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Changing driver behaviour: Improving road safety

For the last few years, Clearview Intelligence has supported Brake, the national road safety campaign charity, in their annual Road Safety Week. Brake founded Road Safety Week in 1997 to raise awareness about road safety and promote steps that everyone can take to help stop avoidable deaths and injuries. The over-arching issues addressed by Brake are firmly aligned with our own priorities – making journeys easy, efficient, and above all, safe.

The 2016 Brake campaign encourages everyone to take the Brake Pledge – to be slow, sober, secure, silent, sharp and sustainable - and reinforces the message that, by positively encouraging a change in driver behaviour, we can reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads.

Statistics released in November 2016 by the Department for Transport show a year-on-year increase of 2% in reported road fatalities during the 12 months to the end of June 2016. The summary report concludes that this 2% is “statistically insignificant and may be based on a combination of factors that have come about by chance, rather than any specific change”. However, there are still 1,800 avoidable deaths on UK roads each year, as well as 24,620 people killed or seriously injured (KSI casualties).

In a previous blog post in August this year, we looked at the lack of reduction in road deaths and considered what else could be done to improve road safety. We have also considered how transforming behaviour starts with giving drivers better information about the road layout and possible hazards ahead of them, so they have time to adjust their speed accordingly.

At Clearview Intelligence, we have been working hard this year on a campaign to improve junction safety. Visual intelligence, presented directly in the natural line of sight using active road studs, helps users understand and negotiate their way through challenging or potentially hazardous situations such as staggered junctions, spiral roundabouts or winding, unlit roads. This information helps motorists to judge their acceleration and braking more accurately and improve their lane discipline, reducing the likelihood of incidents.

We already have a number of case studies which provide evidence that the right technology in the right location can significantly decrease the risk of collisions. Our Sherrifhall intelligent road stud scheme synchronises the illumination of the lane marking road studs on a spiral roundabout with the signalisation for trunk road traffic. The project has won four industry awards in 2016 in recognition of its road safety benefits and innovative technology. The lessons and technology can most certainly be replicated on other complex junctions to help motorists avoid becoming another DfT collision statistic in the future.

Another junction safety project that we have recently completed is located on the A590 junction with Foulshaw Lane in Cumbria. There have been several fatal accidents on this busy route, with a key risk factor being that traffic turning right onto the A590 has to negotiate a central reservation area. Depending on traffic flows, this frequently requires stationary time in the central reservation. The junction is especially dangerous when large HGVs pull slowly out of Foulshaw Lane across the carriageway and put oncoming traffic at risk of side on collisions.

Following a safety report on this stretch of dual carriageway it was recommended that a Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) be installed on the westbound carriageway. As part of this scheme, Clearview Intelligence worked with our delivery partners to design a detection system that recognises when long vehicles are joining the A590 dual carriageway from Foulshaw Lane and triggers the Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) further up the road. This provides advance warning to approaching drivers to help reduce collisions and near-miss incidents. The system is also configured to activate when large HGVs make a right turn through the central reservation into Foulshaw Lane.

Since the solution has been in place there has been a noticeable change in the speed and behaviour of drivers along the A590 on the approach to the Foulshaw Junction. Local residents have been quick to notice the change, commenting on how well the system is working within the early stages of operation.

If you have a road safety improvement challenge that would benefit from a bespoke vehicle detection system, advance warning scheme, or better visual route guidance then get in touch and see how we can help you to make journeys easy, efficient and safe.

Author: Shona W |Date Published: November 2016

Links: Route Safety

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