Monday, 18 January 2010



People think that speed cameras are there to make money and that police time is being wasted trapping and prosecuting 'innocent' drivers - time that could be better spent catching 'real' criminals. Statistically 'real' criminals - apart from murderers - rarely kill people, but speeding motorists do!

Over four times as many people die each year on our roads than do as a result of violent crime. It is important as a nation that our driving attitude and behaviour changes to prevent many unnecessary casualties and inexcusable deaths.

Driving too fast was the main cause of 1,200 deaths and more than 20,000 serious injuries on built up roads in the UK last year. Statistics show the main cause of road crashes is the combination of inappropriate or excessive speed with some form of human error. Speeding is bad driving. Government research shows:
  • Approximately 1 in 3 deaths are speed related.
For pedestrians the speed at which they are hit is the difference between life and death.
Vehicle Speed
Pedestrians Killed
20 mph
5% of pedestrians are killed
30 mph
20% of pedestrians are killed
40 mph
90% of pedestrians are killed
Over 40 mph
Forget it
DfT 2005
REMEMBER: It's 30 for a reason
Some Speeding Facts
  • Around two-thirds of all accidents where people are killed or injured happen on roads where the speed limit is 30mph or less.
  • 7 out of 10 drivers regularly break the speed limit - usually by about 5mph.
  • An average family car travelling at 35mph will need an extra 21 feet (6.4 metres) to stop than one travelling at 30mph.
  • If you hit a cyclist or pedestrian at 35mph the force of the impact increases by more than a third than at 30mph.
  • Reducing your speed by an average of 1mph will cut accident frequency by 5 per cent.
  • On urban roads 76 per cent of cars will exceed the speed limit if the road is clear.
  • It is not safer to drive faster at night. Casualty rates are double that during daylight hours due to the higher speeds because of less traffic, higher alcohol consumption, tiredness and darkness.
Stopping distances
Stopping distance is affected by a number of factors, including load, condition of the road surface, tyres, brakes, driver reactions and design and type of vehicle.
Speed (mph)
Thinking Distarnce
Braking Distance
Total Stopping Distance
Total (Feet)
1.5 car lengths
1.5 car lengths
3 car lengths
2.5 car lengths
3.5 car lengths
6 car lengths
3 car lengths
6 car lengths
9 car lengths
3.5 car lengths
9.5 car lengths
13 car lengths
4.5 car lengths
13.5 car lengths
18 car lengths
5 car lengths
19 car lengths
24 car lengths
These figures assume dry weather and good tyres and an average family saloon. Naturally, stopping distances will vary according to weather conditions and some cars may perform in different ways.
There are many physical factors that can affect a car's stopping distance. What we want is for want drivers to recognise that, however good a driver they think they are and however good their car is, the difference between driving at 30 and driving a few mph over the limit, will lead to a much longer stopping distance that could lead to drastic consequences.
For more information on this subject via an external website speed limits

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