SORSA AND VISION ZERO YOUTH COUNCIL RWANDA ADVOCATE FOR LOW SPEED LIMIT.
On our streets, worldwide, where we walk, play and live, we call for action on speed. Low speed, liveable streets are essential and urgent. Urgent because low speeds save lives. Urgent for public health, by making walking and cycling safer and more accessible, enabling and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Liveable streets are more crucial than ever as we respond to COVID-19. Urgent for social and racial equity, as it is lower income and minority communities who are most exposed to high-speed traffic, and the road danger, environmental hazard and social exclusion it causes. Urgent for the rights of people with disabilities; for the elderly; for all who are vulnerable. Urgent for our children and youth, and vital for their wellbeing. They are most at risk on the streets where they live, play and travel to school. Every day 3000 children and young people are killed or seriously injured on the world’s roads. A child hit by a car at 30 km/h (20 mph) can survive. Hit at 80 km/h (50 mph), most will die.
Speed kills. The 2020 Stockholm Declaration, adopted by governments worldwide, calls for a focus on liveable streets and, in line with available evidence, a maximum road travel speed of 30 km/h where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix. Commitment to this approach must be at the forefront of the new Decade of Action for Road Safety to achieve the Global Goals. Now is the time to urgently deliver on this call to action by reducing, designing and enforcing traffic speeds that are safe for everyone, everywhere, prioritising low speed streets in all residential areas and near schools. Streets for health. Streets for climate. Streets for people. We must act together to create #StreetsForLife.
Low speed streets save lives and are the heart of any community. 30 km/h (20 mph) speed limits where people and traffic mix make for streets that are healthy, green and liveable, in other words, streets for life. We’re calling on policymakers to act for low speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds to 30 km/h (20 mph) where people walk live and play. Join the #Love30 campaign to call for 30km/h speed limits to be the norm for cities, towns and villages worldwide. Addressing the risk of death in road traffic is fundamental to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically those affecting health security, sustainable cities, poverty and reducing inequalities among and within countries. Policies that tackle the of impact road traffic, and create environments for safe, sustainable and inclusive transport options, also unlock action for protecting the climate and gender equality too. A paradigm shift in how streets are designed, starting with low speeds where people and traffic mix, makes streets safe, accessible, enjoyable and equitable for all road users, delivering multiple benefits for all whilst accelerating action across interlinking SDGs.
Evidence from around the world shows that low speed streets reduce the risk of serious injuries and save lives. In Tanzania, AMEND’s SARSAI has been shown to cut road injuries by as much as 26% and has now expanded to 50 high-risk school areas in 9 countries. In Toronto, Canada, road crashes fell by 28% since speed limits were reduced from 40 to 30 km/h in 2015, which led to a reduction in serious and fatal injuries by two thirds. In Colombia, Bogota has included 30km/h zones in a package of measures in its Speed Management Plan that have reduced traffic fatalities by 32%. A study from London found that lower speed limits (in this case 20mph zones) were associated with a 42% reduction in road casualties, while in Bristol the introduction of 20mph limits was associated with a 63% reduction in fatal injuries between 2008 and 2016.
Other studies suggest that there can be a casualty reduction of up to 6% for each 1 mph speed reduction for urban roads. Overall, the WHO have concluded that an increase in average speed of 1 km/h results in a 3% higher risk of a crash and a 4 to 5% increase in fatalities.
Above 30 km/h impact speeds, pedestrians are at considerably greater risk of death. This is even greater for the young and elderly. In the distance a 30km/h car can stop, a 50km/h car is still driving. Higher speeds narrow motorists’ peripheral vision and impact their reaction times.
SORSA and VZYC Rwanda stand together with other NGOs around global corner calling for 30km/h to become default speed limit in cities, towns and villages. We will work closely with police makers in our respective countries to advocate for low speed limit and we do believe that advocacy and education awareness will help us to achieve goals of new decade of action as result road crashes will be prevented.
We are pleased to introduce Society of Road Safety Ambassadors (SORSA) to you and your organization. SORSA is a youth led road safety NGO founded in February 2010 and officially registered in October 2013. It comprises of active youths who are cognizant of the profound responsibility to be proactive citizens of the country and to push the mandate of the Decade of Action for road safety (2011-2020). Our mandate is to advocate and lobby for Road Safety issues nationally and internationally. We collaborate with Stakeholders like Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA), Department of Road Transport & Safety (DRTS), Police Traffic Branch, and Puma Energy, Shell (Vivo), Scania, Atlas Corp, Schools, District Road Safety Committees and other Road Safety Organizations.
Written By GALE MOTLHAJOE ( Vice Coordinator SORSA)
Editor: Nkumbuye Ami