A matter of life and death
Being hit by a car at 20mph, rather than 30mph, makes a dramatic difference to whether or not you survive. We think that lower speeds are an urgent priority for Enfield’s ‘Wild West’ roads, where 1,000+ are injured per year. We have a long way to go to meet the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” target: no one killed or seriously injured on London’s roads.
Why set 20 rather than 30mph as the default speed limit?
- London’s 20mph zones had 42% fewer casualties than non-20mph zones in 2009
- Even without other interventions – just signs – a 20mph speed limit reduces speeds and can reduce casualties by 20%
- 20mph limits encourage more people to walk and cycle
- Speeding also causes noise, stress and fear on our streets.
So far in Enfield…
Enfield has a few streets with 20mph limits but they are few and far between, making them less effective. We often hear from Enfield council and police that “20mph is unenforceable”. But national campaign group Twenty’s Plenty has responded: “20mph is no more unenforceable than 30mph”. Other local police forces who enforce 20mph zones daily (such as in the West Midlands) agree. This speed limit is also key to the Mayor’s Vision Zero Action Plan to eliminate death and serious injury from London’s roads by 2040. Now that more and more London boroughs are turning to 20mph, will Enfield get left behind?
We want to see 20mph as the default speed limit wherever people live, work, shop or go to school. We also call on Enfield police to take enforcement seriously, both for speed limits and dangerous practices such as mobile phone use at the wheel and street racing. We urge them to follow the example of the award-winning West Midlands Road Police, who show zero tolerance for dangerous drivers as the greatest source of harm on our streets.
- A longer article with more evidence is on our website here: https://betterstreets.co.uk/20mph/