How do Lower Speed Limits Save Lives?


Dangerous by Design 2014 (48 page pdf, Smart Growth America – National Complete Streets Coalition, May 20, 2014)

Also discussed here: Paris to limit speeds to 30 km/hr over entire city (World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities, May 21, 2014)
And here: Oops! What went wrong with “Old Mobility” (World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities, Jun. 6, 2010)
Today we review a report from a non-governmental organization which aims to make streets safer for everyone, but particularly children and seniors. Children cannot see cars coming when travelling at more than 20 mph and, because they are small, drivers cannot see them either, making this segment of our population vulnerable. Seniors and those who have difficulty walking quickly are killed by cars at almost twice the rate as their part of the population (21% vs 12.6 %). Speed kills and many arterial roads encourage speeding – the risk of death of hit by a car moving at more than 50 mph is 75% while that drops to 6% at 20 mph.

Streets can be designed to protect pedestrians– by removing lanes, by giving pedestrians clearly marked areas to cross, by enforcing reduced speed limits. The Mayor of Paris, France proposes to forbid driving above 30 kph (about 20 mph) on all city streets, with a few exceptions, which tells you two things: first, their society is aging faster than in US/Canada and, second, the city fathers (or in this case mother) put a greater priority on pedestrian safety then on motorized mobility (the French call that “the old mobility”).

france-zone-de-rencontre-street

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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