Grieving dad campaigns for an end to old steel road signs

posted in: General News

Did you know your chances of surviving a collision with a road sign can depend upon its age?
Every day, our rental vans collectively cover thousands of miles all over the UK. Precious few (thankfully) are ever involved in accidents -let alone serious ones – but a new campaign is highlighting the risks posed by aging road signs and barriers.
Trevor Gorman’s son, also called Trevor, and colleagues Marshall Arnott and Zachary Graham were killed instantly when their works van collided with a signpost on the A38 near Marsh Mills. On the day of the accident, as Plymouth Live reports, the road was slippery and the van’s tyre pressure was low, both factors which will have contributed to the accident.
But an additional factor was the sign the van hit. Erected in the 1990s, it met the safety standards of the day, but did not meet the latest, more exacting standards. Today’s road signs are designed to crumple and bend on impact. The sign that Trevor hit didn’t crumple, instead slicing through the van and contributing to the damage caused.
Highways England has promised to make improvements on the road, but Trevor senior wants to take his campaign nationwide, and shine a bigger spotlight on the issue.
“I’m going to carry on,” he said. “I’m going to try to make it nationwide and then I would like to look at the barriers – the crumple end barriers. I’m not going to stop. If I stop, what am I going to do in my son’s memory?”
Certainly, this tragedy highlights an unreported quirk of our roads – that signs that no longer meet current standards can remain in place decades later.
Given the flash floods we’ve been subjected to within the past couple of weeks (at time of writing), we’d encourage everyone driving our rental vans to go easy, take particular care in wet, slippery or low visibility conditions, and be aware that not every road sign will crumple in the event of an accident.