A9 options

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Proposals to install average speed cameras on the A9 will achieve nothing, and serve only to illustrate the extent to which the authorities have misunderstood the true nature of the problem.

Consider a typical situation on a single carriageway section of the road. Car drivers are stuck in a slow-moving column of traffic behind lorries, caravans and tractors. They keep a look out for the signs telling them “dual carriageway in one mile”, and when they reach a dual section they speed up in an effort to overtake the slower traffic.

Often, they find that lorries are using the overtaking lane to pass even slower vehicles, so the fast lane isn’t very fast at all, adding to frustration.

If they survive this mad rush, they will soon get to the end of the dual carriageway, and be stuck again in another slow queue. In fact, it is possible to drive like a lunatic on some stretches of the road, but still take forever to complete the journey, and that’s why average speed cameras won’t detect the bad guys.

It is also possible, when conditions permit, to drive quickly and safely, endangering no one.

What is needed is a system that will record instances of dangerous driving for subsequent prosecution, rather than a simplistic concentration on speed.

Graham M McLeod