For over two decades, speeding has been involved in around one-third of all accident fatalities on the road in the U.S., though global statistics indicate that speeding is indeed a major cause of vehicle fatalities and personal injury.
As a result, the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week has called for policymakers across the globe to impose low speeds (a maximum of 30km/hr) in all areas in which people live, play and walk. It is called the #Love30 campaign, and it calls for an imposed speed to be established in all cities, towns and villages.
As highlighted by the Lopez Law Group, speeding affects the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians, even when vehicles are within the speed limit but going too fast for road conditions (for instance, during rainy or snowy weather).
Speeding has a wide range of consequences – including increased stopping distance once the driver brakes, increased fuel consumption (and contribution to global warming), a higher risk of losing control of one’s vehicle, reduced effectiveness of protective equipment within the car, and a likelihood of more severe crashes that cause more serious injuries or death.
30km/hr is a slow yet reasonable speed, says the UN, which protects cyclists, pedestrians, children, and other individuals who may be on the road at a given time.
Streets For Life
By establishing a low speed in all liveable areas, the UN is also seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles. Streets with low speed limits are more amenable to pedestrians and cyclists, many of whom can feel a greater motivation to use these methods to get to work, school, or leisure centers.
Fuel consumption and emissions rise exponentially from about 80km/h, primarily owing to wind resistance.
Additional ways to decrease emissions are also indirectly related to speed. For instance, a driver is much more likely to property anticipate a corner and to avoid sudden braking if they are already traveling at a slow speed.
A study by M Fergusson concluded that approximately “3.1% of car CO2 emissions (0.6 Mt C) could be saved if current speed limits were enforced, or 7% (1.4 Mt C) if a maximum limit of 50 mph were imposed.”
The United Nations Global Road Safety Week is putting pressure on countries across the globe to impose a speed limit of 30km/hour in all liveable areas in cities, towns and villages.
The aim is to reduce the number of personal injuries and fatalities, many of which are caused by speeding. The UN also helps to lower carbon footprints on the road by creating safer spaces that pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to consider using on a regular basis.