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Route safety improvements through hazard warning – Beattock, Scotland

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The Hazard

The scenic A701 connects Dumfries with Edinburgh through rural countryside. Several serious and fatal incidents have occurred on the first 20 miles, which provides the primary link between Dumfries and the A74 (M) for traffic heading northbound to Glasgow or Edinburgh.

A junction near Beattock on a long sweeping bend was identified in a safety report as particularly hazardous. It recommended the installation of a Vehicle Activated Sign for warning of hazards ahead, informing oncoming traffic of vehicles waiting to turn and slowing down speeding drivers.

The Solution

Together with partners Clearview Intelligence, Coeval designed an innovative solution for warning of hazards ahead that combines both Vehicle Activated Hazard and Speed Warning into a single sign.

The ‘Vehicles Turning’ Hazard Warning sign is only activated when vehicles are detected approaching the stop line on the A7076, or turning right across oncoming traffic on the A701 onto the A7067. The use of inductive loops and ‘count and classify’ detection ensures regular users of the route don’t become complacent to the hazard as they might with a static sign.

The ‘Slow Down’ Speed Warning message for drivers travelling too fast increases the effectiveness of this system and achieves two safety benefits from a single installation. The entire system is powered by just two solar panels, meaning less maintenance and reliable, environmentally-friendly operation in an area where mains power is unavailable.

The Benefits

  • Highly visible hazard warning sign
  • Alerts drivers to the junction and encourages them to consider vehicles joining their carriageway
  • Encourages speed compliance
  • Year-round, reliable solar-powered solution deployed in a location where access to mains power was not available

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