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Home > News > Road accident casualties in 20mph zones up by 24% in 2011

24th August 2012

Road accident casualties in 20mph zones up by 24% in 2011

Since 2009, local councils have had the power to impose 20mph speed limits on urban roads if they believe this will improve safety.

Although there was an initial reduction in both accidents and the seriousness of injuries when they first came in, figures published in July show that in 2011 there was a 24% increase in the number of casualties in these lower speed areas and that included seven deaths and 289 serious injuries (a 39% rise year on year).

Although the increase in casualty numbers in 20mph zones is worrying, the impact of the speed limiting remains significant when compared with casualties for the same period in 30mph zones. The total number of casualties for road accidents in 20mph zones was 2,262 but in 30mph zones it was 125,000, which included 636 deaths.

Number of 20mph zones not known

In the 15-year period up to 2009, 399 zones had been introduced. But the Department for Transport is unable to confirm the number of 20mph zones in existence during the 2011 period for these latest figures.

Highest road accident casualty figures since 2003

The overall figures for 2010-2011 across the UK showed that 1,901 people died in road accidents, the first increase since 2003 and 51 more than the previous year.

Crashes less likely and less severe

In 2010 Safety campaigners suggested that lower speed limits would reduce accidents, and reduce the severity of the injury should an accident occur. Following the publication of these figures, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) stated that the evidence put forward at that time now seems mixed and contradictory.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) stated that the increase in casualties in 20mph zones was worrying but still represented a small number when compared with accidents on 30mph roads.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Society, said “Road deaths and serious injuries on Britain's roads as a whole increased in 2011 after consistently falling for many years.

“We need to understand why and to ensure that sufficient resources are devoted to road safety to make sure that one year's increase does not turn into a long term trend.”

Making a road accident compensation claim

Clear Answers' lawyers are specialists in all types of road accident compensation claims and have teams of specialist road accident lawyers waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident claim.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident, our advisers will be happy to talk you through the accident claims process, in plain English. They will provide you with expert legal advice, and answer any questions you may have regarding your road accident compensation claim.

If you or a family member has been injured in any type of road accident, whether a pedestrian, cyclist, driver or passenger in a vehicle, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our online accident compensation claim forms and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.

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