London, 15 July 2002.
For immediate release.

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Vegetation Kills!
Pedestrians and other vulnerable road users are being placed in serious danger because local authorities are neglecting their duty to cut back overgrown hedging, claims The Association of British Drivers.
All over the country vital sightlines for drivers are being obscured at junctions, roundabouts and footpath entrances where vegetation has been allowed to grow far too close to the carriageway. This is often preventing drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders from seeing each other until the last minute and obscuring vital roadsigns.

ABD representative Dave Razzell, who leads a country walking group said:

"It's a nightmare walking on many country roads due to overgrown hedging. Local councils always seem to have the funding to place dangerous obstructions in the road (commonly known as 'traffic enraging schemes') but fail dismally in their fundamental maintenance duties. What is needed to help vulnerable road users in rural areas is not more speed limits, it's more chain saws!"
ABD Road Safety spokesman and keen cyclist Mark McArthur-Christie said:
"Local authorities and landowners should be compelled to keep all vegetation well back from all highways, particularly at bends and junctions. Good vision is a fundamental necessity for road safety. All over the country vital sightlines are being obscured at junctions, roundabouts and footpath entrances where vegetation has been allowed to grow far too close to the carriageway. There is a strong case for relocating many roadside hedgerows further back from the highway. I noted an excellent example of good practice on the A515 south of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, where there has long been an accident blackspot at a crossroads located just over the brow of a hill. The hedge immediately prior to this junction has recently been moved back some two metres to improve sightlines. Such simple measures can often be far more effective than the favoured 'cure-all' of speed limits and cameras."
 

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