Articles Tagged ‘speed limit - Brake the road safety charity’

As children head back to school we reveal the extent of dangerous speeding in 20mph areas

  • Four in 10 (40%) of drivers admit to ‘sometimes’ breaking the speed limit by at least 10mph
  • More than a quarter of drivers ‘regularly’ speed in areas designed to keep children (and other vulnerable road users) safe

A new survey by Brake and Direct Line has revealed how many drivers are speeding on roads where lower limits are in place to keep children and other road users safe.

Four in 10 (40%) of drivers admit they sometimes travel at 30mph or more where there is a limit of 20mph. More than a quarter (26%) of drivers say they do this at least once a month and just over one in five (21%) admits to driving much faster than the 20mph speed limit on a weekly basis. Most 20mph zones and areas are in the vicinity of schools and homes where many children will be regularly walking and cycling.

In 2014, 53 children under 16 were killed and 2,029 were seriously injured on British roads: that’s almost six children seriously hurt or killed every day. The majority (80%) were on foot or bicycle at the time.[i] 

Speed limits are put in place to keep all road users safe, especially vulnerable ones like children, and can make the difference between life and death. If a child runs into the road three car lengths ahead, a driver travelling at 30mph will not be able to stop in time, and will still be travelling at 28mph when they hit the child. A driver travelling at 20mph should just be able to stop in time, providing they are paying attention, have well-maintained brakes, and are driving in dry conditions.

There is plenty of evidence to show that lowering traffic speeds, and lowering limits to 20mph specifically, reduces casualties and creates a safer road environment, especially for those on foot and bicycle, but of course this only works if limits are adhered to. 

Analysis of 75 20mph limit sites in Scotland found casualties dropped by 42%.[ii] The World Health Organisation recommends 20mph limits as a key measure to improve pedestrian safety and save lives.[iv]

Case study

Tommy Kenny was just 10 years old when he was tragically knocked down and killed on a pedestrian crossing on a 30mph road in London. He was thrown approximately 60ft on impact, leaving him with multiple traumatic injuries so severe that he stood no chance of survival. The police investigator said that the driver was doing between 30-39mph when he hit Tommy. If the limit had been set to 20mph rather than 30mph, Tommy might still be here today.

Tommy's aunt, Michelle Kirby, said: “Tommy was a much loved son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin with the best years of his life ahead of him. Our lives fell apart when he died and he is missed hugely by his whole family. He was a very bright, fun-loving and cheeky boy with a unique personality and a vivid imagination. He loved dinosaurs, Steven Gerrard and Doctor Who. 
If we are honest with ourselves, most people have to admit to creeping over the speed limit at times. Yet we've all seen the harrowing adverts on TV showing the horrific results of what speed can do to a child. If you drive at 20mph, you have a good chance of being able to stop in time if you need to, such as if a child runs out in front of you. We all need to slow down, and we can all do that today. One can only imagine what pain Tommy's parents, Lynsey and Lloyd, have gone through and will do for the rest of their lives.”

Alice Bailey, campaigns advisor for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “All parents want to know their children are safe while travelling to and from school and playing outdoors. Speed limits are in place to keep all road users safe and if tragedy strikes and a child is hit by a car, the speed at which it is travelling could be the difference between life and death. 20mph limits benefit our communities in so many ways, keeping them safer, cleaner and greener; when limits are lower, many more people choose to ditch the car completely and walk and cycle instead[CF1] . If people feel they have to drive, the lower speed limit will have a negligible impact on travel times and bring so many other positive effects.”

Rob Miles, director of car insurance at Direct Line, said: "Adhering to the speed limit is such a simple way of helping to make our roads safer and is within all drivers’ gift. We urge drivers to be conscientious and to remember that speed limits exist for very good reasons and that it is a legal requirement to observe them.”

Q.1 Within the past year, have you driven at 30mph or faster in a 20mph speed limit?

No, never                                            60

Yes, less than once a month              14

Yes, about once a month                      5       

Yes, about once a week                       8

Yes, several times a week                    9

Yes, once a day or more                      4

Q.2 Within the past year, have you driven at 40mph or faster in a 30mph speed limit?

No, never                                            60

Yes, less than once a month              16

Yes, about once a month                      4

Yes, about once a week                       8

Yes, several times a week                    9

Yes, once a day or more                      3

 

Notes to Editors:

Tommy’s mum Lynsey is available for interview

Please contact Alice at Brake on 01484 550063 or on abailey@brake.org.uk

Or email the news inbox on news@brake.org.uk

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com


[i] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2014, Department for Transport, 2015, table RAS30062

[ii] 20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001

[iv] Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners, World Health Organisation, 2013

Brake applauds new tougher sentences for drivers who kill and injure

News from Brake
Sunday, 15 October 2017
news@brake.org.uk

The Ministry of Justice has today (Sunday, 15 October 2017) announced long-awaited plans to increase maximum sentences for drivers who cause death by speeding, racing or using a mobile phone. Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face life sentences, and a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created, the Ministry has said.

Commenting on the news, Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Today's announcement is a major victory for the families of victims and charities, including Brake, who have tirelessly campaigned for punishments which better fit road crimes that kill and seriously injure people.

"We applaud the Government for at last recognising that the statute books have been weighed against thousands of families who have had their lives torn apart through the actions of drivers who have flagrantly broken the law.

"In addition to tougher penalties, Government must also make road policing a national priority, reversing savage cuts to front line resources so that laws are properly enforced in the first place. Figures released only last month reveal that almost 1,800 people were killed on British roads last year - a four per cent rise since 2015. There is an urgent need for a road collision investigation branch, similar to those already in existence for air, rail and sea, so that lessons can be learned to prevent future deaths and serious injuries on the roads."

/ENDS

Notes to editors 

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Brake asks politicians and drivers to #SaveKidsLives as Global Road Safety Week begins

Friday 1 May 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has added its voice to the call of organisations around the world to #SaveKidsLives as part of the United Nations’ third Global Road Safety Week (4-10 May 2015). In the run up to the UK general election on 7 May, through its GO 20 campaign, Brake is calling on all parties to commit to a 20mph default urban speed limit as the best way to protect children and enable them to enjoy walking and cycling without fear.

Brake, supported by tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, is revealing survey results showing widespread support among parents for a 20mph urban speed limit, which is even higher among those who have already experienced the benefits. Four in five parents (79%) who already live in widespread 20mph areas support changing the default, compared with seven in 10 (72%) in non-20mph areas. Parents who say they ‘strongly’ agree with the idea goes up from one in five (22%) to two in five (42%) among those who live in a 20mph area [1].

Children stand to benefit greatly from 20mph limits, as they are among our most vulnerable road users and unable to judge the speed of traffic above this speed [2]. The World Health Organisation is clear about the importance of 20mph limits in making walking and cycling safer for children and adults [3].

‘GOing 20’ in the UK can help stop our kids becoming part of horrifying statistics: globally, 500 children are killed on roads every day, and thousands more injured [4]. The UK has just witnessed its first rolling year increase in child road casualties in 20 years, with 16,640 casualties of all severities and 2,060 killed or seriously injured in the year ending September 2014 [5]. Increasingly local authorities are switching to 20 limits – it’s estimated 14 million people now live in these areas [6] – but Brake wants to see safer streets everywhere.

As well as calling for government action, Brake is asking all drivers to make their own personal commitment to the #SaveKidsLives campaign by pledging to stick to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops. This gives drivers twice as much time to react in an emergency as at 30mph, for instance if a child steps out unexpectedly.

Anyone can also show their commitment to the #SaveKidsLives campaign by signing theChild Declaration for Road Safety atwww.savekidslives2015.org. Brake is also urging people to back the UK’s GO 20 campaign at brake.org.uk/go20.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“It is a global travesty that so many children around the world are killed and injured on roads every day, and denied their right to safe, healthy, active travel. Even in the UK, a developed country with a comparatively good road safety record, thousands of children are killed and seriously injured every year, and the figures are now going in the wrong direction. As the #SaveKidsLives campaign makes clear, we need meaningful, sustained, long-term action to create a better world for our children, both in the UK and across the globe. We are appealing to UK drivers to do their bit by GOing 20 in communities, and to the UK government to change the national default urban speed limit to 20mph.”

Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, who are sponsoring Brake’s GO 20 campaign, added their support. Consumer sales and marketing director Farrell Dolan said: “The increase in child road casualties is alarming and the statistics are a big cause for concern. We are big supporters of Brake’s efforts to reduce these figures through their GO 20 campaign.

“We are thrilled to be official sponsors of this initiative and we can’t wait to get to work. Bridgestone is putting its name alongside a hugely respected charity which carries out a great deal of selfless work. We echo Brake’s call to drivers to stick to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops.”

Brake is the long-running coordinator of the UK’s national Road Safety Week, every November, involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations. Anyone can register to be a part of this huge awareness-raising event at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

About Brake’s GO 20 campaign

Brake is part of a broad coalition of organisations calling for more local authorities to adopt widespread 20mph limits, and for the government to make 20mph the national urban default, through its GO 20 campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #GO20.

Why GO 20?

  • Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have far more time to react in an emergency. Studies show when 20 limits replace 30, there are fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists [7].
  • More walking and cycling: danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle. Town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling [8].
  • Healthier, happier people: More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults. It helps communities interact and be communities.
  • Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys [9]. Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic.
  • Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society dearly [10]. Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services [11]. Preventing casualties and improving health means GOing 20 pays for itself many times over [12]. It also helps people save money by choosing the cheapest ways to get about: foot and bike.

Full results

Q1. It has been proposed that the default urban speed limit be changed from 30mph to 20mph, with local authorities having the power to set higher speed limits on main routes. To what extent would you agree with this? (tick one 

  • All respondents:
    • Strongly agree: 28%
    • Agree: 46%
    • Disagree: 11%
    • Strongly agree: 8%
    • Don’t know: 8%
  • Respondents who said they live in rural areas with no or very few 20mph speed limits:
    • Strongly agree: 26%
    • Agree: 40%
    • Disagree: 17%
    • Strongly agree: 11%
    • Don’t know: 6%
  • Respondents who said they live in an urban/suburban area or village with no or very few 20mph speed limits:
    • Strongly agree: 24%
    • Agree: 48%
    • Disagree: 13%
    • Strongly agree: 9%
    • Don’t know: 7%
  • Respondents who said they live in an urban/suburban area or village with some 20mph zones:
    • Strongly agree: 22%
    • Agree: 52%
    • Disagree: 11%
    • Strongly agree: 9%
    • Don’t know: 7%
  • Respondents who said they live in an urban/suburban area or village with widespread 20mph limits:
    • Strongly agree: 42%
    • Agree: 37%
    • Disagree: 7%
    • Strongly agree: 3%
    • Don’t know: 10%

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Bridgestone

The largest manufacturer of tyres and rubber products worldwide, Bridgestone leads the way in quality, technologically innovative goods and services and is a trusted brand that goes from strength to strength.

Established in 1931 in the small town of Kurume, Japan on the island of Kyushu by its founder Shojiro Ishibashi, today it is a multi-billion pound business with 178 manufacturing plants, in 25 countries and a presence in over 150 markets worldwide.

Always seeking to be the best at what it does, Bridgestone is focused on its mission of “serving society with superior quality” through an enviable range of products that satisfy the needs of the customer and society as a whole.

End notes

[1] Survey of 1,000 parents of children aged 5-11 released today (Friday 1 May 2015), conducted by independent survey company Surveygoo in March 2015 on behalf of Brake.
[2]Reduced Sensitivity to Visual Looming Inflates the Risk Posed by Speeding Vehicles When Children Try to Cross the Road, University of London, 2011
[3]Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners, World Health Organisation, 2013
[4] Global status report on road safety 2013, World Health Organisation, 2013
[5] Reported road casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates: Jul to Sep 2014, Department for Transport, 2015
[6]http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/
[7] For example, 20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001;  20mph Speed Limit Pilots Evaluation Report, Warrington Borough Council, 2010
[8] Where widespread 20 limits have been introduced levels of walking and cycling increased by 20% 
Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012
[9] 
Environmental effects of 30 km/h in urban areas – with regard to exhaust emissions and noise, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 1999
[10] The annual costs of physical inactivity in England are estimated at £8.2 billion. 
At least five a week - evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health - a report from the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, 2004
[11] Road casualties in Britain cost an estimated £34.8billion in 2011, due to the burden on health and emergency services, criminal justice costs, insurance payouts, and human costs. Reported road casualties Great Britain annual reports 2011, Department for Transport, 2012
[12] In Bristol, 20mph resulted in a massive return on investment because of cost savings to the health service through increased physical activity. They used the 
World Health Organisation’s Health Economic Assessment Tool to estimate the changes in costs. They found for every £1 spent they saw a return of £24.72 through increased walking and £7.47 through increased in cycling. Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012.  Reducing speeds in urban environments reduces casualties. For each 1mph speed reduction, casualties decrease by 5%, the effects of drivers’ speed on the frequency of road accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 2000, fewer crashes reduces the burden on the NHS, emergency services and local economy.  Each death on roads costs £1.7 million and each serious injury costs £190,000, Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2012

Brake comments on call for zero-tolerance approach to speeding and tougher penalties for those caught

 
News from Brake
Monday, 31 January 2018
 
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham has called for the 10 per cent buffer on speed limits to be scrapped and for an increase in the use of fines and penalty points for those caught.
 
Commenting on the news, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “Speed limits are exactly that, limits, set at the top speed that it is safe to drive on any particular road. Drivers who go beyond these limits are behaving recklessly and endangering the lives of themselves and others. Brake wholeheartedly supports Chief Constable Anthony Bangham’s view that a zero-tolerance approach to speeding is required, sending a clear signal that breaking the law is not acceptable.
 
“Speeding penalties must prove an effective deterrent and Brake supports Chief Constable Bangham’s call for the increased use of fines and penalty points. Public perception over the acceptability of speeding needs to change and this can only happen with clarity in the law and penalties which truly deter offending.
 
“The speed of a vehicle is the key factor determining the severity of injury caused in any road crash; faster speeds mean greater stopping distances and more forceful impacts [1]. In 2016, there were five deaths a day on our roads on average [2], this is a truly shocking figure and any intervention which helps put an end to these needless tragedies should be welcomed."
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
 
 
About Brake
 
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
 
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on plan to increase speed through motorway roadworks

News from Brake
Monday, 16 July 2018
 
Highways England has announced that drivers could be allowed to travel at increased speed through motorway roadworks depending on what day of the week they are travelling. Following earlier trials to increase the speed limit through roadworks from 50mph to 55mph or even 60mph, the company is going to test if varying speed limits could safely be operated within a set of roadworks.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“Speed is the critical factor in the severity of collisions and so any move to increase limits is clearly a step in the wrong direction. Strict enforcement of safe speed limits is needed to assure the safety of workers and drivers, not an increase in speed. Average speed cameras are a proven and effective deterrent to speeding and we want to see their further rollout across the motorway network to limit dangerous driving behaviour.”
 
“A recent Brake survey has found that a quarter of drivers think it likely that they will be involved in a fatal or serious crash on a motorway or dual carriageway at some point in the future. This shocking statistic makes clear that safety should be the overriding priority for investment on our motorway network, and we hope Highways England listens to the people and reconsider their plans."
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors:
 
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake condemns government decision to increase speed limit for lorries on single carriageways

Thursday 24 July 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed serious concerns about plans announced today by the Department of Transport to raise the speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads to 50mph.

The announcement comes as a survey by Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveals the extent of risky driving on country roads.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We are disappointed and concerned by this announcement. Put simply, when vehicles travel faster, it takes them longer to stop, increasing risk. It is very well evidenced that increases in speed equal increases in crashes and casualties. At the same time, the road safety justification for this move is dubious: we are not aware of evidence it will help tackle risky overtaking, which should be addressed through other means. Pronounced speed differences between traffic can pose a risk, but the way to address this is by preventing car drivers going too fast, not speeding trucks up. The minister says she wants to get the country moving, but we ask at what cost to road users and the environment?

"Our own survey has just revealed the worrying extent of dangerous fast driving on country roads. We should be taking steps to address this, through driver education, lower speed limits and better enforcement. We are concerned for rural communities already blighted by fast traffic and for those who want to safely enjoy the countryside on foot, bike or horseback. This threatens to make these problems worse."

Brake campaigns for lower speed limits – 50mph maximum and 40, 30, and 20mph where there are particular risks – to save lives on country roads through its Rural roads not racetracks campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #RuralRoadsnotRacetracks.

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake partners with national fire and police chief councils on new road safety competition for schools

News from Brake

22 March 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, has launched a brand new project for primary schools to help children spread important road safety messages in their community.

Brake’s road safety poster competition, sponsored by Co-op Insurance, is a fun, new project that aims to inspire and engage children, aged 4-11, about the need for drivers to slow down so kids can walk and cycle to school safely.

The competition, supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), will see winning designs from two age categories (4-7, and 7-11) turned into professional banners that will go on display outside schools or in the local community. Children can also win prizes worth hundreds of pounds for themselves and their school.

To help emergency service professionals inspire pupils, Brake has produced a series of free resources, including assembly and workshop presentations that they can deliver to either the whole school or a single class on a day of their choice. Children can then create a poster about the dangers of adults speeding - something that puts kids' lives at risk every single day.

The theme of the competition coincides with the fourth UN Global Road Safety Week (8-11 May), which focusses on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries. Speed contributes to around one-third of road deaths in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries.

Schools also have the opportunity to fundraise for Brake by holding a Wear Your Stripes Day. Inspired by the charity’s mascot Zak the Zebra, children and staff can dress in striped clothing in exchange for money to the charity that supports bereaved and seriously injured road crash victims.

The competition can be run on a day of the school’s choice, but entries need to be submitted to Brake by Friday 30 June 2017.

For more information and to register your school visit www.brake.org.uk/postercomp

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for schools, children and parents to work together to help raise awareness about the dangers of speeding in their local community. At Brake, we recognise there is a significant need to help children deepen their knowledge about road safety, and teachers want to deliver lessons that they know will help. We’re sure our new resources and competition will inspire the next generation to be both creative and passionate about getting adults to protect all of us when using roads. I would encourage any school that works with children aged 4-11 to enter, and we look forward to seeing their designs.”

James Hillon, Director of Products at Co-op Insurance said: “At Co-op Insurance we want to support local communities in educating people of all ages on the importance of road safety. If done right, this could lead the way in improving road safety and make UK roads safer for years to come. We're really happy to be supporting Brake on such a worthwhile cause to get the message out to primary school children.”

Sean Bone-Knell, National Fire Chiefs Council Road Safety Lead, said: “The National Fire Chiefs Council is pleased to be working with children and parents across the country to highlight the issues of speeding and the impact this can have on people’s lives. Children are our future; and if we can help them understand the basics of road safety at an early age, we are hopeful this will help them stay safe on and around our roads.”

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, said: “Speeding is a significant factor in an unacceptable number of road collisions. Education is absolutely critical to improving the way people drive and so we are pleased to support this initiative. Parents and young people themselves need to understand the risks associated with excessive speeding. The earlier this conversation begins, the safer our roads can be for future generations.”

***Images available on request by emailing news@brake.org.uk***


[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. We work to make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. We do this by pushing for legislative change through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs. 

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is a UK-based general insurer that operates principally within the personal lines segments of the motor and home insurance markets. The Co op Insurance underwrites the majority of business written, supplemented with some small lines of business where The Co op Insurance acts as a distributor or has a 100% reinsurance arrangement in place.

With more than 1.18m customers, The Co op Insurance is committed to ‘Doing the Right Thing’ and always strives to treat customers and members fairly. The Co op Insurance pioneered the way in lowering the insurance premiums of young drivers as the first major insurer to launch a pay how you drive telematics insurance product for young drivers in 2011. Since launching the scheme, The Co op Insurance has saved its young drivers more than £7.2 million in their first year of driving.

About NFCC

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) provides clear, professional leadership while representing the wider sector on matters such as professional standards, operational guidance, research and sharing best practice. The NFCC also leads and delivers key national workstreams through its Coordination Committees and aims to drive improvement and development across UK Fire and Rescue Services, while supporting strong leadership.

About NPCC

The NPCC brings police forces in the UK together to help policing coordinate operations, reform, improve and provide value for money. Some of the biggest threats to public safety are national and international. We have a collective strength by coordinating the operational response across forces. Crime is changing and so are citizens’ needs and expectations of policing. We’re constantly adapting and reforming to keep people safe. Public confidence and support is essential. We're always striving to improve the way we work and learn from when things go wrong to build people's confidence in us. It’s more important than ever that our service is efficient and effective, providing best value for money.

Brake’s junior campaigners say “speeding is naughty” as almost half of drivers admit breaking 20 mph limits designed to keep children safe

08/03/2016

news@brake.org.uk

Road safety charity Brake and Churchill Insurance are calling on drivers not to put young lives in danger by constantly flouting 20 mile an hour limits. A new survey has revealed 44% of drivers admit they have broken a 20 mph speed limit by at least 5 mph in the last year, a quarter of drivers (25%) admit they drive too fast in a 20 mph area around once a month, and one in five (20%) have confessed they do it on a weekly basis.  

The research also revealed just how many people think the roads near where they live are too dangerous for children because drivers are travelling too quickly. Almost three quarters of people (73%) questioned said they believe traffic is too fast for the safety of children and adults on foot or bike on some roads. One in five people (20%) said the traffic was dangerously fast on most or all of their local roads.

9 March 2016 saw hundreds of schools take part in the first of three Beep Beep! Days being held by Brake in 2016 to help children gain a basic understanding of road safety, and also to emphasise to parents and other adults their responsibilities in protecting children.

To mark this Beep Beep! Day, Brake’s youngest campaigners have starred in a short road safety video entitled “Speeding Is Naughty” to help get the message through to parents and drivers that their selfish actions can put little lives in grave danger. 

Brake Campaigner, Rosie Hutton, aged six said: “Speeding is naughty and if you drive too fast you could hurt me. Cars are made of metal and I am not. Please drive slowly near my school.”

Campaigns adviser for Brake, the road safety charity Alice Bailey said: “It was so much fun being involved with the talented youngsters who helped Brake make this year’s Beep Beep! Video, but road safety really isn’t child’s play. 40 children are killed or seriously injured on Great Britain’s roads every week. Beep Beep! Days are a great way to start talking to children about basic road safety messages and also to remind parents,carers and all other adults of their responsibilities when it comes to keeping our roads safe and protecting little lives.”

Head of Churchill Car Insurance, Steve Barrett, said:“We are very proud to be supporting Beep Beep! Day once again this year. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each week. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to educate young children on road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”

REGISTER! 

Nurseries, playgroups, child-minders, infant schools and children’s centres can sign up now to run a Beep Beep! Day. Register online to receive a free electronic resource pack, or purchase a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT), including posters, stickers, certificates, activity sheets, road map and hand print poster. Go to www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday, call 01484 550061 or email:beepbeep@brake.org.uk.

Advice for parents

When your child starts to walk with you around your community, talk to them about how they must always hold your hand. If your child is likely to pull away from you, use safety reins or a wrist strap. Hold hands until your child is at least eight, or longer depending on their development.

Make sure they understand the meaning of stop, traffic, danger, look, listen, walk don't run, and other key words. Encourage your child's nursery or playgroup to teach road safety through a Beep Beep! Day. Your child's learning will be more effective if they are taught about road safety at school as well as at home.

See www.brake.org.uk/families.

Full survey results

Q.1 Within the past year, have you driven at 25mph or faster in a 20mph speed limit?

Yes, once a day or more                    3.5% 

Yes, several times a week                  9.2%

Yes, about once a week                     7.5%

Yes, about once a month                  5.1%

Yes, less than once a month           18.6%

No, never                                           56.2%

 

Q.2 Do you think traffic in your neighbourhood is too fast for the safety of children or adults on foot or bike?

Yes, traffic is too fast on most/all local roads       19.7%

Yes, traffic is too fast on some local roads           53.5%

No                                                                               26.8%

 

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

About Beep Beep! Day

In 2015, more than 16,000 children took part in a Beep Beep! Day at 440 schools. Brake encourages nurseries, playgroups, infant schools, children's centres and childminders to run the event on one of three dates – in 2016, these are 9 March, 13 July and 23 November – or on whatever day is best for them. Nurseries receive a free electronic pack with downloadable resources, or can buy a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT) to help them run road safety activities and promote road safety to parents and the community.

Beep Beep! Days involve activities such as creating a poster of hand prints saying 'We hold hands', experimenting with toy cars to learn the words stop and go, and singing road safety songs. Activities are designed to help children to start understanding road safety, and to emphasise to parents and other adults their responsibilities in protecting children. Sponsorship raised by children helps Brake provide support for families bereaved and injured by road crashes and run community road safety campaigns.

See www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday.

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

 

About Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and UK Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0800 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com.

Charity raises alarm bells as higher lorry speed limits come into effect

Monday 6 April 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has reiterated its concern as higher speed limits for large lorriescome into effect today (6 April 2015). As announced by the government last year, speed limits in England and Wales for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes will rise from 40mph to 50mph onsingle carriageways and from 50mph to 60mph ondual carriageways.

SeeBrake’s response to the government consultation on raising the dual carriageway HGV speed limit.

Gary Rae, campaigns manager for Brake, the road safety charity, said:“We are disappointed that the government has gone against the advice of road safety groups on this issue. The decision to increase HGV speed limits is short-sighted and runs against work to more effectively manage traffic speeds and reduce casualties on our roads. The relationship between speed and casualties is a proven one, so allowing the largest vehicles on our roads to reach higher speeds more often risks more deaths, serious injuries, and additional cost to the taxpayer.

“The government itself has admitted that this move will likely have no economic or road safety benefit. It is a move designed to legitimise the dangerous behaviour of those who already break the speed limit while putting the safety of the law-abiding majority second. It sets a dangerous precedent that if traffic laws are persistently flouted; the government would rather change them than enforce them.”

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Intelligent UK drivers say yes to life changing technology

Thursday 21 October 2015

Brake, the road safety charity, is urging the government to take steps towards introducing intelligent speed adaptation (ISA) on UK roads, after a survey carried out on behalf of the charity found almost two-thirds (63%) of drivers would be willing to let this ground-breaking technology automatically restrict their speed.

ISA technology uses GPS combined with a digital map of speed limits to keep vehicles to the posted speed limit. This technology could potentially make other speed control measures unnecessary and ensure all drivers comply with speed limits at all times, preventing thousands of needless deaths and injuries.

In the survey:

Almost a third of drivers (32%) said they would be willing to have ‘mandatory ISA’ fitted to their vehicle if it was free. This automatically decreases acceleration if the driver exceeds the speed limit, and cannot be overridden.

  • Three in ten (31%) said they would be willing to have ‘voluntary ISA’ fitted if it was free. This automatically decreases acceleration if the driver exceeds the speed limit, but can be overridden.
  • A further quarter (23%) of drivers said they would be willing to have ‘advisory ISA’ fitted, a system which alerts them when they are over the speed limit, but does not automatically reduce speed.
  • That leaves only one in seven (14%) of drivers unwilling to make use of the technology in any form.

Controlled trials of ISA have predicted voluntary ISA could reduce road deaths by 21%, and mandatory ISA could reduce deaths by 46%. Advisory ISA is far less effective, but could still reduce fatal crashes by 5% [1]. This could save 85 lives a year.

The survey found overwhelming support for the introduction of ‘telematics’, with almost three quarters (73%) of UK drivers say they would be likely or very likely to have telematics fitted in their vehicles, given the option.

Brake calls for the government to take full advantage of ISA, by producing a digital speed limit road map of the country, requiring vehicle manufacturers to equip all vehicles with ISA technology, and making ISA mandatory, introducing it with an effective marketing campaign to explain its purpose.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns at Brake, said:“ISA represents a game-changer for road safety, with the potential to make all other speed enforcement unnecessary and prevent nearly half the devastating deaths on our roads. As speed is at least an aggravating factor in almost all road crashes, this technology could make our roads much safer for everyone, and prevent thousands of senseless casualties every year if rolled out systematically. As yet, there has not been the political will to roll out ISA despite its potential. However, as these results clearly demonstrate, the willingness exists among the driving public to use ISA to make speeding on UK roads a thing of the past.”

For more facts on speed and ISA seewww.brake.org.uk/facts

About the report

The survey consisted of 1,000 drivers and was conducted by Surveygoo. Read the report.

Full results

If you had the option of intelligent speed adaptation (ISA) technology being fitted to your vehicle at no cost, would you be likely to take this up? (tick one)

  • 32% said yes – mandatory ISA
  • 31% said yes – voluntary ISA
  • 23% said yes – advisory ISA
  • 14% said no

If you had the option of telematics being fitted to your vehicle, with your insurance premiums linked to how safe you drive (i.e. your premiums could come down if you are shown to drive safely), how likely would you be to take this up? (tick one)

Telematics don’t just have safety advantages; they also offer a benefit to drivers’ wallets. With that in mind, it is unsurprising that almost three quarters (73%) of UK drivers say they would be likely or very likely to have telematics fitted in their vehicles, given the option. Two in five (40%) said they were very likely to have telematics fitted.

  • 39% said very likely
  • 34% said likely
  • 19% said unlikely
  • 8% said very unlikely

Lower speed limits and safer road design

The hardest aspect of any community-based road safety campaign is achieving results that require significant funding or changes in local policy. This includes campaigning, for example, for pelican crossings, lower speed limits and speed cameras. Below are some guidelines on how to achieve the best possible results.

Who's responsible?

Different roads are often the responsibility of different officials. Trunk networks are often looked after by a different department to roads in towns and villages. Contact your local council and ask which department has responsibility for the roads you have focused on in your campaign. You will usually need to talk to the department with responsibility for highway engineering.

Talk in their language?

It’s important to be well informed when you are talking to officials. You can find a selection of reports, regulation and guidance uses by road safety professionals in the UK on the Brake website. Please note that these documents may change or be subject to updates over time. Ask your local officials if they have more recent documents.

Will they do what I want?

The first thing to consider is: Do I know what I want? What is the problem? What are the possible solutions? What is the best solution for my street? Like all challenges that need to be overcome, the most important thing is to do your research thoroughly and be inclusive of others. That means finding out what has worked best in other places; talking with officials at local or national level; studying research to find out more. Consult with neighbours and other stakeholders to find out their road safety issues and suggestions. Some of the best road safety schemes have been prepared by the community in partnership with officials. It's better to do your research and work together than wade in with a demand that is not valid, so arm yourself with information and collective support.

What if they say no?

It is not uncommon for an official to say 'no' to community requests for action. But this is just the first round in what might be a long fight. You know you have a problem, and a solution must be found. Don't be afraid to question what you are told by local officials. For example, a local official might tell you that a road safety measure cannot be implemented because a road isn't wide enough or there isn't a certain amount of traffic on a road.

They may say there is no funding available in the budget. Ask to see a copy of any guidance they say they are following. If necessary, check at Government level that the guidance is still up-to-date; as it may have been superseded by better guidance. Budgets can often be found from somewhere for a measure that will save lives at some point. An official may be prepared to implement a road safety measure if your community and local businesses raise the funds to pay for all or part of its cost.

But no-one has died; yet!

In Brake's experience, one of the most common reasons for telling communities that a measure cannot be implemented is that 'no one has died here'. If an important road safety measure is rejected by an official on the basis that ‘no one has died’, keep fighting! Tell officials that all good risk audits and prevention measures are conducted and implemented on the basis of current risk to life due to existing hazards, not on the chance circumstance of whether someone has died. Your community is, in effect, being told that a life or lives must be sacrificed before something will be done. This is neither acceptable, humane, nor civilised. If traffic is going too fast, it is going too fast. It is only luck that no one has died, and luck is no security at all.

Keep going, and keep talking

Don't give up at the first hurdle. Many successful campaigners have been turned down repeatedly, but they have used these disappointments to fuel their efforts further. Keep copies of all correspondence, and build on your work, rather than giving up and having to start all over again in a year's time. Keep writing and keep talking. Set up an email or social networking group of supporters. That way, you will be able to formally exchange views and information and pass on findings to others in your group. Keep talking in a positive way to all concerned, including those who hold the purse strings.

Mutual understanding and persistence based on facts and support is often the secret to success. Don't be afraid to get political – engage the support of a local politician or businesses for that final push to success. Try to get your local MP on your side.

Have I done everything I could?

Often, drivers behaving dangerously in communities are the same people who are living in those communities. Have you done your bit to educate local drivers and try to encourage them to drive more responsibly? For example, you can send letters home to parents if you are trying to make a road outside a school safer. If you can demonstrate your community's involvement and efforts, you will have more justification for demanding an engineering solution.

Alternatives

Sometimes communities get exactly what they ask for, and quickly, and sometimes they don’t. For example, your group may want a lower speed limit, but an official may say ‘no’ and instead offer a sign asking drivers to ‘slow down’. They may suggest an alternative such as this without being prompted. If not, and your request has been turned down, ask what your highway engineer is able to do. An alternative road safety measure may work as well as your original suggestion, or it may not.

Sometimes, alternative measures are implemented because they are cheaper and easier, not because they are effective. Invite the safety engineer to speak to your group to explain the reasons why they think their alternative is a good idea. If an alternative measure is implemented, consider if there are ways to research its success – has it slowed down traffic or enabled children to cross the road more easily? You may have to launch a new consultation to take your campaign to the next level if a measure has clearly not been effective.

Mark Hunter MP for Cheadle, June/July 2009

june09Mark Hunter MP has been working hard campaigning for life-saving road safety measures to tackle the issues of drug driving, uninsured drivers and speeding in the UK.

Over the past few months, Mark has been pressing for the Government to urgently introduce roadside drug testing in order to stop the carnage caused by drug driving. Following a meeting with manufacturers and industry experts, Mark is calling on the Government to step up their efforts to produce a specification for a roadside testing device. Roadside drug screening devices are already used in countries such as Germany, Australia and Finland.

For a factsheet on drug driving, click here. To get involved with Road Safety Week, which this year has the theme ‘Not a Drop, Not a Drag’, click here.

Mark has also been vocal on the issue of uninsured drivers, meeting with Brake to discuss the issue earlier this year prior to a Government consultation on Continuous Enforcement of Motor Insurance.

As well as asking many Parliamentary Questions on the issue of uninsured drivers, Mark focused on this during a House of Commons debate on road safety in June. Mark used the debate to call on the Government to ensure that fines for driving without insurance are more than the cost of insurance. Click here to read a transcript of the debate. As a potential solution to the problem of uninsured drivers, Mark has been investigating the possibility of having a windscreen disk (similar to the car tax disk) for proof of insurance.

Mark has been contacted by his constituents about speeding drivers in his town and actively supports any local proposal to decrease speed limits on their road. He has also raised the issue of 20mph zones in Parliament a number of times, calling on the Government to review the current system for introducing 20mph zones.

Click here to read about Brake’s Watch Out, There’s a Kid About campaign for 20mph speed limits in built-up areas.

Mark says: “I am delighted to have been named Parliamentarian of the month by Brake. Brake’s work on Road Safety is renowned and it’s an honour that they chose me. Road Safety is about saving lives and should therefore be at the forefront of every Parliamentarian’s mind. The Government has failed to tackle the key reasons behind fatalities and injuries on our roads such as drug driving, speeding and uninsured drivers; and I’m dedicated to campaigning for real and lasting change to reduce the number of lives that are wasted in road crashes.”

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, let Brake know by calling our Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

More than half of UK drivers admit to speeding in 20mph areas

News from Brake

10 May 2017
news@brake.org.uk

A Brake and Churchill Car Insurance survey of 2,000 UK drivers reveals:

  • More than half (52%) admit to driving at 25mph or faster in a 20mph speed limit
  • 25-34 year olds most likely to drive at 25mph or faster in a 20mph area (73%), while 55-64 year olds least likely (45%).
  • Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) think traffic travels too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike.
  • More than 7 in 10 (72%) underestimate the amount of children killed on roads globally every day – currently 500.

Road safety charity Brake is calling on all drivers to #SlowDown this Beep Beep! Day as survey reveals more than half (52%) admit to speeding in 20mph areas.

The latest survey of 2,000 drivers also shows that 8 in 10 (78%) think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike. Research has found that children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is not [1]. More than five children are seriously hurt or killed every day in the UK, with the majority (80%) being on foot or bicycle at the time [2].

The findings revealed today (10 May) come as more than 50,000 children aged 2-7 take part in a Beep Beep! Day run by Brake and Churchill Car Insurance. The project for nurseries, schools and childminders engages little ones with road safety including, critically helping them to raise awareness among parents and the wider community about protecting children, particularly those on foot or bicycle, by slowing down.

The event, now in its 14th year, coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week’s #SlowDown campaign, which aims to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and encourage drivers in all countries to slow down to protect road users. Beep Beep! Days are also happening in countries including Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon and South Africa this year.

Five hundred children are killed on roads globally every day – a figure 7 in 10 (72%) drivers surveyed underestimated – showing the importance of raising awareness about the situation across the world. That’s why this year’s Beep Beep! Day includes a range of special resources to help children to understand how people travel around the globe and to highlight the importance of drivers slowing down where children live, walk and play.

Brake and Churchill’s survey also reveals that nearly three-quarters (73%) of 25-34 year olds are likely to drive at 25mph or more in a 20mph area, whereas fewer than half (45%) of 55-64 year olds say they would do so. Men (61%) admit to driving at those speeds more than women (43%). The 25-34 age bracket of drivers gave the highest results in terms of thinking that traffic travels too fast in their community too (83%).

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “All children have the right to play safely and live a healthy life without fear – rights that are universally recognised by the United Nations and world leaders. Yet, in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic. That’s why, in a week when the UN is asking people across the world to #SlowDown on roads, we’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children – by driving at 20mph or less and taking more care in communities. The Beep Beep! Day project engages kids in this life-saving cause, helping them learn about road safety issues and, critically, inspire their parents and drivers to reduce danger on our roads, by actions such as slowing down.”

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Beep Beep! Day once again this year. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each week. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to talk to young children about road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”

Full survey results of 2,000 drivers conducted by Surveygoo:

Q1. Within the past year, have you driven at 25mph or faster in a 20mph speed limit?

Yes, once a day or more: 8%

Yes, several times a week: 10%

Yes, about once a week: 8%

Yes, about once a month: 7%

Yes, less than once a month: 19%

No, never: 48% 

Q.2 Do you think traffic in your neighbourhood is travelling too fast for the safety of children on foot or bike?

Yes, traffic is too fast on most/all local roads: 25%

Yes, traffic is too fast on some local roads: 53%

No: 22% 

Q3. How many children do you think are killed on roads globally every day?

100: 29%

200: 21%

300: 13%

400: 9%

500: 28%

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

About Brake

Brake is a road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. We work to make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, green, healthy and fair. We do this by pushing for legislative change through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog and use #beepbeepday

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About Beep Beep! Day

In 2016, more than 240,000 children are estimated to have taken part in a Beep Beep! Day. Brake encourages nurseries, playgroups, infant schools, children's centres and childminders to run the event on one of four dates – in 2017, the remaining dates are 10 May, 27 September and 22 November – or on whatever day is best for them. Nurseries receive a free electronic pack with downloadable resources, or can buy a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT) to help them run road safety activities and promote road safety to parents and the community. Visit www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday.

About Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.  

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com

End notes

[1] Traffic at 30mph is too fast for children’s visual capabilities, University of Royal Holloway London, 2010

[2] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, tables RAS30059 & RAS30062

[3] Inappropriate vehicle speed, RoSPA, 2016

New London Mayor backs urban 20mph speed limits

News from Brake

10 May 2016 
news@brake.org.uk

London has followed many other progressive cities, such as Bristol, in bringing in 20mph limits in urban areas. Currently nine of the 12 inner London boroughs have 20mph limits, compared to just two in 2013, and 20mph limits now cover a third of London’s population.

In previous research conducted by Brake on 20mph limits, reducing the limit from 30 to 20mph has been shown to reduce casualties [1] as drivers have more time to react. At 30mph, if a child runs out three car lengths ahead, you will hit the child at almost full speed, with a high chance of killing or injuring them. At 20mph you should be able to stop in time. Children also benefit from slower speed limits because they struggle to judge the speed of vehicles over 20mph, so often make mistakes crossing roads with faster traffic [2].

In 2014 a Brake survey found that eight in 10 people (78%) think 20mph should be the norm around schools, on residential streets, and in village, town and city centres [3].

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns, said: “It’s fantastic to see that 20mph speed limits are now being widely endorsed by high-profile politicians. Mr Khan’s backing clearly shows that he recognises that 20mph limits can enable people to get around their neighbourhoods, towns and city centres more safely, whilst promoting a healthy and sustainable environment.

“We at Brake believe everyone should be able to walk and cycle in their communities without being put in danger. By lowering speed limits to 20mph from 30mph, we can protect the most vulnerable in society such as people with disabilities, children and anyone on bicycle or on foot.”

GO 20 Coalition

Through its GO 20 campaign, Brake is part of a broad coalition of charities calling for 20mph limits to become the norm in our cities, towns and villages. Ultimately, we want the government to change the national default urban speed limit from 30 to 20mph. In the meantime, we are calling on local authorities to GO 20 by implementing widespread 20mph limits in their own areas; and on drivers to help make our roads safer by slowing down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit is still 30mph.

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education,services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event,Road Safety Week,every November. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, orThe Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

[1]20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001

[2]Reduced sensitivity to visual looming inflates the risk posed by speeding vehicles when children try to cross the road, University of London, 2011

[3]Eight in 10 back 20mph limits as charity takes campaign to parliament, Brake, 2014

Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk

richardbacon-pomRichard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk, has been given a national road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for his campaign to give local residents the power to reduce speed limits in their own communities.

In a letter to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin in August this year, Richard urged the government to introduce a 'community right to reduce speed', giving local residents the right to request their local highway authority lower the speed limit on any named road by 10mph – with a presumption in favour, unless local police have reason to object.

Richard's proposal is in line with the government's localism agenda – giving more rights to local communities. His approach emphasises the belief – shared by Brake – that local residents have the right to enjoy their communities without being endangered by fast traffic, and that they shouldn't have to wait for someone to be killed or injured before action is taken to prevent crashes.

First elected in 2001, Richard's campaign comes after many years of supporting communities to call for lower speeds and other road safety measures, often finding highway authorities unwilling to take prompt action. Many tragic crashes within Richard's constituency have spurred him to campaign for authorities to be more proactive in preventing devastating deaths and injuries. For example, one constituent, Andrew Mason, father of three, was killed when his motorcycle was hit by an elderly driver. This spurred Richard to urge Norfolk County Council to introduce pelican crossings and traffic lights in Harleston.

Richard has also been involved in campaigning to introduce a 20mph limit around Morley CE primary school, reviewing unsafe pavements, and reduce the speed limit on the A146 from 60mph to 40mph. He is now focusing on reducing speed limits and working with his constituents on specific roads, such as Long Lane, between Stoke Holy Cross and Framingham Earl. He has even taken part in Barford and Wramplingham Parish Council's 'OAP test', demonstrating the time required for an older pedestrian to cross the B1108 Norwich to Watton road.

Richard hopes to receive a response to his proposal from the transport secretary now parliament has returned from the summer break.

Brake campaigns nationally for safer roads for communities through its GO 20 and rural roads not racetracks campaigns. Brake also provides help and advice to support local community campaigns.

Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #GO20 #RuralRoadsnotRacetracks

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Brake hears regularly from communities, like those in Richard's constituency, blighted by fast traffic and who feel frustrated and powerless to make their roads safer. We wholeheartedly agree with Richard that local residents have the right to enjoy their communities without being endangered by fast traffic, and they should not have to wait until someone is hurt before action is taken. We are delighted at Richard's proposal to empower communities to lower speed limits and make their roads safer for everyone, and we are pleased to present him with this award."

Accepting his award, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said: "Over the years, I have had many constituents contact me regarding speed limits on local roads which they want to see reduced. However, local highways authorities often respond that there have been too few crashes to warrant a reduction in the speed limit. I believe local people know what is best for their communities. My proposal for a 'community right to reduce speed' aims to give communities the power to decide for themselves what the right speed limit should be for their local roads. The important point is that it will be for residents, not highways officials or passing drivers, to decide what's best. I thank Brake for this award and for supporting my campaign to give communities the power to improve safety on local roads."

Speed limits in communities

Key facts

  • In 2016, 69 children under 15 were killed and 2,033 were seriously injured on British roads: that’s more than five children seriously hurt or killed every day; [i]
  • The likelihood of a cyclist being killed per distance travelled in the UK is approximately two times that of the Netherlands, Denmark or Norway; [ii]
  • In 2016, including short walks, people walked an average of 198 miles, or around 4 miles per week, and a quarter (25%) of journeys and just 3% of miles travelled in Britain are now on foot;[iv]
  • Just 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled were made by bicycle in 2015;[v]
  • 69% of respondents to the British Social Attitude Survey (2016) were favour of 20mph in residential areas and 50% in favour of enforcing this limit and slowing traffic through the installation of speed bumps on key local routes;[vi]
  • One in six deaths in the UK can be attributed to medical conditions attributable to inactivity, such as cardiovascular disease;[vii]
  • Four in 10 drivers admit they sometimes break 30mph speed limits by at least 10mph. A quarter (24%) admitted to doing this regularly, at least once a month.[viii]

Introduction

Towns, villages and cities should be places where people are free to travel in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. Unfortunately, in many places in the UK inappropriate speed limits where people live, work and play make movement dangerous, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians, including children and the elderly.[ix]

Faster speeds not only make a community more dangerous, it also affects people’s perceptions of danger, and can be a determining factor in people deciding not to walk or cycle. Speed affects a driver’s ability to ‘accurately and reliably process information in the traffic environment’; an ability that is vital for safe driver performance, particularly in communities where vulnerable road users are prevalent.[x]

Unfortunately, many drivers break speed limits in built-up areas. A Brake and Direct Line survey revealed four in 10 drivers sometimes break 30mph speed limits by at least 10mph. A quarter (24%) admitted to doing this at least once a month.[xi]

It is widely understood that 20mph is the most appropriate maximum speed limit for built up areas where people live, work and play.  

Take action: Support Brake’s GO 20 campaign to make 20mph the default speed limit in towns, cities and villages to make walking and cycling safer.

Safe

Effective speed management, including through low limits in communities, is considered central to a ‘safe system’ approach to road safety, crucial to reducing casualties and enabling walking and cycling. The safe system principle acknowledges that people can make mistakes behind the wheel and that there are known limits to ‘the capacity of the human body to absorb kinetic energy before harm occurs’. Within a safe system, effective speed management works holistically with vehicle design, road infrastructure and road user behaviour, to produce an overall safety effect greater than the sum of its parts.[xii]

Speed limits give road users information about the type of road and likely hazards on it, such as the presence of people on foot and bicycles in communities.[xiii]

The World Health Organisation has emphasised the need for 20mph limits, stating that in areas where ‘motorised traffic mixes with pedestrians, cyclists, and moped riders, the speed limit must be under 30 km/h (20mph)’ due the vulnerability of these road users.[xiv]

Slower speeds mean stopping in time for a child

In 2016, 69 children under 15 were killed and 2,033 were seriously injured on British roads: more than five children seriously hurt or killed every day.[xv]

20mph limits are important for protecting children, who often make mistakes when using roads. Research has found children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is not.[xvi]

A limit of 20mph gives drivers a much improved chance to stop in time for a child. If a child runs into the road three car lengths ahead of a vehicle travelling at 30mph (48km/h), the driver will still be travelling at 28mph (45km/h) when they hit the child. A driver travelling at the more appropriate speed of 20mph or slower gives the driver just the necessary time to avoid hitting the child, providing they are paying attention, have well-maintained brakes, and are driving in dry conditions.[xvii]

20mph limits reduce traffic speed

Analysis of traffic casualties in London from 1986-2006 showed 20mph zones, introduced with traffic calming measures (such as speed humps and chicanes) reduced deaths and serious injuries by 42%.[xviii]

However, with traffic calming measures, such as speed humps, carrying a considerable expense to install, signs-only limits can be considered a “cheap option” by local authorities and central government. While certainly cheaper than the introduction of physical measures, there are still considerable costs involved with implementing 20mph limits. Many of these costs, however, could be eliminated through a change in regulations, without the need for additional primary legislation. Often the largest cost of the implementation of 20mph limits is signage.

A study by the TRL in 1998 found that the impact of different measures were as follows for moving from 30 to 20mph speed limits[xix]:

  • Physical traffic calming measures reduce both mean and 85th percentile speeds by around 10mph;
  • Speed cameras reduce mean 85th percentile speeds by 5mph;
  • Flashing, vehicle-activated signs reduce mean and 85th percentile speeds by 4mph;
  • Signs-only measures in general have a mean reduction of 2mph, but for 20mph limits this is 1mph;
  • In areas with signs-only limits, public awareness and enforcement campaigns can have a further reduction of around 3mph.

Public acceptance of 20mph limits

Increasingly, people understand the value of 2omph limits. In one recent survey, three quarters of people (69%) were in favour of 20mph in residential areas and 50% in favour of enforcing this limit and slowing traffic through the installation of speed bumps on key local routes.[xx]

Sustainable

Each year in the UK, around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution, with more linked also to exposure to indoor pollutants.[xxi] According to the World Health Organization’s database, 88% of urban dwellers live in cities which do not comply with the Air Quality Guidelines.[xxii] Vehicles on the road have contributed significantly to levels of emissions in urban areas, with current estimates suggesting that in the UK alone, cars are producing 13% of our CO2 emissions.[xxiii]

Driving at more than 20mph in towns and villages also means more speeding up and slowing down, increasing carbon emissions.[xxiv] Slowing down traffic to a top speed of 20mph enables smoother driving, decreasing emissions, and also encouraging and enabling people to swap from driving to cycling.[xxv] This can have a big impact on a community's air quality as well as contributing to reduced carbon emissions.

In 2016, the British Social Attitude Survey asked recipients if they agreed with the statement that ‘the road is too dangerous to cycle on’, 59% of respondents agreed.[xxvi]

Healthy

In the UK it is currently estimated that one in six deaths can be attributed to inactivity[xxvii], and Minister for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, described childhood obesity within England as a ‘national emergency’. Daily physical activity is hugely important for maintaining health and research has shown that half an hour of brisk walking, daily, can cut heart disease, improve muscle strength[xxviii], and combat depression and other mental illnesses[xxix].

Active travel, most obviously walking and cycling within and between communities, provides a key opportunity for this physical exercise. Unfortunately, many people, especially those with children, are put off walking and cycling due to traffic speeds. A Brake and Churchill survey found almost six in ten UK parents (59%) had witnessed drivers speeding close to their child’s school or nursery.[xxx]

In 2016, including short walks, people walked an average of 198 miles, or around 4 miles per week, and a quarter (25%) of journeys and just 3% of miles travelled in Britain are now on foot.[xxxi]

Similarly, cycling still only accounts for a very small proportion of journeys in Britain, and road safety is a major factor in putting many people off. Just 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are made by bike.[xxxii]

Women, non-cyclists and older age groups showed higher levels of concern over roads being too dangerous to cycle on.[xxxiii]

Introduction of 20mph limits helps people to undertake active travel; walking and cycling levels rose in most areas of in Bristol after a pilot 20mph limit was introduced.[xxxiv]

Fair  

Streets are an important aspect of local communities, people rely on them on a daily basis for travel, shopping, social interaction and work. Unfortunately, the volume and speed of motorised traffic within an area can negatively impact on local communities, reducing social interaction within neighbourhoods and encouraging an increasing sense of isolation in residents in higher speed areas.[xxxv] A 2016 study in Malmo, Sweden, stressed that urban spaces could be crucial to the social development of a community and the building of social bonds between residents.[xxxvi]

A case study in Bristol found people living on a street experiencing a heavy volume of high speed traffic had fewer friends than those who lived in the quieter residential area surveyed.[xxxvii] Results which are largely similar to previous studies on the subject, stretching back over the years.[xxxviii]

When traffic is slowed to 20mph in communities, research shows people are friendlier with their neighbours, feel safer in their area, and take part in more community activities.[xxxix] Research has also found 20mph limits boost the economic sustainability in the area, as safer areas for walking and cycling are seen as more desirable areas to live, boosting local businesses[xl] and increasing the value of homes in these areas.[xli]

Implementation

The default speed limit for roads in built up areas is 30mph in the UK, a limit set down in law by the Road Traffic Regulation Act (1984).[xlii] Therefore, 30mph is automatically in place on roads within communities, known as ‘restricted roads’, unless another speed limit is in force and signs clearly displayed.

Local speed limits can be set by local traffic authorities where ‘local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is different from the respective national speed limit’. Therefore, local councils have the authority to implement 20mph speed limits within communities where they believe it will make a difference to safety, the environment or other aspects of the community.[xliii]

The Department for Transport’s guidelines for Setting local speed limits (2013) clearly state that the implementation of a 20mph limit should be ‘evidence-led and self-explaining’, aimed at encouraging self-compliance and kept under constant assessment by the local authority. The guidelines recommend that before altering the default speed limit to, for example, 20mph, local authorities should carry out a study of types of crashes and their severity within the area selected for the change. This approach is aimed at ensuring that the speed limit assigned is appropriate for the area in which it is implemented. A speed limit is designed to reflect the environment that the road is located in, and any report produced should show clear benefits in implementing a change (to 20mph) before it is enacted by a local authority.[xliv]

When implementing 20mph in a region, local councils must decide between implementing a 20mph zone or a 20mph limit. The difference between the two is[xlv]:

  • A 20mph zone: An area of road with repeater signs and physical traffic calming measures, including speed humps and road narrowing. These are the more expensive out of the two options to implement and, where present, usually cover smaller areas.
  • A 20mph limit: An area marked by 20mph repeater signs, with no physical traffic calming measures in place. This option is seen as cheaper than 20mph zones, however, the cost of multiple repeater signs is not insignificant.

More information


End notes

[i] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables RAS30059 & RAS30062

[ii] Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Britain’s road safety performance, TRL, 2016

[iii] Urban speed,Brake and Direct Line, 2016

[iv] National Travel Survey 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables NTS0301 & NTS0302 

[v] Ibid

[vi] British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[vii] Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[viii] Urban speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2016

[ix] Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system, International Transport Forum, 2016

[x] Ibid

[xi] Urban speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2016

[xii] Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system, International Transport Forum, 2016

[xiii] Update of the speed limit review, Transport Scotland, 2015

[xiv] Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, WHO, 2015

[xv] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables RAS30059 & RAS30062

[xvi]Traffic at 30mph is too fast for children’s visual capabilities, University of Royal Holloway London, 2010

[xvii] Inappropriate vehicle speed, RoSPA, 2016

[xviii] Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London 1986-2006, British Medical Journal, 2009

[xix] Mackie, A., Urban Speed Management Method, TRL, 1998

[xx] British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[xxi]Every breathe we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution, Royal College of Physicians, 2016

[xxii]Every breathe we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution, Royal College of Physicians, 2016

[xxiii] Overview of UK Transport Greenhouse Gas Emissions 4, Department for Transport, 2012

[xxiv] Car pollution, Environment Protection UK, 2013

[xxv] Updated speed limit review, Transport Scotland, 2015

[xxvi]  British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[xxvii] Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[xxviii]  Lee I-M, et al (2012) Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. The Lancet 380: 219–29, quoted in Public Health England (2014) Everybody active, every day - an evidence-based approach to physical activity. London: PHE.

[xxix] Feel better outside, feel better inside, Mind, 2013

[xxx] Beep Beep! campaign urges drivers to slow down to save little lives, Brake and Curchill survey, 2015

[xxxi]National Travel Survey 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables NTS0301 & NTS0302 

[xxxii]National Travel Survey 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables NTS0301 & NTS0302 

[xxxiii]  British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[xxxiv] 20mph speed limit pilot areas: monitoring report, Bristol City Council, 2012

[xxxv]Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[xxxvii] Hart, J & Parkhurst, G, Driven to excess: Impacts of motor vehicles on the quality of life of residents of three streets in Bristol UK, 2011, World Transport Policy & Practice

[xxxviii] Appleyard D, Liveable Streets, 1981

[xxxix] Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[xl]The pedestrian pound, Living Streets, 2014

Speed, speed limits and stopping distances

slow2strap

Key facts

  • Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions was recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor of 24% of fatal crashes in 2016 [1];
  • Drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none [2];
  • A Brake and Direct Line survey found that four in 10 (40%) of drivers admitted that they sometimes driver at 30mph in a 20mph zones [3];
  • More than a quarter of drivers surveyed (26%) admitted to ‘regularly’ speeding in areas designed to keep children and other road users safe. [4] 

Introduction

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 they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit.

Reducing and managing traffic speeds is crucial to road safety. Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions is recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor in almost one in four (24%) fatal crashes in Britain[5]. This is arguably a gross underestimate, because whether or not a vehicle is judged to have been speeding or going too fast for conditions, the fact it was involved in a collision means it was going too fast to have stopped in time. In this way, speed is always a contributory factor, albeit often in combination with other causes: no one was ever killed by a stationary vehicle.

Dutch research has found drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none, and this increases further for drivers who commit repeated speed violations [6].

makethepledgeTake action: Make the Brake Pledge to stay under speed limits, slow to 20mph by schools, homes and shops, slow right down for bends, brows and bad weather, and speak out for slowing down.
 
GO20researchreportLearn more:Read our major research report on the extent of 20mph limits in Great Britain and the barriers faced by local councils in implementing them.
 
 
go20quizsma  Test your knowledge:Try our GO 20 quiz

Stopping distances

Stopping distances include the distance travelled while the driver notices a hazard and applies the brakes (thinking distance), and while the vehicle comes to a full stop from its initial speed (braking distance). The government's official estimates of stopping distances for cars are shown below. [7]

stopping-distances

Source: Department for Transport, 2007

The distances above are based on a reaction time of 0.67 seconds, which assumes the driver is alert, concentrating and not impaired. Driving when tired, distracted or impaired significantly increases reaction times, so the thinking distances above should be regarded as minimums.

The braking distance depends on how fast the vehicle was travelling before the brakes were applied, and is proportional to the square of the initial speed. That means even small increases in speed mean significantly longer braking distances. Braking distances are much longer for larger and heavier vehicles, and in wet or icy conditions, so again these figures are a minimum [8].

Technology such as anti-lock brakes and stability control are designed to enable greater control over the vehicle, not shorten stopping distances. There may be a very small reduction in braking distance with modern technology, but not enough to significantly affect your overall stopping distance [9].

Whatever technology a vehicle has, the basic fact remains that the faster you drive, the longer your stopping distance, and therefore the less chance you have of stopping in time in an emergency.

Learn more: Read our advice for drivers on staying slow and safe.

Impact speed

Driving faster not only lessens drivers’ chances of being able to stop in time to avoid hitting someone or something. It also means if they can’t stop in time, they will hit with greater impact. The greater the impact, the greater the chances of causing serious injury or death.

A vehicle travelling at 20mph (32km/h) would stop in time to avoid a child running out three car-lengths in front. The same vehicle travelling at 25mph (40km/h) would not be able to stop in time, and would hit the child at 18mph (29km/h). This is roughly the same impact as a child falling from an upstairs window. The diagram below illustrates the impact at various speeds. The greater the impact speed, the greater the chance of death. 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 [10].

Roof fall distances

Speed and mass are the properties of energy exchanged in a road collision in the form of kinetic energy, the level of energy exchanged has a significant impact on the severity of the crash. It is believed that the exchanged of energy can be calculated equal to half the vehicle’s mass times the vehicle speed squared; which means that even smaller increases in speed can lead to an increase in impact severity [11].

Speed limits

Speed limits on local roads in the UK are set by local authorities according to government guidance that they are “evidence-led” and aimed at developing a road environment which is safer and fit for purpose [12].

Speed limits on all other UK roads follow national standards. Speed limits are limits, not targets – they are set as the top speed for any particular road, and it is frequently safer to travel at much lower speeds, such as in bad weather, poor visibility, and where there are (or could potentially be) people on foot and bicycle, especially children.

Unfortunately, many drivers do not always obey speed limits. A Brake and Direct Line survey found that four in 10 (40%) of drivers admitted that they sometimes driver at 30mph in a 20mph zones. More than a quarter of drivers surveyed (26%) admitted to ‘regularly’ speeding in areas designed to keep children and other road users safe. [13]

Effective speed management is considered central to a ‘safe system’ approach to road safety, crucial to reducing casualties and enabling walking and cycling. The safe system principle acknowledges that people can make mistakes behind the wheel and that there are known limits to ‘the capacity of the human body to absorb kinetic energy before harm occurs’. Within a safe system, effective speed management works holistically with vehicle design, road infrastructure and road user behaviour, to produce an overall safety effect greater than the sum of its parts. [14]

Learn more: Read our fact pages on speed limits in communitiessafe speeds on country roads, and motorway speeds.

Take action:Support Brake’s GO 20 campaign for slower speeds in towns, cities and villages, and Brake’s rural roads not racetracks campaign campaign for slower speeds on country roads.

More information


End notes

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual Report 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, table RAS50008
[2] Crash involvement of motor vehicles in relationship to the number and severity of traffic offenses, SWOV, 2013
[3] Report on safe driving: speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2016
[4] Report on safe driving: speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2016
[5] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual Report 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, table RAS50008
[6] Crash involvement of motor vehicles in relationship to the number and severity of traffic offenses, SWOV, 2013
[7] The Highway Code: rule 126, Department for Transport, updated 2016
[8] Sokolvskji, E., Automobile braking and traction characteristics on the different road surfaces, 2010
[9] Benefit and Feasibility of a Range of New Technologies and Unregulated Measures in the fields of Vehicle Occupant Safety and Protection of Vulnerable Road Users, TRL, 2015
[10] Impact Speed and a Pedestrian’s Risk of Severe Injury or Death, the AAA, 2011
[11] Davis, Dr A., Essential evidence: kinetic energy management, Haddon’s matrix and road safety, Bristol City Council, 2015
[12] Working together to build a safer road system: road safety statement, Department for Transport, 2015
[13] Report on safe driving: speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2016
[14] Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system, International Transport Forum, 2016


 Page last updated: November 2016

Stephen Phillips, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, November 2011

stephenphillipsSleaford and North Hykeham MP Stephen Phillips has won Brake and Direct Line’s Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month Award for his campaign to reduce speed limits on local roads. 

In March, Stephen was contacted by community members who were deeply concerned by the speed of traffic in residential areas where they live, and the threat this poses to people on foot and bicycle in particular.

Currently the speed limit on the A607 through Fulbeck is 40mph and on the A153 through West Willoughby it is 60mph.

Stephen was compelled to act to protect the community, and launched a campaign calling for 30mph limits on the roads. On 10 March 2011 he asked a questionto Road Safety Minister Mike Penning and explained that the speed limits in these areas have been set at inappropriate and inconsistent levels in accordance with policies set by the council.  Stephen went on to ask what can be done to change this. Mike agreed to meet Stephen and community campaigners on 13 September to discuss the issues.

Both Mike Penning and Stephen Phillips sent letters to Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways Department asking them to reconsider the speed limits. The council responded by stating that as the villages do not meet government criteria for a 30mph default limit, they have decided the roads do not warrant a lower limit. 

Stephen has written to the council again urging them to reconsider and is awaiting further response before progressing with the campaign. Both Stephen and the community campaigners have pledged not to give up until the speed limits are reduced. 

Read about Brake’s campaign for lower speed limits.
Read facts about speedin towns and villages.

Julie Townsend, Brake campaigns director, said: “As a charity that supports road crash victims, we know too well the appalling suffering that often results from fast traffic in communities. We must do more to prevent road crashes and casualties, and enable people to walk and cycle without fear, and lowering speed limits in communities is critical to this.

“Brake supports Stephen Phillips’ campaign for lower limits in his constituency, and urges Lincolnshire County Council to listen to the grave concerns of local residents. Taking the simple step of lowering speed limits in areas where people live can prevent needless casualties before they happen, and make these communities safer, greener and more pleasant places for local people.”

Stephen Phillips MP, said: “I am delighted to receive this award, but the credit must go to the local campaigners who have worked hard to raise awareness of this important issue. I am hopeful that, with the Minister on our side, we can persuade Lincolnshire County Council to lower the speed limits through West Willoughby and Fulbeck to a more sensible level.”

Theme announced for UK Road Safety Week 2017

News from Brake

12 April 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

The dangers of speeding on our roads will be the message at the heart of this year’s UK Road Safety Week, taking place 20-26 November 2017.

In the UK, and across the globe, speeding is still a major problem, causing untold suffering.

Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions was recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor of 23% of fatal crashes in 2015 [1].

Drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none. [2]

And a recent Brake survey found that four in 10 (40%) UK drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30mph in 20mph zones.[3]

It’s for these reasons that speed will be at the heart of Road Safety Week 2017, coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity, and supported by Aviva. The charity is also supporting the United Nations Global Road Safety Week (8-14 May) which focuses on ways to manage speed and prioritise road safety worldwide.

To help raise awareness about the dangers posed by speeding drivers, Brake will be working with campaigners, community groups, road safety professionals, companies and schools, who can now register for a free action pack via www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

Brake will also be calling on individuals to make the Brake Pledge to stay under speed limits, slow to 20mph by schools, homes and shops, slow right down for bends, brows and bad weather, and speak out for slowing down.

Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Road Safety Week is an opportunity to bring together individuals, businesses and community organisations to focus, this year, on the deadly menace of speed. We’ve designed this year’s theme to raise awareness of the growing concern of speed on our roads, whether major routes, urban areas, or rural roads. We’ve started pulling together a creative campaign, built around the hashtag #speeddown, which will get everyone thinking about how they drive on our roads.”

Tom Daniell, digital marketing director for Aviva, said: “We’ve been working with Brake for more than a year now and together we’ve had a fantastic response from drivers, pedestrians and schools alike - but there is always more we can do. As sponsor of Road Safety Week for the second year running, we are keen to encourage even more people to make the Brake pledge in 2017. The pledge will form an integral part of our safer driving social activity this year, and we are looking at how we can use our corporate responsibility programme to reach an even wider audience.

“It’s all too easy for motorists to get into bad habits: everything from checking their mobile phone while driving, to travelling above the speed limit. But the outcomes of these actions can be catastrophic. Just one collision caused by speeding is one too many, so this year we’ll be encouraging as many people as possible to get behind the campaign”.


[ENDS] 

Notes to Editors:

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual Report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS50008

[2] Crash involvement of motor vehicles in relationship to the number and severity of traffic offenses, SWOV, 2013

[3] Report on safe driving: speed, Brake, 2016

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. We work to make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. We do this by pushing for legislative change through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2017 takes place 20-26 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors Aviva.

About Aviva:

• Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers, across 16 markets worldwide
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Tougher penalties for speeding welcomed by road safety charity

News from Brake

21 April 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety has welcomed a series of measures to get tough on drivers who break speed limits.

The new fines come into force from 24th April, when new sentencing guidelines take effect.

Drivers responsible for high speed offences will be given harsher fines, under a series of strict new rules for district judges and magistrates.

They could be fined 150% of their weekly income, rather than the existing level of 100%.

This includes drivers caught doing 41mph in a 20mph area, 51mph in a 30mph area or 66mph in a 40mph area.

Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: “Toughening the fines and penalties for speeding is long overdue.  As a charity that offers a support service to families bereaved and injured in road crashes, we see every day the consequences of speeding on our roads. I hope that magistrates ensure the new sentences are consistently applied.”

Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions was recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor of 23% of fatal crashes in 2015 [1].

A Brake survey found that four in 10 (40%) UK drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30mph in 20mph zones.[2]

Currently in the UK the minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your driving licence, while the maximum fine is £1,000 or £2,500 for motorway offences.

[Ends]

Note to Editors

Speed will be at the heart of Road Safety Week 2017, coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity, and supported by Aviva. The charity is also supporting the United Nations Global Road Safety Week (8-14 May) which focuses on ways to manage speed and prioritise road safety worldwide.

To help raise awareness about the dangers posed by speeding drivers, Brake will be working with campaigners, community groups, road safety professionals, companies and schools, who can now register for a free action pack via www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. We work to make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. We do this by pushing for legislative change through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual Report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS50008

[2] Report on safe driving: speed, Brake, 2016