Motorway Moans

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Cmitchell | 14:25 Sat 03rd Dec 2005 | Motoring
14 Answers
Previous to the gantry signs going up we only had the square black illuminated signs on the central reservations to tell us to reduce our speed (e.g. to 40 mph) but REGULARLY I would notice that no-one was reducing their speed and THERE WAS NO HAZARD to slow down for!
Then the huge gantry signs came along. I was horrified when my boyfriend told me how much just one of these motorway gantry signs cost. But at the time (not long after they'd been put up) I thought well at least they will tell us WHY they are telling us to slow down as well as the speed limit we are being told to reduce to. But as the months have gone on the exact same thing is happening. We are being told to slow down (sometimes we are given a reason, sometimes we are not) and surprise surprise�there is NO HAZARD! Only last Friday I drove up the M1, from Luton to Derbyshire and the first set of signs that were telling us to reduce speed were being ignored AND AGAIN THERE WAS NO HAZARD. Have the operators of these signs (security guards???� with no qualifications???) ever heard of the story "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"?? To The people who put the messages on the Gantry signs: - If you keep putting up false information then PEOPLE WILL IGNORE YOU!!! Only reduce the motorists speed when NECESSARY and when there is a hazard � then people might just take notice!
My other grumble is this � when did it become law that motorcyclists can ride in between the 2nd and 3rd lanes, faster than either lane of traffic??? It is such a dangerous "habit" it's a miracle more cyclists aren't killed on the motorways. I imagine I speak for others too when I say that when I am wanting to switch lanes I am concentrating on the cars in that other lane. Yet time and time again motorcyclists come zooming along in the narrow space in between� Lunacy!
Right enough moaning from me � Happy Christmas everyone!
Mitchell : S


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I noticed this problem as well. Empty motorways with 40 limits for no reason! I'll slow down where I see fit, thanks. Especially when (as far as I know) they are not enforceable!

I know it is annoying having to slow down, especially when you are not informed as to why.

Up here in the Midlands they are trying to overcome the problem of congestion by monitoring traffic. (I think they are trying it out on the M42) When there's a lot they show 50 mph or whatever in the overhead gantry. The cars are then meant to slow down and therefore eliminate queues. So far it seems to be working.....

Much better to keep traffic flowing than to sit in a jam dont you think????

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Yes Lazy Daisy, that is one possible reason for the reduced speed limits when there is no hazard, but as c00ky83 points out we are seeing 40mph signals on empty motorways - that can't possibly be due to congestion!

How do you know whether there is a hazard or not? If you don't slow down then you will be on the hazard and it will be too late to do anything. The volume and speed of modern traffic means that warnings have to be posted well in advance. I have seen the police removing objects from the carriageway and traffic approaching is slowed down by signs well in advance or by a rolling road block. It takes the policeman a few seconds to pull up, remove the obstacle to behind the hard shoulder and get moving again. Given the volume of traffic bunched up the restriction signs have to stay in place for a while. Having worked on motorways and seen cones being demolished around you while you work due to idiots driving too fast or not paying attention then better safe than sorry.
it has always been legal for motorcylists to filter between lanes

After the procedure that alan30 correctly describes, the officer needs to get to a safe place, then contact his/her control and ask them to turn the signs off. If there is nobody in the road when you get there, travelling fast and having been warned, you and they are lucky. Why would security personnel (who are mostly very highly qualified, and in two months will all be) operate motorway signs?

kazza12345 - if the police are quick enough, these people are prosecuted for dangerous or careless driving. Filtering implies travelling slowly which is not often the case.

filtering on a motorbike is legal
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No, and nor does it include riding between the second lane (average speed 60mph) and the third lane (average speed 61mph) at approximately 110mph, which is what I witnessed yesterday!
There has been much debate in many arenas concerning the legitimacy of temporary speed restrictions and the penalties for ignoring them.

As far as I understand it, so long as the sign meets the design specifications, and it has been placed lawfully, then contravening its instruction is an offence and can result in a normal speeding conviction. Although it may have been placed unlawfully this is unlikely. The Secretary of State has powers (which are obviously devolved) to impose temporary speed limits for safety or traffic flow purposes on all roads. Once in place, the limits are mandatory, not advisory. (There are some advisory speed limits such as those placed on the approach to sharp bends – these are triangular, not circular).

I have also heard it said that breaking a temporary speed limit is a non-endorseable offence, which carries only a fine. I know of no such restriction to magistrates’ powers.

I have to say I find it a little strange that some motorists take it upon themselves to judge whether the speed limit is “reasonable” or not and to complain when caught and convicted. It is true that on many occasions restrictions are in place when, say, no work is in progress. But you don’t know when it finished, when it is about to restart, what is around the bend or over the brow of the hill. c00ky83’s intention only to slow down “where I see fit” beggars belief. It is precisely because we cannot all be relied upon to “see fit” appropriately on all occasions that we have speed limits. I think, c00ky, that you will find you are very much mistaken in your belief that temporary speed limits are non-enforceable and I only hope you don’t kill or injure somebody whilst you’re finding out.

Filtering is Legal, however, undertaking at speed is most definately not.

This really annoys me because it is the bikers that are the first people to complain if a rider gets knocked off their bike, however, the majorority seem to think that those big metal things with four wheels will move out of their way!
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No, Probelm,

Undertaking is passing a vehicle on the nearside when in open traffic.

Or as the Highway code states;

"Only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left"

With regard to speed, any speed in the wrong circumstances is deadly so it shouldn't matter really. It is impossible to say that it is safe at 59mph but not at 60mph isn't it!?

I take it you are a biker mdo98?
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