Once upon a time I was 30. It was many years ago. If only I knew then what was ahead of me.
Many years before that, the speed at which people travelled on roads was less than 30 km/h. Horses don’t go very fast. And the earliest cars were not much competition for the horses either. The most popular cars for the first five years of the early 1900’s were in fact electric cars and they were capable of about 25 km/h.
If only people knew then what was ahead.
It was only ten years earlier on 17 August 1896 in the UK that Bridget Driscoll was the first person to die as a result of a petrol-engine car accident. She was in fact the first pedestrian victim of an automobile accident in the UK. And in the US it was three years later on 13 September 1899 that Henry H Bliss became the first person killed by a car. He was struck by an electric-powered taxicab while exiting the 8th Avenue trolley on West 74th Street in New York City.
Today, approximately 1.35 million people die worldwide every year as a result of road traffic crashes
When you reflect on the fact that approx. 1.34 million people have died this year due to Covid-19 it really makes you think. Covid is such a major problem, so we hope a vaccine will soon be available, and everyone will want it.
But another 1.35 million or so will die next year as a result of a road traffic crash, and the year after and so on. Where is the vaccine for that, and will we all be keen to get a shot?
Should we have lower speeds on local streets?
A recent study Understanding Pedestrian Crashes in Victoria for Victoria Walks by Monash University Accident Research Centre says YES.
The study’s first recommendation is for reductions in speed limits, including to 30 km/h in areas of high pedestrian activity and residential streets.
In a crash, because of their small stature, children are more likely to be struck in the head or upper body, both areas having an elevated risk of producing severe injury.
Other studies have shown conclusively that a speed of 30km/h reduces the serious trauma risk to an adult to about 20% compared to 100% at 70km/h, and the risk of death to near zero compare to near 100%.
30 km/h – not a bad vaccine with that kind of effectiveness!
Would you be happy to have a shot?
Article by Chris Trueman
For a comprehensive consideration of 30km/h in Australian streets, refer to https://30please.org/
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