Slow down in residential areas

Slow down

Raise your right foot for slower speeds on your street

In residential areas such as yours, drivers are not the only road users.

Residents, including older people and children, are entitled to use the streets outside their homes in safety. This includes those walking, cycling or wheeling. This includes you. 

Speed limits

The speed limits set on roads are made abundantly clear and must be obeyed under all circumstances. A red bordered sign indicates a mandatory speed limit and a green bordered sign indicates an advisory limit.

Excessive speed is when a driver is exceeding the posted legal speed limit. This is criminal offence and, if detected, is likely to result in a fine and penalty points on your license.

Inappropriate speed is when a driver is driving within the legal speed limit but too fast for the road and traffic conditions. It is about judgement and reading the road environment.

A speed limit is not a target that you must reach. Many factors require to be considered so that you are driving at an appropriate speed which will often be below the signed speed limit.

What speed it is safe to drive at is a continuous decision making process.

The perception of excessive speed or inappropriate speed within neighbourhoods is a concern shared by many.

Every individual has their part to play when it comes to road safety. This includes you.

Slow down! You live here. Your neighbours live here. Look out for each other and lead by example.

Driving too fast is bad driving

The difference of a few miles per hour can make the difference between life and death.

Breaking the speed limit or travelling at an inappropriate speed could lead to severely injuring or killing somebody - a child on the school run or an older road user making their way across the road. You may also fail to see a loved family pet and be unable to stop in enough time.

Breaking the speed limit can lead to prosecution by the Police however the guilt and regret of causing an injury or worse is much harder to live with.

Where there are serious or fatal injuries resulting from collisions, excessive speed is more than likely a contributory factor. The faster you go the greater is the risk of being involved in a collision.

Speed matters!

Slowing down will help to reduce the severity of injury should a collision occur. The faster someone is driving, the less time they have to stop if something unexpected happens.

When your foot goes down the risks go up.

Stopping distances

The Highway Code details the total stopping distances for a variety of driving speeds (as a general rule).

If you are driving and suddenly see a hazard ahead it takes approximately 1.5 seconds to think and react before you apply the brakes.

This thinking and reaction time adds considerably to your overall stopping distance.

The stopping distance includes:

  • The time it takes you to react to the hazard (thinking distance)
  • The time it takes for the brakes to stop the car (braking distance)

Typical distances are shown in the image below. 

This shows that if you are driving sensibly at 20mph (32km/h) within a residential area, you could stop the car within 12 metres or 40 feet (6m thinking distance + 6m braking distance), or 3 car lengths, should a hazard arise e.g. a child stepping on to the road from behind a parked car. 
If you were travelling at 30mph (48km/h), however, it would take approximately 23 metres or 75 feet (9m thinking distance + 14m braking distance). This is a further 11 metres to stop which may be too long to avoid hitting the child.  
Within other areas, where the set speed limit may be higher, the stopping distances increase accordingly. If we consider a travelling speed of 40mph (64km/h) it would take approximately 36 metres or 118 feet to stop (12m thinking distance + 24 metres braking distance). This is a further 24 metres to stop when compared to a travelling speed of 20mph or a further 13 metres when compared to a speed of 30mph.

Blue = thinking distance, Red = Braking distance

If you are driving sensibly at 20mph within a residential area, you could stop the car within 12 metres, or 3 car lengths, should a hazard arise for example a child stepping on to the road from behind a parked car.

If you were travelling at 30mph, however, it would take a further 11 metres to stop which may be too long to avoid hitting the child. 

More information on typical stopping distances can be found in the Highway Code (Rule 125).

Set the Pace

The safety of your street and neighbourhood is no doubt a high priority to you.

You want your family and friends to enjoy the area whether walking, cycling or visiting local shops or services. This can be disturbed by the minority who drive at excessive or inappropriate speeds. These drivers often live locally themselves.

What can you do about this?

If you drive, pledge to :-

  • Raise your right foot for slower speeds on your street
  • Be more aware and courteous of other road users, especially the vulnerable such as pedestrians, cyclists, children and the elderly
  • Never exceed the posted speed limits, especially in residential areas and around schools
  • Drive at an appropriate speed by reading the road environment
  • Adhere to any advisory speed limits such as residential  ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ areas
  • Be a pace setter on the roads within your local area

Whether you drive or not, remember to tell your family, friends and other visitors of the need to drive at an appropriate speed within the area.

Road safety starts with you!

Slow down. You live here. Your neighbours live here. Look out for each other and lead by example.