Scotland gets first speed-busting traffic lights

Traffic lights designed to detect speeding vehicles have been installed on the A78 in Fairlie, Ayrshire. Picture: TSPL
Traffic lights designed to detect speeding vehicles have been installed on the A78 in Fairlie, Ayrshire. Picture: TSPL
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SCOTLAND’S first traffic lights which turn red to halt speeding motorists go into action on the A78 in the Ayrshire village of Fairlie on Friday.

The road safety measure comes two years after a woman was killed when a coal lorry crashed into her home on Main Street.

The traffic lights are activated by sensors in studs embedded in the road surface which detect speeding vehicles.

Electronic signs which flash vehicle speeds are also being installed as part of the scheme by the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency, which runs trunk roads.

The agency said it would consider similar devices elsewhere if appropriate.

Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “Road safety is a main priority for Transport Scotland and we use a variety of measures to help address the needs of local communities across the country.

“The actions we are taking in Fairlie underlines our commitment to delivering improvements for the area.”

The minister added: “Almost 21,000 vehicles travel through the village on the A78 each day and these new signals will help reduce speeds, in conjunction with the recently installed road markings scheme.

“The whole scheme will be monitored to make sure it is delivering the expected benefits for the village.”

Gordon Wilson, contract director for Scotland TranServ, which maintains the A78 for Transport Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be the first in Scotland to introduce these vital road safety measures on the south-west trunk road network.

“The safety of motorists and pedestrians is our utmost priority.

“Scotland TranServ has worked in partnership with our client and Clearview Traffic to develop this concept to improve road safety in the local communities in which we all live, visit and work.”

A motoring group applauded the initiative. Neil Greig, the Scotland-based policy and research director of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “I have heard of this in France before, with no negative feedback.

“Law-abiding drivers have nothing to fear from this system.

“It also offers the opportunity to finally penalise speeders quickly and fairly.

“If nothing is gained by speeding, then that can only help reinforce the safety message.”

Catherine Bonner, 55, died in the 2013 crash in which her flat was seriously damaged, leaving the building structurally unsound.

Her partner, Jim McColl, 55, escaped from the rubble with minor injuries.

The incident intensified local campaigning for road safety improvements.

It led to new signs and road markings being installed along the A78 in the village and in Largs, Seamill and West Kilbride.

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