Essex Casualties Rise - Brian
Road deaths in Essex this year have already reached 111, thus equalling the previous peak in 1999 which was the excuse for introducing a raft of speed limits, cameras, road humps, chicanes, etc.
And there is still six weeks of winter weather to go.
The drop from the 1999 level back to the long-term average in 2000 was hailed as a triumph for restrictions which had "saved dozens of lives and hundreds of injuries".
And was the justification for the roll-out of a nationwide expansion from the trial areas (of which Essex was one: see the ABD website).
It seems more likely that the measures have simply introduced a false sense of security and that, as a direct result, driving standards have deteriorated.

The restrictionalists will undoubtedly find "special factors" to explain the rise this year. Isn't it strange that they did not find, or actually did not look for, special factors to explain the rise in 1999 and the drop in 2000, but simply seized on the raw statistics for their own ends.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Lee H
Brian wrote :
>It seems more likely that the measures have simply introduced a false sense of security and that, as a direct result, driving standards have deteriorated

I'd agree with you. A rat run through Halifax has claimed three lives in the past year, and that is after the introduction of chicanes. I drove through there this morning and was horrified to find a pug 205 being driven through the chicanes like it was Hockenheim. I think the idiot behind the wheel was enjoying the challenge of seeing how fast he could go.

I seems to me that road humps would be the answer, as it would force a driver to slow down rather than present a new challenge. I know I'm probably going against the general consensus with the humps, and I do hate to think what the constant thumping is doing to the expensive bits under the car, but if their introduciton would reduce the risks involved in driving round town, then I'd say they're a good thing.

They do put them in entirely the wrong places though. In Newcastle, I was amazed that Jesmond and Gosforth, both 4x4 tarmac school run country, have more humps than a very large herd of camels, but in places such as Walker and Byker there were hardly any. Seems crazy since in the latter the kids were all playing in the streets, but the former the kids are all at ballet or piano classes (now I really am going to get flamed... :-{ )
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Andy P
How about speed-goverened traffic lights? If they detect you approaching too fast, they change to red. That's guaranteed to slow most people down.


Andy
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Tomo
Jesmond and Gosworth - lots of humps: Walker and Byker, scarcely any. That makes a lot of sense, given the descriptions of the districts, if you think the real priority is just to mess about motorists as much as possible within a given budget.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Alwyn
US research say that humps cost more lives than they save by delaying emergencey vehicles. See the real reason for humps here........

From Malcolm Haymer London Borough Highways Engineer

. In May 1996, The Car Free Cities Network of the European Union (www. edc.eu.int/cfc/about. html) adopted the 'Copenhagen Declaration', which included the following exhortation: "All decision makers at the local, regional, national and European levels are urged to play their part in changing our culture of mobility.'. Thus car use is to be discouraged by all possible means.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - ChrisR
It seems to me that playing on the street as a kid (as everyone did back then) actually improved my road sense. We were always watching out for cars coming and someone always called out. Drivers expected to see kids playing in our street as well, so even the fast boys in their Minis and Escorts slowed down. Nobody expects to see that now, so maybe they go quicker, and speed humps become necessary. That scares parents, who think it must be a dangerous road or there wouldn't be any need for speed humps, and keep their kids in (or take them to ballet class). Could it be that kids from the tough parts of town will have better road sense in the future and make better drivers? I suppose they'll have to be to avoid the rich kids driving around in six wheeler ten tonne armoured cars (in silver, of course).

Chris
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Honest John
Lots of towns in Spain have the speed sensor lights Andy describes, usually on the approach to the town where they make the most sense. They work brillianly. Everyone co-operates. But, of course, there's no chance of them here because they don't generate any revenue. Even if they stuck a camera to catch red light jumpers, the income wouldn't cover the cost.

HJ
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Ian (cape town)
a few weeks ago, I wrote the following, re red lights...

I readin the electronic telegraph that there is an increase in 'cloning'
of plates, covering numbers with laquer or similar, and supplying false
addresses to the VLC is on the increase - and probably all down to the speed camera threat.
And once these clowns realise they can get away with speeding, what will be next? ***Jumping red lights?*** Failing to stop after an accident? bothering to get an mot (or a drivers license)?
We have had the same problem here in South Africa in recent years - as a result over 50% of traffic fines are never collected ... and the accident rates are soaring!
<>
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Derek
Having said that, have you noticed that Amber now means 'go' to a lot of people? On Tuesday this week, at the A264/M23 interchange, I saw an Audi A3 ACCELERATE to get past amber before it changed to red! I'm almost afraid to stop at amber now in case some 'me first' loony rear ends my car. As many people use the red/amber combination in a similar fashion, I'm just surprised that there aren't more accidents.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - THe Growler
Reminds me of Taipei, where on my first visit and I quote I was told "traffic lights are for reference only. No policeman, no need stop, unless maybe big truck coming other way".

Having lived and travelled all over the globe, was not especially surprised, until my informant added proudly: "this Taiwan, this not mainland China. Democracy in Taiwan".
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - THe Growler
Reminds me of Taipei, where on my first visit and I quote I was told "traffic lights are for reference only. No policeman, no need stop, unless maybe big truck coming other way".

Having lived and travelled all over the globe, was not especially surprised, until my informant added proudly: "this Taiwan, this not mainland China. Democracy in Taiwan".
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - budu
Easy to see why if you go to Essex and see how people drive there.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - T lucas
Can't be too far away when the electronics in the car are told to slow the car to a particular max speed,15mph outside schools,20 residential areas, 30,40,50 where safe and 70 on motorways.The technology is simple and believe me,it's going to happen,sooner than you might think.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Alwyn
And road deaths willl not be affected as excessive speed is a minor cause of accidents. Ask any highway engineer.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Bill Doodson
Lee H is quite right about the areas of Newcastle, I lived in Jesmond, Gosforth, Heaton and Walker at one time or another and used to drink in the Glendale by the Byker Wall. The first two are 4x4 country and the latter the kids play in the streets from a very early age. The reason there are no humps in Walker and Byker is that the old traditional labour voters will have no pull in the council unlike the champagne socialists in Jesmond and Gosforth. I have to include a good friend in that catagory, so I hope he doesnt read this forum.

I would be interested to know which road in Halifax has the race track built on it. I dont go there to often now since I no longer work in Halifax but its always as well to know which roads to miss.

Dereks also right about the amber, I think people have take their que from the film with Geoff Bridges as an alian visitor to earth who on having to explain the system of lights says, "green, go; red, stop; amber, go faster.


Bill
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Lee H
Bill, sorry about taking two days to respond, been drinking heavily in the dales....

Bill Doodson wrote:
>I would be interested to know which road in Halifax has the race track built on it. I dont go there to often now since I no longer work in Halifax but its always as well to know which roads to miss.

Don't know the name of the road, but if you approach Halifax from the west of M62 (or Huddersfield) and travel down the 50mph huge hill dual carriageway (I'm sure you'll know the one), you can turn right up a hill just after the Sowerby Bridge turn and before the new McDonalds (& Shell garage). It takes you around the back of the town and you appear near Sainsburys. It is in all honesty somewhere you'd not go unless you were trying to avoid traffic. We've decided not to use it anymore, it's just too much hassle and unfair on the residents.

Lee.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Alwyn
>It seems more likely that the measures have simply introduced a false sense of security and that, as a direct result, driving standards have deteriorated<

I believe the real reason is that cameras do nothing for road safety and accidents will happen whatever we do.

I know I have said this before, but more people are accidentally killed in their own home than on the roads according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Two and three quarter million people are hospitalised including over 1 million children due to home accidents and if you want an even bigger accidental killer, see this from Mark Porter.

Titled.......... Your life in their hands


Articles written by Dr Mark Porter, reproduced from his weekly column in Radio Times. Hyperlinks inserted by GUiDE



Medical errors have always made headlines but few people realise the sheer scale of the problem - accurate figures are difficult to come by but both British and American studies suggest that around 1 in 25 patients in hospital is harmed as a direct result of medical error. Most of these, thankfully, will be minor, but around a third of mishaps result in some form of long term disability or death. Translate these fractions into hard figures and the scale of the problem quickly becomes apparent. There are approximately 10 million hospital admissions in the UK every year which means, assuming a universal 4% risk of medical mishap, that as many as 400,000 people could be injured in some way by their doctors or nurses - 56,000 of whom will be killed.


A risk that compares poorly with other activities perceived as dangerous - flying scares a lot of people but the actual risk of dying, at around 1 in 3 million per flight, is slim. Hospitals, on the other hand, don?t scare most people but maybe they should! Data from the States suggest that patients admitted to a typical acute care hospital have a 1 in 200 chance of being killed as the result of a medical or nursing cock up - and there is nothing to suggest that things are any better here, indeed they may well be worse.


Decades of professional arrogance have meant that statistics like these have been kept under wraps. Many of today?s doctors and nurses prefer candour to cover up but are under increasing medico-legal pressure to keep schtumpf- the growing tendency to sue nurses, doctors or midwives, or the hospitals they work for, has meant medical mishaps are once again being swept under the carpet,where they benefit no one.


Most medical mistakes are not the result of negligence. Some doctors and nurses are walking disasters but they are a tiny minority - the vast majority of blunders are caused by good staff who slip up, and the same old themes often run through the scenarios behind the accidents : inexperienced staff taking on too much, lack of sleep, procedures being done in the middle of the night, new or locum staff unfamiliar with protocols, and intolerable pressure on time and resources.


The more we talk about cock ups the more we learn from them, and the less likely they are to happen again. It?s not about blame, it?s about making sure that every step is taken to ensure tragic accidents like Richie?s are not repeated. Doctors, nurses and midwives are already addressing the issue and it?s become one of the Department of Health?s priorities for change in the NHS, but the healthcare professions are an unwieldy group - a bit like a super tanker, with turning circle to match - and, given that we have largely suppressed the problem in the past, I am not sure we can be trusted to address the problem quickly or efficiently enough. I suspect major outside pressures will need to come to bear.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Cockle
Brian is quite right the increase has been put down to 'normal fluctuations', but beware teenagers and motorcyclists because those are the groups that have furnished the increase most. The powers that be say that they have identified the groups that need special attention and they 'will be targeted', also there will be 'engineering work and alterations at particular accident blackspots' as if we haven't suffered enough of their silly ideas already.
If you drive around Essex and take notice of where a lot of the street furniture is placed it's a wonder we don't have more deaths. A particular local road has a long sweeping bend, 30 limit, all the street lights approaching the bend are on the same side of the road as the inside of the bend, as soon as you reach the it the next three lamp-posts are on the OUTSIDE. To make it even worse the lamp-posts are on the kerb side of the pavement not even up against the fences. Net result seven accidents in last twelve years to my personal knowledge including one death. The consequences of leaving the road here are horrendous but if the lamp-posts simply stayed on the inside of the bend the worst that would probably happen would be a wheel buckled on the kerb. This is not an isolated example unfortunately, I've lost count of the times people have mentioned various sitings of furniture where it is easier to hit something than avoid it. I feel that the planners have a duty to look at things much more closely and make the roads as safe as possible for all users.
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - me
in newbury the was a massed protest against speed humps by the local bus drivers, it seems lots of bus drivers were getting back injuries from driving over humps all day, and according to the doctors this is a big problem...

big splash in local press etc...

havent been there myself to see if offending humps were removed...

apparently humps cause lots of back injuries, often passengers get it worst cos they arnt watching and tensing up like the driver is...

carnt be good on balance to knacker so many peoples back's just because the police cannot deal with the small percentage of real idiots on the road (who race over humps anyway)

etc etc

also the humps damage cars quite a bit
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - me
yep and in reading previously generously wide roads are being thinned down to just wide enough for a vectra to squeeze through...

margin of error in the past = lots
margin of error now = none, youd go straight into something

also the safe place to stay in the middle of the road before you turn right is disappearing to be replaced by having to hold up all the traffic behind you

etc etc

anyone seen the red lights to stop traffic and let the buses through ? set up for weekdays, and on sunday mornings when there aint no buses they still hold up the odd car thats out for ages and ages...

idiots idiots idiots
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Brian
Absolutely, Cockle,
As I've said on another thread, one of the major reasons why motorways are safer than ordinary roads is that, in spite of the higher speeds, if you come off the road you are unlikely to hit a solid object but will either scrape along a crash barrier, into a field or go up or down an embankment.
Compare that with your local road where if you deviate from the carriageway by a couple of feet you are straight into a lamp post, sign post, traffic light, tree, bus stop, phone box, bollard, wall, telegraph pole, etc., ad infinitum!
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - dan
Ooh lots of seperate things to add my pence worth!
(As an Essex lad from that jewel of the south Southend-on-Sea, l feel able to comment...)

Totally agree with just about everything said here. Note if you drive around southend you'll notice that almost all dual carraigeways are limited to 40mph, there's even a 30mph one in Thorpe Bay (home of councillors and wealthy criminals alike). There are various speed related measures all over Southend roads and speed cameras every 100ft. There are more cameras in Southend than Suffolk and Norfolk put together!

I don't know why anyone thinks that Southend is the home of the boy-racer, no-one speeds in this claustrophobic armpit stain of a town, its impossible.
(OK there are a lot of boy-racers in Southend, they just sit parked up on the sea front impressing eachother with their woofer-inchage).

Doctors: ooh don't get me started... oh alright then. For years I've told anyone who'll listen that Doctors are just (often horrendously arrogant) people who have read a lot of books. They make mistakes, they can be prejudiced, and given the grave nature of their job WILL attempt to cover up any mistakes made. This is endemic within the medical profession. The Shipman chap and that other monster who had been bungling hysterectomys on women for years finally dragged the whole sham into the open.

Fortunately its not as bad as the car repair world...
Patient "Hi Doctor, l've got a slight cold, anything you could give me"
Doctor "Lets have a look shall we." After 5 seconds sucks teeth and makes lots of profound grunts and head-shaking actions. "Looks like you need a new set of innards to me, gonna cost yer' ", etc...
I keep imagining this happening with those BUPA body 'MOTs' they keep advertising on TV.

The only reason that so many cockups by the med' profession have gone un-noticed is that we help to sustain the myth of perfection. People want to feel that doctors don't make mistakes, understandably. Even now some people would never think to question what a doctor says regardless of how wrong it might seem to them.

This is a phenomena not soley limited to the medical profession. To assume that people with enormous responsibility have a similarly enormous level of talent/perfection to go with it, is extremely foolhardy and in fact unfair. This applies to everyone. (Politicians, police, managers, techies, sportsmen...EVERYONE.)

Stopped now.
dan
Re: Essex Casualties Rise - Independent Observer
> To assume that people with enormous responsibility have a similarly enormous level of talent/perfection to go with it, is extremely foolhardy and in fact unfair. This applies to everyone. (Politicians.......................

Surely not.

Next you'll be telling us that the people who decide on the appropriateness of motor taxes and roads regulations can't even drive !:-(
 

Value my car