New driving laws which will see 20mph speed limits introduced across urban areas in Wales received support by the Senedd in an initial hearing yesterday. It comes after a report commissioned by the Welsh Government urged ministers to introduce legislation for the scheme “as quickly as possible”.
However, the scheme was met by opposition from Brexit Party member David Rowlands who said the inky way to reduce accidents was to “return to walking”.
He joked that speed reductions should also be applied to motorways as this would “save more lives”.
He said: “This constant reduction in speed could be applied to our motorways – a 30mph speed limit on these would save far more lives.”
However analysis of similar localised speed limit reductions reveals a dramatic decline in the number of accidents and fatalities on the road.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says there is evidence to suggest that 20mph zones are an effective way to reduce injuries on the road,
Although there is less experience with 20mph limits, RoSPA says they have been positive in reducing traffic speeds.
Data from the group shows there was just a 1.5 percent chance of being fatally injured if a pedestrian was hit at 20moph compared to a eight percent chance at 30mph.
It is hoped formal legislation can pass through the Senedd by 2021 before the scheme is rolled out in April 2023.
The Task Force reveals the scheme will be enforced through fixed and mobile speed cameras which could be “expanded”.
Rod King MBE, director of the 20s Plenty campaign says the scheme reflected some of the “key values” within Welsh Communities around future generations and active transport.