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Press Release: Scientifically-Based Speed Limit Setting Is Being Undermined By Ignorance

By 26th October 2020September 12th, 2022No Comments


The Guardian’s hysterical piece (21 October 2020) objecting to the Alliance of British Drivers giving evidence on road safety to a Select Committee plumbs new lows of desperation. They seem to have forgotten  they are supposed to be a broadsheet not a tabloid.

Let’s start with this gem, quoted verbatim in case it gets changed:

ABD’s policies include raising all speed limits to 85% of actual average speeds”

Peter Walker, who penned the piece, clearly has no understanding of road safety, nor indeed of simple mathematics. If speed limits were set at 85% of average speeds, then they would be reduced, not increased. This, of course, is not ABD policy.

What we think he is referring to, and has made no attempt to understand, is that speed limits should be set at the speed of the 85%ile driver. In other words, the limit at which 85% of drivers would choose not to exceed.

This is not a fringe view. It was Department of Transport policy to set speed limits in this way for decades. And for a very good reason. Research shows that driver number 85 is the safest on the road. Setting limits below that level punishes the safest drivers for being safe.

Malcolm Heymer, who is giving evidence to the DfT select committee, is an experienced and highly qualified road safety professional who has spent many years working for a Council Highways department. He is also an advanced driver. Qualifications that are beyond the myopic understanding of the likes of Greenpeace’s Paul Morozzo and the London Cycling Campaign’s Simon Munk.

The rest of the article suggests that the ABD should be disbarred from giving such evidence because of their views on a supposedly completely unrelated issue – climate change. This is in line with the standard practice of progressive campaigners on all subjects – they try to silence their opponents rather than debate with them. You would imagine that, if they were so confident of their position, they would not be so afraid to argue the point. Perhaps they aren’t as confident as they seem.

What this article shows is that the climate change bandwagon is very much related to road safety. Instead of being about saving lives, road safety has become a Trojan Horse for the introduction of policies that are really about forcing cars off the road. Its far easier to present something as being necessary to protect our children rather than removing freedom for some other reason – makes it harder to argue against. History shows this approach works, and this is what is happening.

 Meanwhile, all road users become less and less competent, less and less human as their capabilities are insulted and diminished by bullying regimentation. And the perpetrators of this outrage produce articles like this.

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