Smith-Jones

Road Safety Week: Speeding in built up areas can cost lives

Whether we are driving, cycling, walking, or travelling by public transport, we all use roads daily and they become an integral part of our day. Road Safety Week is the biggest road safety event in the UK in which thousands of schools, organisations and communities come together to promote life-saving messages.[1] Coordinated by the charity Brake, this event takes place between the 20th and 26th of November this year.

Road Safety Week follows the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims which took place on Sunday the 19th of November, and equally tries to encourage road safety to lower the number of road traffic victims.

The theme for Road Safety Week this year is Speed Down Save Lives[2] and aims to tackle one of the main causes of crashes and accidents, speeding. The campaign places focus on the dangers and potential consequences of speeding. For instance, almost one in four fatal crashes occurs due to speeding.[3]

Brake argue that more could be done to prevent speeding and therefore prevent fatalities occurring on the road. One measure that the charity supports is a default speed limit of 20mph in built up areas. The Department for Transport has recorded that most accidents occur in areas where the speed limit is 30mph in built up areas.[4] Decreasing the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph would give motorists enough time to stop and would in turn reduce the amount of accidents that occur. Driving at a slower speed would also reduce the stopping distance required to bring the vehicle to a stop, which may be particularly relevant in harsh weather conditions.

In addition to the obvious safety risks, speeding is also noisy. Reducing the speed limit to 20mph may help to counter noise pollution in built up areas, making those areas safer and less intimidating for children and families.

However, there could be an argument that a 20mph speed limit may be redundant without thorough enforcement. Statistics released by the Department for Transport earlier this year indicate that a shocking 81{d0b33ffed4c839fc4b18c811774d92ca1331969f61d589721459b0764cff8e09} of drivers exceed the speed limit on roads confined to 20mph.[5]

To combat this, Brake call for tougher enforcement in the areas where speeding is the biggest issue, deterring drivers from breaking the speed limit and helping to reduce this percentage.

Speeding on the roads can cause accidents, especially in built up areas and neighbourhoods, where there may be a greater proportion of children in the community, but accidents can also occur due to factors such as drink driving, using the phone at the wheel, and failing to look properly. We understand how traumatic a road traffic accident can be and that you may not know which way to turn. Our specialist team may be able to help you claim for any injuries and losses suffered as a result of the accident and with many years of experience in this type of claim, we can use our expertise to help maximise your compensation settlement.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and need expert advice, then call 0800 195 9590 to talk to a member of our specialist road traffic accident team and see whether you are eligible to make a claim.

[1] Road Safety Week, ‘About Road Safety Week’ <http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/about>

[2] Road Safety Week, ‘Our Theme for 2017: Speed Down Save Lives’ <http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/our-theme>

[3] Department for Transport, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2015, 314 (Table RAS50008, Published 29 September 2016) <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/568484/rrcgb-2015.pdf>

[4] Department for Transport, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2015, 81 (Table RAS10001, Published 29 September 2016) <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/568484/rrcgb-2015.pdf>

[5] Department for Transport, Speed Compliance Statistics Great Britain 2016, 1 (Published 29th June 2017) <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/623261/vehicle-speed-compliance-statistics-2016.pdf>