Governments need to take actions that will reduce the speed on roads – as well as speed differences between vehicles sharing the same road, a new report has found.
The International Transport Forum* (ITF) report, titled ‘Speed and Crash Risk’, concludes that with higher driving speeds the number of crashes – and the crash severity – ‘increase disproportionally’.
The report points to research which suggests that the risk of death is about 4-5 times higher in a collision between a car and a pedestrian at 50kmh – compared to the same type of collision at 30kmh.
The report recommends that where motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users share the same space, such as in residential areas, 30kmh (20mph) is the recommended maximum speed.
It also suggests stricter enforcement or an upgrade of the infrastructure is needed to compensate for the increased risk related to higher speeds.
The report has been welcomed by the campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us.
Rod King MBE, founder and campaign director, said: “This is yet another report coming to the firm conclusion that 20 is plenty where people live, work, play, shop and learn.
“Other countries have adopted a near universal 30km/h limit for urban and residential streets.
“Over 25% of the UK live in authorities who have also set 20mph as the right urban limit. The Scottish Parliament is considering a bill to make 20mph the limit (with exceptions) for built up roads.
“It’s time to end the postcode lottery on pedestrian/cycling safety and general well-being in our residential and urban places by setting a 20mph default limit for built-up roads across the UK.”
*The ITF is an intergovernmental organisation with 59 member countries. It acts as a think tank for transport policy and organises an annual summit of transport ministers.