COMMUNITY SPEED WATCH
"Crash rates rise despite 20mph limit"
This was the headline of an article in the Wiltshire Times dated July 18, 2014. It was seized on by those against the 20mph limit and copies of the article were posted in the shop and thrust into the hands of Community Speedwatch volunteers. It sounded daft and counter-intuitive. It was! Read the truth below:
'Lies, damn lies and statistics'
July saw the publishing of an analysis of the Department for Transport's (DfT) casualty figures by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). The IAM claim in their press release that 20 mph roads are not delivering casualty reductions, as the number of casualties on 20mph roads has increased. However, what they have failed to take account of is, deliberately we presume, that the number and hence length of 20 mph roads in the UK has significantly increased and that of 30mph roads decreased. So it doesn't take a mathematical genius to conclude that the number of casualties on 20mph roads will increase as there are many more miles of 20 mph roads now! The DfT don't provide any statistics on the total lengths of 20mph vs. 30 mph roads now or previous to 2013 which makes it impossible to make direct conclusions.
One statistic that it is possible to validly conclude though is that on 20mph roads the risk of death from casualties is 2.5 times less compared to 30 mph roads. In 2013 there were 6 deaths from 3,164 casualties (0.2%). On 30 mph roads there were 538 deaths from 111,186 casualties (0.5%). Another clear fact that shows 20mph roads are safer than roads where cars travel at higher speeds. It is just common sense!
Rod King MBE founder and campaign director of 20s Plenty commented: 'We are amazed and disappointed that the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) should make such a woeful mistake in their conclusions from the DfT statistics. In fact, wherever 20mph limits have been piloted, on looking at the casualties in detail, councils have concluded that there was a positive effect on road safety and subsequently widened the implementation across most areas. Now 20% of the UK population live in towns, cities or villages where the Traffic Authority is convinced that 20 is plenty for most streets. The IAM conclusion is bogus and reflects a poor understanding of either the changing numbers and success of 20mph limits or basic statistics'.
The original article was written by Tamsin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and published in The Gudgeon in August and is reproduced by permission from Jackie (email@example.com).
Other News The 20 mph zone was set up after the democratic decision of residents of the village. The Community Speed Watch (CSW) team helps to enforce the speed limit with the active support of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon and the Wiltshire Constabulary. CSW schemes are popular. 114 such schemes have already been set up across the county since the initiative was launched just one year ago.
The CSW scheme in Westwood started in February. Since then there have been six completed periods of monitoring. A total of 14,842 vehicles have been counted of which 1,452, or 9.8%, were speeding at 25 mph or more (with a small minority travelling at what the police class as excessive speed - the fastest recorded being 49 mph exiting the village at the turning to The Pastures). The clear conclusion is that the overwhelming majority of drivers drive within the limit. The result is safer roads for all.
Parish Councillor Alan WhealsArticle published: 01 Oct 2014