2021 National Safe Speeds Day reveals long way until zero fatalities
The first-ever National Safe Speeds Day this week has shown that much more work is needed to combat road danger.
Held this Wednesday 15 September as part of the weeklong Project EDWARD campaign – Every Day Without A Road Death – the 24-hour Safe Speeds operation saw all 43 police forces in England and Wales, as well as Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, took part to encourage compliance with speed limits.
While 22 police forces have already reported no fatalities during the operation, data also shows that there were at least seven deaths over the 24 hours.
Commenting on the figures, James Luckhurst of Project EDWARD, said: “On average, five people a day lose their lives on the UK’s roads. Speeding is a major cause of crashes, and speeding is a choice. The fact that we already know of seven deaths during the 24 hours of our National Safe Speeds Day operation – with results still due from some forces – shows how far we are as a society from getting on top of road danger.
“It is a disappointing outcome, but it confirms that we must continue our efforts to remind everyone who uses the road that we are all more vulnerable than we think.”
Data shows just how much adult pedestrian survival rates are seriously affected by the speed of the car in the event of collision: at 20mph there is more than 97% chance of surviving; at 30mph, it’s 80%; at 35mph 50% and at 40mph just 10%.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner of Sussex Police – one of the police forces to report a fatality during the operation – said: “I am fully supportive of this first National Safe Speeds Day and I welcome the efforts by members of the Project EDWARD team to highlight the benefits for all road users of understanding and choosing speeds that are legal and safe because we know lower speeds mean fewer road deaths.”
Project EDWARD, which this year is managed by RoadSafe in partnership with Driving for Better Business, promotes an evidence-led, ‘safe system’ approach – the long-term objective of which is a road traffic system free from death and serious injury.