Automotive

UN pushes lower speed limits to combat road toll

UN pushes lower speed limits t...
The UN proposes speed limits of 30 km/h (19 mph) for pedestrian zones
The UN proposes speed limits of 30 km/h (19 mph) for pedestrian zones
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A look at stopping distances from different speeds 
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A look at stopping distances from different speeds 
The UN is keen to drop urban speed limits 
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The UN is keen to drop urban speed limits 
The UN wants to drop urban speed limits to 30 km/h
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The UN wants to drop urban speed limits to 30 km/h
The UN proposes speed limits of 30 km/h (19 mph) for pedestrian zones
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The UN proposes speed limits of 30 km/h (19 mph) for pedestrian zones

This week is UN Road Safety Week, which highlights road traffic deaths and injuries and focuses on ways to reduce them. This year the week is headlined by the #SlowDown campaign, which is part of a plan to reduce road fatalities by 50 percent before 2020. Its suggestion? Lower speed limits.

The logic behind the Global Road Safety Week #SlowDown campaign is fairly simple: lower limits mean shorter braking distances, resulting in fewer accidents and lesser injuries to those involved when they do occur. According to research quoted by the UN, it takes around 14 meters (46 ft) to perform an emergency stop to from 30 km/h, as opposed to 20 m (66 ft) from 40 km/h (25 mph) and 27 m (89 ft) from 50 km/h (31 mph).

The UN is keen to drop urban speed limits 
The UN is keen to drop urban speed limits 

Lower limits also make a difference if the emergency stop doesn't prevent an accident entirely. As you'd expect, hitting a pedestrian at lower speed could be the difference between a bruise for a few days and a trip to the hospital or morgue.

According to the #SlowDown campaign, speed limits of 30 km/h (19 mph) in pedestrian zones, 50 km/h (31 mph) where there are crossroad intersections on the road, and 70 km/h (43 mph) on undivided continuous roads would reduce the chances of accidents in these areas. The campaign also suggests it should be easier for drivers to see what the speed limit is, through better signage and in-car technology.

Global Road Safety week runs from May 8 until May 14.

Source: UN Road Safety Week

11 comments
exodous
Well, lowering speed limits might be too late depending on self driving cars, how soon they will enter the markets. I can see people complaining when they are everywhere, it doesn't make sense for a self driving car to drive slowly. The problem isn't we are going to fast it is humans aren't smart enough to go over 15.5 km/h, faster than that and the human race's tiny brains aren't quick enough to react.
MD
Lets bring back the man with a red flag. 30 makes sense in European villages (or African goat tracks), in countries with wide roads 30, it's too slow by far. Safer all round. Imaging driving across Australia at 70kph. Undivided continuous roads all across the country, oh and slow to 50 for every crossroad. No wonder everyone wants a flying car.
Cas Tuyn
In the Netherlands they introduced 60 and 80 km/h B-roads which used to be all 80 roads outside cities and not motorway. The result: older and unattentive drivers mistake the 80 roads for 60 roads and cause a queue of cars honking and trying to overtake them. All in all much unsafer. This is just another fake excuse to raise the income of speed cameras.
Brian M
Unfortunately the #slowdown campaign people are very naïve, you could of course set a speed of ten MPH. But people will still die, its those that blatantly ignore the speed limits that are the main cause of speed related death etc. Speed limits must be set reasonably, their limits are just stupid for a well designed road, you have to way acceptable risk against functionality. The real answer is to get drivers to drive at a suitable speed for the conditions - big difference between dry road, wet road, icy road! Roll on the self driving car!
Expanded Viewpoint
Well said Brian M!! 10% of the operators cause 90% of the "accidents" on the roads because they are incapable of obeying the rules of the road!! So get rid of that 10% until they can be trained to obey the rules of the road and you will get rid of 90% of the collisions, deaths, wrecked cars, etc. Of course the insurance companies won't like that because they will have to lower their rates because so few people will be making claims, the police won't like that because their revenue stream will dry up, the auto makers won't like it because fewer autos will need to be sold at high prices to replace the wrecked cars and trucks, the towing companies and wrecking yards won't like it because it will harm their business, the hospitals and doctors won't like it because they will see fewer patients, the funeral homes won't like it because they will lose business. Just about the only ones who will like it are the ones who already are smart enough to obey the rules of the road, and the ones who are NOT killed by idiots set loose, and of course the family and friends of those potentially lost people!!
Bruce H. Anderson
Is Jimmy Carter still available?
JohnHurst
let's keep the UN the hell out of the US. train better drivers rather than restrict those of us who can drive. outlaw the driver distractions: cell phones, etc.
JGTinNJ
What a waste of time, money and effort. Accidents are going to go down dramatically as cars get to communicate with each other, let alone drive themselves. We all saw what the effect was of the 55 mph speed limit in the US. The UN should focus on other matters. It sounds like too many with experience in creating EU regulations have found jobs there.
PaulGraham
Everybody should drive on the Left. It would instantly (well, when everyone learnt to drive on the left), lower road tolls across the board. Study's have shown that driving on the left lowers the risk of many types of accidents for various reasons.
Bob809
20% risk of dying at 50kmh, 60% risk of dying at 80kmh, 0% risk of dying if you look where you are going, are aware of your surroundings and paying attention to them.