Slow down to 20mph - you could save a life!
Accident rates have fallen in recent years on all roads, but some parts of Lancashire have among the worst accident records in the country for children being injured in residential areas.
In fact, almost 7 out of 10 of all accidents in Lancashire where people are killed or seriously injured happen in 30mph areas as opposed to faster roads.
That's why there is a real need to reduce accidents on residential roads which involve pedestrians and cyclists, and why the speed limit on these roads is being lowered to 20mph.
It's slower for a reason.
There is a clear link between the speed of traffic and the likelihood of accidents happening in which people are killed or injured. Slowing down results in fewer accidents, and less severe injuries to those who are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. Driving more slowly can prevent injuries and save lives.
It has been shown that you are seven times more likely to survive if you are hit by a car driving at 20mph, than if you are hit at 30mph. If a child suddenly steps in front of you, you are much less likely to seriously injure or kill them if you keep to a 20mph limit.
Because 20mph limits are only being applied to residential roads on which you'll only spend a small part of your average journey, keeping to the lower limit will only take around one minute longer and that small difference could save someone's life.
What is happening in Lancashire?
Communities throughout Lancashire say road safety is a top priority, especially in relation to young children. Cars speeding through residential streets is an issue which worries many people, particularly parents and more vulnerable people.
The 20mph limits are only being put in place in main residential areas and outside schools and not on major through-routes so traffic can keep moving efficiently.
As well as improving safety, the new 20mph limits in Lancashire aim to improve people's quality of life and make our streets safer places for walking and cycling.
The roll-out will be complete by the end of 2013, when Lancashire will become the first 20mph county. We know that introducing 20mph limits is a new approach but we believe it will put Lancashire at the forefront of councils working to reduce road casualties on residential roads. Many towns and cities right across the country are recognising the benefits/value of 20mph speed limits and are introducing them on their residential streets too.
Find out more about the 20mph scheme being introduced in your area.
How will I know if it is a 20mph area?
20mph areas are being made clear by speed signs on lamp posts. We will not be introducing speed bumps as this would cost five times more per street than sign-only 20mph areas. We also know this is not always a popular option with motorists who don't like speed bumps damaging their cars.
Will the police enforce the new limits?
The 20mph speed limits can and will be enforced in the same way that any other speed limit is. We are working closely with the police, and enforcement will take place in the same way it does on any other road. However, as with other roads, the key aim is not to prosecute people but to encourage drivers to keep to the speed limits because they value the reasons for doing so.
What you can do?
There was a time when the "don't drink and drive" and "clunk, click, every trip" seatbelt messages went against what many people thought but there was a compelling reason for promoting them. It's the same with the 20mph programme, where we aim to make slowing down in built up areas the norm for a very important reason. Make it part of your routine and you could help save a life. It will only make your journey about 60 seconds longer which we hope you'll agree is worth it if, together, we can prevent deaths and injuries on our roads.
A recent national survey found that around 74% of people supported the use of 20mph in residential streets. The vast majority of people want others to drive carefully outside their own front door. What we need to happen is for everyone to acknowledge that the same has to apply when you're driving past somebody else's house.
Drivers also have a responsibility for road safety by driving responsibly so please do your bit and keep to 20mph in the designated areas and encourage others to do the same.