Dangerous Speeding prevalent in 20mph Zones

September 9, 2016

With children returning to school after the Summer holidays, Brake published a new survey focusing on speeding in areas with designated lower limits. The study found that there is a prevalence of speeding in 20mph zones. The survey is a joint publication by Brake and Direct Line and shows just how many drivers are speeding in areas where there is a lower limit to protect children and other vulnerable road users.

40% of drivers questioned admit to sometimes travelling at 30mph or more when in a 20mph zone. A further 26% admit to speeding at the above rates at least once a month and 20% acknowledge that they exceed 20mph by at least 10mph on a weekly basis. The majority of 20mph zones are in residential areas and also around schools. They exist to make it safe for children and other vulnerable road users to safely walk and cycle to and from home and school.

Reported Road Casualty Statistics for 2014 show 53 children under 16 were killed on the roads. A further 2,029 suffered a serious injury. This equates to around six children either killed or injured every day and in 80% of cases the children were walking or cycling when the road traffic accident took place.

Do 20mph Zones Really Work?


The evidence out there shows that 20mph zones are useful for protecting vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. One trial which took place in Warrington found that both cyclist and pedestrian casualties decreased by 36%. Furthermore, a Scottish study looking at 75 individual 20mph zones found a drop in casualties of 42%. The 20’s Plenty for Us campaign group regularly collate evidence which shows just how effective; dedicated 20mph zones are for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Even the World Health Organisation has asserted that 20mph limits improve safety for all. They published their belief in these lower limit zones in their Pedestrian Safety strategy manual.

Speaking about their latest findings, Alice Bailey, campaigns advisor for Brake said:

“Speed limits are in place to keep all road users safe, and if tragedy strikes and a child is hit by a car, the speed at which it is travelling could be the difference between life and death. 20mph limits benefit our communities in so many ways, keeping them safer, cleaner and greener; when limits are lower, many more people choose to ditch the car completely and walk and cycle instead. If people feel they have to drive, the lower speed limit will have a negligible impact on travel times and bring so many other positive effects.”

More 20mph zones are appearing in cities across the UK. They help children feel safe on their way to school. They also allow for better, safer driving with the many hazards present in mind. Choosing to speed in these zones is against the law and may result in a fatal accident.

photo credit: 20 is plenty via photopin (license)