Pace for People

Campaigning for safer speed

Slowing down for children

What is the issue?

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties. Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars – it is a driver’s speed that will determine whether the driver can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit.

Pace for People is a campaign to reduce and enforce the speed limit on our roads, in order to reduce casualties, reduce fear of cycling and walking, reduce pollution and improve health through active travel. It's something that government can do now to save lives.

What are we calling for?

Through our Pace for People campaign, Brake is calling for:

  • Lower default speed limits where people live and on rural roads
  • Comprehensive speed enforcement
  • Voluntary 'Intelligent Speed Adaptation' (ISA) to be fitted by law to all new vehicles

Lower default speed limits where people live and on rural roads

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and speed limits should be set for safety. We want a reduction in the default speed limit where people live from 30mph to 20mph. We are also calling for a reduction in the default speed limit on all rural roads (except motorways) from 60mph to 50mph.

Comprehensive speed enforcement

A law is only as strong as its enforcement and this is undoubtedly the case with speed. Drivers should have the expectation that if they speed, they will get caught and this will only be achieved with comprehensive speed enforcement. We need widespread and consistent usage of speed cameras, not just where there is known to be a speeding problem, or there has been a cluster of casualties, and far greater investment in roads policing, providing a visible deterrent to speeding offences on our roads.

Voluntary 'Intelligent Speed Adaptation' (ISA) to be fitted by law to all new vehicles

Voluntary Intelligent Speed Adaptation is a technology that automatically prevents a vehicle breaking a speed limit, unless the driver purposely over-rides the system. Recent proposals by the EU commission will see this technology become mandatory on all new vehicles and save lives. We urge the Government to support the EU’s proposals and ensure this becomes the law across the UK.

Key facts:

  • Speed is a factor in all road crashes – the faster a vehicle is travelling, the longer it takes to stop / the greater the impact in a collision.
  • Almost a quarter of fatal crashes on our roads in 2016 were caused by a speeding driver.
  • A pedestrian hit at 30mph has a very significant one in five chance of being killed. This rises significantly to a one in three chance if they are hit at 35mph.
  • Trials of ISA in the UK have predicted voluntary ISA could reduce road deaths by 21%, and mandatory ISA could reduce deaths by 46%.
  • More than half (51%) of fatal crashes in Britain occur on country roads – and this is often speed related.

Learn more

20mph speed limits

Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) 

Take action 

Campaign news

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, 01/09/2016
Brake responds to Cycling and Walking consultation, 24/05/2016
New London Mayor backs urban 20mph speed limits, 10/05/2016 
Brake’s junior campaigners say “speeding is naughty” as almost half of drivers admit breaking 20 mph limits, 08/03/2016
'GO 20' interactive quiz launched to promote the benefits of 20mph limits, 30/11/2015
Government red tape puts brakes on 20mph limits, 29/09/2015
Brake urges strong leadership as people on foot and bike pay the price, 25/06/2015 
I would walk 60,000 miles: 100,000 kids across the UK walk for road safety, 10/06/2015
AM wins road safety award as charity calls on Welsh Government to lead way on 20mph limits, 09/06/2015
Risky overtaking forces one in seven drivers to take evasive action, 26/05/2015 
Brake asks politicians and drivers to #SaveKidsLives as Global Road Safety Week begins, 01/05/2015 
Campaign urges drivers to slow down as 3 in 5 parents report speeding around child's school, 18/03/2015
Safety concerns are barrier to delivering walking and cycling benefits, says charity, 10/02/2015 
Zak the Zebra backs Aylesbury school road safety plea, 26/01/2015
Brake welcomes 20mph limits across Edinburgh, 08/01/2015