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Monday 25th July 2011

Fewer pedestrian fatalities as drivers stop speeding

4 readers have commented on this story

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.

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Comment Roy, thank you.

Good luck with your research. Is this graph of motorcyclist fatalities from 1950 helpful?

http://www.speedcamerareport.co.uk/gb_motorcycles.jpg

Data for this graph from here:
http://www.speedcamerareport.co.uk/08_gb_road_safety.htm

If you could find motorcycle mileage each year to calculate deaths/Bkms that would show how safety has changed over the years/decades.
Dave Finney - Slough


Comment I can add my support to the arguments put forward by Dave and Roy. I am glad to see Ron using his wide knowledge to the advantage of motorcycle safety and look forward to what he has to say.

Just recently I drove over the pass by the Cat and Fiddle Pub on the A 537 between Macclesfield and Buxton. A well known death road for bikers. I have always wanted to ride it to see for myself why so many KSI occur there.

I will be writing to various bodies regarding what I found. There are many things that are inherently dangerous about the road and in some instances have in my opinion been made more dangerous by various attempts to slow traffic down from 60mph to 50 mph ending with a slegdeghammer, average speed cameras that cost nearly £1.000.000.

I could have done the same thing with a few cattle grids and sheep on the roads. Bikers like none of those and it would have been at 1000th of the cost, if that.

By the way, why do safety officers and highway engineers believe that a 50mph limit will stop bikers falling off their bikes at 30 mph on a corner that obviously cannot be taken at anything more than 20 mph. It beats me but supports both of the two other comments.

Would like to meet with Roy sometime now that he is retired and if he is ever up north give us a bell.

Finally I read a lot of info now coming forward about the reduction of speed and or of accidents now that the number of Gatsos are being dramatically reduced. Why is that when we know that there will be a blanket 20 mph limit in towns by 2015.
Bob Craven, Lancs


Comment I am currently writing a two-part article for a motorcycle magazine on the history of road safety, starting in the late 1890s. My research has shown how frequently the speed issue is resurrected and a limit imposed as a cure-all remedy. Many, if not most, practitioners are aware that speed is not a stand-alone problem but a factor amongst several found in causation analysis. As a retired RSO and Fellow of the Institute of Diagnostic Engineers, I recommend that we listen to the comments of Dave Finney at Slough. I know that RSOs are sometimes reluctant to see the value in alternative thinking but it would be churlish, if not short-sighted, to dismiss these views because they are perceived as non-mainstream. It is easy to point the finger and say; speeding, it is better to wait and say; think deeper.
Roy Buchanan, Epsom

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Comment This is a very silly press release.

6% of pedestrians killed involved a speeding vehicle (and this includes all "possible" speeding).

Therefore the VAST majority (94%) do NOT involve a speeding vehicle (and speeding was not even "possible" in those 94%).

http://www.speedcamerareport.co.uk/07_speeding.htm

When serious injuries to pedestrians are considered (as well as fatal), only 2% of these involved a speeding vehicle.

What about the effects of the recession?
What about the effects of vehicle design?
What about the effects of increased traffic (more hazards mean lower speeds, even without any "speed management")?

Will we ever get those involved in road safety to comply with even the basics that other fields of engineering insist upon?
Dave Finney - Slough

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