40% of drivers support 20mph default speed limit
According to new research, approximately 39% of drivers are in favor of lowering the default speed limit in built-up areas from 30mph to 20mph. This comes as road deaths and serious injuries caused by speeding drivers have seen a significant increase in the past year. Government road casualty data analyzed by road safety charity Brake reveals that there were 1,766 deaths on UK roads in 2022, a 10% rise from the previous year. Additionally, the analysis found a 20% increase in road deaths caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit.
Brake conducted a public opinion survey with over 2,000 drivers, which yielded interesting results. While a minority supported a default 20mph speed limit, similar to the one introduced in Wales, a staggering 92% of drivers believe that speed limits are crucial for road safety. However, the survey also revealed that over a third of drivers (34%) admitted to sometimes or often driving faster than the speed limit, and 40% believed that driving slightly over the limit was inconsequential.
These survey results are being released at the beginning of Road Safety Week, the largest annual road safety campaign organized by Brake. The charity is calling for a national conversation about speed, aiming to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed, and questioning why many people still find it acceptable to drive above the speed limit.
Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that road deaths have a profound impact on families, schools, workplaces, and communities. He highlighted the fact that five people will be killed on UK roads today and tomorrow, and stressed the need for everyone to take responsibility for each other's safety on the road.
Road Safety Week coincides with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, during which people worldwide commemorate those who have been killed or seriously injured in road accidents. Brake collaborated with local councils across the UK to illuminate public buildings and landmarks in yellow, symbolizing support for road victims.
This year, over 3,400 schools, communities, organizations, and emergency services, representing more than 17 million individuals, have signed up to participate in Road Safety Week. They will be organizing local activities, sharing important road safety messages, and posing the question: If five people die on UK roads every day, why do we still think it is okay to speed?
Brake has provided free resources to all participants of Road Safety Week, including campaign toolkits, lesson plans, and assemblies for schools, as well as factsheets, films, posters, and more for businesses, local communities, and campaign groups.
Brake's campaign is supported by Arval UK, Autoglass, and DHL Supply Chain, and aligns with the Department for Transport's Think! campaign. Arval UK's head of insurance, Ian Pearson, expressed their commitment to raising awareness about the consequences of speeding and encouraged their employees and customers to participate in the campaign. Similarly, Autoglass's head of digital and marketing, Ed Colley, emphasized the importance of responsible driving and avoiding excessive speeds.
The article also provides data on the number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads in 2021 and 2022, broken down by region. Additionally, it includes statistics on the number of people killed in crashes where speed was a contributory factor in 2021 and 2022.
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