20 mph Zones are a Waste of Money, or Worse

The Sun Newspaper has reported on the success, or rather failure, of 20 mph area-wide speed limits, to reduce accidents. They have obtained figures from 20 local councils using the Freedom of Information Act where £11 million of taxpayers’ cash was spent on the lower limit. But in some cases, rates of serious accidents (Killed and Serious Injuries – KSIs) have actually gone up they reported.

AA President said that the schemes were a “waste of money”, effectively implying that if the money had been spent on other road safety measures, more lives and serious accidents would have been saved.

Examples the Sun gave were Bath where £804,000 was spent but a 2016 report revealed that the KSI’s went up in 7 out of the 13 zones where speeds were cut, and in Manchester £1.7 million was spent on a heavily criticised scheme while in Hampshire other schemes showed no benefit in terms of accident reduction.

The ABD has of course reported similar problems before including in the City of London where a blanket 20 mph scheme has resulted in more minor injury reports.

20s Plenty founder Rod King called the articles “sloppy journalism” (one also appeared in the Daily Mail on the same subject). 20s Plenty has tried to debunk the reports of a number of local councils on their 20 mph schemes – for example they called the Bath report “biased, lacking in statistical rigour and not meeting several local authority duties on competency and equality”. But anyone who has surveyed all the evidence on such schemes will know that simply putting up signs typically reduces traffic speed by only 1 mph and that can have no significant impact on road casualties. In reality it seems to have the opposite effect in many cases as pedestrians no longer take so much care when crossing the road.

Rod King and 20s Plenty are like all fanatics – they ignore the negative impact of their policies and fail to see the truth. They are blinded in their zeal to reduce speed limits in the false presumption that reducing speeds are the answer to all road safety problems. But cutting road casualties is not as simple as that.

We still await a Government report on a more comprehensive study of 20 mph schemes.

In London, Transport for London (TfL) continue to finance such schemes in local boroughs and must have spent millions to date on them. Another example of unwise policies and reckless expenditure by TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan, plus his predecessors. It is a great pity that money was not spent on road engineering to improve the safety of roads and junctions.

The Mayor actually wants to impose 20 mph speed limits on many major roads in London under his “Vision Zero” road safety plans. UKIP Transport Spokesperson Jill Seymour has challenged TfL to provide undisputed evidence of the justification for such proposals, as reported in the last national ABD Newsletter (OTR). She said “The authorities have strangled the main roads, and made them the most congested and slowest of any city in Europe. London is a mess when it comes to transport…..the London authorities, led by Sadiq Khan, appear to have a vendetta against personal transport and the car, and do everything they possibly can do to discriminate against it”. That’s definitely the truth of the matter.

Roger Lawson

Sun article here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7253694/20-mph-zones-cause-more-deaths/

Press Release: The Police Need to Regain Trust of The Public By Changing Their Priorities

According to figures recently released, only 445,000 of the 4.6 million crimes committed in the last year in England and Wales resulted in prosecution.  Yet over 2 million motorists were pursued for exceeding a speed limit.  The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) suggests that the police really need to get their priorities right.  When the only contact most people have with the police is when they are pointing a speed gun at you, usually on a safe stretch of road with a speed limit that is set too low, is it any wonder respect is at an all-time low?  We are now seeing a generation of children brought up with this situation, hearing their parents cursing the police as they slam on the brakes.

The ABD has already highlighted the problem with the false targeting of speed enforcement, ignoring dangerous driving and favouring those sites than can generate mass prosecutions. (1)

We have also highlighted the fact that speed awareness courses are not making drivers safer.  Incredibly we are even told that isn’t their intent.  (2)

Despite the endless propaganda hardly any crashes are caused by sober, otherwise legal drivers traveling a few MPH over the speed limit. The vast majority of so called ‘speeding’ crashes are caused by drunk/drugged/stolen or very high reckless speeds/racing (3) The police need to finally admit the truth and start catching real criminals.

What has been happening is an enormous diversion of resources in both the police and criminal justice system from the pursuit and prosecution of real criminals to “crimes” that can generate money. Is it surprise that crime figures of all kinds are ballooning to record levels?

  1. http://www.abd.org.uk/setting-speed-limits/
  2. http://www.abd.org.uk/no-benefit-from-speed-awareness-courses/
  3. http://www.abd.org.uk/the-hidden-truth-behind-statistics-used-to-justify-speed-enforcement-priorities/

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