RAC Says UK-Wide Study Needed to Assess Value of 20mph Limits

More councils across the UK are setting up 20mph speed limit zones in urban areas. But will this reduce road accidents significantly? Pete Williams from the RAC comments on the recent study by Bath and North Somerset Council, which found that accidents actually went up, as reported in the Daily Telegraph;

“It is too early to draw constructive conclusions from a small study over a short period. We urge the Government to support local councils by conducting a national study into the effectiveness and best practice for the use of 20mph zones in a wide variety of locations and urban environments.

“The RAC has consistently highlighted that blanket 20mph zones are not the right approach as compliance diminishes as drivers have less confidence in their necessity or effectiveness – our Report on Motoring revealed that four in ten drivers (41%) admit to speeding in 20mph limit areas. Nevertheless the RAC supports 20mph limits around accidents black spots and areas with high footfall and vulnerable road users such as around schools and hospitals.

“It is also clear that simply erecting a speed limit sign does little to change entrenched behaviours and what is required is a combination of interventions including better enforcement to ensure drivers know they are likely to be caught, an effective awareness-raising campaign, and better road design which makes roads ‘feel-like’ a 20mph limit road. There has to be scope for a smart approach to local traffic and road safety with consideration for variable speed limits, appropriate traffic calming measures and better engagement with local communities.”

Insurance Edge Comment;

Will speeding drivers be caught and punished – or are they gambling that the chances of escaping a lengthy ban are fairly good?

A Freedom of Information request earlier this year found traffic Police numbers had fallen by 30 percent in the last decade. In an horrific accident this week, which cost the lives of six people, it was revealed that one of the two speed cameras watching the road in Birmingham was not working.

Also this week Dr Maria Hadjicosta was banned for just 21 days, after being caught speeding through roadworks EIGHT times in the summer.

These are better odds than you can get from BetFred, so what is the point of 20mph speed limits exactly?

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