20mph Zones Increase Road Casualties

20mph Zones Increase Road Casualties

It’s official. In the week that a 20mph limit was imposed on the City of London, official figures prove that 20mph zones increase road casualties rather than reduce them.

Forget all the 20mph campaigning you have seen. The truth hurts.

The number of serious accidents on 20mph roads has increased by 26 per cent last year, according to analysis of government data by road safety charity, Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Slight accidents on 20mph roads increased by 17 per cent.

In the same year, there was a decrease in the number of serious and slight accidents on 30mph roads and 40 mph roads.

Serious accidents went down 9 per cent on 30mph roads and 7 per cent on 40 mph roads.

There was a five per cent reduction in slight accidents on 30 mph roads and a three per cent decrease on 40 mph roads.

Even though the decrease in 30 zone accidents is partially because some have been displaced by 20 zones, the imposition of 20 zones has still led to a significant increase in accidents.

Casualties in 20mph zones also saw a rise.

Serious casualties increased by 29 per cent while slight casualties went up by 19 per cent.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The government and councils need to take stock on the effectiveness of 20mph signs. Recent advice, guidance and relaxation of regulations have all been about making it easier for councils to put 20mph limits in place.  “More and more roads are being given a 20mph limit but they do not seem to be delivering fewer casualties. The IAM are concerned that this is because simply putting a sign on a road that still looks like a 30mph zone does not change driver behaviour.”

“More evaluation and research is needed into the real world performance of 20mph limits to ensure limited funds are being well spent. In locations with a proven accident problem, authorities need to spend more on changing the character of our roads so that 20mph is obvious, self-enforcing and above all contributes to fewer injuries. In Europe, it is long term investment in high quality segregated or shared surfaces that have led to a much safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Note: an ‘accident’ can cause of several casualties. For example if a bus crashes and kills 30 passengers on board, it is one fatal accident but 30 fatal casualties.         https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras30-reported-casualties-in-road-accidents,