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Traffic heaven!!

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Traffic heaven!!

From time to time I'm guilty of posting about articles in the Daily Mail "Answers to Correspondents" column, there is one today that is quite interesting.
The question is quite short and to the point, the answer is quite long and involved, so I'ved just picked out a few points. If I get enough requests to do so I'll type up the entire answer;
Q: Drachten in Holland has done away wiith all traffic lights, leaving road safety the responsibility of drivers. Has this resulted in a decrease in the number of accidents?
A: The more the environmentalist lobby tinker with road schemes, and restrict traffic with bus lanes, chicanes, speed humps and traffic lights, the worse the problems become.
    It is the most comprehesive scheme to date, removing all traffic lights, all painted white lines and other traffic signs.
    The aim was to create danger, which may sound strange, but this encourages personal resposibility, awareness and concentration.
      THe main square, the biggest junction, which sees over 20,000 cars daily, as well as the towns bus staion. The traffic lights have gone and replaced by a roundabout. Where there were huge traffic jams, there is now rarely a tailback. The waiting time for buses has dropped from 49 to 9 seconds.
      There used to be one road death every 3 years in the area, there has not been one since this was introduced 9 years ago.
There's a lot more, but it beggars the question...how much longer has this 9 year "experiment" have to go on before British traffic planners sit up and take notice?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
79 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

I remember something about this from a couple of years ago, here is the article. Telegraph story
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 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

Sounds eminently sensible to me - if you are forced to keep your eye on what other traffic is doing, it has to be safer than just assuming that they'll be doing what you think they might.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Traffic heaven!!

Yes Chris, like you I had some vauge recollection of this. But those interested in more info should check the link you have provided.
And James, as a "professional" driver, the standard of concentration of many drivers I see is appalling, which has little to do with using mobile phones etc. I theorise that those on the phone, are probably watching the road rather more rather then less.
But I repeat my question; if this has been seen as a success, what are we waiting for?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Traffic heaven!!

Drivers airbags are another major contribution to the number of accidents as it leads people to take more risks, particularly where they may run in to the back of someone.
Replace the airbags with a six inch spike mounted in the middle of the steering wheel and people will be a lot more careful leading to a significant reduction in the number of accidents!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

A bit drastic jev. but you make a good point. Maybe some kind of driver alert system (on the lines of airline pilot warning horn etc.) I think Mercedes Benz toyed with this with some of their very up up market cars. I do recall that MB found a lot of years ago that during controlled tests, drivers generally don't press the brake pedal hard enough, expecting a vehicle to slow/stop much quicker than they do in reality, which led them to introduce a measure of auto braking.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

All the redundant traffic lights have been purchased by Sheffield Highways Department.
We have lights on the entrances to roundabouts (Eccleshall road/St Mary's Gate) Huh
We have traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings on the exits of roundabouts (Brook Hill roundabout) Huh
We have replaced working roundabouts with traffic lights and one way systems (bottom of Queens road)
On some roads they could save electricity by turning off the street lights at night as there are so many traffic lights. (Prince of Wales road)Angry
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

I seem to recall visiting Corby many years ago and finding no Traffic Lights Undecided
Edit: It would appear from a quick Google that there are many now Sad
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Denzil
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

It is fairly well established that everybody unconsciously has a personal level of risk they are happy with. As cars get safer people tend to drive less carefully, and maintain the level of risk as before. I saw a story once of an example in the USA at an ungated level crossing. There were a high number of incidents so they cut down a load of trees to improve visibility. The result was that everybody drove over it faster and the number of incidents stayed the same.
Traffic lights on roundabouts - what a daft idea that is. There is a set near Truro like that. It worked perfectly well as an plain old roundabout, then somebody put traffic lights in as well and caused big tailbacks whilst people on the main road waited at red lights with nobody coming out of the side road.
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

I've seen one 'accident' caused by traffic lights.
A driver put his foot down approaching an amber light going red and went through on the red.
Another driver from his left set off quickly on his amber going green.
They met in the middle.
Chances are if the lights had not been there both drivers would have been watching for other traffic instead of watching the changing lights.
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pierre_pierre
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

the main trouble on roundabouts, is those people who cant drive,who think that you have to stop - get out of your car to make sure that nothing is coming from the right then proceed - ur which lane shall we go in, that will b.. the drivers behind us who want to go faster..
I remember well driving in Lisbon,  the local fuz would whistle you and menace  you if you even thought of slowing up.  The tell me that the place de Concorde in Paris is the same
glyndev
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

I think that they should introduce a new roundabout system. As well as the present system where traffic on the roundabout has priority they should introduce roundabouts where traffic entering the roundabout has priority over traffic already on the roundabout, Like around the Arc De Triumph in Paris, But place them randomly so that you need to be careful on approach and especially carefull while negotiating. 
nadger
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

Quote from: Devonports
Like around the Arc De Triumph in Paris,

I remember driving round there for the first time, in 1965, and being terrified. Just counted the exits and aimed at the one I wanted Crazy
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

Now if you like roundabouts..... you`ll love this one....  First time I encountered it I got lost, but eventually found out that whenever you come up on a mini roundabout, you just apply the normal rules.... give way to traffic on your right.... and proceed to the exit  you want.... you can of course go the long way round too ! !
Swindon Magic roundabout..... Brilliant..... not a traffic light in sight ! !
James
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Re: Traffic heaven!!

Same as the one in Hemel Hempstead.  Only the one in Hemel has an additional mini roundabout.