The DfT has admitted that figures used in a THINK! anti-speed campaign overestimated the chances of a pedestrian being killed when hit by a car at moderate speeds, according to a report in the Telegraph.
The Think! campaign told drivers that a pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 30mph had a 20% chance of being killed, while at 40mph there was an 80% chance of death.
The Telegraph article says the figures used during the campaign were based on 1970s data, since when car design has changed radically and emergency medical care improved dramatically. It says that the latest research shows that the probability of death is now 7% at 30mph and 31% at 40mph.
Mike Penning, the road safety minister, said: “Road safety is a priority for the government but misleading statistics only serve to undermine our case, not help it. This government will be absolutely straight with the public. That’s why we have published this data as soon as we were made aware of it.
“However, the fact remains that the risk of death is still approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph. So no one should be in any doubt that 30mph limits protect pedestrians, and that to speed through residential areas puts lives at risk.”
Robert Gifford, executive director of PACTS, welcomed the publication of the updated figures.
He said: "This research puts together three sets of data and provides us with a picture of what happens to real people in the world in today’s environment. It is an important contribution to our knowledge about how speed can affect the chances of survival as both a pedestrian and a car driver in a crash.
"The key point is that the confirmation that injury risk rises substantially once cars are travelling at over 30mph in urban areas.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph news report.