storm after the calming

  • 85% say they speed after negotiating traffic calming
  • 70% drive through amber lights
  • 31% jump red lights
  • 86% drive too close to the vehicle in front
  • 64% admit to driving aggressively
  • 48% use a mobile phone
  • 69% increase speed between road humps
  • 62% use rat runs


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