8th Feb, 2021
Basically, a new scheme has been proposed for British motorways which involve using new cameras to detect of vehicles are travelling too closely to each other – specifically, if the driver behind is tailgating by breaking the all-important ‘two-second rule’ in the Highway Code. The first trial has already been carried out, and the results have been a little unsettling. They certainly bear out the case for the cameras! While the new scheme is bound to be controversial in many circles, it might be welcome news if you’ve ever been rear-ended hard enough to make you decide – I need to scrap my car.
The tailgating-detection technology of the cameras has been around for a little while now, so the devices were first trialled on a stretch of the M1 in Northamptonshire before plans moved ahead to roll them out to the rest of the country.
According to a press release on the UK government’s website, the cameras caught 10,000 tailgaters – in just the first two weeks of the trial! Two months in, the system had captured 26,000 tailgating cars and lorries on that same stretch of road. We’ll save you from working it out on your fingers – that works out to about 419 drivers every single day all disregarding the minimum safe distance.
The Highway Code stresses that a minimum of a two-second gap needs to be left between you and the vehicle in front, so that you’ve got enough time to reach if it should, for example, have to perform an emergency stop. And that’s the bare minimum – if you can, you should leave yourself as much space as possible.
The police opted not to prosecute the drivers caught flouting this rule during the trial, but sent them a letter in the post instead. Sure, it wouldn’t have been a nice letter to receive – but the alternative is a fine of up to £100, and three penalty points!
Of those 26,000 drivers by the way, about 3700 (roughly one in seven) was found to be a repeat offender. Some of them were spotted tailgating up to a staggering 12 times on the same 150-metre stretch of road, which is some seriously unnecessarily aggressive driving that could well end up in one or more scrapped cars.
As a spokesman for the RAC has pointed out, catching drivers committing offences for anything other than speeding has generally required a police officer to be on the scene to physically witness it. This technology is a game-changer in that respect, and can help to significantly cut down on drivers who put themselves or others in danger by tailgating.
The Head of Road Safety at Highways England, Jeremy Philips, has said that “the new cameras have, sadly, highlighted just how many people are driving too closely on our roads.”
The Department of Transport has stated that tailgating-related accidents have jumped to their highest in several years, and it remains a factor in around one in eight road casualties on the Highways England network. The government-owned agency actually did a survey on this, and a surprising 25% of drivers admitted to tailgating others. So all in all, perhaps it’s no surprise that these measures are being introduced!
It’s one of a whole raft of new measures being introduced that are designed to make UK motorways safer – another prominent change is the 60mph speed limit that’s about to be implemented in the Midlands and North of England. Though they might not be popular at first, they’ve got to be more than worth it if they do successfully end up reducing the number of accidents on our roads.
Here at Scrap Car Network though, you can be sure that whatever happens to your car – whether it’s been damaged in a collision or just failed to earn its latest MOT certificate – you can count on us to get you the very best price. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll get you an instant online quote before you can say cash for cars. It only takes a few seconds… curious to find out how much your car is worth?