LOW SPEED KILLS – THE GREAT ROAD SAFETY ISSUE

LOW SPEED KILLS – THE GREAT ROAD SAFETY ISSUE

Road toll deaths are increasing

According to the NSW Transport for Road stats, as of 12 February 2018, the road toll deaths has increased by 30% in the last 12 months. As a leading personal injury lawyer in NSW for the past 30 years, the devastating effects of road trauma and death are known only too well by me and my team – probably a little too well by most of us.

Every major holiday break there is a spike in road accidents. And every major holiday break there are a lot of headlines — and a lot of academic double talk — about what needs to be done.

The real cause of accidents

Having assisted the victims of motor vehicle accidents for over 30 years, I have seen the real causes of those accidents. Which is why I am advocating to hold academics and bureaucrats to account to focus on the real solutions.  With a 30% increase in the last 12 months alone, clearly what they are doing now isn’t working!

The fact is that the constant monotone of “speed” causing accidents is nonsense. The only accidents caused by speed are rare cases that involve extremely high speeds undertaken in inappropriate places. Often they are instances of sheer stupidity combined with other factors like alcohol.

Police highway patrol

Conversely, studies show that airline pilots, drivers and operators of machinery need a certain level of stimulation, lest their attention wanders and they make mistakes. By setting speed limits so low on major interstate highways, drivers are becoming bored, distracted, and ultimately let their minds wander — all factors that cause a significant number of accidents.

Drivers are not suicidal. They typically travel at a safe speed where their attention is maximised. That speed may well be 130kph — the usual limit in the USA or Europe. Yet here the expressway limit of 100-110kph is set well below the maximum attention level.

Too low-speed limits cause motor accidents, injury and tragically, death.  

Try explaining that the Highway Patrol next time you are booked on a wide, safe, four-lane expressway.

It can’t hurt.