Research & reports

Title: Save Lives, Slow Down (report)

Organisation: RoadSafe & PACTS
Date uploaded: 5th December 2017
Date published/launched: November 2017

This report, published to coincide with the start of Road Safety Week 2017, sets out to ‘debunk some popular myths’ and calls for ‘evidence-based’ interventions focusing on speed.

The report, Save Lives, Slow Down, is based on contributions from a number of winners of Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards including Highways England, PACTS, RAC Foundation, Road Safety Analysis, Safer Roads Berkshire and TfL.

Facts highlighted in the report include:

• A 5% reduction in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in fatal traffic crashes
- 59% of all fatalities in Great Britain occur on country roads where limits are typically 60mph
• The risk of a pedestrian being killed if hit by the front of a car is estimated to be 1% at an impact speed of 20 mph, 7% at 30 mph and 31% at 40 mph
• Inappropriate or excessive speed are two of the contributory factors most often recorded by police crash data; but ‘in-depth studies’ say that the true level may be three times higher

The report urges restraint with regard to the implementation of 20mph schemes, adding that popular interventions may not always work well, and that initially-unpopular schemes can deliver powerful results.

The report recognises resistance to the widespread use of speed humps and cameras in residential streets but acknowledges the effectiveness of average speed cameras strategically placed on some higher-speed roads.

It includes a case study of the average speed camera scheme on the A9 in Scotland which has resulted in a 50% reduction in all casualties and a 33% cut in fatalities.

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