Fleet News

Wide area 20 mph zones are a waste of money, says ABD

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) deplores the call by some Liberal Democrats to impose a 20-mph speed limit in all residential areas, effectively replacing the 30 limit by 20.
The ABD suggests there is no evidence that this will have any benefit in reducing injuries and deaths from road traffic accidents, while it will impose very substantial costs to both implement this change and in on-going costs imposed on drivers because of the increased travel times that would result.

ABD chairman Brian Gregory had this to say: "As with most pet road safety ideas proposed by amateur enthusiasts - speed humps, speed cameras, etc, - there is little attempt to collect scientifically sound evidence of the benefit of such ideas. No proper controlled, "double-blind" trials are undertaken. The enthusiasts rely on the strength of their rhetoric and the use of selective data to make their case. Don't be fooled by these methods but look at the facts. And remember that all road safety schemes should be cost justified because if there are better things to spend the money on, then that is where the limited funds should be spent".

The ABD suggests that instead of wasting money on this idea, any cash available would be better spent on other road safety projects because it is likely to result in much better returns on the investment.

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  • Paul M - 17/08/2012 11:44

    Evidently the ABD's attempts to fiddle statistics last week, withthe BBC and some local newspapers, has failed so they are attempting a different approach. Laast week they were telling us that the 24% increase in total casualties on 20mph roads proved that they were more dangerous. Since then that claim has been debunked, on the basis that only casulaty statistics per mile of road have any meaning in this context. If the length of 20mph road has increased by 24%, then the casualty count has not increased - the available lenghth of 30mph road has correspondingly reduced. And what is a "double blind" trial in this context anyway? There is a wealth of evidence that reducing speed limits fomr 30 to 20 reduces the probability of collisions, and reduces the severity of those collisions. About 5% of pedestrians hit by a car at 20 will die. 45% of those hit at 30 will die. these are fact established by scientific studies. there is also the "soft" factor, less easily measured in this way, that lower speed limits make people feel safer, make thjem more willing to let ther children play in teh streets, make them more likely to wealk or cycle to closer destinations rather than taking the car for every single trip. Local residents groups all over the country are campaigning for 20 limits where they live, shop, or take their children to school. Farnham and Godalming are examples in this area. Some big cities have opted for 20mph and rae reaping the benfits. Portsmouth wnet 2o in 2008. Bristol is progessively extending 20 across the city. Newcastle has resolved, following consultation with its residents, to adopt 20 city-wide for residential areas.

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