HC Deb 09 November 1987 vol 122 cc80-1W
Mr. Pawsey

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further action he intends to take to improve safety on motorways.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Motorways are Britain's safest roads carrying 14 per cent. of all traffic and accounting for only 2 per cent. of accidents.

We have a continuing research and development programme into safety fences and barriers, and we are closing cross over points where they are not essential.

Better control, communication, and signalling are being installed. We are monitoring systems of automatic incident detection.

We have developed fog detectors and are installing them on a trial basis on particular fog prone sections to warn motorists. We are experimenting with "Keep your distance" and "Keep left except when overtaking" signs to improve driving discipline, and planning an experiment with 70 mph signs on a short stretch of motorway to study its effect on drivers.

The Department will support the 1988 national motorway safety campaign by the police. We are discussing with the police wider use of mandatory speed limits at roadworks and experimenting with new technology for monitoring traffic.

The rate of injury accidents on motorways has fallen by one third over 15 years.

Most motorway crashes and collisions are caused by excessive speed, inadequate space between vehicles, inattention, alcohol and fatigue.