Nationally, speed is a significant factor in about one third of road accidents in the United Kingdom. Speeding vehicles can adversely affect the quality of life of many communities both urban and rural.
Comprehensive information on the speed limits you would expect to come across on different category of road is given in chart form in The Highway Code.
The Council follows Government advice when considering speed limits. This guidance has been provided to ensure consistency, understanding, acceptance and compliance of speed limits nationally.
The following principles are relevant to the issue of speeding as a whole and need to be borne in mind when considering the imposition of speed limits.
- For limits to be respected they not only need to be appropriate for the road, but also to be understood
- Inappropriate limits are often ignored and make drivers less willing to comply with the system generally
- Various national surveys indicate that existing speed limits are not consistently applied
- Similar roads are given different limits, which encourages disrespect for speed limits and the law and is cited as a justification for speeding
- Consistency is extremely important – If public perception is that speed limits are wrong or set at the whim of the local authority this will make it particularly difficult to change attitudes to speeding through education and publicity
- Enforcement and penalties subsequently appear unduly harsh
- Many collisions are the result of either overtaking or of driving too fast to negotiate a hazard like a bend or junction. The victims are mainly drivers and passengers.
- The research indicates that better control of vehicle speeds at hazards such as bends and junctions would be a more effective way of reducing casualties on rural main roads than a reduction in the national speed limit.
The problem of speeding is endemic and the demand for measures to combat it continues to rise. The Government is currently reviewing its policies and guidance on the setting of speed limits and proposes to develop a more responsive assessment framework and issue new procedures in the spring 2005.
30 mph Speed Limit Signing
In urban areas the 30mph speed limit is a restricted road speed limit, meaning that it is 30mph by virtue of the presence of street lighting. Existing regulations specifically prohibits the use of repeater signs on restricted roads, unless there is in place a traffic regulation order that provides a higher speed limit, such as 40mph, which would revoke the restricted status. This applies nationally and means that only the terminal speed limit signs on entry to a restricted road speed limit can be erected. Because the vast majority of roads are restricted roads, the provision of repeater signs would be prohibitive both in terms of cost and environmental intrusion. Furthermore, all drivers will be aware, through the Highway Code, that roads in built up areas with street lighting are 30mph unless signs indicate otherwise.
How do I get a speed limit changed?
If you think that a speed limit change needs to be considered, please contact us using the details above. Your request will then be assessed. As part of the assessment process, the views of the police will be sought along with a detailed assessment of the characteristics of the road, such as its alignment, the level of activity alongside the road, the accident record and the degree of severance caused to a community by the speed of vehicles.
Speed limits should fit into a rational and easily understood hierarchy if they are to be respected by drivers. Before deciding to change an existing speed limit the Council must consider all the relevant factors such as:
- Expected accident savings.
- Likely improvement to the environment.
- Likely improvement in amenities.
- Likelihood of limit being respected by motorists.
- Costs of implementation.
- Enforcement implications for Police
If it is considered that a change in the speed limit is warranted then a new Speed limit Order has to be made. This involves a statutory legal process that can take up to seven months to complete.
If you wish to report a vandalised/missing speed limit sign, please contact us using the link bellow
- On average, 10 people die and 100 people are seriously injured on Great Britain’s roads each day.
- Two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 30mph or less
- At 35mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30mph.
- Hit by a car at 40mph, 9 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed
- Hit by a car at 30mph, around 50 per cent of pedestrians will survive
- Hit by a car at 20mph, only 1 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed
Accident risk rises the faster a vehicle travels. At 25 per cent above the average speed, a driver is about six times more likely to have an accident than a driver travelling at the average speed.
At 30mph, vehicles travel 44 feet (about three car lengths) every second. Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30mph and 35mph is an extra 21 feet – more than two car lengths.
Speed cameras are used as an accident remedial measure at locations with a history of injury accidents and are automatic cameras that record speed contraventions in excess of a pre-determined speed threshold.
The council is currently a partner in the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership within the Thames Valley region along with the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Magistrates Court and all other local authorities in the region. The Partnership manages the hypothecation of speeding fines so that a proportion of the revenue raised from fixed penalty speeding fines from central Government Treasury can be paid to those involved in prosecution, enforcement and road casualty reduction to help with improved speed enforcement and publicity.
The decision to install speed cameras is not at the discretion of the Council and is governed by the Department for Transport’s National Safety Camera Programme.
The programme sets out strict criteria on the selection of new speed camera sites. It is now necessary to provide firm evidence that cameras will be located in areas where there is a history of injury accidents, particularly speed-related, and results from speed surveys show a speeding problem. The majority of injury accident sites in the Borough are unable to meet any of the key criteria for the selection of new sites and cannot, therefore, be considered for speed cameras.