Guest blog - Leigh Stiff: 2 September 2011 - Motorway driving, reducing costs
02 September 2011
Author: Lee Stiff, Hannaford fleet manager Leigh Stiff
I can appreciate times are tough and we've all got to accept that decisions will be made with regards to our roads that everyone may not necessarily agree with. I've always struggled to see how four lanes on the M1 will help my southbound commute to work. The sections I see always have a HGV in the first three lanes, often travelling side by side all trying to overtake each other, essentially leaving one lane for all the other traffic to get past.
Recent reports have stated the intention to turn off street lights on sections of the M1, which I am all for, if this saves money. But has anyone considered turning off every other street light or every third one?
I would be interested to know of the cost of the electricity to put up generic messages on the matrix boards? Advising comments such as:
"DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE" - Which is a little late seeing as a guilty person reading that would already be driving.
"THINK BIKE" - Maybe bike riders could think of other road users when screaming through the road works about 90mph, while the rest of the road is sat in traffic, adhering to the 50mph speed restrictions and cameras.
"WATCH YOUR SPEED" - Yet I'm being encouraged to take my eyes off the road to be reminded of this?
"CHECK YOUR FUEL" - If at any point I need to be reminded of this, I shouldn't be driving.
"DON'T LITTER, BIN IT" Really? I need to be told THIS?!?!
"DON'T HOG THE MIDDLE LANE" - This is an area of road education, which requires addressing. But it doesn't appear to be working. Too many people have sat their driving test and not been adequately prepared or trained for motorway journeys and lane discipline, including myself.
"DON'T DRIVE TIRED" - I'm confident mos,t if not all, drivers know they shouldn't do this.
"THIS SIGN IS NOT IN USE" - Someone must have put that up as a joke. Because leaving the sign off wouldn't have told me that.
I am fully accepting of the messages that contain the word "possible" like, "Possible delays", as I'm being warned of something that may or may not happen and it's up to me whether or not I choose to take an alternative route.
Why not leave the boards blank if there is nothing important or worthwhile stating? Surely, my attention would be better off on the road or concentrating on driving my car/other road users etc. By saying nothing, you are telling me something. By displaying pointless messages, the credibility of this useful tool will be significantly reduced.