July 22 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Drivers are risking serious injury by ignoring red traffic lights on the A11, police have said.
Several near-misses with construction vehicles have been reported in recent weeks, and officers said it could result in a fatality.
Now the Highways Agency and Suffolk Police have issued a warning to motorists to respect temporary signs and signals along the A11 Fiveways to Thetford dualling scheme in Suffolk.
Officers said red lights at a temporary plant crossing along the scheme had been ignored by motorists, even though construction or farm vehicles were travelling across the A11 at the same time.
The plant crossing, situated approximately half way along the scheme, is the only crossing point currently on the scheme and is used as and when necessary to allow access either sides of the site to the agency’s construction contractors and Elveden Estate traffic in a safe and efficient way.
Clearly signposted, temporary traffic-light-controlled plant crossings have been used on the A11 between Fiveways roundabout, Barton Mills, Suffolk, and the roundabout at the southern end of the Thetford Bypass in Norfolk, since the start of the scheme in January 2013.
Police said road users have so far respected these crossings and stopped when they were in use.
However, for everyone’s safety, drivers are now being reminded that all vehicles should stop at a traffic light when the red light is showing – as is required by law.
Geoff Chatfield, Highways Agency Project Manager for the scheme, said: “The safety of road users and of our construction team is our top priority.
“In recent weeks there has been an increase of vehicles running red lights.
“It is very concerning that people are willing to put themselves and others at risk of serious or fatal injury.
“These signs are there for a reason and our signal operators do ensure that delays to road users are kept to a minimum.
“So we ask drivers to be patient and wait for the few seconds it takes for lorries to pass and the lights to change back to green.”
Chief Inspector Chris Spinks of Norfolk and Suffolk police said: “Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit patrol this road in both marked and unmarked vehicles.
“Drivers who commit this offence face prosecution and, if a collision occurs as a result of a red light contravention, then not only are these drivers risking serious injury but an offence that could amount to dangerous driving may be committed with serious consequences in terms of sentencing.”