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When the Scottish government announced plans earlier this year to install average speed cameras on the A9 between Inverness and Perth, the reaction among HGV drivers and transport operators was not positive. They contended that tightly controlling the speeds of commercial vehicles would increase accident rates on the single lane roadway. In response, the government agreed to raise the speed limits for HGVs and conduct a number of surveys among drivers as the average speed camera project progressed.

The first of those surveys was recently conducted among a pool of regular A9 users. Roughly 20% of the respondents said they regularly exceed the speed limit by 15 mph or more. Roughly 30% said they routinely travel 10 mph or greater over the speed limit. These numbers are in line with transport industry claims that speeding among passenger vehicles is one of the leading causes of dangerous crashes on the A9.

Survey respondents were also asked what steps the government could take to make the road safer. The top four responses were:

  1. dualling the road
  2. increasing enforcement efforts
  3. installing more cameras
  4. increasing HGV speed limits.

HGV speed limits were recently increased on a trial basis. It is expected that the government will make the increases permanent in the very near future. As for the average speed cameras and police enforcement, both are now in progress. The dualling suggestion is also being taken to heart as the government plans to undertake that project for completion sometime before the end of 2025.

Minister for Transport Keith Brown says the results of the survey indicate his government is moving in the right direction. He says the second survey will be conducted after the average speed cameras have been in place for six months.

Working Together on a Solution

We first began reporting on this story when news of the average speed cameras was made public. Since then we have seen most of the stakeholders involved work together to find solutions to the safety issues the A9 is known for. We applaud the government for listening to HGV drivers and increasing speed limits as a result. We hope the results of this first survey will encourage police and other government officials to increase enforcement against passenger car operators driving in excess of speed limits.

In the meantime, the HGV Training Centre will continue offering high-quality commercial driver training at more than 45 facilities around the country. We can prepare you for your theory test, HGV practical skills test or trailer towing test. We have the classes you need regardless of the vehicle you are planning to drive.

In order to earn your HGV licence you must have a full car licence and the ability to pass a routine medical exam. You will need to apply for a provisional entitlement and prepare to take the 100-question theory test prior to beginning practical skills training. If you would like more information, contact us at the HGV Training Centre.

Sources:

Strathsprey & Badenock Herald– http://www.strathspey-herald.co.uk/News/A9-motorists-quick-to-admit-speeding-09072014.htm

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