40% of drivers support default 20mph speed limit
According to new research, 39% of drivers believe that the default speed limit in built-up areas should be reduced from 30mph to 20mph. This comes as road deaths and serious injuries caused by speeding drivers have increased significantly in the past year. Analysis of Government road casualty data by the road safety charity Brake reveals that there were 1,766 road deaths in the UK last year, a 10% rise compared to the previous year. In the same period, road deaths caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit increased by 20%.
In addition to the analysis, Brake conducted a public opinion survey among more than 2,000 drivers. The survey found that while a minority of drivers supported a default 20mph speed limit, 92% of drivers believe that speed limits are crucial for road safety. However, the survey also revealed that 34% of drivers admitted to sometimes or often driving faster than the speed limit, and 40% believed that driving slightly over the speed limit doesn't matter.
Brake is releasing the survey results at the start of Road Safety Week, its largest annual road safety campaign. The charity is calling on everyone to engage in a national conversation about speed and raise awareness about the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed. Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, emphasized the urgency of addressing road deaths and the need for collective responsibility in ensuring road safety.
Road Safety Week coincided with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, during which people worldwide lit candles in memory of those who lost their lives or were seriously injured in road accidents. Brake collaborated with local councils across the UK to illuminate public buildings and landmarks in yellow as a show of support for road victims.
This year, more than 3,400 schools, communities, organizations, and emergency services, representing over 17 million individuals, have joined Road Safety Week. They are organizing local activities, sharing important road safety messages, and asking the question: If five people die on UK roads every day, why do we still think it is acceptable to speed?
Brake has provided free resources for participants in 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. The organization is urging everyone to engage in conversations about speed and understand the impact it can have on road safety.
Road Safety Week is organized by Brake and sponsored by Arval UK, Autoglass, and DHL Supply Chain. The campaign supports the Department for Transport's Think! campaign, and various companies, including Arval UK and Autoglass, are actively participating in raising awareness about the dangers of speeding.
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. It highlights the percentage change in the number of casualties between the two years. Additionally, it presents statistics on the number of people killed on roads in Britain in crashes where speed was a contributory factor in 2021 and 2022.
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