Campaigning for safer speed
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.
- 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.
20mph speed limits
- Read our research report on the extent of 20mph limits in Great Britain and the barriers faced by local councils in implementing them.
- Find out more in our GO 20 policy briefing and about the GO 20 coalition.
- Get the facts on speed and 20mph limits.
- Test your knowledge with our GO 20 quiz.
Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA)
- Go to our fact sheet on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems including ISA.
- Read about the EC vehicle safety standards regulatory review.
- Read about the European Commission's Third Mobility Package, proposing to mandate ISA.
- Campaign for 20mph in your community using Brake's toolkit on reducing speed limits in communities, Brake's campaigning tool kit and tools and advice from 20's Plenty for Us.
- Share the campaign on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ using the buttons at the top of the page. Tweet your support: @Brakecharity
- Write to your MP asking them to support the campaign
- Make a personal Pledge to slow down to protect people, or to encourage others to do so
- Sign up to our monthly bulletin for updates on our campaigns and how you can help
- Fundraise to support Brake's campaigns and vital support work
- Sign up for the UK's flagship road safety event, Road Safety Week.
Road collisions responsible for 1 in 5 trauma admissions to hospitals, 20/11/2017
Provisional statistics show almost 10,000 injured on Scottish roads, 20/11/2017
Brake comments on figures showing only half of fixed cameras actively catching speeding drivers, 04/11/2017
Brake supports Scottish proposals for default 20mph limit in built up areas, 14/09/2017
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