The IAM has highlighted a correlation in DfT figures which show that as compliance with 30mph urban speed limits is improving, pedestrian fatalities are falling.
In 1998, 69% of cars were driven faster than the limit in 30mph zones in free-flow conditions; by 2010 this figure had dropped to 46%. While at the same time, pedestrian fatalities have also reduced significantly; down 40% in 2010 compared with 2005.
Neil Greg, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The good news is that drivers are not driving faster on the less crowded roads – and more people are sticking to the limit in urban areas where there are many hazards.
“A combination of consistent road safety messages, new road layouts and police enforcement appears to be paying road safety dividends for city people.
“However despite this positive effect in urban areas, road safety on rural roads, where the majority of serious accidents and fatalities occur, needs much more attention.
“Most young drivers get plenty of exposure to urban hazards but often their first experience of a rural road comes after the test when they are on their own. This is unacceptable.”
For more information contact the IAM Press Office on 020 8996 9777.