20 mph zones "ineffectual" – ABD…
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has criticised the call by some Liberal Democrats to impose a 20-mph speed limit in all residential areas, effectively replacing the 30 limit by 20.
There is no evidence that this will have any benefit in reducing injuries and deaths from road traffic accidents, while it will impose very substantial costs to both implement this change and in on-going costs imposed on drivers because of the increased travel times that would result. Indeed compliance will be exceedingly questionable, with enforcement also difficult, and is likely to bring the law into disrepute.
Those towns and cities such as Portsmouth where blanket 20-mph zones have been imposed have not demonstrated any benefits in accident reduction – Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) actually rose in Portsmouth after implementation despite a reduction in the rest of the country. Similar reports have come in from Bristol, Oxford and Warrington. There is no demonstrable benefit from simply putting up 20-mph signs and the Department for Transport have said exactly the same thing in the past.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory had this to say: “As with most pet road safety ideas proposed by amateur enthusiasts – speed humps, speed cameras, etc, – there is little attempt to collect scientifically sound evidence of the benefit of such ideas. No proper controlled, “double-blind” trials are undertaken. The enthusiasts rely on the strength of their rhetoric and the use of selective data to make their case. Don’t be fooled by these methods but look at the facts. And remember that all road safety schemes should be cost justified because if there are better things to spend the money on, then that is where the limited funds should be spent”.
The ABD suggests that instead of wasting money on this idea, any cash available would be better spent on other road safety projects because it is likely to result in much better returns on the investment.