Study Shows That Lowering Speed Limit Will Reduce Speeding, Even By Those Who Don’t Give A…
You would think that those who are inclined to speed wouldn’t care what the speed limit is anyway, but a new study indicates differently. The US Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a study in Boston, which involved reducing the city streets’ speed limit by 5mph, from 30 to 25 mph.
The study looked at “arterials, collectors and local roads” because, well, accidents don’t just happen on highways. And if you think about it, pedestrian deaths due to traffic-related incidents are more likely to occur on these types of roads because you’re unlikely to find someone walking along/crossing the highway—well, unless you’re from our home country of Malaysia, where it happens more often than we’d like to admit.
The new speed limit for Boston roads was announced via ads, social media and traditional media, without any speed limit sign posted at the sites that were studied. Data were collected from 50 sites; all were relatively flat, straight and away from intersections and schools—you know, where motorists are likely to put the pedal to the metal. Comparing the speeds of vehicles before and after the new speed limit of 25mph was imposed, the researchers found that the odds of a vehicle exceeding: –
- 25mph reduced by 2.9%;
- 30 mph reduced by 8.5%; and most interesting of all,
- 35 mph reduced by 29.3%!
In other words, by reducing the speed limit by a little, those who tend to abide by the speed limit would slow down a little and those who are inclined to speed anyway slowed down by a lot.
Read the full report here (although we read it so you didn’t have to. Yawn!).
The IIHS says that it will have to study further whether lowering the speed limit would change accident rates, but we are presuming that it would; after all, the slower the vehicle, the more time the motorist or pedestrian has to react to an impending collision.
Do you think the authorities in your neighbourhood should lower speed limits instead of imposing fines? Or both? Let us know in the comments section.