|About the Book|
Following an article on Road Safety GB, I decided to investigate the effectiveness of 20mph limits in terms of their overall impact on an area or town’s accident rates.Five towns were noted where a substantial spike in 20mph incidents indicated thatMoreFollowing an article on Road Safety GB, I decided to investigate the effectiveness of 20mph limits in terms of their overall impact on an area or town’s accident rates.Five towns were noted where a substantial spike in 20mph incidents indicated that the 20mph limits were having an impact on accident figures. A barrier year was chosen, and performance of the area before and after the barrier year was compared.Given the trend towards lowered accidents over time, a benchmark improvement in GB 30mph incidents was netted out.There are no chi-squareds, confindence intervals, or the like. It’s just a basic before and after snapshot with some plausible results that highlight the social costs as well as the nominal benefits in terms of lives saved.That the same savings could have been achieved simply by being honest with pedestrians and pointing out that they needed to look before crossing the road, is perhaps a disturbing reflection on the ease with which drivers are targeted and pedestrians own behaviour ignored.ConclusionIt takes suppressing between 100,000 and 300,000 drivers to save a pedestrian’s life. It is not a statistically significant sample, but it is suggestive. There were two outliers. Newcastle, where the figures was a low 32,000 drivers, in an area that had not had a pedestrian fatality in the latter two years (2012, 2013) post barrier- and Bristol, where there was a net increase in fatalities after the GB drop was taken out.That 50% of pedestrians could save their own life simply by looking puts that figure into some perspective.Lowering the limit to 20mph is not ‘just’ a few miles an hour. It is a 33% decrease. Would you enjoy finding that your pay had been docked 33%, even beyond the tax you’re paying today?It’s only a few pounds, and it will save lives.Perhaps councils and the government might try something novel: being honest and forthright with the public, telling them that they cannot expect to use the road safely if they refuse to pay attention.It’s not rocket science. It’s a basic requirement.Assuming that a driver can stop when a pedestrian walks out unexpectedly may be what a road safety organisation claim in their simulator (RoSPA) but it isn’t reality.At some point, pedestrians will come face to face with reality.It would be easier and less painful for them if they got the message from the council, not from the ambulance.