Saturday, 30 March 2013

What’s The Point? Rebutting the Argus on 20mph.

P3290632 res The front page story for Brighton’s Argus newspaper (seen here, with authentic crumples) on Saturday 23rd March was “What’s The Point?,” referring to speed cameras not picking up drivers going over 20mph. So I donned my Living Streets hat and wrote a reply, which the Argus printed. You can read it here, or if you prefer not to click, here it is,

“I think it would have been great if the Argus had asked some questions along the following lines:
  • What’s the point of a policy which addresses the fact that pedestrians have a 90% chance of surviving a car crash at 30 km/h or below, but less than a 50% chance of surviving an impact of 45 km/h or above?
  • What’s the point of the UK having speed limits in residential and urban roads which are 60% higher than our neighbours in Northern Europe - where rates of walking and cycling are much higher, and casualty rates are much lower than in the UK?
  • What’s the point of a policy to change perception of road danger, which currently discourages walking and cycling - two of the most important kinds of physical activity?
  • What’s the point of a policy that should help cut the £15 billion which road crashes cost the UK each year?
  • What’s the point of a policy that, according to the World Health Organisation, will reduce average traffic speeds and have positive effects on health outcomes (e.g. by reducing respiratory problems associated with car emissions)?
  • What’s the point of a policy which polls show are supported by the majority of residents?
And lastly, what’s the point of assuming that all motorists are law breakers, who don’t think that any of the above points are more important than their continuing ability to drive at 30mph?”

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