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#26 29-05-08 08:24:46

VandADI
Administrator
From: Coulsdon, Surrey
Registered: 29-02-04
Posts: 7,592

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

So what would you do Vanda?

The earlier advise was MUST obey the red circle  :evil: :evil: big_smile big_smile

Sorry to sound facetious but just re inforces the point that MUST is a very strong word without further explanation and the application of common sense.

Taking into consideration the road I was in and applying common sense, eg, country lane with national speed limit (national speed limit sign showing correctly upon entry into the road) where that particular road came to a junction the 30mph sign would normally show.  In this case someone had spun the sign around showing the NSL upon entry into the new road.  Unless the rules had changed overnight which would allow a speed limit of 60mph in a built up area I ignored the spun sign and stuck to the legal limit of 30mph which was also reinforced once I had actually got into the new road.
I then alerted the relevant authority of  the misdemeanor who then promptly came along to correct the sign.

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Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced




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#27 29-05-08 12:39:33

tony adi
Verified Member
From: Selby
Registered: 12-05-08
Posts: 1,233
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Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Ducking the question there a bit Vanda  big_smile

Put it another way if you were coming the other way and knowing that the road is 60 would you ignore that and stick to 30 just because somebody had turned the sign round?

The whole reason for posting on this topic is this is an open forum read by people learning to drive. Many will be tempted to take as fact anything posted by qualified ADI's. So if somebody posts something in their "official" capacity, don't you want that information to be as complete and accurate as is practicable, bearing in mind the constraints inherent with getting your point across without typing a 2 page essay.

In my first reply to the OP one of the things I advised was for the poster to speak to her instructor for further clarification. In my second post I asked kev if he wanted to add anything to his advice. My only point is do we really think that MUST is the answer to every situation. I repeat my earlier question would you be prepared to die to avoid breaking the law?

If you re read the OP she was in a situation where she did not know what to do. Fair enough with Nigels earlier comment that perhaps she shouldn't have got herself into that situation. Yes speed limits are there for a reason and it is wrong to break the law. But if she found herself in that situation again tomorrow and followed ealier advice that she MUST obey that speed limit, and without thinking or taking anything else into account slowed from 70 to 10, and as a result was in or caused a serious incident, would you be happy with that? Yes proper forward planning use of mirrors etc etc we all know that. But is she going to remember all that or just that somebody said MUST.

There are all sorts of unique situations that can occur on the roads, sometimes caused by the actions of other drivers, sometimes caused by drivers themselves (nobody is perfect anybody can make a mistake). Sometimes it is necessary to extracate yourself from a situation that may have been self inflicted or caused by somebody else. Yes the more pious may say well don't get into that situation in the first place. But is that how the real world of driving works?

The law makes provision for unique circumstances. Which is why the H/C after saying MUST/MUST NOT refers to the actual text of the law. So why can't ADI's accept that sometimes (and it is just sometimes) common sense, safety and self preservation may take priority?


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#28 29-05-08 20:09:21

weemann
Verified Member
From: Telford, Shropshire
Registered: 26-03-07
Posts: 209
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Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

OK, I've read through this thread and would be interested in people's views (ADIs and students) on a roundabout local to me.  I know how I deal with it and how I teach my students, but it would be interesting to see whether there are any other views.

Below is an image of a roundabout.  Roads 1, 2 and 4 are 40 mph limits, whilst road 3 is a 30 mph limit. 

As you approach the roundabout from road 2, the limit drops to 30 mph (about 10 - 20 yards before the junction).

As you enter roads 1 & 4, there are no speed limit signs, although there are 40 mph repeater signs further in.  Approaching the roundabout the speed limit does not drop to 30, but remains at 40mph.

Imagine you are driving down road 2 to take the second exit (road 4) and I am approaching from road 1, also to leave at road 4. 

You have had signs to tell you that you have entered a 30mph zone, but there are, until the first repeater sign, no indications that you have re-entered a 40mph zone.  I am driving behind you, never having left the 40 mph zone.  What speed do you drive at?

To make it worse, most of the repeater signs in road 4 are covered by overgrown trees.


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#29 29-05-08 21:33:57

tony adi
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From: Selby
Registered: 12-05-08
Posts: 1,233
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Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Do you know the road names for each road or the road numbers?
ie are 1&3 or 1&4 etc the same road?


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#30 29-05-08 22:34:37

tony adi
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From: Selby
Registered: 12-05-08
Posts: 1,233
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Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

My initial thoughts are based on the understanding that where roads of differing speeds converge on a roundabout, the speed limit is determined by the majority of those roads (where there are an equal number of speed limits the limit on the roundabout is the lower of those).

However, because road 3 has a 30mph limit it is necessary to inform traffic closest to that new road (ie traffic from road 2 turning left) before the junction about that new limit. The normal positioning of these signs would be where you say about 10/20 yards from the junction. I presume there are also signs for traffic exiting onto road 3 from any direction that it is a 30mph limit.

My understanding based on the information supplied, and the understanding that the speed limit is determined by the majority of the approach roads along with the basic guideline for changes of speed limit (generally a minimum of 600 metres between speed limits) is that the speed limit on the roundabout is 40mph. It is unclear from your picture whether or not traffic turning left from road 2 has a dedicated left turn lane. The positioning of the 30mph signs before the roundabout suggests there should be.

So going from road 2 to road 4 you would not have actually entered a 30mph area. You would only do so if going from road 2 to 3. It would seem to be an attempt to comply with all the necessary legislation to do with the positioning of speed signs that has led to a quite confusing set of circumstances.

I sincerely hope the above makes some sort of sense  big_smile


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#31 30-05-08 06:56:22

weemann
Verified Member
From: Telford, Shropshire
Registered: 26-03-07
Posts: 209
Website

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Do you know the road names for each road or the road numbers?
ie are 1&3 or 1&4 etc the same road?

The road 2 & 4 is one, the B4373.

Now that you have answered, I'll add some more background detail.  Road 2 was reduced from a NSL to a 40 mph zone a year ago, at which point the 30 mph signs were added just before the roundabout (showing 40 on the reverse side for traffic leaving the roundabout).

Prevous to this the signs stated entry into a 40mph zone (correct for roads 1 and 4) and then on entry to road 3 you are met with the 30mph signs which are still present, so, as you say, the roundabout is a 40mph zone.

My understanding is that they intended to reduce the roundabout to 30, but never placed signs at the entry/exit of roads 1 & 4 to confirm this.

As a result I have pupils who (understandably) get confused at this roundabout.  Frankly, I don't know enough about the legislation surrounding road signage to explain in the manner you have, plus who but the most dedicated local is going to look in this much detail?  As a normal driver coming into the area for the first time, all one can do is follow the signs in place which could lead to one driver assuming he's in a 30 zone holding up a driver who thinks he's in a 40 zone.

For the record, I teach my pupils that, with my local knowledge and a little common sense, the only 30 mph road here is road 3, for the rest, keep it to 40.

And no, there is no dedicated left turn lane from road 2.

Tony, your post does make sense to me, although I am of the firm belief that this is out local council not finishing a job properly - there are other local areas where the signs leave a lot to be desired, one of which is the area immediately surrounding the Test Centre - mostly 40, but so few repeater signs as to make it seem very much like a 30 zone.  I have to be very careful as I train my pupils so they are fully aware round this area!


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#32 30-05-08 22:12:20

robinsamuels
Verified Member
From: Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire,
Registered: 09-03-08
Posts: 425
Website

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

OK, let's muddy the water a bit more!

In a narrow country road one of my pupils was overtaking a cyclist when a car came the other way at speed. He had no vision of the car when he started the overtake and would have had plenty of time if the other car was sticking to the speed limit (30mph). He accelerated to, the examiner said, 37mph, cleared the cyclist and pulled back in. He failed for speeding. Not for going to 37, but for not slowing down after. The examiner praised him for his quick reaction and told him it was the safest thing to do under the circumstances.

Portsmouth has recently introduced 20mph limits on most side roads. The signs were put up before the limits were in force and then covered with black bin bags.

Road markings were painted saying 20.

One examiner failed a pupil of mine for speeding after passing the painted road marking, even though the signs were covered still. Another pointed a pupil for sticking to 20 in a 30 limit because she was passing repeat signs that had been uncovered and had not passed a large 20 zone sign on entry to the road.

Even the DSA don't know what to do.

I used to teach at the Defence Police College near Portsmouth. Hampshire Police's traffic school is also based there. I was explaining to a pupil over a cup of tea why speed and safety are two different things. One of the traffic division instructors said that 120mph can be safe and 10mph could be deadly. When my pupil questioned this, he pointed out that 10mph through a crowded road after a football match could kill someone but 120mph on a straight, empty and dry motorway would be safe as houses. He then pointed out that they would always look to prosecute for too fast for the limit or road conditions, but very rarely for too slow.

A number of years ago I was trapped in the outside lane of a motorway with a traffic car coming up from behind at high speed. I tried to move into lane 2, but the traffic was so bunched up that I could not move over. In the end I accelerated to just under 100mph to clear the traffic in lane 2 and then moved over fully expecting to get stopped. The passenger in the police car simply waved to me and mouthed thank you as they sped past.

I'm not going to aim these examples at any one person posting on this thread, simply give them as examples of how absolutes do not exist in driving.


When it gets to the stage of sadobestionecrophilia, give up: Otherwise known as flogging a dead horse!

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#33 30-05-08 23:24:47

tony adi
Verified Member
From: Selby
Registered: 12-05-08
Posts: 1,233
Website

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

although I am of the firm belief that this is out local council not finishing a job properly - there are other local areas where the signs leave a lot to be desired, one of which is the area immediately surrounding the Test Centre - mostly 40, but so few repeater signs as to make it seem very much like a 30 zone.

Sadly it often comes down to money. The local council (if they are responsible for the signs) will comply with legislation because they have to, but will do it at the lowest possible cost. There would have probably been a meeting when the speed limits were changed where various options would have been discussed. The option of reducing the speed on all of the approach roads would have worked out as more expensive and the cheaper option of complying with the minimum legal requirements would have been adopted. So you have ended up with the frankly farcial situation of a section of road on the roundabout apparently being subject to two different speed limits depending on where you approach from.


I used to teach at the Defence Police College near Portsmouth. Hampshire Police's traffic school is also based there. I was explaining to a pupil over a cup of tea why speed and safety are two different things. One of the traffic division instructors said that 120mph can be safe and 10mph could be deadly. When my pupil questioned this, he pointed out that 10mph through a crowded road after a football match could kill someone but 120mph on a straight, empty and dry motorway would be safe as houses. He then pointed out that they would always look to prosecute for too fast for the limit or road conditions, but very rarely for too slow.

In the official DfT statistics for 2006 there are figures for contributary factors to RTA's. In amongst all the obvious ones like failing to look properly, and excess speed etc there is a catagory "Driving too slow for conditions or slow vehicle".  Listed in this catagory are 4 fatalities and 18 serious.


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#34 02-06-08 07:36:10

HereComesTrouble
Guest

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

One of the most interesting threads I have read for a long time.

The original question has been answered in so much as if the sign is (usually) a rectangle, then it is an advisory speed limit only. I think we all agree on that.

The interesting part is that I agree with both Tony and Nigel, although their views are clearly opposing. Let me explain why and how I interpret this, and why.

On the M1 near Leicester Forrest services, there were roadworks for a long time about 2 years ago to last year. There was a mandatory 50mph speed  limit (red circle) with ample warning of this from 3/4 mile beforehand. I always reduced gradually down to 50mph and then was the slowest vehicle through the section. This was dangerous for me as I was without question, the only one doing it. Huge 40 tonners were flashing lights at me as the thundered around me (as if I was invisible too). Even with all my years experience I found this very concerning.

Now, there is a defence against speeding, where you feel your life is genuinely in danger. So, as I did so I could have legitimately speeded up to a more 'safe' speed in my humble opinion and end of danger in theory. Did I? No. Because although this may be a defence in court, I am then in a rather interesting area. In theory, all the other drivers could argue the same. In fact, on the Motorway without any speed reductions, they could all argue that everyone else was doing 90mph, so they felt in danger and speeded up. Now, that wouldn't wash, because 40 tonners are restricted to 60mph or thereabouts now, so not everyone would have been doing 90mph.

So, what should you do? Well, interestingly, where there are speed cameras everyone remembers to do the correct speed. Funny that! But where there are no cameras, they feel it is ok to ignore them. Problem is, if we also 'go with the flow' we are just as bad as them. The only sensible answer is to avoid those roads whilst that is going on, but that is not realistic. We may not be aware of any restrictions until we arrive there on that day.

The bottom line here is that a red circle is a mandatory MAXIMUM speed limit and NOBODY should exceed it (except emergency vehicles etc). However, in the real world people do and as we are driving with them we have to do both the correct thing and the safest thing.

There doesn't seem to be an answer. In the absence of cameras on every single lamp post in the country, people will continue to break the speed limits and we have to drive how we see fit as individuals complying with the law/signs where possible.

I am reminded of a woman passing me on the A1 near Stamford one day. I was doing 70mph and she was approaching me fast in lane 2 (approx 90mph). I was about 500yds from a speed camera which may no odds to me, however, on seeing it she swerved in front of me and did almost an emergency stop down to 60mph just to pass the camera, then sped up again. This caused me to brake  to avoid a collision. I am guessing, but I imagine she thought the speed limit was 60mph as many do on dual carriageways. In any event, that just confirms that she knew she was speeding!

What do we do about all this then? Some saying it is mandatory, some saying it isn't? Some saying stick to the speed limit, some saying don't worry about it? two opposing answers cannot be right and that is the problem. We are all interpretting it differently and that is probably because the highway code and the Road Traffic Act do not always work in harmony. As an example, a yellow line means basically no waiting. HOWEVER, that line must be the prescribed width at least and must be continuous with stop ends...... Yeah, right. Why not just simplify the who Road Traffic Act so that drivers understand the laws and the consequences so that we all read from the same hymn sheet?

What would you do on that M1 stretch I mentioned? Me, I carried on at 50mph but fully aware that I wasn't safe and may have to accelerate hard at any time to avoid being rear ended.


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#35 02-06-08 21:29:21

tony adi
Verified Member
From: Selby
Registered: 12-05-08
Posts: 1,233
Website

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Perhaps a little more clarification is in order.

Couple of days ago was on the motorway (could just as easy have been D/C for purposes of example). Motorway slip road ahead, and positioned on both central reservation of motorway and hatched area of slip road are huge 50mph and speed camera signs. Looking further ahead there are road works on motorway. No 50mph sign on left hand side of slip road and slip road obviously clear of any roadworks. So obvious to any experienced driver that the 50mph limit is only intended to apply to the motorway if your staying on it and that slip road (which has excellent visibilty and leads to another motorway) is still NSL. So as I leave motorway onto slip road am still (quite legally) doing 70mph in left hand lane of the two on slip road. Two cars follow me onto slip road doing about 80 in right hand lane, spot the 50mph and speed camera signs on their right and both immediately swerve in front of me and slam their brakes on.

On another stretch of motorway going through roadworks, again 50mph signs posted all the way along and speed cameras. Running paralell with motorway lots of work going on and notice on this road there are occasional 10mph signs for works traffic. At one point, one of the 10mph signs (which were in a red circle) had been left overhanging the barrier dividing the work from the main motorway carriageway (perhaps a workman had moved it out of his way or it had just been pushed to the side). I was in lane 2 as went past (at 50mph) the car on my left in lane one spotted the 10mph sign, immediately braked hard and was very very lucky not to be rear ended by a 40 tonne HGV behind them (the lorry driver was not amused - horn sounding and flashing of lights)

Perhaps these drivers were taught by instructors who told them "you MUST obey the speed limit if it's in a red circle".

I don't think nigel and myself actually have opposing views, it's just that my early posts pehaps weren't clear enough about the message I was trying to get across, and perhaps had an element of ambiguity in them.

Again if you re read the OP she was confused about the signs and the fact that everybody else was going 70. This suggests to me, at least the possibility, that the signs were wrong or wrongly placed or she simply did not realise that they did not apply to traffic on the D/C (perhaps a paralell road, to be honest I don't know I wasn't there).

My main concern is the frankly (in my opinion) poor advice

If the sign displayed is a red circle limit then you MUST obey that speed limit.

This is (again it's only my opinion others are quite free to disagree) not enough when we are dealing with such a large disparity in speed (70mph against 10mph). I personally would be very wary of going such a very low speed in such circumstances. I mentioned the fact that there is a defence in law where, if there are unique circustances to the individual situation, there may be occasion to put personal safety first. But this shouldn't be taken as some sort of justification, the individual would still have to prove this was the case. I would however (if I felt the circumstances were endangering me or others) be willing to defend my actions. As I said before I (and again it is my personal opinion) am not prepared to die rather than break the law.

Just one more small point, I notice nobody has yet given an opinion on what to do if somebody has turned the signs round (30 on one side NSL on the other). If you know it's NSL, do you do 30 just because some joker turned the signs round?

Hercomestrouble does raise some interesting points, but I think what he's getting at is a slightly different debate which may be better discussed on one of the other boards.


www.selbydriving.co.uk

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#36 02-06-08 21:37:50

VandADI
Administrator
From: Coulsdon, Surrey
Registered: 29-02-04
Posts: 7,592

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Just one more small point, I notice nobody has yet given an opinion on what to do if somebody has turned the signs round (30 on one side NSL on the other). If you know it's NSL, do you do 30 just because some joker turned the signs round?


If I knew the sign had been turned around I would stick to the NSL as being the true limit.  In the event of being pulled up by the Police the relevant authority would be able to confirm the true limit on that particular road.

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#37 03-06-08 05:36:13

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Perhaps a little more clarification is in order.

Couple of days ago was on the motorway (could just as easy have been D/C for purposes of example). Motorway slip road ahead, and positioned on both central reservation of motorway and hatched area of slip road are huge 50mph and speed camera signs. Looking further ahead there are road works on motorway. No 50mph sign on left hand side of slip road and slip road obviously clear of any roadworks. So obvious to any experienced driver that the 50mph limit is only intended to apply to the motorway if your staying on it and that slip road (which has excellent visibilty and leads to another motorway) is still NSL. So as I leave motorway onto slip road am still (quite legally) doing 70mph in left hand lane of the two on slip road. Two cars follow me onto slip road doing about 80 in right hand lane, spot the 50mph and speed camera signs on their right and both immediately swerve in front of me and slam their brakes on.

On another stretch of motorway going through roadworks, again 50mph signs posted all the way along and speed cameras. Running paralell with motorway lots of work going on and notice on this road there are occasional 10mph signs for works traffic. At one point, one of the 10mph signs (which were in a red circle) had been left overhanging the barrier dividing the work from the main motorway carriageway (perhaps a workman had moved it out of his way or it had just been pushed to the side). I was in lane 2 as went past (at 50mph) the car on my left in lane one spotted the 10mph sign, immediately braked hard and was very very lucky not to be rear ended by a 40 tonne HGV behind them (the lorry driver was not amused - horn sounding and flashing of lights)

Perhaps these drivers were taught by instructors who told them "you MUST obey the speed limit if it's in a red circle".

Neither of these examples are in line with your earlier posts.  If you see a mandatory speed limit on a different stretch of road to the one you are on you shouldn't take much notice of it - it doesn't apply to you, you should be taking note of the limit that applies to the stretch of road you are actually on!  These examples are taking the 'must obey' comments totally out of context!

I don't think nigel and myself actually have opposing views...

I would agree with you here.

Again if you re read the OP she was confused about the signs and the fact that everybody else was going 70. This suggests to me, at least the possibility, that the signs were wrong or wrongly placed or she simply did not realise that they did not apply to traffic on the D/C (perhaps a paralell road, to be honest I don't know I wasn't there).

The original mention of 'if the speed limit is inside a red circle' was made to differentiate between a mandatory limit and an advisory limit.  The suggestion was that the situation in the OP was that the limit was an advisory one ie not inside a red circle.

My main concern is the frankly (in my opinion) poor advice

If the sign displayed is a red circle limit then you MUST obey that speed limit.

This is (again it's only my opinion others are quite free to disagree) not enough when we are dealing with such a large disparity in speed (70mph against 10mph). I personally would be very wary of going such a very low speed in such circumstances. I mentioned the fact that there is a defence in law where, if there are unique circustances to the individual situation, there may be occasion to put personal safety first. But this shouldn't be taken as some sort of justification, the individual would still have to prove this was the case. I would however (if I felt the circumstances were endangering me or others) be willing to defend my actions. As I said before I (and again it is my personal opinion) am not prepared to die rather than break the law.

Just one more small point, I notice nobody has yet given an opinion on what to do if somebody has turned the signs round (30 on one side NSL on the other). If you know it's NSL, do you do 30 just because some joker turned the signs round?

Hercomestrouble does raise some interesting points, but I think what he's getting at is a slightly different debate which may be better discussed on one of the other boards.

As HCT did, I would be sticking to the temporary speed limit in his example.  I am very likely to be in lane 1 in such a situation leaving other lanes for others to use.  Hopefully, by being in lane 1, I would still have a hard shoulder to my left (even if it may be coned off) so I have some sort of an escape route if I needed it.  Thus I would be keeping to the legal speed limit and would have the safety of an escape route should it be needed.

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#38 30-06-08 21:09:45

Serpico
Verified Member
From: Hull, East Yorkshire
Registered: 18-05-04
Posts: 194

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Four pages? For the love of Ada!

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#39 30-06-08 21:11:45

VandADI
Administrator
From: Coulsdon, Surrey
Registered: 29-02-04
Posts: 7,592

Re: 10mph speed limits when roads are being re-surfaced

Reminds me of the "how many forum members does it take to change a light bulb" thread  tongue

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