On Day Four of the RoadPeace Challenge 2023, we focus on the need for Slower Speeds to Enable Active Travel. We’re encouraged to travel actively as much as possible; to walk our children to school; to leave our cars behind for the benefit of our health and the environment. But do cyclists, parents with children, dog walkers, horseriders and others feel safe to do so?
Speed is a major factor in road collisions. The faster the speed of a vehicle, the greater the risk of a crash and the severity of the collision. RoadPeace is calling for slower speeds UK-wide so that people can use the roads safely, no matter how they choose to get around.
Thank you to Professor Scarlett McNally, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, for supporting the #RoadPeaceChallenge and for introducing today’s theme.
In her article in the British Medical Journal last year, Professor McNally said:
“We should stop seeing the world through our windscreens. The government’s economic analysis of its £27bn (€31.3bn; $32.4bn) funding for major road traffic schemes focuses on a hypothetical reduction in traffic delays, without acknowledging the increased road travel and resulting incidents created by expensive, new, widened roads.”
She added: “If children can cycle, walk, or scoot to school safely, the household may need only one car. Furthermore, walking or cycling has clear benefits for health by reducing sedentary lifestyles, as well as for the environment.”
Sadly, excessive or inappropriate speed kills and injures many people on the UK’s roads. In 2020, Mandy Garner’s daughter Anisha was killed while crossing the road in London by a driver travelling at over 60mph in a 30mph zone.
Thank you to Mandy for sharing her tragic story with us in this moving video and for working so hard to prevent future tragedies.
On 19th February 2020 Anisha, her boyfriend Rory and his friend Liam arrived at Brixton tube station having met up in central London. They got on the bus on their way to a club and then got off to get some money from the cashpoint on Brixton Hill. Anisha had got to the middle of the road when a car came out of nowhere driving at great speed on both sides of the road and through two red lights. She tried to jump back, but the car swerved into her. She died instantly. The driver did not stop. He only handed himself in 48 hours later after speaking to his father – a barrister – and after the police went to his and his father’s house, thus avoiding a test for alcohol or drugs [he had a previous conviction for driving under the influence of drugs].
Read more about Mandy’s story here.
Updated on: 18 May 2023