Penning ignores experts so 20 zone death & injury soars

Ex traffic cops & expert drivers warned Roads Minister in April 2011 that 20 zones are counter productive and would cause an increase in road accidents in built up areas. He ignored the advice and casualties are up by 24% in these areas.
By: Drivers Union
Aug. 17, 2012 - PRLog -- In April 2011, the Drivers Union were so concerned about the rationale behind blanket 20  
MPH speed zones, their founder Keith Peat an ex traffic cop, expert police driver and motorcyclist, wrote in detail to Mike Penning, Roads Minister, setting out the dangers.

'Does 20 MPH make things safer? 'No not at all. The reverse in fact.' Says Mr Peat

'Because of the low gears at 20 mph, it is now impossible to maintain a figure, or remain below that figure, without constant reference to the speedo. So in busy towns and urban areas, parked cars, pedestrians, children, traffic, pedestrian crossings where we really need to be paying more attention through the windscreen, drivers, for fear of losing their licenses, their jobs, of fines and higher premiums, will be doing the last things they should be doing and speedo gazing instead of focusing on what is happening outside the car. Is that what we want? It is obvious then that this will increase accidents and not reduce them. The logic of this 6th form thinking is that the slower traffic goes the less the impact-effect no matter what causes the accident.' He says.

D.U. asks, how about preventing accidents instead of expensively creating them and turning thousands of safe drivers into offenders by doing so?

Then there is the 'dumbing down' effect.

Where drivers, who would automatically set an appropriate speed at say 10 or 15 MPH, will then drive to an average of 20 MPH which will clearly be too fast in many locations. It is "too fast" that causes accidents no matter what the number on the pole is.

'So there are two serious issues with setting limits so low on a blanket basis and we believe that both of them will kill.' The group said at the time.

The latest accident figures in these areas are proving the group correct. The latest DfT figures show that road killed & injured in the 20 zones is up 24% over the previous year while in 30 MPH zones K/Is are down. See Sun 11/8 Express 12/8  'Added to that we are already seeing the predicted increase in average speeds too' says DU.

'Isn't it about time that Mr Penning listened to driving & road safety experts for a change?' asks Keith Peat. 'At the moment any Tom, Dick and Harry, gets a say in this life and death issue ranging from the green anti car ideologists to the profiteers with a vested interest and in the meantime people are being killed & injured' He says.

See Penning exchanges and replies:
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