Police have been carrying out high visibility patrols on roads forming part of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route construction sites in response to repeated widespread concerns.
Attention was given primarily to the A96 between Bucksburn and Blackburn, the A947 between Dyce and Swailend, the A944 between Kingswells and Westhill and various other minor roads surrounding each of these but similarly affected by restrictions.
During a six-day period (starting Thursday August 4, 2016) 102 drivers were stopped in relation to speeding in the roadworks areas. Some were warned in relation to more minor offences however the vast majority were issued with fixed penalty notices, each carrying three penalty points on their driving licences in addition to a £100 fine.
Several offences were of such a poor standard that drivers have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration of prosecution.
These include a 42-year-old male recorded travelling at 84 miles per hour and a 35-year-old female travelling at 70 miles per hour while lane closures were in place and passing AWPR personnel working at the side of the carriageway. Both occurred in the 40 miles per hour speed restriction on the A96 between Bucksburn and Tyrebagger Hill.
On Sunday August 7, in just over a two hour period, officers stopped and reported 12 drivers exceeding the speed limit in the road works. Each was travelling greatly in excess of the speed limit while approaching stationary or slowing queuing traffic.
Sergeant Steve Manson, who led the operation, said: “Despite regular enforcement and patrols focusing on particular areas of the AWPR construction, it is clear the message is unfortunately still not getting through to some motorists.
“We receive regular complaints from the public as well as the workers who have advised us of ‘near-misses’ they have had with speeding motorists.
“I recognise that there may not always be workers immediately present at certain points at all times however drivers won’t know this is the case until they get there. If travelling at high speed they will be unable to react in time to an unexpected situation.
“It is extremely concerning that some motorists are choosing to regularly travel at such excessive speeds through roadworks with workers, heavy plant vehicles, narrow lanes and frequent changes to the road layout. Not only are these motorists putting themselves and others at risk but it is clear they have not given any consideration to the speed restrictions or thought of the reasons why they are in place.”
Road Policing Inspector Jon Barron said: “The areas covered by the AWPR works are now long established around the periphery of the city. No-one, even a first time visitor to the area, could be left in any doubt on the approach to these. If using any of the main or minor roads in the area it is clear to anyone paying full attention to the road ahead that there are obvious, well-signed speed restrictions in place for very obvious reasons. Let me be as clear as I can – every motorist using these roads has a responsibility to respect and adhere to the conditions and restrictions and not put anyone in danger.”
He added: “Given the scale of the ongoing construction, the design, layout and surfaces of many stretches of existing and new roads will frequently change. Drivers must be prepared to adapt to whatever they may be faced with so be prepared for the unexpected. Road Policing officers in the North East will continue to regularly carry out patrols on the affected roads as the AWPR works progress.”