• Four people a minute were caught speeding last year
  • Nearly two million fixed penalty notices were issued for speeding offences in England and Wales 
  • Over 50% of cars exceed the speed limit on 30mph roads and more than 80% of cars on 20mph roads

It’s likely that most of us have found ourselves driving faster than the speed limit at some time, and it’s important to remember that we’re breaking the law when we do. But aside from committing an offence, we’re also endangering lives. Breaking the speed limit, or travelling too fast for the road conditions contributed to nearly one in four fatal accidents on our roads in 2015. 

That’s one of the reasons why Brake, the road safety charity, is highlighting the need for motorists to reduce their speed during Road Safety Week this year. 

Speed down save lives

Running from 20-26 November, Road Safety Week is a chance for individuals, schools, employers and road safety professionals, to promote road safety and live-saving messages to the wider community. 

This year’s theme is ‘Speed down save lives’ and it aims to raise awareness about the importance of drivers keeping their speed down to protect all road users.

Avril Child, whose daughter Sarah was killed by a speeding driver, talks movingly about the impact her death had on their family. She’s encouraging people to get in involved in this year’s campaign and take the Brake Pledge.

Why take part?

The key message from ‘Speed down save lives’ is that speeding causes numerous unnecessary deaths and serious injuries on our roads every year. But they also want to highlight other road safety concerns as well, including:

  • Rural roads are not race tracks
  • 20mph is the only safe speed in heavily built-up areas used by pedestrians and cyclists
  • Going slower means stopping in time
  • Speeding stops communities being enjoyable places for children and families to walk, talk and play
  • Speed cameras save lives
  • Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) is an important development for the future

How can you take part?

The best way to get involved is to go to the Road Safety Week website and register for an action pack

When you register you get access to a members’ area that provides loads of information about how reducing speeding on our roads can benefit our communities and how to raise awareness about the issue. The website provides free posters, an interactive quiz, an online stopping distance calculator, videos and toolkits to help you promote the message of safe driving. 

Speaking about the campaign, Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: 

“Road Safety Week is an opportunity to bring together individuals, businesses and community organisations to focus, this year, on the deadly menace of speed. We’ve designed this year’s theme to raise awareness of the growing concern of speed on our roads, whether major routes, urban areas, or rural roads.”

Choose how you want to get involved

Using Road Safety Week, Brake want to spread the word that there are many things that can be done to improve road safety in your local area. 

From raising awareness with local community groups, schools, businesses and friends using posters, social media campaigns, events and newsletters to campaigning for lower speed limits in your local streets, everyone can get involved. 

Brake backs the ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ organisation that campaigns for 20mph to become the default speed limit on residential and urban streets. 

The organisation argues that driving at 30mph through built up areas doesn’t give a driver enough time to stop if a child runs out between parked cars. Reducing the speed limit to 20mph allows a driver to avoid hitting a child that runs out three car lengths in front. If they were travelling at 30mph, they would quite likely hit the child with an impact equivalent to falling from a three-storey building. 

So, whether you want to run an event at work or school or get involved a campaign to reduce the speed limits on your streets, there’s plenty you can do to help make our roads safer.