The ABD exposes the utter failure of Suffolk County Council's policy of reducing speed limits to 30MPH.

All accident figures shown on this page can be verified by the Department for Transport.

What's it all about?

Suffolk County Council introduced 450 new 30MPH speed limits at the end of 1995, many of them on roads where no driver would expect to see such a low speed limit. Most of these roads were previously NSLA (National Speed Limit Applies), some have just one or two houses alongside them, others pass near to a village but not through it.

What has the result been?

The graphs below show the trends for various categories of accident before (blue) and after (red) the introduction of the 30MPH speed limits.
The equations shown are for the linear trendline which averages out fluctuations each year to indicate how the figures are changing over the longer period. A negative multiple of x indicates that the casualty rate (y) is reducing each year (x), a positive figure indicates that it is increasing.

Beforey = −6.0357x + 75.286Aftery = 0.9714x + 43.6
Before the introduction of the 30 limits, fatalities were reducing by an average of just over 6 per year. Since the introduction of 30 limits, fatalities are increasing by about 1 per year. In 1996 when the limits were imposed fatalities jumped from 35 to 59, a massive increase of 69%, and the worst figure for six years
Serious Injuries
Beforey = −77.964x + 971.57Aftery = −1.2286x + 433.13
Before the introduction of the 30 limits, serious injuries were reducing by an average of about 78 per year. When the limits were introduced, serious injuries increased for the first time in six years. Since then, serious injuries have been reducing at a pityful average of just over 1 per year.
Slight Injuries
Beforey = −86.893x + 2824.4Aftery = 50.943x + 2442.9
This is the most damming of all, and it is obvious that the 30MPH limits are to blame. Before the introduction of the 30 limits, slight injuries were reducing by an average of about 87 per year. Not only did slight injuries increase by a massive 272 (12%) following the introduction of the 30 limits; but since then they have been increasing by an average of 50 per year.
Total Casualties
Beforey = −170.89x + 3871.3Aftery = 50.686x + 2919.6
The contrast between the trend in casualties before and after is so obvious a five year old could see it. Before, casualties were reducing by an average of 171 per year, now they are increasing by an average of 51 per year. Yet the authorities still have the audacity to claim that these absurd speed limits are improving road safety, when the evidence clearly shows that they are doing exactly the opposite.
Those responsible for this disgraceful increase in casualties should be vilified by the voters of Suffolk.

Black is White
We have seen copies of graphs similar to these that were produced by Suffolk County Council themselves. Yet despite their own evidence staring them in the face, they pig-headedly refuse to accept responsibility for the increase in accidents and continue to claim that the speed limit reductions have been a 'success'.
'blackwhite' "Applied to the Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary."
George Orwell, '1984'

Unlawful Limits
As if this situation wasn't bad enough, the ABD believes that Suffolk County Council has imposed many of these limits in such a fanatical manner that they may have failed to follow the correct legal process for doing so, and that as a consequence many of the speed limits may be unlawful. We believe that drivers prosecuted for exceeding these unlawful limits may well have legal recourse for compensation, and for any penalty points put on their licence to be taken off.
Find out more on our Unlawful 30MPH Speed Limits page.
Suffolk Coroner's Opinion
Within a year of the new limits coming into effect, a Suffolk Coroner criticised them as being a contributory factor in at least one fatal accident, saying:
"I think that there is a very high probability indeed that this tragic fatality has the speed limits as a contributory cause."
"Unnecessary speed limits are detrimental to safety for various reasons, they reduce the opportunity to overtake, thereby making drivers try harder at other times, they cause traffic to bunch, they cause frayed tempers, they cause delay which makes drivers try harder at other times to make up time that they have lost."
Read his comments in full here.


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