Road Safety and Grass Cutting

With the approach of summer it is interesting to see how different councils approach grass cutting and the effects that unattended grass can have on road safety. For three years it has been necessary to remind Durham County Council of their responsibility to cut grass because of the impact on road safety.

On previous occasions, the threat of members of the public cutting the grass on behalf of the council has motivated the council to take remedial action, but with a policy of only cutting grass twice a year and no attempt to monitor if road visibility is being impaired, the motorist is repeatedly being put at risk.

“Reasonable foreseeability” in law ought to demand greater consideration from Council operatives where clearly the risk of accident has been considerably increased.

The photo attached clearly illustrates the indifference that both the local authorities and the police have for road safety in this regard. Perhaps this is being ignored because it is a cost to tackle this problem when council budgets are stretched, but the cost of road accidents is so large that surely it is worth spending some money on this issue? It should not be ignored.

It is also very worrying that at several roundabouts in the Durham and Sedgefield area, barriers have been erected or trees planted to purposely hamper visibility as cars approach roundabouts. I am sure that licenced road users are capable of approaching roundabouts with due care, without the local authority creating hazardous situations for the motorist to negotiate.

We at the ABD are sincere in our desire to achieve the highest levels of road safety and would ask that those in authority operate with integrity and deal with this issue.

Francis Barnish

3 thoughts on “Road Safety and Grass Cutting”

  1. Misses 2 points.

    Trees and other obstructions are an accepted form of road engineering. Drivers have an unconscious risk criterion. Studies have shown, clearing sight lines at junctions actually increased accident rates as the risk of the junction was subconsciously reduced.

    The usual one of the Greens that wildlife needs more unmanaged land for pollinators. I’ll leave you to decide how valid that is!

  2. Yes agree there is a craze at the moment to erect fences or mounds of earth to prevent driver visibility at junction including roundabouts, i feel sure if an accident happens to you you could site these visibility obstructions placed on purpose as the major or only cause of the accident.

  3. I must say I find your statement that it reduces accidents with some scepticism. I know they deliberately lengthen crash barriers on approach to roundabouts, to make people slow down, but of course the following 4×4 or any high van, HGV does not have to, as the driver can see over these barriers.
    Also how about foliage over direction signs, where you have to slow right down, drive right up close to them and turn head through ninety degrees to try and read them! Half expecting to get rear-ended.

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