South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
11 Apr 2022
I’ve been asked before, when being interviewed by journalists, if I could have one wish to make our roads safer what would it be?

For me, it’s simple. It would be to slow traffic down.

Speed increases a driver’s risk of having a collision and also the severity of the impact if a collision does occur, which often results in more serious injuries for those involved. 

At slower speeds you have more time to react should something unexpected happen and stopping distances are less. Studies show that lowering speeds by just 1mph reduces the chances of being involved in a collision by 5%.

Nationally excessive speed is a factor in 1 in 3 fatal crashes. Speeding is consistently one of the top community concerns in surveys and polls conducted by the Safer Roads’ partners.

Speeding is anti-social and it’s bad driving. Drivers are disrespecting peoples’ communities and impacting their lives when they speed past someone else’s home. How do you feel when other motorists speed past your house when your children are playing in the garden?

Speeding traffic can also create fear, which means that people are deterred from making active travel choices, limiting their opportunities and denying them the many benefits that cycling and walking can bring.

Research shows that a pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 30mph has an 80% chance they will survive. But increase the speed of that vehicle to 40mph, the odds are flipped and a pedestrian has an 80% chance of being killed.

So with the big pushto encourage active travel choices to improve health, reduce emissions and ease congestion to help address climate change, we need to tackle some of the barriers to these forms of transport.
That’s why it is so important that as drivers we always drive within the speed limit and encourage others to do the same.

The speed limit is an absolute maximum and it doesn’t mean it is safe to drive at that speed in all conditions. The weather, poor visibility, time of day, the presence of pedestrians and cyclists and the state of the road could all have an impact on safe speeds.

Our partners within the Safer Roads Partnership have a range of options at their disposal to manage speeds, from educating road users about their responsibility to use our roads safely, designing roads to make it clear what the speed limit is and enforcing speed limits and road traffic laws where compliance is low and is a safety issue.
But these are just some of the many duties and responsibilities that the partners must deliver, all of which have a high importance. Therefore, partners’ have to make some difficult choices to prioritise their limited resources to the best possible effect. Through the Safer Roads Partnership we aim to work together to deliver these respective education, engineering and enforcement duties.

But addressing inappropriate or excessive speed cannot always be the top priority. So ultimately it is the responsibility of all drivers and riders to drive within the speed limit and at a speed which is appropriate for the conditions at the time.
Here are some of our tops tips for staying within the speed limit and avoiding a speeding fine; plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time for your journey.
  • Look out for the signs so that you know what the speed limit is on any given section of road.
  • Remember that the presence of street lights usually means the limit is 30mph unless stated otherwise.
  • Focus on the task of driving and avoid distractions.
  • Check your speedometer to make sure that you are sticking to the limit.

Finally, if you are worried about speeding in your area, take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website ( to find out what the partners can do and, if you wish to request action in your area, where best to direct your enquiry.
Slow down and save lives, it really is that simple.
Until next time, stay safe.