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Saturday, 14 August 2010

'It's our fault if we crash' So that's all right then!

I have written to Mike Penning, Transport Minister via my MP to point out that when they restrict the safer dual carriageways so that you cannot legally pass HGVs there, you push the overtakes out onto the two way roads and opposing traffic instead and cause crashes. He and his merry men, having set the trap, say its our fault if we crash. So that's all right then!
And this little gem from his man at the ministry: 'As I explained in my previous email, there is simply no need for drivers to overtake slow moving HGVs if it is dangerous to do so. A driver’s responsibility is to ensure they and all other road users travel in safety and it is not sufficient to blame a drivers dangerous and unnecessary acts on changes of speed limit.' So there.

Paul Cox

Department for Transport


  1. It may interest you to note that Mr. Penning is an ex-fire serviceman and has done his fair share of scooping bodies into bags at road collisions.

    He is quite right; the driver is the one responsible for overtaking. Not safe - hold back. What is wrong with that?

    If you want to race take to the track.

  2. Missing the point again Bob. Scooping up casualties doesn't make him a road safety expert or expert driver Bob but in any case his replies are written by the same civil servant who wrote those of his predecessors.

    The point is that by creating the scenario the Highways agency is culpable. Who says humans don't make mistakes; even the best drivers? The duty of the authorities is not to create the problem. Now what do you think the effect is of preventing the legal overtaking on a dual carriageway and thus forcing it on to two way single carriageways is Bob?

  3. I think the minister and DoT are missing the point. I'm sure there are roads in this country where a dual carriageway that is limited to 50mph turns into a single lane carriage way, which a mile or so down the road become national speed limit.

    In such a case a driver could quite legally want to overtake an HGV on the single lane carriageway if they believe it safe to do so.

    I agree with you Mr Peat. I see a lot of speed reductions on dual carriageways as un-necessary. Fair enough if there are a lot of junctions on the stretch of road, or in a case near me there is no central divide on the dual carriageway, but other than that I see them as being perfectly acceptable at the national speed limit.

  4. Hi Darren,

    That is the most worrying thing here. The DfT and their satellite Camera Partnerships are so keen on 'speeding' policy and slowing transport that they will not tolerate genuine road safety points and realities that are alternatives, nor will they see that much of what they do creates more crashes; albeit elsewhere.

    There is no such thing as a safe overtake on two way roads. Even police prefer not to do them. We are humans Darren and we all make mistakes. It's no good them blaming us when they have set up the scenario.