Car accidents on the up in 20mph zones

10 Jul, 2014 7:00am Joe Finnerty

Serious casualties resulting from road accidents in 20mph zones rose 29% in 2013 according to latest figures

The number of serious accidents in 20mph zones increased by more than a quarter in 2013, and just putting up 20mph signs on the roads isn’t enough, one motoring body has said. 

Department for Transport figures show casualties in 20mph zones rose with serious casualties up 29 per cent and slight casualties up by 19 per cent.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is calling for more to be done to change the look of 20mph roads rather than just putting up new signs. 

• 60mph motorway speed limit rejected

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The Government and councils must take stock on the effectiveness of 20mph signs. In locations with accident problems, authorities need to spend more on changing the character of our roads so 20mph is obvious, self-enforcing and causes fewer injuries.”

The IAM also pointed to the long-term investment strategy which is in operation in Europe and creates high-quality segregated or shared surfaces that have led to a safer environment for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Are the 20mph zones in your area doing the job or are more mesures needed to improve road safety? Tell us in the comments section below...

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Really, are people surprised? When you calm the traffic, then people feel more inclined to take risks. Pedestrians are more likely to be on the road, and drivers feel they can pay less attention. It really doesn't take a genius to predict that this would happen. As usual, road safety measure are too simplistic and the sanctimonious whingers are causing more injuries and deaths.

I wonder how many of those accidents were caused by drivers doing 30 to 40mph. Bet it was a fair few.

I agree with you!

The problem is 20mph feels uncomfortably slow. It's a natural reaction to not feel the need to pay as much attention if you feel you're travelling at walking pace. It's psychological.

Also, I've driven a few fairly average cars (supermini's, family hatches and MPV's) that clearly haven't been geared to cruise at 20mph. This again makes it uncomfortable to drive at such a low speed and encourages speeding.

I like the idea of variable speed limits, so 20mph when school kids are wandering about but not at 3am.

Hang on, we need more information - if there are more 20mph zones of course the numbers of accidents in 20mph zones will rise, there are more of them so more chances for an accident to occur in one. What we need is data to show the change accident numbers before and after a 20mph limit is imposed.

That's what happens when you make a clear, wide straight road 20mph when it has always been 30. If a road is meant to be 20mph, it will be self-governing. There are plenty of 30mph side roads where nobody exceeds 20mph, due to parked cars, corners and people about. If you're the kind of moron that rags it around housing estates at 50mph, a 20 sign won't make any difference.

Well, if SERIOUS injuries are going up as the story states then those roads are hardly being self governed. They should put speed cameras in these areas as well, then again they may already do that? But the article does not say anything about the speed, but it sounds like it as if your hit at 20 I would imagine serious injury risks are a lot lower.

Speed cameras. Sigh. Speed cameras are next to useless for controlling dangerous driving. Anyone who has more IQ than fingers knows how to work round them.

It's implicit that the number of accidents in those zones has risen compared to before they became 20.

I highly suggest you stand at a roadside with a 20 mph zone for a day and see what happens, then go and do the same on one with a speed camera and you'll be amazed at the difference it makes! You've made a very naive comment there mate. The majority of drivers actually slow down when they see a camera.