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Road safety week gains support of legal experts as shocking statistics revealed

Road Safety Week 2020 has unveiled some shocking statistics leading to legal experts calling for tighter road safety measures.

Clarke Willmott have leant their support to the campaign, which this year has been focused on the key message of “No Need to Speed”.

Organised annually by the road safety charity BRAKE, the aim of the week is to raise awareness of key road safety issues in the hope of saving lives and preventing injuries.

Philip Edwards, a partner and serious injury expert at Clarke Willmott has been reflecting on Road Safety Week which ended on Friday, and said: “BRAKE has commissioned research that has produced some shocking results, which should provide food for thought for all road users.

“It shows that speed is a contributing factor to 11 deaths or serious injuries every day on UK roads, that is a staggering figure of in excess of 4,000 each year.”

The research further revealed that, amongst male drivers, 28% have admitted to driving in excess of 100mph. There have been incidences where the Met Police caught a driver doing 152mph in a 30mph zone, and the highest speed recorded was a motorist apprehended by Nottinghamshire police doing 180mph.

Philip added: “The examples BRAKE has highlighted represent reckless behaviour and it is only a matter of time before someone who drives like that will take a life or cause someone serious injury. Speeding, or more particularly driving too fast for the conditions, of any type, increases the risk of people suffering needless heartbreak.”

Further statistics from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) show that a 1% reduction in average speed across the country would result in the accident rate falling by 5%. Speed also dramatically increases the consequences of the collisions; of pedestrians who have been killed when hit by a car, 85% died in a collision that occurred at impact speed of less than 40mph, 45% at speed below 30mph and only 5% at speeds below 20mph.

Philip continued: “It might be interesting to reflect that it was announced in July that the streets in Westminster were bringing in a 20mph speed limit, and hopefully this might persuade politicians to support the wider introduction of safety measures across the UK.

“Hopefully, the country will be able to come out of lockdown in the next few months. Whilst it does not seem as pronounced now, we do know the first lockdown saw a reduction in traffic of up to 85% in some areas. If road traffic increases again after lockdown ends, the message about controlling speed will be more important than ever if we are to avoid a “pandemic” of deaths and serious injuries.

“Joshua Harris, the Director of Campaigns for BRAKE put it in a way that we should all take note when he said, “The voices of the bereaved and injured help us all to understand that getting somewhere a few minutes earlier is never worth the risk.””


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