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Speeding drivers in London to be targeted as 2019 casualty figures published

Vulnerable road users made up three quarters of fatalities last year – with vehicle speed a factor in half of deaths on capital’s streets

Transport for London (TfL) says that efforts to target speeding drivers are being stepped up after new figures reveal that 125 people – five of them cyclists – lost their lives on the capital’s roads last year.

Vulnerable road users made up the majority of people killed in road traffic collisions in London in 2019, according to the figures published by TfL today.

Besides the five cyclists who were killed last year – down from 12 in 2018 – 68 pedestrians lost their lives compared to 57 the previous year, as well as 31 motorcyclists, up 22 in the preceding 12 months.

In total, there were 25,341 reported collisions in London during 2019, with 3,780 people seriously injured, 83 per cent of them while walking or riding a bicycle or motorbike.

Among cyclists, there were 710 serious injuries in 2019. While that was 2 per cent lower than the 725 recorded in 2018, it was 11 per cent higher than the annual average for 2005-09 – although there has been strong growth in the overall distanced cycled in London in the past decade.

While the overall figures, when set against the 2005-09 baseline, represent progress towards TfL’s Vision Zero goal, it added that they underline the importance of bringing in measures to protect vulnerable road users including segregated cycle lanes, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), and safer lorries with the introduction of the Direct Vision Standard.

TfL singled out enforcement against speeding drivers as its biggest road safety priority, highlighting that a review of last year’s fatalities by the Metropolitan Police had found that speed was a contributing factor in around half of those crashes.

It said that its Streetspace programme, devised in response to the coronavirus pandemic, will see 20mph limits brought in on 20km of roads. The same speed limit has already been put in place across the Congestion Charging Zone as well as on Edgware Road, Park Lane and Hampstead Road.

TfL said that since it was introduced in May, the Streetspace programme has resulted in more than 80km of new or upgraded cycle infrastructure being built or currently under construction, as well as providing extra pavement space for pedestrians to help improve the safety of people on bike or on foot.

It added that since March, some 74 Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have been implemented throughout the capital, closing residential roads to rat-running motorists and thereby reducing road danger while curbing air and noise pollution in the area.

Heidi Alexander, London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “It is not acceptable that anyone should be killed or seriously injured when travelling in the capital, and these sobering statistics highlight the vital importance of our work to protect those using London’s roads.

“Tough new regulations like the Direct Vision Standard, alongside measures making it easier for Londoners to walk and cycle around London, will make a huge difference in improving safety and preventing any more devastating incidents on our roads.”

Superintendent Liz Hughes of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Road and Transport Policing Command, said: “We have seen the devastation caused to families when officers tell them their loved one has been killed or seriously injured on the roads of London.

“Across the Met, we are committed to bringing down these numbers and targeting those road users who put others at risk by speeding or driving dangerously.

“By continuing to work closely with Transport for London in taking tough action against dangerous road users, we can help make London’s roads safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Hodge | 3 years ago
1 like

Once autonamous vehicles arrive these will be programmed to never drive beyond the speed limit.  This will immediately slow down all the old fashioned drivers around them.  The more autonamous vehicles the more law abiding we will all become.

In the meantime It would almost certainly be possible to limit cars speeds using GPS technology as most modern GPS systems will advise you of the speed limit.  It would only be a small leap to make this 'advice' be connected to the cars speed limiter system.

As a driver I would groan but soon get used to it and welcome the freedom from 'unintentional' speeding offences etc.  As a cyclist I would say please bring it on asap.

As a Politician I would say - great idea.....lets have a government enquiry   and another and another.



eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Don't forget the consultation "Roads Policing Review" which closes on the 5th October

Captain Badger | 3 years ago

Speed is always a contributory factor. Lower speeds result in lower chance of a collision in the first place, and where it does happen less serious outcomes for those involved.

With the above in mind, it is ludicrous that cars are permitted to be built and marketed to be capable of excessive speed and power.

EddyBerckx replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
Captain Badger wrote:

Speed is always a contributory factor. Lower speeds result in lower chance of a collision in the first place, and where it does happen less serious outcomes for those involved.

With the above in mind, it is ludicrous that cars are permitted to be built and marketed to be capable of excessive speed and power.

Suggest that all vehicles are limited to a max of 70mph and feel the derision and hate come at you from all sides despite they all being law abiding motorists etc and so on. We've had the technology to do this since the year dot yet it will never happen ...though an MP did suggest a network of automatic speed limiters for electric scooters a while back even before they had been involved in any serious collisions.

Captain Badger replied to EddyBerckx | 3 years ago


I'm just waiting for some numpty to go "but but but but .. whwhwhhat if I want to drive faster than that in Germany....?"

David9694 replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago

It's all a game of chance - that innocent motorist bit of speeding had no material consequence, so was ok - this time - that's  until your luck - or that of some other innocent soul runs out. 
I've have thought satellite technology could already be used for this purpose? But as you say, the choice is largely to turn a blind eye. 

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago

Nah, no one would not be up to have a limiter set at the fastest limit allowed in the UK and then moan because they might occaisionally go to another country once in a blue moon. Next you will be telling me they moan about exhaust gases in certain cases, yet want to drive at speeds which burn fuel alot faster rather then go at a limit which is most efficient on fuel and lower on emissions when safe to do so. 

Next you will be telling me that they argue that all cars should go as fast and as short a route as possible but argue bikes should be slow, stop and start, and only go certain places at certain times. Sounds like a bridge dweller to me. 

David9694 replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago

Like this?

Captain Badger replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago

Yeah, now you put it like that.

Feel a bit silly now....

Simon E replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago

Captain Badger wrote:

Speed is always a contributory factor.

I agree that excess speed (i.e. for the conditions, which is not the same as travelling above the legal limit) is a contributory factor in many collisions. Speeding drivers are risk-takers who think the rules don't apply to them; they are willing to drive too close to the limits of the conditions, leaving little room for error or something they had not expected. In my youth I drove like that for a little while. I'm not proud of it, but thankfully I caused no physical harm to anyone (which sadly was not the case for a number of other young lads I knew).

But there may be circumstances when speed is not a real factor e.g. if someone pulls out on you. SMIDSY is a perennial problem, especially where there are multiple factors a driver's attention such as roundabouts and complex junctions.

Captain Badger replied to Simon E | 3 years ago

We've all done it. Well, I know I have, as you say, I'm not proud of some of my early driving days. 

Where I'm coming from is that in any situation, risk and severity of outcome reduce with speed, and vice versa. Whereas attention, phones, distractions in and out of the vehicle, conditions, experience et al are key factors also, there is no situation that I can think of where the above is not the case. The usual "but" comes on the motorway, however my approach to motorways is that people break down, loads get shed, people need to slow down for all kinds of reasons, and following drivers need to be aware of that and drive accordingly - my old favourite you must be able to stop safely and under control in the distance you can see to be clear.

As you mention in your last paragraph there may be multiple factors in complex situations such as junctions, my response is to  slow to a speed where I can process incoming data satisfactorily, and proceed with caution ('nother one of my favourite cliches)

RoubaixCube | 3 years ago

Yeah. Im highly doubtful. Demanding more from a service that has had their funding consistently cut. Is already stretched to breaking point where they straight up ignore you when your house has been burgled to go chase people who say bad words on social media.

This statement is all for show. They'll probably hand out a few points and FPNs to say they did something but otherwise nothing will really change as there isnt the funding or the resources to support it.

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