Many people think that speed cameras are there to make money and that police time is being wasted trapping and prosecuting 'innocent' drivers - time that could be better spent catching 'real' criminals. Statistically 'real' criminals rarely kill people, but speeding motorists do.
Over four times as many people die each year on our roads than do as a result of violent crime. It is important as a nation that our driving attitude and behaviour changes to prevent many unnecessary casualties and inexcusable deaths.
For pedestrians, the speed at which they are hit is the difference between life and death.
|Vehicle speed||Pedestrians killed|
|20 miles per hour||5% of pedestrians are killed|
|30 miles per hour||20% of pedestrians are killed|
|40 miles per hour||90% of pedestrians are killed|
|Over 40 miles per hour||Forget it|
Source: Department for Transport 2005
Remember it's 30 for a reason.
Stopping distance is affected by a number of factors, including load, condition of the road surface, tyres, brakes, driver reactions and design and type of vehicle.
|Speed (miles per hour)||Thinking distance||Braking distance||Total stopping distance||Total (feet)|
|20||1.5 car lengths||1.5 car lengths||3 car lengths||40|
|30||2.5 car lengths||3.5 car lengths||6 car lengths||75|
|40||3 car lengths||6 car lengths||9 car lengths||120|
|50||3.5 car lengths||9.5 car lengths||13 car lengths||175|
|60||4.5 car lengths||13.5 car lengths||18 car lengths||240|
|70||5 car lengths||19 car lengths||24 car lengths||315|
These figures assume dry weather and good tyres and an average family saloon. Naturally, stopping distances will vary according to weather conditions and some cars may perform in different ways.
There are many physical factors that can affect a car's stopping distance. What we want is for drivers to recognise that however good a driver they think they are and however good their car is, the difference between driving at 30 and driving a few miles per hour over the limit, will lead to a much longer stopping distance that could lead to drastic consequences.
More information on speed limits and how they are decided.