Road Safety Week: Report sparks fresh debate over 20mph

 

A team of the UK’s leading road safety professionals has warned that the ‘rush’ to introduce blanket 20mph limits in towns and cities may be counterproductive.

The new report Save Lives, Slow Down, published for National Road Safety Week (20-26 November), aims to debunks some popular myths and urges evidence-based solutions to save lives and prevent injuries.

The report points out that a 5% reduction in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal traffic crashes, while 59% of all fatalities in Great Britain occur on country roads where limits are typically 60mph.

”Local
20mph zones need engineering and signing measures

In the foreword to the report, Adrian Walsh, director of charitable partnership RoadSafe, says: ‘If a 5% reduction in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal traffic crashes, it is hard to think of any other low-cost intervention that could deliver such a potentially huge reduction in human suffering and economic loss globally.

‘However, the challenge for politicians and road safety professionals is to find interventions that are acceptable, affordable and effective. Popular may not always work well; and initially-unpopular schemes can deliver powerful results.’

Richard Owen, director of Road Safety Analysis, urged restraint ‘in the rush to introduce blanket 20mph limits’. He said 20mph zones normally have lower average speeds already and achieve compliance and safety improvements through engineering and signing measures, while signed-only 20mph limits often see poor compliance.

The report recognises resistance to the widespread use of speed humps and cameras in residential streets but acknowledges the effectiveness of average speed cameras strategically placed on higher speed roads.

It includes a case study on the average speed camera scheme on the A9 in Scotland, which has resulted in a 50% reduction in all casualties and a 33% cut in fatalities.

The report is based on a Speed Summit supported by PACTS, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety.

Other facts highlighted in the report:

  • 30% of serious crashes are caused by deliberate violations and risk-taking behaviour
  • The risk of a pedestrian being killed if hit by the front of a car is estimated to be 1% at an impact speed of 20 mph, 7% at 30 mph and 31% at 40 mph
  • Inappropriate or excessive speed are two of the contributory factors most often recorded by police crash data; in-depth studies say that the true level may be three times higher
  • The UK has more than 50 stretches of road permanently covered by average speed cameras, amounting to 255 miles under observation
 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council