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November 8, 2013

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in court

Motorcyclist left paralysed after collision with traffic signs

A road maintenance firm has been fined for serious safety failings after a motorcyclist was left paralysed following a collision with traffic signs. 
Glynn Turner, 47, from Ipswich, was riding his motorcycle south on the A12 on the evening of 7 June 2010 when he collided with the traffic signs at a road closure at the junction with the B1121, near Benhall, Saxmundham.
Mr Turner sustained multiple injuries and is now unable to move any part of his body, unable to communicate and needs 24-hour residential care. His family have been told there is no prospect of a recovery.
Carillion AM Government Ltd, based in Wolverhampton, was prosecuted by the HSE following an investigation, which found that the first indication of roadworks was less than 200 metres before the road closure on this 50mph stretch of the A12.
Ipswich Crown Court heard on 7 November that the company was responsible for placing a series of road signs warning of the closure and directing traffic along a diversion route.
The ‘roadworks ahead’ signs should have been erected at intervals of about 800, 400 and 200 metres in advance of the closure, and information signs alerting road users should have been placed at up to one kilometre in advance.
However, the HSE found that at the time, the first indication of the road closure was just 175 metres before it happened where a large yellow information board has been placed, but as the speed limit on that stretch of road was 50mph, this left little time for traffic to slow down and avoid a collision.
Carillion AM Government LTd, of Birch Street, Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the HSWA 1974. The company was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £28,551 in costs.
Following the hearing, HSE inspector Sandy Carmichael, said: “Had Carillion complied with the industry’s code of practice and correctly placed temporary warning signs to alert motorists in good time to the roadworks, this dreadful incident could have been avoided.
“Roadworks provide increased risks in what is already a very hazardous environment. Anyone doing work on our roads must take great care to warn road users in good time what to expect on the road ahead.”

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2 years ago

According to the highway code, stopping distance at 50mph is 53 metres. At 70mph, stopping distance is under 100m. Failure to stop within 200m suggests a speed in excess of 90mph.