A poll conducted by the motoring charity organisation IAM found that most people out of the 4000 asked believe that 20mph speed limit zones should be used outside schools.
IAM says the poll shows a strong support for a limitation on speed in particular areas, with 67% of those asked giving their backing to the move, with a further 38% saying that 20mph speed limits should also be imposed on roads with amenities such as parks and shops.
However, only 25% would like to see 20mph become the new default speed limit in all built-up areas. Opinion is split on whether people would want the road outside their house to be 20mph with 43% saying that they would welcome this move, but 39% not keen on the idea.
40% of people think that this speed limit is best enforced by speed limit signs, leaving the police to enforce the limit and the public to comply.
Further measures to slow motorists down are not as popular, only 20% of drivers are in favour of safety cameras, and only 21% are lending their support to a combination of safety measures including cameras and speed bumps.
Although many respondents want to see a 20mph limit imposed, they also feel that is should be a medium priority compared to other road policing duties.
IAM head of road safety Kevin Delaney said, “The IAM supports the selective use of 20mph speed limits where there is clear evidence that the risk of casualties will be reduced.
“But blanket 20mph speed limits or limits at inappropriate sites risk widespread disregard by drivers who do not recognise a necessity for them. Consultation with, and buy-in from, local people here is essential.
Passive enforcement measures such as speed bumps have been shown to be an unfavourable idea via the poll, and with today’s current financial climate, active enforcement by the police is unrealistic.
The IAM believes that if lower speed limits were to be restricted to locations and times when there would be an obvious need, responsible drivers would be prepared to adhere to them without enforcement.
In Southampton, there is already a city wide 20mph limit, and motorists have found that the average car journey time has increased by very little, with some motorists claiming that the stress of motoring as reduced substantially as a by-product.
By Ben Malkin
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