Road Safety Engineering
Please click the links below to view engineering pages within the Dorset area;
Engineering in Bournemouth Engineeering in Poole Engineering in Dorset County Area
Road safety engineering is the responsibility of the local highway authorities, who work with the Police and other agencies across Dorset to achieve a reduction of fatal, serious and slight injuries on our roads.
Road safety engineering aims to meet the target measures for casualty reduction in the following ways;
- Accident prevention is often used as the primary justification for carrying out highway improvement works.
- Our Road Safety Sections analyse accident records supplied by the Police and proposes measures that address the problems experienced in an area, or along a particular route or junction.
- We carry out road user audits to ensure that all works affecting the highway are designed with the safety of all road users in mind. These assess accident potential and safety performance, particularly for vulnerable road users.
- We continually review our road safety strategies, priorities and policies that make up our Road Safety Plans. These plans are incorporated within the Local Transport Plan document jointly produced by the local Councils.
Speed is a significant factor in about one third of road accidents in the United Kingdom. This is particularly so in urban areas, where speeding vehicles can adversely affect the quality of life of many communities.
Speed limits are introduced to ensure greater road safety.
Measures for influencing the speed of vehicles generally fall into two categories, legislative and physical. Speed limits fall into the first category whereas traffic calming devices would fall into the second. Comprehensive information on the speed limits that you would expect to come across on the different category of road is given in chart form in The Highway Code.
Getting a speed limit lowered, raised or extended
If you would like a speed limit to be lowered, raised or extended, please contact your local Council. Your request will then be assessed based on the nationally agreed criteria .
The police view on a change to a speed limit is important and will be sought. Account should also be taken of the characteristics of the road, such as its alignment, the level of activity alongside the road, the accident record and the degree of severance caused to a community by the speed of vehicles.
In urban areas, speed limits should fit into a rational and easily understood hierarchy if they are to be observed by drivers. Before deciding to change an existing speed limit the Highway Authority must consider all the relevant factors such as;
- expected accident savings.
- improvement to the environment.
- improvement in amenities.
- reduction in public anxiety.
- improved facilities for vulnerable road users.
- delays to traffic.
- costs of implementation.
- costs of engineering measures and their maintenance.
- costs of enforcement, especially where the speed limit is regarded as unreasonable by drivers.
If it is considered that a change in the speed limit is warranted then a new Speed limit Order has to be made. This involves a statutory legal process that can take up to 9 months to complete.
Please note that if the road in question has a system of street lighting on it with no speed limit repeater signs the road is already subject to 30mph and as such the Highway Authority is not permitted to place 30mph repeater signs on it. The system of street lighting in a built up area is deemed to be sufficient evidence of a 30mph limit.
For further reading, see Department for Transport Circular 01/12006 Setting Local Speed Limits.pdf