Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 09:10 UK

Road death warnings now a hazard

A1 casualty signs in Northumberland
The warning signs were erected in the early 1990s

Road signs highlighting casualties on the A1 in Northumberland are to be taken down because they are now considered to be a hazard to motorists.

About 20 signs were placed on a long stretch of the single carriageway road in the early 1990s to bring home to drivers the number of road deaths.

But the Highways Agency says drivers are suffering from information overload and the signs have become a hazard.

All of them are due to be removed in the current financial year.

Several signs quote the number of casualties over a three-year period with others displaying the words "Don't Speed."

Signs 'justified'

A spokesman for the agency said: "The signs were put up as an experiment in the early 1990s.

"But research has shown that they have not had a noticeable effect on accident figures."

He said recent studies had shown drivers were increasingly suffering from "information overload" and that there was now concern the signs could be more of a distraction than an aid.

A spokesman for the AA said casualty information signs were important because they justified the use of speed cameras.

He said: "We need to keep the public on side with road safety initiatives and telling them why we are bothering to enforce the law is very important."

An RAC spokesman said he hoped the signs would be replaced with speed-activated information showing real-time traffic speeds.


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