If you are hit by a car at 35 mph, your chance of survival is 50%.
At 20 mph, your chance of survival leaps to 97%.
Local authorities now have the power to introduce 20 mph limits on streets where we live, work and shop.
A 20 mph speed limit can...
- Increase road safety by reducing the risk and severity of collisions
- Get more people walking and cycling, and create more social streets
- Cut pollution from exhaust fumes
- Smooth traffic-flow by reducing stop-start driving
- Reduce traffic noise.
But won't it take longer to get around? And what about the cost?
These and other questions are answered in our 20 mph myth buster.
More on our campaign
Find out how campaigners are making 20 mph happen around the country
Our Go20 partners 20's Plenty For Us are currently gathering signatures for EU-wide 30kmh speed limits.
Campaign groups make a real difference. Why not join or set up your own Living Streets Local Group?
Or join one led by our Go20 partner 20's Plenty for Us
No. Lower speeds increase road capacities, as the bunching effect at junctions is reduced as traffic flow improves. That’s why urban motorways are often 40 or 50 mph, as opposed to 70 mph. Even an urban journey of three miles, taking 30 minutes in a 30 mph limit, was shown to only increase to 33 minutes in a 20 mph setting.
The 2011 British Attitudes Survey demonstrates that well over two-thirds of us, including motorists, would like a 20mph speed limit in the streets where we live. In Portsmouth, over 40 per cent of respondents stated that since the introduction of 20 mph, there has been a safer environment for walking and cycling. Around a third of respondents noticed an increase in pedestrian and cyclist activities in the local area.
The police are obliged to enforce all speed limits. The evidence is that drivers drop their speed when a 20 mph limit is enforced. 20 mph should become largely self-enforcing, as good drivers obeying the limit will act as a restraint on others exceeding it. In Portsmouth, streets where average speeds were previously higher than 24 mph, decreased limits have helped reduce speed by an average of 6.3 mph (http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/speed-limits-portsmouth/). This occurred without the need for any extra police enforcement.
Road traffic collisions are an enormous drain on the economy, costing the UK £18 billion every year. The 20 mph zones in London are estimated to already be saving more than £20 million in crash prevention anually. The cost of road signs is remarkably low. For example, Portsmouth converted 1200 streets to 20mph for just over £500,000 – far cheaper than the alternative ideas put forward, which came to £2.2 million. It’s roughly seven times more cost effective, in terms of speed reduction achieved, to introduce a 20 mph limit across a wide area, than to spend the same sum on isolated, physically calmed zones.
Not only that, but introducing lower speeds has proven to yield positive results for local businesses. Campaigning stalwart Caroline Russell and Living Streets media volunteer Sophie Coleman 'vox-popped' business owners and employees in two areas of Islington to find out what they thought of the proposals for 20 mph speed limits on all roads in the borough - and the results were positive. Editing by Ian James - www.ianjam.es
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