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Author Topic: Beware UK speed limit signs  (Read 3359 times)

Tom

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Beware UK speed limit signs
« on: July 29, 2006, 11:08:12 AM »
Beware if you plan to visit and drive in the UK. Speed limits can be posted on a roadside sign or painted on the pavement, as in the attached photo. The pavement sign could be white on black, as in this photo, or white on red. The pavement sign could also show a different limit from an adjacent roadside sign. (I wasn't fast enough with the camera to grab a shot of the contradicting limits).

Also in abundance are fixed "speed cameras" which appear to be sync'd with fixed radar detectors. You drive over the speed limit and receive a fine in the mail. Additionally, there are mobile speed cameras, typically located in a van driven onto an overpass. I'm told that, if you drive a rental vehicle and exceed the speed limit, they send the fine to the rental company and they charge your credit card.

The real gotchas are apparently random barriers errected across an entire lane on a 2-lane road. They're supposedly there to slow traffic but, if you're not aware of them, they can be death traps.

You have been warned - watch your speed!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 11:37:01 AM by Tom »
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Carl L

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Re: Beware UK speed limit signs
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 12:08:27 PM »
Well as long as we are passing along British driving tip, I shall pass along mine culled from my British Notes message in the old UK Current Affairs Forum on CIS.

DRIVING IN THE UK.

Oddly enuf driving on the left is rather simple. One either gets it right
the first time or wakes up in the intensive care ward... if at all. Scotland
is slightly different tho. Whereas the English drive on the left, the Scots
drive in the middle.

Turn signals are a device on a UK car to indicate the presence of foreign
tourists within.

English traffic calming seems to include suddenly narrowing the High Street
to one lane and designating one direction as having 'priority'. This seems
to be on the theory that the occasional head on collision has a wondrously
calming effect... and well it might.

We encountered numerous signs that indicated HUMPS FOR 600 YARDS down a
road. These left foreigners to wonder, if he would hump for 600 yards, what
would he do for a whole mile?

Roundabouts do take a bit of getting used to. Eventually one realizes that
entering a roundabout is a matter of quick preplanning and exercising a
sense of timing and rhythm. It also helps upon entering a roundabout, to
utter a brief encouraging shout such as BANZAI or GERONIMO.

The matter of which speed to use on a motorway appears to be simple. A safe
sane cruising speed of 90 mph will allow one to pace traffic nicely. being
passed on occasion by Jaguars, Lotuses, and the odd Morris Minor with
something to prove.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Tom

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Re: Beware UK speed limit signs
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 12:25:29 PM »
LOL Carl. Glad to hear you didn't drive directly across a roundabout.

Of course, those "mini roundabouts" can catch you unawares because they're merely road markings, but you're expected to follow "normal" roundabout rules. As we exited the rental car pickup location, I started to make a right turn and realized I was about to go the wrong way around a mini roundabout. Chris made a "dumb tourist" gesture to the bus driver who was watching this happen and he just cracked up.

At the next "real" roundabout we observed a guy sitting in his foldup chair on the roundabout taking photos of planes as they lifted off the adjacent runway. Now this guy was either a real strange tourist or a bad guy. Just then, the cops turned up with lights flashing and figured they'd better deal with him pronto.
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Carl L

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Re: Beware UK speed limit signs
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 12:45:12 PM »
We referred to the mini-roundabouts as virtual roundabouts.   Being cheap as well as confusing, US traffic departments are metastisizing them all over the USA.   We have two in Culver City, CA and I remember one in the middle of a nowhere suburb of Winter Gardens, FL.

They are supposed to be a traffic calming device.   People slow down approaching them as they wonder whatinthehell they are supposed to do and why are those other people people are doing what they are doing.   The only thing better at slowing people is a freeway fender bender.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Tom

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Re: Beware UK speed limit signs
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 12:49:19 PM »
We had one in Livermore, CA where we previously lived. Didn't seem to help much other than, as you say, confuse the locals.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Beware UK speed limit signs
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2006, 06:11:22 PM »
You know,  The thing I like about round-a-bouts is the fact that I grew up a few miles from one.  Yes, right here in South centeral lower Michigan we have a Roundabout.  It is called the Brooks Memorial Fountain at the intersection of old us-27 and old US-12 in Marshall Michigan (US-27 now follows I-69 a few miles west and US-12 goes through Coldwater about 18 miles south)

I learned to drive with one of those, and only once have I ever had a problem (And I was not driving that day) As my foreman pulled the truck into a job site about a block off said roundabout some idiot in a tow truck came round the corner on 3 wheels (Duals on rear) and caught the foot on our power ladder with his mirror, took the rubber foot right off the ladder, did not do much for his mirror either, no other damage save to his budget.  Seems he was captain lead foot and well known to the county sheriff and local pd
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Tom

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Re: Beware UK speed limit signs
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2006, 08:58:47 PM »
... he was captain lead foot and well known to the county sheriff and local pd

LOL, great description John.
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blueblood

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Re: Beware UK speed limit signs
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2006, 10:21:33 PM »
We referred to the mini-roundabouts as virtual roundabouts.   Being cheap as well as confusing, US traffic departments are metastisizing them all over the USA.   We have two in Culver City, CA and I remember one in the middle of a nowhere suburb of Winter Gardens, FL.

They are supposed to be a traffic calming device.   People slow down approaching them as they wonder whatinthehell they are supposed to do and why are those other people people are doing what they are doing.   The only thing better at slowing people is a freeway fender bender.

They have been installing these virtuals across SC and in UT. In Park City they put one in front of the entrance to a huge outlet mall. There is no way it can work on busy days and traffic comes to a complete gridlock. In addition, its so small 18 wheelers making deliveries have to cross them so they have become rutted throughout the center. The wizards at the county government have hired a different consultant to determine how to fix problem. Of course, the solution is to go back to original which worked. ;D
Leo

 

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