TRL asks safe speeds – what is safe enough?

As part of Road Safety Week, TRL’s Nancy Abira, Angela Fuller-Dapaah, Linda Masibo and John Fletcher have written a blog focusing on ‘Safe speeds- what is safe enough’.

They write how the balance between arriving in good time and arriving safely is one that can be difficult to achieve, and research shows that for many commuters, the need to reduce travel time is often a highly motivating factor for using road transport.

They say however, like a double-edged sword, high speeds have been strongly associated with avoidable road deaths and life-changing injuries. Speeding directly accounts for about a third of fatalities in high income countries and more than half in low-and middle income countries.

They add that speed management is therefore critical for preventing deaths on our roads and needs to be supported by the setting of “appropriate” speed limits. The setting of appropriate speed limits, however, is a complex technical challenge, and the perceptions of what speed limits are safe and appropriate on any particular road section can be controversial. There is often conflict between road safety professionals, who will generally recommend lower speed limits than are currently in place on safety grounds, and politicians and decision makers, who may be highly influenced by the negative views on this prospect expressed by some of the public.

The subject is discussed in a webinar tomorrow (Thursday 23 November).

Read the full blog post here.

(Picture – Yay Images)

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