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Published: 09:13, 11 March 2019
| Updated: 12:46, 11 March 2019
Throughout March, Kent County Council will be promoting to Kent motorists the need to slow down and not take speed to the limit.
Research shows that three in five deaths happen on rural roads, this is main roads outside of town centres with a speed limit of 50mph or more, not motorways.
Over the last five years, there have been 223 crashes on Kent’s roads, resulting in 339 casualties, including 51 people who were killed or seriously injured, as a result of a vehicle travelling too fast, but not necessarily above the speed limit.
Nationally, of the 1,793 road deaths in 2017, 60% occurred on rural roads.
“We want people to think about the speed they’re doing and whether it is appropriate,” said Kent Road Safety’s Vicky Harvey.
“You crash because you can’t stop in time and if you can’t stop in time it’s because you’re going too fast.
“This campaign isn’t just about those who break the speed limit, it’s about thinking about the speed you’re travelling at and whether it is appropriate for the time and place, and that changes every time you drive.”
Surprisingly, figures show that motorways see fewer serious collisions than main A and B roads despite the difference in speed limits.
When looking at the impact speeds on A and B roads, a crash on a 60mph road with people driving to the limit could see two cars colliding with an impact of 120mph.
When travelling on a motorway, impact speeds can be lower because, for instance, where someone travelling at 50mph is rear-ended by a driver at 70mph, the initial impact is 20mph.
“Rural roads often have things alongside them such as walls, fences, trees, and of course pedestrians, cyclists, junctions and traffic lights,” continued Vicky.
“It’s the combination of mixed hazards and the higher speed in these areas that creates the danger and we’re asking people to think about whether their speed is appropriate for the complex range of hazards.
“Just think as you’re driving along, if this car suddenly stopped, if a traffic light changed, if someone was to step out, could I stop my car in time?”
“We’re encouraging drivers to make the right choice and not to take speed to the limit.”
The campaign will see advertising focus on a driver’s conscience sitting in the back seat, reminding the driver that driving at the appropriate speed is the right choice.