Reduce SMIDSYs

Comment 25th June 2017

The Highway Code tells us not to park within 10 meters of a junction either side or indeed opposite one. This was at a time when in general vehicles were small I look at Morris minor or Austin A30 or ford Anglia 105s. Since then vehicles have got a lot larger and so consideration needs to be given to increasing the safe distances that vehicles can park at in relation to junctions and freely available vision. I would suggest that 45 ft or more should be considered.

The matter at present was made worse many years ago with the introduction of double yellow lines. which were put in place on certain junctions by local authorities. The purpose of such lines was I believe to give clear vision for drivers to exit at junctions onto main roads usually arterial ones. It would appear, however,by the number of smidsys [ Sorry mate I didn’t se you] collisions that in some order many have failed to do just that. The reason? Simply because they didn’t adopt the 10 meter distance previously mentioned. Some junctions have as little as 2 meters of double yellow lines and therefore we have a situation where drivers now believe that it is lawful to park where those double yellow lines end. That being much closer to the junction than previous legislation as ism advised in the H.C.
Its a danger that has been created by local authorities and one which is easy to recommend. Increase safe visibility particularly of oncoming traffic approaching from the right side of a junction. Increase the double yellow lines to now 45ft or more, taking into account the greater visual obstruction new larger manufactured vehicles cause. With greater clearer visibility and less need for drivers to pull out into oncoming traffic in order to gain a decent view of oncoming traffic there should be fewer accidents at junctions.

We must also remember that with the introduction of 20 mph areas it will have little or no effect on the number of such smidsy.s at junctions as the speed vehicles leave an exit at junctions will remain the same in all cases. and traffic on the main arterial roads will still be travelling at or close to the normal 30 mph speed I limit also.

Why does this matter?

Road traffic accidents in urban areas occur more frequently where there are vehicles in close proximity and of conflicting directions. ie at junctions. Almost 50% of collisions could be reduced considerably by two things. One is increasing space to have greater visibility at junctions. Many of which have parking controlled by double yellow lines that stop short of a recommended distance. This encourages drivers to park believing it to be apparently legally but within too short a distance of the junction. Second by educating drivers of what is the safe distance in urban areas more visibility will enable traffic to travel calmer around and be of less danger to oneself and other road users. So everyone can benefit.

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