Road Safety - Speed Checks  


According to police accident reports, at least one third of all road crashes are caused by speeding. This is likely to be an under estimate. In a sense, any collision where a driver or rider has insufficient time to react to an unexpected event has speed as a contributory factor. For this reason, there are many circumstances where a driver would drive well below the legal speed limit.

Government figures show that a pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 20mph would have a 90% chance of survival, while at 40mph most would be killed. Experience also shows that a reduction in average speeds of 1mph would result in a 5% reduction in casualties.

Public surveys have shown that traffic speeds are a major reason why parents restrict the freedom of their children to travel independently and deter many people from cycling.

Demands for traffic calming are one of the most frequent requests received by traffic engineers and local councillors. The resources required to meet this demand would be beyond the resources of even the most affluent local authorities. The only realistic solution is to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving.

In its road safety strategy document: 'Tomorrow's Roads, Safer for Everyone', the government emphasises the need to control speed to reduce danger and casualties. Experience elsewhere in Europe shows that slower speeds lead to  lower levels of noise and air pollution - partly through making walking and cycling safer - and result in greater freedom for children.

Our aim is to reduce the threat posed by the speed and volume of motor vehicles on our roads. If we can make the road environment safer for the most vulnerable - pedestrians, cyclists, children and the elderly - then all road users will benefit.


What We Are Doing

The Traffic & Safety Team consider speed reduction to be a major priority. The authority has purchased several mobile speed warning devices to make drivers more aware of travelling at excessive speeds. All major routes are covered by police speed detection cameras and many traffic calming schemes have been introduced.

There continues to be close liaison with the local police traffic unit regarding speed enforcement measures. Enforcement including the use of safety cameras is the responsibility of Avon & Somerset Constabulary. The Department for Transport has requested that data relating to all static safety cameras is made public. This information will be published on this page shortly. Bath & North East Somerset Council is a member of Avon & Somerset Safety Camera Partnership.

Road Safety Officers use every opportunity to emphasise the importance of speed and support the government's "Kill Your Speed" campaigns. Advanced driver training, provided locally by private companies, the Institute of Advanced Motorists and RoSPA, are all recommended and promoted.

The Council has introduced a programme of driver training for all its employees who drive in the course of their work. Advice on driver training is available to all local organisations who wish to improve the driving standards of their employees. For more information, please contact Council Connect on 01225 394041 or email us at

The local authority, along with many organisations, supports the national "Slower Speeds Initiative" which is committed to researching and promoting means of controlling traffic speeds more effectively

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