Surgeon calls for speeding attitudes to focus on health

A trauma surgeon specialising in paediatrics has called for speeding to be considered as a public health issue rather than something to do with politics or civil liberties.

Dr Phil Hyde, who is a Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant at University Hospital Southampton, made the comments during a TRL-led webinar looking at speed on our roads and the effect excess speed has on road safety.

“I wonder why we have not yet achieved the simple public health intervention of controlling speed,” Dr Hyde said.  “I remember the smoking ban in public places – why can’t it be the case that in the UK, we ban speeding in public places?”

The panel, which also included Dr Nick Reed, the Chief Road Safety Adviser for National Highways, and TRL’s Chief Scientist Dr Shaun Helman, Head of Transport Safety Dr Phil Martin, and international safety consultant Nancy Abira discussed how Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) is a technology that exists and could be used to effectively make our roads safer now by making it impossible to break the speed limit.

Dr Martin added that there are more benefits than road safety of managing speed.  “We have [better] air quality, and noise, and financial benefits,” he said, as well as making streets more liveable.

The discussion also looked at how different countries handle the issue of speeding, and how to balance the need for better road safety by slowing down traffic with the need to deliver an efficient road system where traffic can move at a reasonable pace.  It also considered driver education so that motorists understand why speeds limits are set as they are, the consequences of not abiding by the limit.

(Picture – Yay Images)

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