20 MPH Speed Limits

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  • 20 MPH Speed Limits
  • Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    if we could just get all those cyclists off the road, and all those pedestrians off the pavement, then we could raise all 30mph limits to 40 or even 50.

    it would be perfectly safe, and think of the time saved on our journeys!

    noise and air pollution be damned!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Sorry for stirring the PC do gooders pot

    Yeah – blooming “PC do gooders” wanting safe streets that kids can play in, like they had growing up.

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-VuB131sFo[/video]

    ..this is just protecting people from a threat that doesn’t exist.

    In 2012 there were 25,218 reported pedestrian casualties and 19,091 cyclist casualties.

    The only reason those figures aren’t higher is because most people are too scared of the roads to cycle and won’t let their kids play in the streets for fear of the traffic.

    Perhaps it should be compulsory for all pedestrians to wear helmets and bodyarmour too just in case ? What do you think?

    That you’re being a bit silly?

    Perhaps instead we should allow cars to go as fast as they possibly can and have blades fitted to them to cut through any unwary pedestrians stupid enough to get in the way?

    Is that really what you want? Is it? Is it?

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    HoratioHufnagel – Member
    I heard that a 20mph limit means your speed needs to be “in the twenties”, i.e. 20mph-29mph.

    similarly with 30, 40 etc.

    Get back under your bridge. 🙄

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Whilst driving round Bristol for my business I regularly drive in three different speed zones.
    20
    30
    40

    Nowadays I find myself looking for speed signs rather than watching for pedestrians/cyclists/emerging cars.

    molgrips has two logins?

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Even if it does just mean people drive at 25mph, that’s reason enough to make it mandatory in most towns and villages. Although I’m all for enforcing it properly.

    It does annoy me though that all the mobile cameras I see around here are parked in front of the ‘national limit applies’ signs on the way out of where they are supposed to be protecting. Never parked by the schools, playgrounds etc.

    brooess
    Member

    I never realised how conservative and resistant to change the ‘great’ British public were until we started trying to enforce speed limits and safe driving in 1990’s and onwards. The general response to ‘please drive more carefully so you don’t kill other people and their children’ has been “waaah waaah waaah, I want to drive however I like, nasty government telling ME what to do, why should I?”

    Honestly, it’s embarrassing seeing the tantrums grown ups get themselves into when driving…

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Matt wrote:

    If it really is a small town then how far is it across town, 2-3 miles tops? so even driving right from one side of town to another at 20 instead of 30 the impact on your journey is a couple of minutes maybe?

    Not even that. Brampton apparently has a population of more than 5000, but even the longest possible route from one side to the other is only 1.1 miles, so we’re talking at most an extra minute.

    The other point the OP seems to be missing, which you’d think being on a cycling forum he ought to be keen on* is that slowing down cars to cycling speeds has a significant impact on encouraging cycling – not only because there is no perceived speed advantage from driving, but also because the perceived risk is significantly reduced.

    *I do appreciate there are plenty on here who get upset at cyclists getting in their way when driving their Audi to the trail centre with their Orange on the roof.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    I think it’s time we brought back the Green Cross Code adverts, for a start. Where I live is hardly yummy mummy cul-de-sac central, and there’s still almost as many kids playing football in traffic as there is cars.

    Do you think that’s a bad thing?!

    Premier Icon scaled
    Subscriber

    Do you think that’s a bad thing?!

    Won’t somebody think of the cars?!?!??

    poly
    Member

    D28boy – would you not be better having this discussion with your local councillor(s) than here?

    As for why a blanket on the whole area – either their perception of the risk is different from yours (and bear in mind they will know about all KSI accidents in the area, the police feedback, other public opinion etc). OR when the manager of the roads department looked at the paperwork and cost involved in one big area v’s lots of small areas he didn’t see a compelling case for keeping some roads at 30.

    Enforcability has been discussed – IF the police officer said that he’s (a) an idiot (b) trying to show off OR (c) ill informed. However it is possible that they have put up RED 20 signs without a TRO in place which would be unenforceable but appear to anyone who hadn’t checked the paperwork to be valid.

    eskay
    Member

    midlifecrashes – Member

    Police have chosen not to enforce them, who you gonna call, the police?

    Not true around here, have seen the mobile camera near me several times in 20mph zones.

    Several sites detailed here:

    http://www.safecam.org.uk/CameraSites/CameraList.aspx?d=6

    Nowadays I find myself looking for speed signs rather than watching for pedestrians/cyclists/emerging

    Seems a strong argument for blanket 20mph. Much clearer and less problematic for those poor put upon drivers. Much of Europe has managed this with 30kmh zones very widespread and in some countries rigorously enforced with proper penalties.

    Police attitude in the UK is unacceptable. They are public employees and the public (via our democratically elected governors) has determined that lower speed limits are desirable. The Police should be enforcing.

    D28boy
    Member

    Amedias–yes I probably meant mildy annoying..you on the other hand are infuriating.

    Now I’ve calmed down from my rant I’ve researched what stats I can from our local council & find for the 10 years to 2010 there were 4 reported pedestrian accidents in the whole of the area that is covered by the 20 mph zone in that period. The fact that none of these incidents have taken place at either of our schools is re-assuring as is the fact that we have had no fatalities.So our contribution the the National Annual 25,218 pedestrian casualties in 2012 is comfortingly low though regretable nonetheless. I would imagine the stats for pedestrians injuries involving a fall would be significantly greater and so I stick with my compulsory helmet & body armour recommendation Graham S.After all why wait for the accident to happen to take preventative action.

    Rant over ….

    FYI there was no consultation with the local community over this issue simply a request by our council to the Government to proceed as a trial area I believe.

    amedias
    Member

    you on the other hand are infuriating

    hurrah 😀

    It does seem to be you Vs the rest of the thread though, so I take some comfort in the fact I have the backing of the other PC do-gooders on here 😉

    FYI there was no consultation with the local community over this issue simply a request by our council to the Government to proceed as a trial area I believe

    I reckon that will have been driven by something, either pressure form a local group or council on a mission, but either way they will have had to justify it.

    maxtorque
    Member

    The issue for me, is once again that “Blanket” limits only help to re-enforce in the general public’s mind (ie the thick stupid drivers who aren’t paying much attention to the road anyway, the majority these days!) that speed limits are “advisory”. There eyes tell them the road is clear, and “normilisation” tells them that yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that (x1000) they drove down this bit of road fine at 28 mph or whatever.

    So, now, what do we do when we need to make drivers aware of a “real” hazard? No ones, going to be looking at the plethora of signs afterall, and even if they are, they will be mostly ignoring them.

    In a modern car, for the most part, 20mph is and feels incredibly slow, so people tend to exceed that speed. In fact, plenty of studies have shown that we simply drive to our perceived level of risk (make things safer, we just drive faster etc).

    The fundamental SAFE approach to all driving is to “LINK SPEED TO VISION” and blanket bans both undermine this, and remove the driver from the decision making process. Time after time you hear, after an “accident” either “they were driving over the speed limit, like a madman” or “It’s fine, they weren’t speeding afterall”. Both of which completely fail to negate the fact there was an accident of course! (Whilst driving on average more slowly can of course limit the effects of an accident, if we apply that to it’s logical conclusion, we need a blanket ZERO mph limit…..)

    I am going to suggest that driving and our roads in the UK have a more than acceptable level of safety / risk. Afterall, when was the last time you got into a car and before you drove you thought “ooh, need to be careful today, i might be hurt/killed”. I’d say you are approximately 1000 times more likely to be thinking “wonder whats for dinner” or “have i got time to pick up the drycleaning” etc.

    And that really is the point. Accident are the ABNORMAL state of our roads. Unfortunately, those abnormal states carry a penalty for those involved, but rather than place some personal responsibility on ALL parties for their actions (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians etc) we just keep lowering speed limits and hoping the problem “goes away” before the road systems grinds to a halt.

    In the UK, we have around 4.3 road deaths per BILLION Km driven. That is a low number, and means not crashing is the “normal” state for the average driver of course.

    If we actually want to reduce that (low) number by any significant margin, we need to have proper driver education and testing, and a proper road safety curriculum for schools and colleges, not some arbitrary and practically un-enforceable signs blanketing our roads.

    /rant

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Police have chosen not to enforce them, who you gonna call, the police?

    Not true around here, have seen the mobile camera near me several times in 20mph zones.

    Yep, we have that too, but when they get clocked between 20 and 33 in a 20 zone they either get a talking to or a letter of “advice”. Pointless.

    Couple of years back they took a group of our primary school kids out with the police to a 20 road near the school. Obviously two marked police cars, a local journalist with photographer and thirty kids in hi-viz meant not many were dumb enough to get caught, in fact they only got one guy who then got quite shouty and sweary in front of the kids. Shame he was the mayor!

    amedias
    Member

    If we actually want to reduce that (low) number by any significant margin, we need to have proper driver education and testing, and a proper road safety curriculum for schools and colleges, not some arbitrary and practically un-enforceable signs blanketing our roads

    I agree very much on the training, educattion and awareness sides of it. The two are not mutually exclusive though.

    You can have default 20mph urban speed limits AND proper driver education and testing, and a proper road safety curriculum for schools and colleges

    D28boy
    Member

    Wasn’t there an experiment ( in Holland I think) where they removed all the uneccessary road signage as it was preceived that the motorist had information overload leading to more accidents. Better to concentrate on looking at the road than reading a plethora of advisory / unecessary info.

    lemonysam
    Member

    Wasn’t there an experiment ( in Holland I think) where they removed all the uneccessary road signage as it was preceived that the motorist had information overload leading to more accidents. Better to concentrate on looking at the road than reading a plethora of advisory / unecessary info.

    Surely you’re arguing for more road signage, not less? Having a 20 post at each entrance to town and then repeaters is easier than having to check whether side streets are 20 or 30 depending on whether you perceive there to be an increased level of risk.

    Nowadays I find myself looking for speed signs rather than watching for pedestrians/cyclists/emerging cars.

    you are a shit driver then

    D28boy
    Member

    No Lemonysam what I think I was trying to imply is that 99.9% of motorists drive safely and at an appropriate speed for their surroundings. Only insurance fraudsters actively seek out an accident. Therefore if we’re left alone to drive without big brother looking over our shoulders at every corner things would pretty much carry on as before and could even get better as people will be concentrating on what actually is most important looking at the road.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Afterall, when was the last time you got into a car and before you drove you thought “ooh, need to be careful today, i might be hurt/killed”.

    20 zones are not there to protect car occupants.

    Conversely when was the last time most adults said to their kids: “Hey go out and play on your bikes in the street”?

    We used to. It used to be commonplace. 🙁

    In the UK, we have around 4.3 road deaths per BILLION Km driven. That is a low number, and means not crashing is the “normal” state for the average driver of course.

    It’s quite a low number. Not as low as 3.3 in Norway or 3.4 in Denmark and Ireland. But not at all bad on the world stage.

    There are plenty of reasons for this, not least that we are a rich country driving modern safe cars on modern roads, and that most of our population are too intimidated by roads to cycle or let kids near them.
    And of course that figure is just for deaths, not injuries.

    And it really needs to be put in context with other UK travel risk figures*

    Air: 0.00 deaths and 0.01 injuries per billion km
    Rail: 0.0 deaths and 25.0 injuries per billion km
    Bicycle: 24 deaths and 3816 injuries per billion km
    Pedestrian: 23 deaths and 1403 injuries per billion km
    Motorcycle: 67 deaths and 3929 injuries per billion km

    (Source: RAS53001, DfT RRCGB 2012)

    Look at Air and Rail. Those are low numbers and yet they both have much tighter regulations than driving.

    (The Space Shuttle only had 5.99 deaths per billion km!)

    arbitrary and practically un-enforceable signs blanketing our roads.

    No need to blanket the roads with signs if 20 was made the new default speed in residential areas.

    Incidentally what is it about a 20 limit that makes it “practically un-enforceable” compared to a 30 limit?

    flatfish
    Member

    anagallis_arvensis – Member
    Nowadays I find myself looking for speed signs rather than watching for pedestrians/cyclists/emerging cars.
    you are a shit driver then

    Sorry Stig

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I was trying to imply is that 99.9% of motorists drive safely and at an appropriate speed for their surroundings.

    I’m not sure where you live but it doesn’t sound like anywhere in the UK I’ve been!

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    99.9% of motorists drive safely and at an appropriate speed for their surroundings.

    I would have replied sooner but I’ve only just stopped laughing. What GrahamS said.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Whilst driving on average more slowly can of course limit the effects of an accident

    Yes that is correct. It’s the basic fundamental part of risk assessment, (I nearly said the *&* word).

    Risk = Likelihood X Consequence.

    The hazard is vehicle v vulnerable road user. Hit a pedestrian with a vehicle at 40mph, most will die or be very seriously injured, at 30mph the outcome is more favourable to the pedestrian, at 20mph less again.

    When trying to reduce the risk there is a hierarchy of control measures.

    Some are impossible to do, some are already in place, some can lead to other problems. A blanket 20mph speed limit is easy to impliment and changes the consequence drastically.

    I’ll take my Hi-Vis jacket and hard hat off now, so you’re safe from the Safety Elves.

    surfer
    Member

    INRAT

    I’d rather they enforced a 20mph zone next to a school at 3pm than sat in a layby enforcing a 60mph outside town for half a day, like they do around here.

    +1. In one of my more “arsier” moments I asked a couple of coppers why they were using a speed gun to catch drivers who were breaking the 40mph limit near my house when there were no pedestrians, houses etc, and the stretch became a 60mph road a couple of hundred metres later. I suggested that within 600m of where they stood people regularly drove 50+ in a built up 30mph area with lots of pedestrians, cyclists etc.
    He had little to say so I assumed it was simply a money making exercise and not related to road safety.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I suggested that within 600m of where they stood people regularly drove 50+ in a built up 30mph area with lots of pedestrians, cyclists etc.

    To me that suggests it wasn’t “simply a money making exercise” or they’d have gone where people were regularly breaking the law surely? Confused.

    mudshark
    Member

    I’m guessing that more people break the speed limit where the coppers are – just less of a risk of people having accidents. I suppose it’s all target based but the wrong targets? If targets were based on number of accidents then maybe they’d change their approach?

    I support 20 zones in all villages unless there’s an obvious A road (with pelican crossings) then it should be 30.

    I was trying to imply is that 99.9% of motorists drive safely and at an appropriate speed for their surroundings

    I’ve stopped laughing enough to post now.

    This feels very relevant –

    And also this –
    Half of parents driving their children to UK primary schools live under a mile away, walk-to-school campaigners say…..while 80% had walked to school when they were young

    And this –
    Couple threatened by social services for letting their children cycle to school Daily mail link so will be blocked but this also relevant (BBC)

    Parents don’t allow their kids to walk or cycle to school because they perceive it’s not safe. That’s not a successful road safety strategy and neither sustainable (pollution) or healthy (fat kids).

    project
    Member

    local village near me, 20 mph speed limit past school, no speed camera operatives, but hugecongestion caused by stupid people double parking etc, last night 17.00 2 speed camera operatives , taking car numbers, only 1 and ahalf hours late, but it was a nice night for them

    brooess
    Member

    OP – read this comment from one of Simon’s links in his post above and please stop being a tit! There’s MASSIVE downsides for everyone from the dominance of cars and the inability of drivers to think outside their tiny boxes…

    Precisely why I’m leaving the UK and moving to the Netherlands after years of badgering my local council to think about why 99% of the parents drive everywhere. I’ve said my piece, as have many others in the same position but our local authority, like every other say something like “the numbers of people crossing here don’t even justify a lolly pop lady”.
    The flagrant abuse of speed limits and guidelines on driving appropriately to weather conditions is also partly down to cars being more designed to go faster than our roads allow – is there a gear for 20mph? Most drivers say it’s not easy to say around that speed.
    In any case, I can’t see it changing, it needs at least 40% to revolt against it and the motor car has been taken into the hearts of pretty much everyone I know as a trusty safe friend, it’s depressingly unlikely that they will try to restrict a trusty safe friend. I feel like I’m in some bad film where almost everyone is brainwashed.
    I can’t wait to live back in the Dutch sanity of going out for a drink with my friends…by bike.
    The Netherlands is far from perfect (especially if you ask their cycle campaigners) but I will at least get to ride with my kids every day, which is very important to me.
    The UK has failed my kids and boy, am I angry!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Well said simons_nicolai-uk (and brooess)

    I think that’s something that the OP and others miss. D28boy said:

    “I’ve nothing against the idea of reducing speed in areas where there is a perceived level of risk…outside schools or hospitals for instance but why make the blanket change over the whole town.”

    But part of the point is a 20 zone just outside a school doesn’t make it safer to walk to school. It just makes it safer to drop the kids off at school in your car!

    To encourage walking (and cycling) you need to make all the residential roads a 20.

    maxtorque
    Member

    bigblackshed
    A blanket 20mph speed limit is easy to impliment and changes the consequence drastically.

    Easy to implement, as as we have seen both ineffective and likely to result in drivers ignoring other, much more important limits at critical times!

    If we continue to pander to the lowest common denominator, we will soon all only be staying in bed all day just in case someone gets hurt somehow…….

    D28boy
    Member

    Well said maxtorque. With you 100 mph % on that ! 😀

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    If we continue to pander to the lowest common denominator, we will soon all only be staying in bed all day just in case someone gets hurt somehow….

    By “lowest common denominator” do you mean “children”?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Paul wrote:

    Easy to implement, as as we have seen both ineffective and likely to result in drivers ignoring other, much more important limits at critical times!

    Which other limits are more important?

    (if you’re an STW addict you’ll note I was making the same argument earlier, but about 70 limits on motorways, which I do believe are a lot less important than 20 limits in places where walking and cycling need to be encouraged)

    Oh and only ineffective because nobody is prepared to police them and the attitude of society (including the police) needs fixing.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    The only reason those figures aren’t higher is because most people are too scared of the roads to … let their kids play in the streets for fear of the traffic.

    Do you think that[kids playing in traffic]’s a bad thing?!

    Sure. I like picnics as much as the next person, but wouldn’t have one in the middle lane of the M6. Roads are for facilitating movement of traffic (cars, horses, bicycles etc), not for the local kids to spend their afternoons ‘accidentally’ bouncing cricket balls off cars.

    I think there should be more, better places for kids to play, and I think the media need to be taken to task for their Noncegate reporting which has left parents scared to let their little darlings out of their sights for fear of men in polyester. Why do kids need to boot a ball across a main road when there’s a park with three football pitches and a rec with swings etc not two blocks away? Why can’t they play in their gardens or at least on the pavement instead of the road? Why is the onus now on society to supervise your children?

    I have early memories of being told “STAY AWAY FROM THE ROAD” when playing out. I remember one time, shouting across the road to chat to my friend on the other side, but us not being able to play together because we’d both been told much & more by our respective parents not to cross the road. When I was older and could play out further afield, I used to go to the park, or play in the back streets, or indeed anywhere except the middle of the road. Because it’s a bloody dangerous place.

    What’s the alternative? You teach kids that it’s ok to play in the road and motorists etc will just have to take the responsibility for them? That if they hurl themselves under someone’s wheels chasing a football it’s all the driver’s fault? What happens to little Hermione and Bella the first time they stray away from their suburban paradise at number 37 Lofty Equines Close, with no road sense and no traffic calming measures in place?

    I’m all for reducing speed limits to 20 in some areas, especially around schools and suchlike. But it should be safety for if / when potential accidents may present themselves, rather than because it’s fun to play in traffic.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    so MaxT and D28 (and Cougar, it seems), your children want to cycle to school, would you rather they had to mix with traffic doing 20ish, or 30ish?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    is there a gear for 20mph? Most drivers say it’s not easy to say around that speed.

    The only reason it’s not easy to stay around that speed is they’ve no experience of doing so. It’s as easy do drive at 20 as it is to drive at 30, they’re just used to it.

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