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Sometime in the near future motorists on Scotland’s notorious A9 can expect to be tied up in traffic behind a long line of HGVs. Everything from the horse lorry to the long-haul freight truck is expected to join in the procession. That procession is being billed as a rolling roadblock to protest a government decision to install average speed cameras on the A9.

According to an announcement from Transport Minister Keith Brown, the cameras are being installed along the route from Perth to Inverness. The government expects the cameras to keep speeds of HGVs in check, thus reducing the number of accidents on the carriageway. The A9 is one of the most dangerous roads in Scotland for serious accidents.

The Scottish government claims HGVs exceeding the speed limit are a large factor in the number of accidents. They also claim a similar average speed camera project implemented on the A77 in 2005 reduced the total number of accidents on that roadway by 35%. Fatalities have fallen by some 46%.

According to the HGV drivers behind the rolling roadblock protest, there is a distinct difference between the two carriageways – a difference that will be very noticeable to car drivers and, they claim, will not reduce the number of crashes. That difference lies in the construction of the two roads.

The A77 is a dual carriageway on which lorries are allowed to travel at 50 mph. Passenger vehicles have plenty of space to overtake a horse lorry, for example, without exceeding the speed limit. The A9, on the other hand, is mostly a two-lane road. There may be plans in place to convert it to a dual carriageway, but those plans are still well into the future.

HGV drivers claim the average speed cameras will tie up traffic, make driving on the road even more treacherous than it is, and cost businesses money. They say they could live with the cameras if the government would increase the lorry speed limit to 50 mph. If it remains 40 mph, they see no good coming from the camera project.

The government plans to go ahead with installation of the cameras at an expected cost of £2.5 million. Cameras will be installed every 4 miles along the 136-mile route between the two cities. It is expected that all of the cameras will be functioning by sometime next summer.

The HGV Training Centre does not hold a position one way or the other about the cameras. However, we do stress safe driving among every driver that comes through our training programs. Although road safety does not begin and end with HGV drivers, they do play a large role in keeping everyone safe. Our goal is to make sure all of our drivers understand and practice safety.

If you are in need of professional driver training, we have more than 45 facilities around the country. We can help you begin a new career as an HGV driver in less time than you’d expect. Call us if you are ready.


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