Drivers group calls for halt in spread of 20mph zones | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Drivers group calls for halt in spread of 20mph zones

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Pressure group the Alliance of British Drivers is calling for the Government to halt the roll out of 20mph zones.

The organisation has also questioned the motivation of proponents who continue to advocate a national roll out of 20mph zones claiming an increase in recorded accidents in current 20mph zones.

In a recent survey of its members:

  • 95% of Alliance of British Drivers’ members believe that the roll out of 20mph zones and limits should be halted pending Government research into increased casualty statistics in current zones.
  • 56% of respondents have had a 20mph zone introduced in their locality.
  • 98% of drivers thought that observation and adjusting your speed to the conditions was a more important aspect of safe driving the obeying a 20mph limit.
  • 77% thought that educating all road users on their responsibility under the Highway Code would make the biggest contribution to road safety in built up areas.
  • Only 3.8% thought that 20mph advocates had made a credible case.

ABD spokesman Sean Corker said: “The fact that proponents of 20mph zones continue to campaign for their introduction despite increases in accidents suggests that the ultimate aim of reducing speed limits is to discourage driving rather than making the roads safer.”

The survey also reveals that nearly all (98%) believe that adjusting their speed to the conditions is safer then obeying a 20mph speed limit.

Corker said: “There is no such thing as a “20mph road” or a “30mph road” as road architecture and hazard density change continuously.

“If we add in variable weather conditions, seasonal variations (wet leaves or snow and ice) then the advice given by 20mph advocates – that safe driving consists of simply obeying a 20mph speed limit – is potentially dangerous.

“While it may be perfectly safe to drive on a particular stretch of road at 30mph on sunny weekday afternoon with clear sight lines and low hazard density, the same stretch of road on an icy January morning during rush hour is a completely different proposition.

“The survey shows that ABD members believe that the education of all road users, including what is a safe speed for the conditions, would be a more effective road safety policy then simply changing a number on a stick.”


“The ABD have referenced the IAM report on increased total casualties on 20mph roads in 2013 without any acknowledgment that IAM themselves recognised that the large number of roads changed from 30mph to 20mph makes any conclusion impossible. This demonstrates a basic ignorance of statistics and also a willingness to misinform the media. This press release demonstrates why ABD has so little influence in road safety circles. Its reflects a refusal to accept the validity of speed limits generally.

Traffic Authorities in most of our iconic cities have all come to the conclusion after careful consideration and trials that 20mph is the right limit for most residential roads. They see the benefits which not only include lower casualties but also a wide range of community gains.

The survey results from ABD members are about as surprising as a survey showing that turkeys are unanimous in opposing Christmas.”

I would very much like to know the name of any advocate of speed limits who advises that mere adherence to a signed limit is sufficient to ensure road safety, whether it be 5 or 100 mph. If such a person exists, are they, by any chance, made of straw?

What utter rubbish. 20mph zones do not dictate that everyone must drive AT 20mph. You should still drive to road conditions.

Of course drivers need to learn that they should adjust their speed according to road conditions and it is an education issue. However, many drivers simply ignore this and often drivers fail to risk assess and adjust their driving speed and style accordingly. 20mph zones therefore make it clear that in residential areas all drivers should be cautious and driver at a slower speed.

This survey seems to have been very bias. Based on this we could just abolish all parking restrictions, speed limits and junction arrangements if we were to assume that an education campaign will make all drivers take responsibility and drive/park safely and courtiously. It simply isn’t achieveable in reality.

The “facts” in this one-sided article have been debunked months ago. And if the named “pressure group” still thinks 20mph is about speed then they’ve been traveling in the slow lane! 20mph is about creating livable communities where parents feel it safer to let their children cycle or walk to school, for example. Decades of “education” have resulted in more families driving their little ones to school.

See pdf which debunks the claims…

“IAM analysis of DfT casualty figures for 2013 show that as the total number of 20mph roads increases, so do the total number of casualties, but their conclusion that this is evidence of increased danger shows a woeful lack of understanding of statistics.”

Some results from a survey that you reported on this spring under the headline “Overwhelming public support for 20mph limits”:
The Brake and Allianz Insurance survey:
– eight in 10 people (78%) think 20mph should be the normal speed limit around schools, on residential streets, and in village, town and city centres
– Seven in 10 (72%) say roads in their town or village need to be made safer for walking and cycling
– Eight in 10 (81%) say traffic travels too fast on some (51%) or most (30%) of their local roads
– Eight in 10 (79%) think it would encourage more people to walk or cycle if roads and routes in their town or village were made safer