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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 27th January 2006
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PACE Drivers

Some green looney has got to be having a laugh

Pace drivers for motorway

23 January 2006 by Alex Eckford

Road chiefs are recruiting "pace" drivers to make sure motorists stick to speed limits.

The trial scheme will see volunteers employed to keep a steady speed of 70mph or less in the third lane of the motorway.

More than 30 motorists have already applied to be Community Pace Drivers in Doncaster, Yorks.

The town's metropolitan borough council claims accidents which occur at lower speeds result in less severe injuries.

However it has come under fire from road safety gear suppliers Speedsafe, who have branded the scheme foolhardy and incompetent.

Speedsafe spokesman Paul Smith said: "Imagine the chaos caused by a pace car at 70mph in lane three of a motorway."

"This level of incompetence is breathtaking - safety depends on drivers adjusting speed to the environment."
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Old 27th January 2006
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 27th January 2006
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I know the police themselves were doing this in marked cars in a few places at one point. Avon & Somerset was one I think (they were also one of the places that got seriously over-zealous about 'zero tolerance' and started handing out tickets for 71mph.)

Driving back from Glasgow a few months ago, there was a marked police car doing exactly 70 in the inside lane of the M74. As many of us do, a few of us crawled past at an indicated 75. He let a few of us do that, then overtook, pulled in front, switched his rear LED sign to say 'speed limit 70' and slowed back down to 70.

The result? Over a dozen cars, complete with irritated drivers bunched together on an otherwise clear stretch of motorway. Now exactly how did that improve the safety of the road?

A lot of accidents are caused by irritated drivers making rash decisions, and seeing someone 'hogging' the outside lane at exactly 70mph is enough to make anyone's blood boil if they're wanting to go a little bit faster. If the car isn't marked, then this will prompt people to tailgate and undertake, both of which are detrimental to overall safety.

So I bet this'll cause more accidents than it prevents, though no doubt the statistics will prove otherwise. It's a bit like those ridiculous 'keep your distance' chevrons - yes, everything flows nicely on the marked stretch of road, but I wonder just how many accidents are caused by the cascade braking that occurs at the beginning of the chevron stretch as everyone tries to increase the distance between their vehicles. Of course if the accidents happen outside of the marked area, then it probably just proves how well the chevrons work and that they need extending a little bit further to cover the new problem area.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 27th January 2006
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I saw this too - yet further proof that nobody seems ready to trust drivers to judge things for themselves.

However, I can see a new sport coming out of this - boxing in pace cars and then slowing down to 10mph, allowing the remaining traffic to pass on the inside

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Old 27th January 2006
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Old 27th January 2006
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 27th January 2006
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LOL @ Andy
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 27th January 2006
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Idiots, idiots, idiots! I regularly drive about 10 miles home on the motorway. On at least 2 occasions I have left the roadworks on the M56 towards Stockport and not seen a single car in lane 1 with the rest of us bunched up in lane 3 waiting for someone dawdling along at 65. It is a chronic lack of driver education which is causing the majority of problems on the roads and getting Mr Forsyth in his Allegro to do pace driving is the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard in my life!

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