Speed Down Save Lives campaign backed in Northamptonshire

20 November 2017
Reducing speed reduces the severity of collisions as well as making the roads safer for all

​Drivers across Northamptonshire are being asked to slow down to help save lives as Road Safety Week 2017 continues.

The Safer Roads Alliance (SRA), a partnership between Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Highways, is backing the Speed Down Save Lives campaign, which is run by road safety charity Brake.

As part of the campaign, which aims to spread awareness of the dangers of driving too fast, the SRA is holding events in schools, and with residents’ associations, Rainbows groups and local councils.

Kamila Poole of the SRA said: “The theme of Speed Down Save Lives aims to raise awareness about the importance of drivers keeping their speed down to protect all road users. Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars – it’s a driver’s speed that will determine whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit them.

“We work hard to keep all road users safer in Northamptonshire and are proud to be promoting the Speed Down Save Lives message within our communities.”

Why reducing speed matters

Every day, five people are killed and more than 66 people are seriously injured on UK roads. Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions contributed to 349 fatal crashes and 11,570 crashes in total on roads in Britain last year, and drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none.

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager for Brake, said: “We’re delighted Northamptonshire’s Safer Roads Alliance is getting involved with Road Safety Week and strengthening Brake’s campaign for safer roads.

“Newer vehicles are more powerful than ever before and reach high speeds quickly. Driving fast is glamorised and often encouraged by programmes and adverts that worship the cult of the car. We all live busy lives and there is a temptation to speed up in the hope of saving time, where in fact we could be costing lives. That is why we are encouraging everyone to raise awareness about the important message of Speed Down Save Lives for Road Safety Week 2017.”

Speed Down Save Lives facts

  • Speed and stopping distances don’t increase at the same rate. Small increases in speed result in bigger increases in stopping distances. At 20mph it will take an alert driver at least 12 metres (three car lengths) to stop. At 30mph, it takes 23m (5.75 car lengths), and at 40mph it takes 36m (9 car lengths).
  • A vehicle travelling at 20mph would stop in time to avoid a child running out three car lengths in front. At 25mph the vehicle would not be able to stop in time, and would hit the child at 18mph, with roughly the same impact as a fall from a first floor window.
  • A pedestrian hit at 30mph has a one in five chance of being killed. This rises significantly to a one in three chance if they are hit at 35mph.
  • A Brake and Direct Line survey found that four in 10 drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30mph in a 20mph zone. More than 26 per cent of drivers surveyed admitted to regularly speeding in areas designed to keep children and other road users safe.
  • One in five patients admitted to trauma centres last year were involved in road crashes – the second largest cause of admissions, according to figures obtained by Brake.
  • Speeding was a factor in almost a quarter (22%) of fatal crashes on roads in Britain last year, according to Government statistics.

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