How problems associated with speed should
45. The evidence is that reducing speeds would bring
large benefits. No one disputed that many drivers travel at inappropriate
speeds in both urban and rural areas. The differences between
our witnesses were about the extent to which speeds should be
reduced, where they should be reduced and how. The bulk of the
evidence indicated that we need to drive more slowly and reduce
illegal and inappropriate speed on almost every type of road and
in almost every location.
46. There are three main approaches to reducing speed
which are conventionally described as enforcement, engineering
and education. Some
measures can be implemented quickly; other changes will take many
years. The approaches consist of the following:
- more effective enforcement, which can be introduced
- better engineered roads, linked to changes to speed
limits and re-classified roads, which could be widely introduced
throughout the country during the period of the Ten Year Plan
- changes to car engineering and design, including
in the long run the use of new technology, notably, Intelligent
Speed Adaptation; and
- education, including changes to cultural attitudes
to speed, which may take many years, as has the change in attitudes
to drinking and driving.
47. Government can influence each of the approaches.
Professor Allsop argued that "existing information is more
than sufficient to underpin the initiation of policies for speed
management on roads of various kinds".
The TRL concluded that the substantial body of knowledge on the
effects of speed and facts influencing it "place Government
in a strong position to drive the change required. We believe
that this is now a pressing need".
Many agreed. Through a series of pilot projects Government has
found out what types of education, enforcement and engineering
measures reduce speed and casualties. We now look at what should
79 All witnesses agreed that all elements were necessary
to reduce speed, but the ABD and RAC argued for a different balance.
The RAC believed that there should be a move away from enforcement
to speed management with more emphasis on education and engineering,
including the inclusion of responsible road use in the senior
school curriculum (RTS 6).
The RAC called for "roads that
are self-explaining where speed limits are sufficiently self-evident
as to require minimal enforcement" (RTS 6). Back
RTS 36. Back
RTS 27. Back