Speeding

Drivers and riders who are travelling at inappropriate speeds are more likely to crash and their higher speed means that the crash will cause more severe injuries, to themselves and/or to other road users.

Inappropriate speed also magnifies other driver errors, such as driving too close or driving when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of these types of driving causing an accident. Our resources offer advice and information to help drivers to drive at safe and appropriate speeds.

In 2018, 177 people were killed in crashes involving someone exceeding the speed limit and a further 137 people died when someone was travelling too fast for the conditions.

20mph zones and limits

The majority of pedestrian casualties occur in built-up areas: 19 of the 22 child pedestrians and 338 of the 448 adult pedestrians who were killed in 2016, died on built-up roads. Pedal cyclists are also vulnerable in built-up areas, with more than half of cyclist deaths (62 of 101) and most cyclist casualties (16,886 of 18,321) occurring on these roads.

In 2017, 792 people were killed, 17,125 were seriously injured and 106,580 slightly injured in reported road collisions on built-up roads in Great Britain. A large proportion of these accidents occurred on residential roads, with 102 deaths on B roads in built-up areas and 298 deaths on other minor roads in built-up areas.

The Department for Transport’s current guidance is set out in DfT Circular 01/2013, which encourages traffic authorities to consider the introduction of more 20mph limits and zones, over time, in urban areas and built-up village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

Speed cameras

Drivers travelling at higher speeds have less time to identify and react to what is happening around them. It takes longer for the vehicle to stop. And the crash will be more severe, causing greater injury to the occupants and any pedestrian or rider hit by the vehicle.

Higher speeds also increase the severity of an injury in a collision. Approximately two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less.

Inappropriate speed (exceeding the speed limit and driving too fast for the conditions) contributes to 11% of all injuries, 15% of serious injuries and 24% of deaths on the road. Almost 350 people are killed each year on Britain's roads, and over 2,500 are seriously injured, because drivers and riders travel too fast.

Our speed cameras factsheet provides an overview of the evidence surrounding speed cameras and their effectiveness, concluding that speed cameras are a very effective way of persuading drivers not to speed, and thereby reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured.

Inappropriate speed

Inappropriate speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, 13% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 21% of collisions that result in a death. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, when the speed limit is exceeded but also driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time (for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity).

In 2018, 177 people were killed in crashes involving someone exceeding the speed limit and a further 137 people died when someone was travelling too fast for the conditions.

Drivers and riders who are travelling at inappropriate speeds are more likely to crash and their higher speed means that the crash will cause more severe injuries, to themselves and/or to other road users. Inappropriate speed also magnifies other driver errors, such as driving too close or driving when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of these types of driving causing an accident.

RoSPA’s Community Speed Guide

As can be seen in the statistics above, speeding is a major road safety problem and causes hundreds of deaths every year. Speeding can be, understandably, a matter of great concern for individuals and community groups and is thus one of the most common enquiries received by the RoSPA Help Desk.

To help those who are concerned about speeding in their local community, RoSPA has put together a Community Speed Guide to give information about what individuals can realistically expect to achieve when tackling local speed problems, who they should contact with their concerns, and case studies of how community groups have dealt with these problems in their area.

As is shown by the case studies in the guide, there is evidence of communities achieving reduced speeds in their area. RoSPA hopes that with the help of this guide individuals can work towards achieving this whilst still having realistic expectations.

Top ten tips to stay within the limit

Helping motorists to stay within the speed limits

20mph zones and speed limits

Providing detailed information on 20mph zones and limits

Speed cameras

An in-depth guide to speed cameras

Inappropriate speed

Information on inappropriate speed and its repercussions

RoSPA’s Community Speed Complaint Guide

RoSPA's guide to assist those with concerns about speeding motorists in their community


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