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Frank Hovis

20mph zones - councils killing people with ideology

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Specifically Bath Council who "can't afford" to spend the £0.8m it spent on installing 20mph zones back to 30mph.

This is despite clear evidence that more people have been killed by car accidents in these zones since they were introduced as compared to the time when they were at 30mph.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5189101/Streets-people-died-20mph-limit-came-in.html

Amazing.  This is like a more lethal version of the mantra that low fat diets are good for you (when they're not). Everyone has been so swamped by the "speed kills" mantra that they accept it despite, in this case, clear evidence to the contrary.  It is, of course, inappropriate speed that kills.

The real reason for not spending the £0.8m to revert them to 30mph is, at root, that they don't want to because they still believe they are safer because that's what they have been told. Presumably by some highly paid consultant.

 

I don't like them because my car is geared to go 30mph but 20mph falls between the gears and I have to pay more attention to the speedo and less to the road; which is a partial explanation for their increased danger. The other being that they make pedestrians feel artificially safe and hence more careless.

 

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5 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Specifically Bath Council who "can't afford" to spend the £0.8m it spent on installing 20mph zones back to 30mph.

This is despite clear evidence that more people have been killed by car accidents in these zones since they were introduced as compared to the time when they were at 30mph.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5189101/Streets-people-died-20mph-limit-came-in.html

Amazing.  This is like a more lethal version of the mantra that low fat diets are good for you (when they're not). Everyone has been so swamped by the "speed kills" mantra that they accept it despite, in this case, clear evidence to the contrary.  It is, of course, inappropriate speed that kills.

The real reason for not spending the £0.8m to revert them to 30mph is, at root, that they don't want to because they still believe they are safer because that's what they have been told. Presumably by some highly paid consultant.

 

I don't like them because my car is geared to go 30mph but 20mph falls between the gears and I have to pay more attention to the speedo and less to the road; which is a partial explanation for their increased danger. The other being that they make pedestrians feel artificially safe and hence more careless.

 

 

Just looking at the face of the person in the "A little bit slower, A whole lot better" video, tells me all I need to know, without listening to a word.

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send out two workmen with spanners and they could deconvert the zones for the £200 it cost them for the two men for a day.  Tell Police to stop enforcing.

Job done.

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Im a big fan on 20mph in residential areas.

The simple, tragic fac about the UK is that, despite having relatively low death of car drivers, the number of OAPs and kids killed by cars is way too high.

 

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20mph is entirely appropriate in some circumstances - e.g. I used to live in a narrow one-way street where an artic lorry would have got stuck and some houses had doors straight on the street (no pavement). I signed a petition to convert it to 20mph, as doing more than 20 was stupid and dangerous.

But it depends on circumstances; I've seen 20mph zones that are large streets with grassed areas either side - the speed restriction was in that case totally pointless.

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2 hours ago, spygirl said:

Im a big fan on 20mph in residential areas.

The simple, tragic fac about the UK is that, despite having relatively low death of car drivers, the number of OAPs and kids killed by cars is way too high.

 

People get run over because of several reasons

- inappropriate speed

- poor judgement

- unclear roads where you have no chance of finding a  bit of pavement where a car will see you in advance of you stepping out from behind something

- kids not learning the rules because they're driven everywhere.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/648082/rrcgb2016-02.pdf

4% of deaths are kids
 

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5 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

People get run over because of several reasons

- inappropriate speed

- poor judgement

- unclear roads where you have no chance of finding a  bit of pavement where a car will see you in advance of you stepping out from behind something

- kids not learning the rules because they're driven everywhere.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/648082/rrcgb2016-02.pdf

4% of deaths are kids
 

People do stupid things.

Kids do stupider things. Thats why they are called kids.

Having slower speeds in residential areas esp. around schools, which have a higher number of kids doing stupid things, would be a good thing.

 

 

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2 hours ago, DeepLurker said:

20mph is entirely appropriate in some circumstances - e.g. I used to live in a narrow one-way street where an artic lorry would have got stuck and some houses had doors straight on the street (no pavement). I signed a petition to convert it to 20mph, as doing more than 20 was stupid and dangerous.

But it depends on circumstances; I've seen 20mph zones that are large streets with grassed areas either side - the speed restriction was in that case totally pointless.

You are making the assumption that people driving cars are somehow sensible, or even can read the UK highway code.

A couple f acive threads on this site show that is not the case.

Besides, you really save fuck all time drving at 20mph v. 30mph.

Average car jounrey is, what, ~7 miles. Youll only save a couple of minutes.

 

2 minutes ago, onlyme said:

Huge changes the last 10 years, increased traffic and increased dense population density.  Maybe the wrong stats are being correlated here.

See Audi driving Asians thread ...

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15 minutes ago, spygirl said:

People do stupid things.

Kids do stupider things. Thats why they are called kids.

Having slower speeds in residential areas esp. around schools, which have a higher number of kids doing stupid things, would be a good thing.

 

 

I would like to see maps and details of accident before saying it's just cos they're kids.

If kids get injured playing football in the street, then they need to play football away from the roads.
If they get run over because they have no lights on their bikes (or themselves) in the dark then that needs sorting out.
If they get run over because there's no wriggle room on the packed roads once everyone's parked up at night...  


Yes there is a responsibility for people to drive to suit road conditions and that is something you need to get through to everyone. At midnight there's no need to crawl past a primary school though. A pub, yes perhaps, but not a school.



 

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3 hours ago, spygirl said:

Im a big fan on 20mph in residential areas.

The simple, tragic fac about the UK is that, despite having relatively low death of car drivers, the number of OAPs and kids killed by cars is way too high.

 

Broadly, I agree.

I don't accept the 'spending the time staring at the speedo' argument at all.  You might glimpse every now and then, but if you're fixated on it you're a moron that shouldn't be behind a wheel.

I do, however, have two problems with 20mph:

  • No-one observes them.  The vast, vast majority of people drive along at just under 30mph.  If you do drive at 20mph it feels unbelievably slow.  I do drive at no more than 20mph in our local zones (if the local press found out I'd been speeding, sort of thing) and it is easy to keep to, but you get a massive pile of people behind who've been going 50% faster.  I don't really blame them, either (and end up feeling guilty), because 1/2 of them probably don't even know that it is a 20mph zone.  I'd suggest that the speeding is the reason for the deaths/injuries going up, not the limit itself.
  • And, more worryingly, it helps normalise speeding.  People know that you just push the envelope a little, and that 25 is definitely okay (like, slower than that is actually going backwards) and then you add the speedo inaccuracy 'allowance', and that no-one cares or is observing anyway, and that you really don't want people to think you're 95 and just about to lose your license.  So you do 'about 30'.  Which is okay, because in a 30 you'd do 37, so the 20 is doing its job and 'slowing people down somewhat'.  But the fact remains that you've applied an internal logic to justify exceeding limits that other people (who have to worry about more things than how much time you waste behind the wheel) have worked out are appropriate.  So the '27 is okay in a 20' leads to '40 is okay in a 30' etc.

The other thing that has normalised speeding is the motorway speed restrictions on the matrix signs.  They say 40, then everyone learns that there is nothing to justify the 40, so everyone learns to ignore it.  But if you're ignoring that 40 because you've decided it isn't necessary you've learnt to 'ignore speed limits if you think it is justified'.

Finally, I worry about our internalised justification and the asymmetric risks in speed limits.  On a motorway driving at 90 vs 70 might double your risk of death if something goes wrong (or whatever), but it is largely (but not solely) your own risk.  So, for example, while I worry about motorbikes speeding like loons, it is largely because I care about the lives of young fools, not because they're a particular hazard to me.  But in a 20-30 zone, all of the risk is with 'other road users' -- the driver holds absolutely no risk whatsoever -- and because there is no risk to the driver they'll speed.  Worse, built up areas tend to have good lighting, pavements etc, so actually the risk of accident (for the driver) decreases, perversely increasing the internalised-risk justification for speeding.   

IMO there should be a massive focus of resources in stopping speeding in 30 mph zones (where the risk is borne by non-car drivers) compared with 60 (where the risk is held by the car-drivers themselves).

Anyway, I think everyone here should at least try driving at absolutely no more than 30 or 20 in the respective zones next time they're 'not in a hurry'.   And no cheating with a 'the speedo isn't accurate' -- don't exceed 20/30 on the speedo.  Just give it a go -- I think it can be educational to drive at the speed that you've agreed to not exceed in accepting a right to drive in the UK.

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44 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

Yes there is a responsibility for people to drive to suit road conditions and that is something you need to get through to everyone. At midnight there's no need to crawl past a primary school though. A pub, yes perhaps, but not a school.

No. 

You're justifying your own non-observance of the rules you've agreed to abide by (by accepting a driving license).  You don't know why the rules are there.  Perhaps it helps with the noise environment in that area when people are trying to sleep.  Perhaps there is a college down the road and drunk youngsters will be on their way home.  Perhaps there are lots of hidden entrances.  You just don't know.  And it doesn't matter anyway -- that is the deal you've accepted.

That argument then becomes 38 is okay there because the road is straight.  Or because they're overenthusiastic with speed limits around here.  Or because the councillor lives up there and he pushed it through. Or because they knew people wouldn't do 30 but that was the only way to get them to do no more than 40.   But it isn't (shouldn't be) your decision to make.  All you have to do is observe the rules you agreed to abide by.

The argument I hear all the time is that 40 in a 30 is okay because the driver does a risk assessment -- 'If there is a risk I'll slow down'.  Yet, when I see kids walking back from school the cars don't slow down.  When I'm walking the dog they don't slow down.  Not unless the risk is so 'in your face' that they've got no choice, anyway (like the kids actually spilling out onto the road).  And I'm sure there a gazilion more examples.  People just have normalised speeding.

You're just exceeding the limit because it suits you.  You pretend you've done a 'risk assessment' but it is actually just an internalised justification for doing whatever it is that you want to do.

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5 minutes ago, dgul said:

No. 

You're justifying your own non-observance of the rules you've agreed to abide by (by accepting a driving license).  You don't know why the rules are there.  Perhaps it helps with the noise environment in that area when people are trying to sleep.  Perhaps there is a college down the road and drunk youngsters will be on their way home.  Perhaps there are lots of hidden entrances.  You just don't know.  And it doesn't matter anyway -- that is the deal you've accepted.

That argument then becomes 38 is okay there because the road is straight.  Or because they're overenthusiastic with speed limits around here.  Or because the councillor lives up there and he pushed it through. Or because they knew people wouldn't do 30 but that was the only way to get them to do no more than 40.   But it isn't (shouldn't be) your decision to make.  All you have to do is observe the rules you agreed to abide by.

The argument I hear all the time is that 40 in a 30 is okay because the driver does a risk assessment -- 'If there is a risk I'll slow down'.  Yet, when I see kids walking back from school the cars don't slow down.  When I'm walking the dog they don't slow down.  Not unless the risk is so 'in your face' that they've got no choice, anyway (like the kids actually spilling out onto the road).  And I'm sure there a gazilion more examples.  People just have normalised speeding.

You're just exceeding the limit because it suits you.  You pretend you've done a 'risk assessment' but it is actually just an internalised justification for doing whatever it is that you want to do.

Less drivers risk assessment., more simple physics/trauma.

The chances of kid surviving being hit by a car travelling under 25mph is high. Thats changes when the car is going 30mph+

Survival changes esp for kids under 5ft are pretty low if hey are hit by a 4x4 rather than a car, which are designed to allow the driver to see lower things and to flip a pedestrian over the bonnet rather than push a bull out of the way.

Maybe 4x4 need to be classified and forced to stick to 10 mph in urban areas?

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7 minutes ago, dgul said:

No. 

You're justifying your own non-observance of the rules you've agreed to abide by (by accepting a driving license).  You don't know why the rules are there. 

I don't speed. I'm perfectly happy going at 20mph but the other arseholes on the road really seem to object to people sticking to the limit.

The one I'm thinking about specifically (and it might be the only one) is here https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.534142,-2.2216072,3a,60y,264.57h,97.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-vzjI_uG3A5r_HAPjGujOw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
 

I assume this road is a boy racer location because of where it is, going down the hill people speed like mad and get tickets for it. 
But at midnight there'd be no reason IMO for there to be a 20 mph limit when 30 would be perfectly safe.
 

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Quote

A report has blamed the increase on pedestrians being 'less diligent' when crossing the roads because they think they are less dangerous 

I'd agree with this. Every other road here is 20 mph. Just this morning a jogger ran into the road in front of me as I crawled along in my car, he obviously didn't want to stop his jog,. He then got all upset as I nearly ran him down as his mistimed it. If I was doing 30 there's no way he'd of given it a go.

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28 minutes ago, dgul said:

No. 

You're justifying your own non-observance of the rules you've agreed to abide by (by accepting a driving license).  You don't know why the rules are there.  Perhaps it helps with the noise environment in that area when people are trying to sleep.  Perhaps there is a college down the road and drunk youngsters will be on their way home.  Perhaps there are lots of hidden entrances.  You just don't know.  And it doesn't matter anyway -- that is the deal you've accepted.

That argument then becomes 38 is okay there because the road is straight.  Or because they're overenthusiastic with speed limits around here.  Or because the councillor lives up there and he pushed it through. Or because they knew people wouldn't do 30 but that was the only way to get them to do no more than 40.   But it isn't (shouldn't be) your decision to make.  All you have to do is observe the rules you agreed to abide by.

The argument I hear all the time is that 40 in a 30 is okay because the driver does a risk assessment -- 'If there is a risk I'll slow down'.  Yet, when I see kids walking back from school the cars don't slow down.  When I'm walking the dog they don't slow down.  Not unless the risk is so 'in your face' that they've got no choice, anyway (like the kids actually spilling out onto the road).  And I'm sure there a gazilion more examples.  People just have normalised speeding.

You're just exceeding the limit because it suits you.  You pretend you've done a 'risk assessment' but it is actually just an internalised justification for doing whatever it is that you want to do.

This has a slightly sanctimonious air about it which will probably annoy pro-driver types but is in fact accurate IMO. Behind the wheel of a car we all seem to have a tendency to permit our natural self-interest to dominate totally. I've done it sometimes, some people do it every time they step into a car.

I grew up in a small town where the main road was particularly dangerous and busy, before antilock brakes, and the location of the school meant that 90% of pupils had to negotiate that road plus others.  Every year at least one kid was killed from my school, often more. Once it was a close friend, I well remember the feeling of bewilderment that I'd never see her again. So I'm with you, and spy.

One thing that might need to be looked at is hybrid cars in 20mph zones, they are almost silent. 

Also a little bit of tech to help the drivers would be good too - I can set my car to emit a little "beep" every time I pass certain speeds, so no staring at speedometers for me...

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I haven't checked this lately but when I had my last speeding offence in ~2010, I remember reading that there had never been a "unsafe driving" conviction in the UK courts in a 20mph zone as they existed in some grey legal area. No idea if that's still true or not, I'll head over to PEPIPOO and see.

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28 minutes ago, swissy_fit said:

Also a little bit of tech to help the drivers would be good too - I can set my car to emit a little "beep" every time I pass certain speeds, so no staring at speedometers for me...

I used to have a 'behind the front grill' speed camera spotter - which I think are now illegal - which beeped at me whenever it sensed a camera.

However, the best thing about it was it sensed EVERY camera - like the little ones on pedestrian crossings etc. So whenever it went off like a little geiger counter I knew that I was approaching a hazard. Was really rather handy.

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1 hour ago, dgul said:

Anyway, I think everyone here should at least try driving at absolutely no more than 30 or 20 in the respective zones next time they're 'not in a hurry'.   And no cheating with a 'the speedo isn't accurate' -- don't exceed 20/30 on the speedo.  Just give it a go -- I think it can be educational to drive at the speed that you've agreed to not exceed in accepting a right to drive in the UK.

I'm no freak of nature by any means, but I do like to sit rather upright when driving. As a consequence I can't remember the last car I owned where at least part of the speedometer wasn't obscured by the steering wheel.

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1 hour ago, gibbon said:

I'd agree with this. Every other road here is 20 mph. Just this morning a jogger ran into the road in front of me as I crawled along in my car, he obviously didn't want to stop his jog,. He then got all upset as I nearly ran him down as his mistimed it. If I was doing 30 there's no way he'd of given it a go.

Just back from physio. Arse pulled out in front of us from side road and carried on going. He clearly hadn't bothered looking our way.  That was less than 200m away from home. The fog has caused lots of drivers to drive very badly today. Some with no lights at all on. 

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3 hours ago, swissy_fit said:

I grew up in a small town where the main road was particularly dangerous and busy, before antilock brakes, and the location of the school meant that 90% of pupils had to negotiate that road plus others.  Every year at least one kid was killed from my school, often more. Once it was a close friend, I well remember the feeling of bewilderment that I'd never see her again. So I'm with you, and spy.

No one could argue against having 20 mph zones around schools, hospitals and so on. The problem is, in places like Bristol and Bath, they have blanketed both cities in them because they've had anti-car mayors/councils who wanted to punish "dirty" motorists and appeal to their core cycle mafia voters.

Edited by gibbon

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33 minutes ago, gibbon said:

No one could argue against having 20 mph zones around schools, hospitals and so on. The problem is, in places like Bristol and Bath, they have blanketed both cities in them because they've had anti-car mayors/councils who wanted to punishing "dirty" motorists and appeal to their core cycle mafia voters.

That’s the issue here in London, specifically Southwark. It’s a blanket 20 everywhere. So rather than seeing a 20mph and sign and being more cautious there is a tendency to completely ignore the impact. 

If you are not local then you won’t know where the higher risk areas are. A 20mph sign used to have a dual purpose, set a new limit, but also more importantly signify a higher risk area. 

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1 hour ago, sarahbell said:

Just back from physio. Arse pulled out in front of us from side road and carried on going. He clearly hadn't bothered looking our way.  That was less than 200m away from home. The fog has caused lots of drivers to drive very badly today. Some with no lights at all on. 

There seems to be a thing now for approaching junctions at great speed, quickly checking left, then pulling out, then checking right. I don't quite understand it myself.

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52 minutes ago, gibbon said:

No one could argue against having 20 mph zones around schools, hospitals and so on. The problem is, in places like Bristol and Bath, they have blanketed both cities in them because they've had anti-car mayors/councils who wanted to punishing "dirty" motorists and appeal to their core cycle mafia voters.

Well .... to be honest both Bristol and (esp.) Bath are not designed for cars.

 

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