ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is using this week’s UN Global Road Safety Week as an opportunity to encourage all drivers and riders to take responsibility for the speeds they use.

The Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week, starting today Monday 8 May, seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action on measures to address speed, thereby saving lives on the roads.

Figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that one in three deaths on the road in high income countries is due to speed, and it is estimated by WHO that between 40 and 50% of people drive above the speed limit.

Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM Motoring Assist, said: “The speeds we use as drivers and riders are entirely our own choice. No one can force us to drive above the speed limit or at a speed that’s inappropriate for the conditions. So we urge everyone to take a moment and think about speed and the consequences of going too fast.

“In particular we want to see a reduction in vehicle speeds on roads where children are at significant risk. This can be achieved through a combination of community engagement, good engineering and education. There also needs to be a real threat of enforcement to deter those drivers unwilling to heed the messages.

“In particular, good engineering and robust enforcement of speeds in 20mph speed limits are both vital to minimise casualties.

“Finally, as a General Election approaches, we urge any incoming government to make road safety – and particularly the protection of children – as a priority. By embracing appropriate road safety policies, a new government would be making a significant contribution toward attaining safe and sustainable transport for all who use our roads.”

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