Closed petition Increase Island speed limit to 50mph
40mph is too slow on some roads.
Vehicles are the safest they have ever been
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 30 October 2018
Increasing the speed limit to 50 mph would considerably adversely impact road safety, particularly for vulnerable road users.
Vehicles may be getting safer, but driver error is still the biggest factor in road traffic collisions. While increasing vehicle speeds may shorten journey times for drivers by a minute or two, it would increase risks for other road users - a third of casualties in the last five years have been pedestrians and cyclists, with motorcyclists accounting for a quarter of casualties.
Instead, we want people to feel more safe and comfortable as they enjoy our Island on foot or in the saddle. Parents already express concerns about letting their children travel unaccompanied, and if this means they will drive them instead, this will increase congestion and impact the health of our young people who have less opportunity for exercise.
Indeed, increasing vehicle speed from 40mph to 50mph adds another 50% to the energy of any collision. At 50mph a pedestrian or cyclist has a 95% chance of being killed if hit by a car, at 40mph it’s 85% and at 30mph its 45%. A car travelling at 40mph may be able to slow enough before impact to give a pedestrian a 50:50 chance. When brakes are applied in a car travelling at 40mph it will reduce speed to 30mph, but the same car travelling at 50 mph will only be able to reduce speed to 45mph in the same amount of time.
The speed limit review programme is working with parishes to talk to communities about speed limits in their area. So far no community has advocated increasing speed limits and it is difficult to think which roads would be suited to 50mph. Even on roads such as Victoria Avenue or the five mile road, while they may appear suitable, pedestrians need to cross, or there are side roads, and most of the roads currently at 40mph are parish roads, which would not be safe at 50mph due to the width, alignment and frequent junctions or accesses.