TRL reports that 54% of cars on 30mph (48kph) posted speed roads in Great Britain exceed the speed limit. Although not many cars (6%) exceed the speed limit by more than 10mph (16kph), the risk of a pedestrian crash being a fatality crash increases significantly at speeds above 30mph (48kph). At speeds of around 35mph (56kph), the risk of a pedestrian crash being a fatality is around 50%, with the risk of fatality or serious injury going up even with modest increases in speed.
Hence, although most people understand that ‘speed kills’, most motorists drive at speeds slightly above the speed limit, and inadvertently significantly increase the risk of a fatality type crash occurring.
For a Safe Systems approach to road safety, it's essential that slower speeds (85th%tile <= 50kph) are encouraged in urban areas where vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and scooters) predominate.
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