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Lives at risk as flood-hit drivers IGNORE ‘Road Closed’ signs

By Kyle Lindsay
Friday, February 7, 2014 - 12:00

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REVIEW: Would you stop for a flood?

AA Special Operations are urging a review of road signage around flooding areas and warning drivers of the penalties for ignoring them.

The AA have attended around 3,200 flood-stricken vehicles since December, many of which were the result of drivers wilfully ignoring or misunderstanding road closure signs.

Studies have shown an estimated 680,000 UK drivers would ignore ‘Road Closed’ warnings, putting themselves at risk of danger, as well as a £50 fine.

Darron Burness, Head of the Flood Rescue Team at the AA, said: “While our crews have heard every excuse, it’s become clear that the signage around flooding isn’t as effective as it perhaps should be.

“Part of the problem is that the ‘road closed’ sign isn’t always completely understood.

“Some people may think it’s just advisory, as it’s a temporary sign just like those often seen at roadworks.

“For example, a lady in Buckinghamshire told our patrol that she didn’t think the sign applied as it was only on one side of the road, so she simply drove round it.

“But it’s actually an offence to ignore any traffic sign, attracting a £50 fine, if spotted by the police.

“If it’s deemed to be careless driving, you’ll likely be £100 lighter and possibly get three points.

“The traffic sign regulations are being reviewed later this year and we’d like to see signage around flooding included.

“A ‘no entry’ sign, for example, would possibly carry more weight with drivers but, at the moment, it’s for permanent situations only; or a police blue ‘road closed’ one would likely be more effective than the red one.”

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