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Over the summer, it was reported that the government decided to install a series of average speed cameras along the A9 from Dunblane to Inverness. That stretch of carriageway is notorious for the number of fatal accidents that occur on it every year. Government officials believe the installation of the average speed cameras will force HGV drivers to obey speed limits, thus reducing the number of accidents.

In response, HGV drivers and a number of professional organisations said the cameras are not the solution. They maintain the need to increase HGV speed limits from 40 mph to 50 mph in order to reduce the need for cars to overtake them on certain sections of the roadway. It turns out the government has relented, at least enough to allow a pilot programme.

According to BBC News, the pilot program will raise the speed limit on certain sections of the dual carriageway. Transport minister Keith Brown said much research has been done since the original plans were announced, resulting in the pilot programme.

The BBC did not say exactly when the pilot programme would begin or end. However, it is likely to get underway as soon as all of the cameras are operational. From there it is a matter of the government collecting the necessary data to determine whether the increased speed limits should become permanent or not.

Future Plans for the A9

Ideally, the best solution for the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness is to upgrade the entire roadway to a dual carriageway. Those plans are in the works, but the £3 billion project is not expected to be completed until 2025. Lack of funding means the work has not even started yet. In the meantime, let’s hope the average speed cameras and increased speed limits will reduce the number of accidents on the road.

HGV drivers planning to take the route will need to be aware of where the speed limit increase is effective. It does not appear the entire stretch of road will enjoy the higher limit. Should drivers exceed the limit, the cameras are there to deal with violators.

Haulage and transport industries wanting to see the higher limits become temporary would do well to work with their drivers to make sure safe and legal driving practices are always being employed. Nothing will ruin the programme faster than drivers flouting the law with impunity.

As always, the HGV Training Centre encourages drivers to operate legally and safely at all times. Part of our training is to instil the safety mindset so that it becomes a high priority among all of our graduates who go on to work professionally. Safety is something that should always come first when operating such large, heavy vehicles.

The HGV Training Centre is a leading provider of commercial driver training in the UK. We offer training for many different licence classes at more than 45 facilities around the country. We would be happy to provide exactly the type of training you need.

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