Drivers favor lower speed limits
【Summary】Two-fifths of drivers in the UK want the default speed limit in built-up areas to be lowered from 30mph to 20mph, according to new research. Road deaths and serious injuries caused by driver speed rose significantly last year, with road deaths caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit increasing by 20%. Despite this, more than a third of drivers admitted to sometimes or often driving faster than the speed limit.
New research suggests that nearly 40% of drivers in the UK would like to see the default speed limit in built-up areas reduced from 30mph to 20mph. This comes as analysis of government data reveals a significant increase in road deaths and serious injuries caused by driver speed. In 2022, a total of 1,766 people died on UK roads, which is a 10% increase from the previous year. The analysis also found that road deaths caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit rose by 20% during the same period.
In addition to the analysis, a survey conducted by the road safety charity Brake found that 92% of drivers believe that speed limits are essential for road safety. However, more than a third of drivers admitted to sometimes or often driving faster than the speed limit, and 40% believed that driving just slightly over the limit doesn't matter. These findings highlight the need for increased awareness and enforcement of speed limits.
Brake is using these survey results to launch its annual road safety campaign, Road Safety Week, which runs from November 19 to 25. The charity is calling on everyone to engage in a national conversation about speed and to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed. The aim is to challenge the acceptance of driving faster than the speed limit and promote responsible driving habits.
The CEO of Brake, Ross Moorlock, emphasized the urgency of the issue, stating that road deaths are sudden and traumatic events that have a profound impact on families and communities. He urged individuals to take responsibility for each other's safety on the road and to join the conversation about speed during Road Safety Week.
Road Safety Week coincides with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which was marked by people lighting candles in memory of those killed or seriously injured on roads. Brake collaborated with local councils to illuminate public buildings and landmarks in yellow as a symbol of support for road victims.
This year, over 3,400 schools, communities, organizations, and emergency services have signed up to participate in Road Safety Week. Brake has provided free resources to facilitate local activities and spread important road safety messages. The campaign aims to prompt individuals to question why speeding is still considered acceptable when five people die on UK roads every day.
Brake's Road Safety Week is sponsored by Arval UK, Autoglass, and DHL Supply Chain, and it supports the Department for Transport's Think! campaign. Both Arval UK and Autoglass expressed their commitment to raising awareness about the dangers of speeding and promoting responsible driving among their employees and customers.
The statistics on road casualties in different regions of the UK reveal variations in the number of people killed or seriously injured in 2021 and 2022. While some regions saw a decrease in fatalities, others experienced an increase. These figures highlight the importance of ongoing efforts to improve road safety nationwide.
In conclusion, the research and survey findings underscore the need for stricter enforcement of speed limits and increased awareness about the dangers of excessive speed. Road Safety Week serves as an opportunity for individuals, communities, and organizations to come together and initiate conversations about speed and responsible driving, with the ultimate goal of reducing road deaths and injuries.
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