Road safety news

Cuts to funding means increased road traffic accidents

A Nottingham road traffic accident solicitor has written a piece for the Nottingham Post in which he questions whether reducing speeds on the nation's roads actually makes them safer and reduces the likelihood of personal injury accidents.

Anton Balkitis says that any introduction of reduced speed limits must be reinforced with stringent road safety education. He says statistics have shown that initial safety gains and reduced accident figures experienced after an area has its speed limit curbed are eroded over time and that UK accident figures back this up.

On UK roads with a 20mph speed limit 2009 saw 1,795 casualties. This figure rose year on year to 1,827 in 2010 and culminating with a shocking figure of 2,262 road traffic accident casualties in 2012.

The solicitor adds that these car accident injury increases occurred at a time of mass budget cuts to road safety programmes which left local councils struggling to provide the comprehensive educational services required to maintain awareness of road safety issues.

Balkitis warns that the issue of speed limits has become a decidedly political issue and that, at this very time, Liberal Democrats are attempting to bring in many more 20mph zones while Conservative ministers want the speed limit on motorways increased to 80mph.

He says, "The whole issue has become highly politicised and one should be wary that a 10mph reduction on some roads is not simply a sop in order to increase the speed elsewhere."



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