Speed reduction

On Great Britain's roads an average of ten people die and 100 people are seriously injured every day. In Tower Hamlets around 150 people were killed or seriously injured in 2007.

The council encourages all drivers to be careful and to reduce their speed on the roads to try to ensure safety in Tower Hamlets.

All drivers in Tower Hamlets should be aware of the following statistics and reduce their speed and drive safely at all times:

Speed & accident statistics

The simple fact is that the faster a car is driven, the greater the risk of an accident. The statistics are as follows:

  • If hit by a car at 40mph, 9 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed
  • If hit by a car at 30mph, around 50 per cent of pedestrians will be killed
  • If hit by a car at 20mph, 1 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.

Two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 30mph or less.

At 35mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30mph. This is because even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30mph and 35mph is an extra six and a half metres (21 feet) which is more than two car lengths.

Speed reduction statistics

It has been proved nationally that speed cameras do help to reduce the number of road accidents in the UK.

Eight speed camera schemes were set up in the UK in 2000. In the first year of the scheme, 47 per cent fewer people were killed or seriously injured where cameras were installed and there were 35 per cent fewer accidents and 18 per cent less casualties in the surrounding area.

In the second year of the scheme there was a 35 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads where cameras were installed and a 56 per cent reduction in the number of pedestrian casualties.

There was also a 10 per cent reduction in average speeds in the surrounding area.

Speed cameras

One deterrent used to encourage drivers to drive safely and slowly is speed cameras. The purpose of speed cameras is to try to influence and change the behaviour of drivers by encouraging them to slow down.

The cameras are used when people break the speed limits. When this happens a camera records the driver’s speed and takes a picture of the vehicle.

The offending driver is then tracked down through the vehicle’s registration number and is issued with a minimum penalty of a £60 fine and three penalty points on their driving licence.

Speed humps

The council no longer installs full-width rounded speed humps, because they can impair access for emergency services and buses. We tend to use the following speed reduction measures:

  • raised flat tables for pedestrian crossings or at junctions
  • chicanes
  • speed cushions

The council must follow regulations governing the layout of speed humps:

  • There must be a ‘slowing feature’ before entering a road with speed humps – usually a sharp turn left or right into the road, a ‘give way’ sign, or a mini roundabout.
  • The shape of speed control tables and cushions are strictly regulated.