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But with 4 in 5 drivers ingoring 20mph signs, what hope is there for compliance?

Nottinghamshire County Council has launched a consultation to gather residents' views on limiting speeds on their estates - to make it safer for cyclists.

Specifically mentioning cycle safety, the council wants to introduce a 20mph speed limit to a number of roads in Mansfield.

The roads are currently set at the 30mph limit that is standard for built-up areas.

There would be signs across the areas to warn motorists of the new speed limit.

Senior improvements officer for Via Dale Swain said in a letter to residents seen by the Nottingham Post: "The purpose of the speed limit is to improve cyclist safety on designated cycle routes within this area and to encourage cycling within the wider area.

"Before proceeding further with the above proposals, I wish to consider the views of people and organisations who may be interested in this matter.

"Any observations on these proposals should reach me, in writing, either by letter or email."

The consultation will end on November 8th.

However earlier this year we reported how government speed compliance statistics for 2016 indicate that 81 per cent of car drivers exceeded the speed limit on 20mph roads, as did 80 per cent of light commercial vehicle drivers and 71 per cent of HGV drivers.

Between 2011 and 2016, there has actually been a gradual increase in compliance with speed limits for most vehicles on most roads.

Nevertheless, the figures indicate that 46 per cent of drivers exceeded the speed limit on motorways; 8 per cent exceeded the speed limit on national single carriageways; and 53 per cent exceeded the speed limit on 30mph roads.

It was also found that 15 per cent of drivers exceeded the 20mph limit by more than 10mph.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart commented: “The main problem is clearly getting drivers to comply on the ever increasing number of roads in our towns and cities with a 20mph limit.

“IAM RoadSmart have always felt that blanket 20mph limits, enforced by signposts only, are simply not enough to convey the reason for slowing down to drivers.  Targeting the worst locations with traffic calming and other engineering features is a much more effective way to make 20mph limits self-enforcing.  Speed limits on roads with consistent compliance problems need to be reviewed more frequently.

“We must all work to make it easy to stick to the speed limit and our main concern is that widespread confusion over 20mph may be undermining a more general trend to slow down.”

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

9 comments

Avatar
turnerjohn [49 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

"Targeting the worst locations with traffic calming and other engineering features is a much more effective way to make 20mph limits self-enforcing."

exactly, plastering them up everywhere is lazy engineering and doesn't address the issues. Drivers then don't obey the limits where they're actually needed

Avatar
BarryBianchi [419 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Hope of compliance?  Close as dammit to zero.

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burtthebike [1382 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes

There are several reasons why drivers ignore speed limits: ignorance of why they are there, a feeling of entitlement to go as fast as they want, and the knowledge that prosecution is extremely unlikely.  The question is, what can be done to improve compliance?

Perhaps a few fake pedestrian bodies by the side of the road?  Or carboard cutouts of smiling cute moms and kids with the legend "We live here, please slow down."  Or thousands of civilians with speed guns whose evidence can be used to prosecute, and lots of unmarked speed cameras so the risk of prosecution becomes much more likely.  I've never understood why drivers should be warned of the presence of speed cameras, and police using hand held speed guns have to wear hi-viz.  No other criminal is informed that they are being watched, so why are drivers different?

As long as drivers know that they won't be prosecuted, and don't care about anyone else, nothing is going to change.

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wellsprop [723 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I spent a year or so living on a residential street in Bristol (fortunately I escaped to the countryside). The speed limit there was 20 and there were cars parked down either side of the road. Most people were fairly patient and would stick to 20 (I had no problem cycling at 20mph down the road).

Quite a few people would drive at 30-40 mph down the street... 

20 mph on larger roads in the city makes me feel much less safe cycling - I often average about 18mph, so cars want to overtake, but they then have to get to about 25 mph to get past safely and quickly. Where the speed limit is 30, cars get past much easier from my experience (only on larger non-residential roads though).

I understand that a lot people cycle slower, so maybe 20 is better for them.

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brooksby [2919 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

" are simply not enough to convey the reason for slowing down to drivers. " - I didn't realise that you had to justify laws before people were expected to obey them. I thought if it's the law then you're at least *expected* to obey it regardless?

Avatar
oldstrath [953 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
turnerjohn wrote:

"Targeting the worst locations with traffic calming and other engineering features is a much more effective way to make 20mph limits self-enforcing."

exactly, plastering them up everywhere is lazy engineering and doesn't address the issues. Drivers then don't obey the limits where they're actually needed

The issue actually seems rather simple. Motorists deliberately disobey the law and get away with it. 

Avatar
davel [2125 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
brooksby wrote:

" are simply not enough to convey the reason for slowing down to drivers. " - I didn't realise that you had to justify laws before people were expected to obey them. I thought if it's the law then you're at least *expected* to obey it regardless?

Well, if this is what's needed...

I'm all for participating in friendly neighbourhood YOU MIGHT KILL A KID, YOU CUNT flashmobs.

Avatar
turnerjohn [49 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
oldstrath wrote:
turnerjohn wrote:

"Targeting the worst locations with traffic calming and other engineering features is a much more effective way to make 20mph limits self-enforcing."

exactly, plastering them up everywhere is lazy engineering and doesn't address the issues. Drivers then don't obey the limits where they're actually needed

The issue actually seems rather simple. Motorists deliberately disobey the law and get away with it. 

Totally agreed BUT that wasn't my point, placing them everywhere (like what is happening) lowers their effectiveness of being adhered as installation on roads with good visibility and minimal slight collisions isn't seen as at all beneficial. On the safety view you wouldn't stick 20mph limits literally everywhere (other than motorways) as it's simple not justified 

Avatar
oldstrath [953 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
turnerjohn wrote:
oldstrath wrote:
turnerjohn wrote:

"Targeting the worst locations with traffic calming and other engineering features is a much more effective way to make 20mph limits self-enforcing."

exactly, plastering them up everywhere is lazy engineering and doesn't address the issues. Drivers then don't obey the limits where they're actually needed

The issue actually seems rather simple. Motorists deliberately disobey the law and get away with it. 

Totally agreed BUT that wasn't my point, placing them everywhere (like what is happening) lowers their effectiveness of being adhered as installation on roads with good visibility and minimal slight collisions isn't seen as at all beneficial. On the safety view you wouldn't stick 20mph limits literally everywhere (other than motorways) as it's simple not justified 

We're back to allowing the motorist to decide what speed limit is justifiable then?