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Year 11 Physics Coarsework

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How road safety has changed over the years

Why Speed Limits Have Changed

During the last 100 years speed limits have changed in the UK, now in residential areas speed limits are generally 20mph to 30mph and on main roads the speed limit is 40mph. On the motorways the speed limit is raised to 70 mph.

The first speed limit was 1865; this speed limit was 2mph in built up areas such as cities, towns and villages. This was then raised to 20mph and large fines were put in place for speeding and reckless driving. This to encourage safer driving, however as cars were developing and more people were driving  the speed limit had to change to 30pmh this rule was introduced in 1934 in built up areas.

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Speed Cameras image02.jpg

Who invented the first speed camera?

A rally driver in part of a Dutch company called Gatsometer BV invented the first speed camera in the 1950’s. The man was called Maurice Gatsonides; the camera was called Gasto cameras after him.This information was found from a website called: http://www.dashdriving.com/tutorials/fixed-speed-cameras.htm

How the Gatso camera works:



All cameras are built of the knowledge

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Air Bagsimage03.jpg


If a car has a sudden stop (possible collision) then due to friction the car will stop but the person will continue to move, seat belts help with this however to increase safety air bags were introduced as they absorb your energy and slowing you down as you fly forward decreasing the blow.

The bag is folded inside the steering wheel, dashboard seat or door and is made of thin nylon. Acceleration is monitored by a sensor, when the sensor detects a sudden stop the bag is inflated due to the chemical reaction between sodium azide and potassium nitrate this produces a nitrogen gas that causes the bag to inflate quickly.


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