Once again we hear that there has been another accident on the A1 at Great Ponton, and once again we hear that the plea for a speed reduction has been turned down by the Highways Agency.
But let’s think a little bit further than just speed. What caused this latest accident and many similar ones around the country? Would every vehicle going slower actually make any difference? It is always assumed that acccidents are caused by speed. Wrong, accidents are caused by driver error. For any form of accident to occur, someone somewhere has to make an error of judgement. (Miscalculating the speed of oncoming traffic and driving too close to the vehicle in front are common ones.)
The introduction of a 50mph speed limit on the A1 at Great Ponton would, at peak times, create a solid wall of slow moving traffic, this would in turn reduce the opportunities for drivers to cross, or make any turning manoeuvre at this junction. This situation could make some impatient drivers take greater risks and result in more frequent accidents.
Reducing the speed limit would of course lessen the impact of any accident but to my mind the only true way to reduce the ever-increasing number of road traffic accidents on all roads in the UK, is driver training. I’m not for one moment suggesting that we should all have to retake tests, I am thinking more about voluntary driver awareness and improvement courses. A small amount of time spent on these courses could save many lives and reduce the costs and pressures put on the fire and rescue service and the police, let alone the overall cost to the economy due to closed roads and traffic delays.
It was once said that 50mph is a dangerous speed. It makes the driver think they are safe but it’s still fast enough to cause death and injury should an accicdent happen.
I was told some time ago that there were three things that would make me a better driver - Observation, Awareness and Anticipation. What good advice.
Coun Paul Carpenter
Deputy Leader SKDC
Lincs Road Safety Partnership member
Resident of Great Ponton