You are in a hurry since you’re running late. The road is clear, not another vehicle in sight. It won’t hurt to go just over the speed limit, after all, there are no speed cameras down this road. It’ll be fine. You are in a hurry. Nobody will even know.
Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) show that 86% of motorists feel comfortable speeding inside a 20mph zone, which are more often than not residential areas. A study of nine sites from 2016 showed that 81% of vehicles exceeded the speed limit, with 15% of them travelling at over 30mph. But hey, it’s harmless right? The chances of you being involved in a road traffic accident is minimal… right? Wrong.
What the official statistics say.
It’s okay to reassure yourself that it won’t happen to you, but statistics don’t care about your opinions. In 2016 alone, there were 1,792 fatalities, 24,101 serious injuries and 155,491 minor injuries reported from road collisions. Common measures introduced to help calm traffic in 20mph zones include signs, speed bumps, chicanes and narrower roads; unfortunately this still does not seem enough of a deterrent.
In 2016, 38% of children killed in road traffic accidents were pedestrians.
Concerns have been raised around the efficiency of traffic calming measures, commonly in respect of vehicle damage, occupant injury, impeded emergency services, and increased vehicle emissions. Ironically the only reason traffic calming measures have been introduced is because statistically most motorists have a blatant disregard for speed limits and safety.
It happens everywhere.
It isn’t only the 20mph zones that see motorists repeatedly breaking the speed limit though. Figures show a staggering 48% of drivers travel at over 70mph on motorways where the risks are much greater due to the reduced reaction time and the heightened stopping distance. That being said motorways are statistically proven to be the safest roads in the country. This is due to the higher standard in both design and maintenance. The wider lanes, junctions and barriers greatly reduce the risk of head on collisions which typically result in a fatality.
“Research shows that 20mph zones in the right areas can save lives and we have made it easier for councils to introduce them. It is for councils to set speed limits in their area and police to decide how best to enforce them.”
According to figures published by Gov.uk, 27% of all motoring convictions for 2017 were related to speed limit offences, with more than 1.23 million drivers attending speed awareness courses in the UK. This figure is sobering when considering that 25% of fatalities in road traffic accidents were pedestrians, with a further 23,000 injuries.
In 2016, almost 16,000 children were injured in road traffic accidents; of those 16,000, there were 69 fatalities and 2,033 serious injuries. In 38% of the instances, the child was a pedestrian, with 22% of the incidents occuring between 15:00 and 17:00 on weekdays, usually when the children are travelling home from school.
“Every 30 seconds someone, somewhere in the world is killed in a road crash.”
The real cost.
The real cost of speeding is not the penalty points, the fine, or the increase in your insurance premium. The biggest cost is not paid by the offender. It is the loss of life, and the serious injuries that other innocent road users are left to live with as a result of the selfish and arrogant attitudes of drivers who knowingly speed and disregard the right to safety of other road users.
Have you ever been caught speeding? Do you feel the Speed Awareness course is sufficient for deterring speeding and rehabilitating motorists? Do you think there should be harsher penalties for those caught driving excessively over the speed limit? Let us know your thoughts below, or head on over to our social media accounts at @connect_insure on Twitter and @cibltd on Facebook.