Large proportion of road accidents took place on residential routes
The Welsh Government has this month suggested implementing 20mph speed limits around all schools and made extra funds available for zones to be established in ‘Communities First’ areas of which, in 2012/13, there were already 700 in Wales with funding of £11.5m.
A large proportion of the 146,346 road accidents that occurred in Wales in 2011 took place on residential routes with 25 of the fatalities being children in built up areas. Unsurprisingly, given those statistics, the measures announced have been welcomed by many local councillors.
Research shows that a child hit by a car travelling at 20mph has a 99% chance of survival – reducing to 80% at 30mph, 50% at 35mph and a mere 10% at 40mph. Enforcing new lower speed limits could lead not only to the amount of road traffic incidents being reduced but a reduction in fatalities.
In those communities where the speed limit has already been reduced to 20mph, the initiative has had a huge impact on reducing the number of road accidents. By encouraging drivers to drive slowly in the school environment which is integral to the local community the government aims to moderate risk and save lives.
Anthony Welsh, a serious injury solicitor based at Thompsons’ Cardiff office commented: “We welcome this move towards enforcing 20mph speed limit zones around schools. Child safety must take precedence over speed.
“Lower speed limits should not only reduce road accidents and pedestrian deaths, but also give peace of mind to parents concerned about their children's safety to and from school.”
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