The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) is calling for the Government to halt the rollout of 20mph zones following a survey of its members, and what it describes as “further increases in 20mph accidents”.
The ABD points to recent data analysis by the IAM which suggests that casualties and collisions increase on roads where a 20mph limit is introduced.
In the recent online survey of its members, 95% of the 548 who responded agreed that the rollout of 20mph zones and limits should be halted until the results of the DfT’s research into the effectiveness of 20mph limits are known.
Responding to the claims, 20’s Plenty founder Rod King MBE said the ABD had “demonstrated a basic ignorance of statistics” and “a willingness to misinform the media”.
Other ABD survey results included: 98% of respondents agreed that “observation and adjusting your speed to the conditions was a more important aspect of safe driving the obeying a 20mph limit”; 77% agreed that “educating all road users on their responsibility under the Highway Code would make the biggest contribution to road safety in built up areas”; while less than 4% thought that “20mph advocates had made a credible case”.
Sean Corker, ABD spokesman, said: "The fact that proponents of 20mph zones continue to campaign for their introduction despite increases in accidents suggests that the ultimate aim of reducing speed limits is to discourage driving rather than making the roads safer.
"There is no such thing as a "20mph road" or a "30mph road" as road architecture and hazard density change continuously. If we add in variable weather conditions then the advice given by 20mph advocates – that safe driving consists of simply obeying a 20mph speed limit – is potentially dangerous.
“While it may be perfectly safe to drive on a particular stretch of road at 30mph on sunny weekday afternoon with clear sight lines and low hazard density, the same stretch of road on an icy January morning during rush hour is a completely different proposition."
In response, Rod King MBE, founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, said: “The ABD have referenced the IAM report on increased total casualties on 20mph roads in 2013, without any acknowledgment that IAM themselves recognised that the large number of roads changed from 30mph to 20mph makes any conclusion impossible. This demonstrates a basic ignorance of statistics and a willingness to misinform the media.
“This press release demonstrates why ABD has so little influence in road safety circles. It reflects a refusal to accept the validity of speed limits generally.
“Traffic authorities in most of our iconic cities have come to the conclusion after careful consideration and trials that 20mph is the right limit for most residential roads. They see the benefits which not only include lower casualties but also a wide range of community gains.
“The survey results from ABD members are about as surprising as a survey showing that turkeys are unanimous in opposing Christmas.”