Excessive speed is the biggest single principal factor for road deaths and serious injuries in Northern Ireland.
Excessive speed is a problem for all drivers and riders and puts every road user at risk of death or serious injury every day.
SPEED DOESN’T NEED TO BE HIGH TO DO DAMAGE
Research shows that just a 5% increase in average speed increases the risk of serious injuries by over 15% and road deaths by over 20%.*
If you kill or seriously injure someone due to driving too fast for the conditions – there is no excuse. It will be your responsibility and you will have to live with the shame for the rest of your life. You could also go to prison for up to 14 years.
HARD AND FAST RULES
The Highway Code rules on speed are clear:
RULE 124 – You MUST NOT exceed the maximum speed limits for the road and for your vehicle. The presence of street lights generally means that there is a 30 mph (48 km/h) speed limit unless otherwise specified.
RULE 125 – The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean that it is safe to drive at that speed irrespective of the conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and driving conditions can be dangerous. You should always reduce your speed when:
- The road layout or condition presents hazards such as bends.
- Sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, particularly children and motorcyclists.
- Weather conditions make it safer to do so.
- Driving at night, as it is more difficult to see other road users.
RULE 126 – Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.
So remember to check your speedometer regularly and adjust your speed for the speed limit, the conditions and for vulnerable road users.
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*Source: Elvik, R., Christensen, P. and Amundsen, A. (2004), Speed and Road Accidents: An Evaluation of the Power Model, Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo; pages 98-99
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