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Lancashire's speed trial update

01 July 2009

WORK on Lancashire's speed trial is now well underway and it will be launched later this year.

WORK on Lancashire's speed trial is now well underway and it will be launched later this year.

Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Blackpool Council were awarded a bid from the Department for Transport to carry out a two-year pilot of the Interactive Speed Adaptation (ISA) device.

The roads of Lancashire are currently being digitally mapped. Once this is complete and we have received the equipment, the Sat-Nav system will be fitted to 550 vehicles in Lancashire.

The device will warn drivers of when speed limits change and of hazards on the road ahead. It is hoped that by making drivers in Lancashire aware of the speed limit of the road they are on they will drive within the speed limit and ultimately reduce the number of potential crashes and deaths on the road.

The data collected from the Sat-Nav devices over the nine-month period will be totally anonymous and will be sent to Leeds University for researchers to analyse if the ISA devices can help change driver behaviour.

We have already recruited the 550 volunteers needed for the trial and those taking part who complete the pilot will be able to keep the Sat-Nav device when the trial period ends.

For more information please contact the Road Safety Group on 0800 328 1635, email or see our list of frequently asked questions below.


What is ISA?

ISA stands for Intelligent Speed Adaptation, this is a system within a vehicle that displays the speed limit for the road currently being driven on. The technology has been around for 25 years and has been trialled in other countries.

How does ISA work?

Via a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal the vehicle is aware of its location on the road and with the digital speed limit map held within the ISA unit, this provides the speed limit at that location.

Why trial ISA?

The technology is of interest because of the known relationship between speed and risk of a crash and severity of it. ISA can also have additional benefits of lower co2 emissions and fuel savings.

What's involved in the trial?

The trial will monitor driver behaviour to see if drivers stay within the speed limit when they know the speed limit of the road. The ISA device in this trial is purely advisory. The driver has complete control over whether they stay within the speed limit or not. Volunteers on the trial will be monitored before and after the ISA goes in to see if it has made a difference to their driving.

Why use an advisory ISA and not a compulsory one?

People tell us they do not know or understand speed limits. By informing the drivers of the speed limits this allows them to make the decision to slow down if necessary.

How long will the trial last?

The project is for two years, this is to enable the design of the mapping device, driver recruitment and training and data analysis and research. The user trial of ISA will be nine months.

What happens at the end of the project?

All the data collected will be collated and analysed by the University of Leeds and a report will be published on the findings. The future for ISA in Lancashire obviously depends on the results from the trial.


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