Updated: Apr 3
The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death. The faster someone is driving the less time they have to react to a situation and less time to stop. This can lead to a near miss turning into a crash .
Recent figures published as part of London Mayor's Vision Zero identified that 116 people were killed and 2385 seriously injured on London's road in 2016. This coupled with the statistics 7050 people on UK roads were killed or seriously injured between April and June 2017 makes for shocking reading.
In the UK the law is that you must not drive faster than the speed limit. Speed limits, however, are not a target speed but rather a guide. When choosing an appropriate speed, drivers should also take into account the relevant conditions of the road. For example when driving near schools or town centres or in foggy conditions even the speed limit may be too fast for the conditions.
Last week, Sadiq Khan announced an introduction of 20mph speed limits throughout high risk areas of the capital in an attempt limit consequences of road traffic collisions. An initiative which in my view ought to be welcomed in light of the fact that you are five times less likely if hit at 20mph instead of 30mph.
Whilst there are some drivers who deliberately speed there are many who do so unintentionally. However, drivers owe a duty of care to all other road users and they are responsible for their speed. Drivers should therefore be mindful of this and the following can be implemented to assist :-
1. Keep an eye of the speedo
2. Know the limits for the road. Look for signs and if you cannot see any then assume that lampposts indicate a 30mph zone (although note this could also be a 20mph zone)
3. Remember that speed limits are a guide not a target
4. Remember 20 is plenty in a busy or built up area
5. Recognise what makes you speed and be conscious of this
6. Concerntrate of your speed
7. Slow down in or around villages, towns and schools.
8. Be mindful that pedestrians may step out
9. Concentrate on your speed
10. Allow extra time for your journey to avoid rushing
And if you are one of those who chooses to speed intentionally stop to ask yourself the next time you consider putting your foot to the floor whether you are prepare to live with the long-term consequences if you were to kill or seriously injure someone as a result of your driving or whether you will be asking yourself whether it was really worth it?