As well as being Anti-Bullying Week – this week (19th-25th November) is Road Safety Week and this year a campaign has been launched to “GO 20”, to bring about a 2012 legacy of safe walking and cycling. Brake, the road safety charity, is appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph or below in communities, and calling for widespread 20mph limits in built up areas, so children, families and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and as a cheap and sustainable travel choice, without their lives being endangered.
The organisation behind the campaign Brake is highlighting that slower speeds can help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating pedestrian and cyclist casualties. Brake is calling for: more local authorities to implement 20mph limits on a town, city or village-wide basis; the UK government to work towards 20mph being the norm in all communities; and drivers to pledge to GO 20 in built up areas, even where 30 limits remain.
So why GO 20?
- Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to for example if a child runs out. Studies show that when 20 limits replace 30, it means fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists.
- More walking and cycling: danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle. Town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling.
- Healthier, happier people: More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults. It helps communities interact and be communities.
- Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys. Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic.
- Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society and road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services. Preventing casualties and improving health means GOing 20 pays for itself many times over. It also helps people save money by choosing the cheapest ways to get about: foot and bike.