Lower speed limits and the targeting of speeding drivers in London are just two of a number of new measures being introduced to cut down road fatalities.
Vision Zero, the goal set out by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, which aims to eliminate death and serious injury from London’s streets is being backed by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Transport for London (TfL) and London boroughs in significant ways.
To begin, TfL have committed to bringing forward its 20mph speed limit programme, meaning that by 2024, 220km of TfL roads will have a 20mph speed limit, up from 80km today and 35km in 2016. They will also be recommending to Government that they collaborate on a pilot project to trial a 20mph default speed limit on all residential roads in London.
Furthermore, a dramatic increase in speed enforcement is set to be undertaken by the Metropolitan Police to tackle the risk and harm caused by speeding. This will be done by increasing MPS capacity to enforce up to 1,000,000 offences by 2024/25, introducing new technologies to improve effectiveness of enforcement and rolling out new powers to Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) so that they can stop speeding vehicles and take enforcement action against drivers.
As outlined in latest TfL research (carried out by market research firm, YouGov) 71% of Londoners think road users are not as considerate to others as they should be, and only 9% of people admitting to not being as considerate as they could be themselves.
The same research also shows that 28% of Londoners believe that road users have become more inconsiderate since COVID-19, compared to the 11% who believe they have become more considerate.
The Mayor of London said “this report contains bold and ambitions plans to change the way we use London’s roads, with lower speed limits being introduced and more collaboration with London boroughs to improve dangerous junctions. We have already made some good progress – but we cannot be complacent. There is still much more to do to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from our streets.”
It is absolutely worth noting that since the introduction of the first Vision Zero plan in 2018, London has improved significantly by reducing road deaths and making a positive impact. Just one example of this is the launch of the Direct Vision Standard; which covers the reduction in lethal blind spots on lorries. The DVS is now being enforced on all roads in London and TfL’s bus safety standard is mandating the latest safety technologies and designs on all new buses also.
However, even whilst improvements are being made, there is still a long way to go to reach the Vision Zero goal and improve road safety in its entirety.
In 2020, there were a total of 96 fatalities, with 2,974 people suffering serious injuries on London roads. The Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment committee, Mayor Philip Glanville, commented that “every death on our roads is tragic and unacceptable. We know that road danger, and the fear of road danger, influences the way people choose to travel in the capital. By collectively committing to the Vision Zero goal, we can create a safer London which in turn means a healthier, more active, greener and cleaner London.
“Vision Zero can only be achieved through a partnership approach and we are proud of what we have individually and jointly delivered so far. It is vital we continue to champion this approach and redouble our efforts to reduce road danger until there are no deaths on the capital’s roads.
“Boroughs are committed to making all London’s roads safer and working alongside TfL and the Metropolitan Police Service to play a full part in achieving Vision Zero.”