Letter: Speeding drivers

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your editorial fails to appreciate the key role lower speeds could play in both cutting casualties on the roads and improving the quality of life for very many people. It also underestimates the support there would be for lower limits.

Excessive speed, which kills more people than drink-driving, is the cause of at least one-third of all fatal collisions. There would be particular benefits in reducing limits on roads where vehicles share space with other road users: virtually all roads in built-up areas and unclassified country roads.

The figures are quite clear: pedestrians and cyclists knocked down by a vehicle going at 30mph are likely to be killed; at 20mph, there is a 95-per-cent chance of survival. This danger posed by inappropriately high speeds is the reason that communities in both urban and rural areas are consistently calling for traffic to be tamed. As motorists, speed restrictions irritate them. But, as community residents, they understand the need for them.

For this reason, it is highly unlikely that there will be any widespread and lasting opposition to lower limits.

JOHN STEWART

Transport Adviser, RoadPeace

London SW9

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