Speed management and road safety engineering

We work together with our partners in Dorset Road Safe to help reduce fatal and serious injuries on our roads using speed enforcement, education, and engineering. Accident prevention is often given as the main reason for carrying out safety improvement works on our roads.

Our road safety team look at accident records provided by Dorset Police and propose measures that will reduce casualties at hot-spots or along particular problem routes.

Speed management

Technology used for speed and red light (safety) cameras has been shown to increase compliance with speed limits and prevent injuries at these sites.

Road safety audits are also carried out to ensure all new works affecting the highway are designed with the safety of all road users in mind. These audits assess accident potential and safety performance, particularly for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Speed limits

Speed limits are set to ensure greater road safety and all you need to know about them on different types of road is given in The Highway Code (Rule 123). The government says setting appropriate local speed limits can help reduce road accidents.

Exceeding the speed limit contributed to 16% of fatal accidents in 2014 (our latest figures) but this figure rises to 19% on urban roads. Travelling too fast for the conditions was reported for 8% of fatal accidents.

Residents regularly contact us to say they are concerned about the speed of vehicles in their local community, particularly as it can affect the quality of life in these areas. We don’t put up 30mph repeater signs in roads with street lighting. This is deemed to be evidence of a 30mph limit and includes streets with street lighting in part time operation (eg switched off from midnight to 6.00am).

To help make busy, densely populated residential areas safer, we have started a programme of introducing 20mph speed zones in residential areas across the town.

Speed reduction

Driving too fast causes around 1,200 deaths and 100,000 injuries a year nationally. Over half of all road injuries happen on urban roads with a maximum speed limit of 30mph. Over 70% of people break the speed limit on these roads. Think!

  • 9 out of 10 pedestrians are killed if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at 40mph
  • 5 out of 10 pedestrians are killed if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph
  • 9 out of 10 pedestrians SURVIVE if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at 20mph
Page last updated: 26 August 2020
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