People love to complain about how low speed limits are. This is something that is not just witnessed in Britain but all over the world. To hear about people complaining that speed limits are too high is pretty rare. But, according to a new survey taken by the charity group Brake, the majority of the general public would like to see the speed limit lowered in a number of areas around Britain.
The survey found that a huge majority of people would prefer to see the speed limit dropped to 20 mph in residential areas, town centres and around schools. Brake said that its survey showed that around 78 per cent of the people want to see some tougher restrictions in these areas. People believe that slower speed limits will not only reduce the amount of accidents in these areas but also help save lives.
Another 72 percent of the people who participated in the survey want to see the roads in their villages or towns made safer for walking. The group said that a number of people are doing their part to stay green. Instead of driving short distances, they are opting to walk. However, in some areas of the UK, it is simply not safe to do so because of high speed limits.
Brake said that places around the UK that have introduced a speed limit of just 20 mph have seen a drop in casualties. For example, Portsmouth reported a 22 percent dip in casualties after lowering the speed limit. In Camden, located in north London, there was a 54 percent reduction in crashes. These are numbers that Brake feels cannot be ignored any longer.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents agrees with Brake. It pointed out that its own figures show that about two-thirds of all fatal accidents are on roads where the speed limit is 30 mph or greater.
Brake is taking its findings to the Department for Transport. It hopes that these numbers will help sway Parliament into reducing speed limits. That being said, the DfT has made it very clear that making certain areas a 20-mph zones is a matter for local councils to decide. This is the area where Brake should start its fight.
A spokesman for the DfT said that setting speed limits on local roads is a matter for local authorities. The government publishes guidance on these matters to make it easier for councils, but in the end, the councils have to enforce the laws. Research shows that placing 20-mph limits on certain roads does help prevent road casualties. As such, the DfT is not against it.
Even the Transport Research Laboratory has its own figures on the matter. Research from this group shows that areas with 20-mph speed limits report fewer child pedestrian accidents by over 70 percent.