Where next with flashing speed signs

The Council says it is reviewing the use of Vehicle Activated Signs.

These signs, which typically flash the prevailing speed limit to approaching vehicles, were introduced in York about 10 years ago.

Flashing speed signs  indicating those that are afulty

Flashing speed sign locations indicating those that are faulty

York locations where speed is a concern  Click to enlarge

York locations where speed is a concern Click to enlarge

They are now seen across the country with many now using a system which alerts drivers to their actual speed.

Sadly the Council has not maintained the signs in York and several have not been working for months.

Those that are faulty include the sign on Wetherby Road on the outbound carriageway. This was a problem location with the blind bend making it potentially hazardous for drivers reversing into their driveways.

A report to a meeting next week identifies £50,000 which will be used to repair the faulty signs. The signs have had some success as anyone, who watches vehicles approaching an illuminated sign, will see brake lights being applied by speeding drivers.

List of street where layout changes are proposed. Click to enlarge

List of street where layout changes are proposed. Click to enlarge

We think that a trial, where the actual speed of the vehicle is displayed, should be implemented  in the City.

There is also now a “smart” sign available which records the actual speed of passing vehicles (but not the identity) which would give traffic engineers valuable information about behaviours but without the need to set up special equipment.

Another  concern is the suggestion that the signs may only be installed “where an accident has been reported in the previous three years.”  

Whereas accident locations should get priority for signs and camera enforcement, we believe that sites where a proportion of vehicles exceed the 30 mph limit, would also justify maintenance of the signs.

The report proposes action to reduce speeding at 16 sites.  Most involve low cost lane marking changes. A complete list of detailed proposals for all locations can be viewed by clicking here

A list of sites to be reassessed – which includes Green Lane and Askham Lane – can be viewed by clicking here

There are three roads – including Moor Lane in Woodthorpe and two roads in Copmanthorpe – which have acknowledged speeding issues which have still to be addressed

Police add new A64 site near Heslington to mobile speed camera locations

Mobile safety camera routes week commencing 20 November 2013
speed camara van

Below are the enforcement locations for North Yorkshire Police’s mobile safety cameras for week commencing Wednesday 20 November 2013.

The safety cameras are now more visible then ever before with each of the three vehicles bearing the same hi-vis livery as North Yorkshire Police’s marked vehicle fleet.
All safety camera locations are published on the force website along with an explanation of the various route types.
Members of the public can now view the results of the safety camera enforcement activity on the force website.

Up to date data for the previous week is uploaded every Tuesday which can be interrogated by route and date ranges.

The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the following sites at various times over the coming week.

Cameras will not be in use all day, every day. Due to operating constraints, our mobile safety camera locations may change without prior warning.

  • • A64 eastbound Tadcaster, by-pass
  • • A64 westbound Tadcaster, by-pass
  • • A64 eastbound, Islington, Tadcaster
  • • A64 westbound, Street Houses, Bilborough
  • • A64 Westbound, Wharfe Bridge, Tadcaster
  • • B1228 Dunnington, Lodge Elvington
  • Tadcaster Road, Dringhouses, York
  • • Strensall Road, Huntington, York
  • • Church Lane, Wheldrake
  • • Millfield Lane, Poppleton York
  • • Towthorpe Road, Haxby
  • • Greenshaw Drive, Haxby
  • A64 eastbound, Heslington, York
  • • A64 westbound, Heslington, York

Click for full list

Police change policy on 20 mph enforcement?

20 mph

Chances of a major confrontation on York’s streets, over the Labour Councils proposed “wide area” 20 mph speed limits, increased today following the publication of new enforcement guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers.

It appears that drivers found driving between 24 mph and 31 mph in the zones may be “invited” to go on a new style “speed awareness course”. Usually the other option is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points!

Similar courses have been an option for those exceeding – by a small amount – existing speed limits. They are generally well received, but reaction, from normally law abiding motorists to the new restrictions, is less predictable.

The Labour plan involves extending lower 20 mph limits to roads on which there has never been a recorded accident.

The ACPO guidance is not open ended and talks of the need for limits to be clearly signed with natural enforcement using “engineering, visible interventions and landscaping standards” to increase driver awareness of accident risks.

Nevertheless, it is a change from the previous Police policy which (rightly) supported 20 mph limits only where they were self enforcing (for example using traffic calming systems)

The guidance does not recommend if proactive measuring of speeds should routinely take place in any new 20 mph limit areas.

So the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioners’ assurance, given at a public meeting on 10th April, that there would be no camera enforcement of 20 mph limits presumably still holds good.

Our view remains that the Police and Council should concentrate their resources on those roads which have a poor accident record.

The ACPO guidance reads:
(more…)

Tadcaster Road speed limit sign – Council explanation

VAS & car

The York Council has claimed that the new vehicle activated speed sign on Tadcaster Road will flash on whenever a vehicle approaches it WHATEVER SPEED IT IS DOING.

The matrix sign has apparently been installed by the Fire and Rescue Service and, although identical in appearance to the type of sign fitted by the Council on streets like Moor Lane, it is triggered by any approaching vehicle.

From observations it would seem also to be sensitive to vehicles travelling away from the sign on the other side of the road.

While the intention is to remind drivers of the speed limit on the road (30 mph in the case of Tadcaster Road), it does seem likely to cause confusion in some driver’s minds.

Many will expect such signs to be triggered only by those travelling in excess of the speed limit (as happens on Moor Lane).

The sign is likely to be in place for about 2 weeks.

New speed warning sign on Tadcaster Road on the blink

A new vehicle activated speed warning sign has been installed on Tadcaster Road near its junction with Mayfield Grove.

New VAS on Tadcaster Road

New VAS on Tadcaster Road

Several dozen of the signs have been in use in York for the last 5 years. They are triggered when an approaching vehicle is detected to be over the 30 mph speed limit.

They are a warning to drivers. No details are retained by a camera.

However the new device on Tadcaster Road was today flashing a 30 mph warning message to virtually all approaching vehicles irrespective of their speed.

Those apparently exceeding the speed limit included service buses.

Local LibDem Councillor Ann Reid has raised concerns about Tadcaster Road which does have a poor speed and accident record. The Council is right to try to address these issues.

However, the new VAS was installed without any consultation and needs to be properly calibrated if it is to have any credibility.

NB. Over the last 5 months the Police camera van has caught over 200 motorists on Tadcaster Road breaking the speed limit.