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post #9 of (permalink) Old 19th September 2006
Still a Petrolhead but also like diesel
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You have some valid points and some dangerous assumptions...

I am not advocating "floor the loud pedal" and to hell with anybody else. When I feel the urge to do so, I do it Off-Road.
.... I'm glad but unfortunately not everyone is as considerate as you.

The problem with the 20mph zones (which I avoid like the plague unless I absolutely must go into one) is that a child running out between 2 parked cars into the path of a car is just as likely to be killed at that speed as they are at 30mph.

RoSPA research (mirrored in Ireland, Sweden, Australia, Canada and Germany has found :
  • At 20 mph a child hit by a vehicle has a 90% chance of survival.
  • At 30 mph a child hit by a vehicle has a 50% chance of survival.
  • At 40 mph a child hit by a vehicle has a 10% chance of survival.
20 MPH does make a difference!

It's not about fuel consumption either, rather the MASSIVE increase in emissions the 20mph limit produces.
Much has been broadcast recently about the increase in Asthma etc. in urban areas, but the authorities who point this out are the very same ones who bring in speed restrictions and make the problem worse.
I concur but I don***8217;t believe pollution arguments have as much impact on road safety as speed restrictions in residential areas, and it***8217;s usually our fault for voting but politicians will argue anything to get votes hence the quandary.

What happened to education? Remember the 'Green Cross Man'? My 5 year old Grandson won't go near a road without an adult, because that's what he has been taught.
Is it just easier to blame drivers rather than do anything to educate the kids?
.... All my kids (and most others) are well educated in road safety (its done in school), all (except the youngest) have done cycling proficiency, however I am unaware of many (if any) residential areas that have crossings at short enough regular intervals to allow children (or adults) to cross using them, main roads and junctions are different and my kids cross using them at all times where available, the youngest returns home and gets "walked" across the road when required.

You are correct, education is paramount, but it is easy to blame the kids, rather than the driver who has not slowed because he cannot see past the parked cars or ignored the large 20 MPH street signs and painted warnings in the road. He is responsible as the road user to be aware of the environment he is in and notice children playing in gardens, pavements or cycling in the road itself etc. Both will make mistakes at some point, its just the outcome from one is much more likely to be fatal.
If in doubt of the driver***8217;s responsibilities see sections 180-186 of the Highway Code.

Then there is the cost of installing and maintaining all the speed bumps / cameras / signs / red painted lines etc. Would it not be better spent by preventing pedestrians from stepping in front of cars to start with?
Local councils happily spend money erecting barriers around shopping precincts, but they won't spend money doing the same in residential areas.
... are you really suggesting that erecting protective barriers on all residential streets would work .... the first to complain would be the people who could not get in or out of their car when forced to park in the street. Barriers out side schools, at crossings etc are required and usually provided, but I can***8217;t see this being accepted by the public in general convenience, aesthetics etc, we could try but as previously said politicians Doh!.

Rant mode off again.
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