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"It's time to pay more attention to speeding"

26 May 2022

Following new revelations on speed as the chief contributing factor in annual deaths, TRL is calling for better speed control, due to speed’s centrality in the management of risk on all types of roads. This coincides with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) adoption of a more accurate reporting system that will identify speed as “a contributing cause of half of Britain’s 1,500 annual road deaths” according to a recent article in the London Sunday Times.

As far back as 2000, TRL’s research showed that “the risk of fatality or serious injury goes up even with modest increases in speed.” In his article “ Speed: an essential part of the safe system approach”, TRL’s Chief Scientist, Dr Shaun Helman, emphasised that, “It is not just the ‘very reckless few’ drivers who increase collisions and injuries for everyone, and put cyclists and pedestrians off being active, but also the ‘slightly reckless many’ who may be driving ‘only slightly' faster than the speed limit, or than conditions warrant.”

Furthermore, in all injury collisions, the police record contributory factors including whether there is, in their opinion, the likelihood of excessive speed. This means that speed as a causal factor is significantly underestimated and therefore it can mean that measures to prevent speed-related collisions can lack evidence to justify their effectiveness.