Trees could be the economical alternative to speed cameras

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Car Rental News - 16/08/2010


Researchers found that people driver slower when trees line the road.

A pilot scheme by researchers has concluded that trees could offer an economical alternative to the expensive installation and maintenance of traffic speed cameras. The study showed that motorists using roads lined with trees à la classic French country roads feel they are driving much faster and are more likely to driver more slowly.

In the study, researchers had 200 trees planted along the roads leading into four villages in Norfolk that have a history of problems with speeding motorists. Norfolk County Council carried out the study, which cost £70,000. The cost of the research was borne by the Department for Transport. The initial results were promising. On average, drivers were found to reduce their speeds as they approached the villages of Horstead, Martham, Mundesly and Overstrand by 3.2kph.

Stuart Hallet, casualty reduction manager for Norfolk County, said that this cheap technique had achieved good results. The council was aiming to cut speeds on the roads leading into the villages by about three to five kilometers per hour. The council is also targeting a 20-per-cent reduction in accident rates. While Norfolk is experimenting with trees, Oxfordshire County Council has just switched off the county’s speed cameras after the government withdrew funding.

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