Dudley MBC promotes initiatives and campaigns to help drivers understand the impact of speed on themselves and their neighbours and communities with the aim of achieving safer driving by consensus rather than enforcement.
The aim of the Council is to introduce new speed limits or alter existing ones only where it is really justified. Speeding traffic causes great concern to many people. Speed limits are the maximum speed at which vehicles may legally travel and are used to keep speeds to a level that is regarded as reasonable for the road and area concerned. Drivers that exceed the limit are putting, pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers at risk as well as themselves.
What the Council will do
The problem will be assessed against the criteria laid down by the Government. This is to achieve consistency throughout the whole Country. The speed limit chosen for a particular road must be appropriate for the conditions so that most drivers will obey the limit without the need for constant enforcement.
The national criteria laid down by the DFT (Department for Transport) include following main factors:
- Existing speed of the majority of vehicles so that the most appropriate limit is chosen;
- Character of the road and its immediate environment. Drivers will expect to see speed limits in built up areas but not in rural areas.
- Number of injury accidents (considering the amount of traffic and length of road). This will be compared with a national average to see whether a change in speed limit will improve road safety.
- The Council generally supports the policy of introducing appropriate speed limits but has resolved only to pursue an increase in speed limit where this is generally supported by residents of the area or it is justified on road safety grounds. In addition speed limits must be seen to be fair by the motorist, or they tend not to be complied with.
If it is decided to introduce a new speed limit or alter an existing one a Traffic Regulation Order is needed. A lengthy legal procedure has to be followed to make the Order, which can take over a year to process.
Do you think you have a problem
Remember that speeds appear much faster to a pedestrian at the roadside than they really are. Speed limits must be appropriate for the conditions and at a level which drivers will obey without the Police being in constant attendance. The introduction of a speed limit by itself will not necessarily reduce traffic speeds. Other measures may also be required. It should also be noted the majority of drivers do comply with the speed limit and it is only a minority of drivers that choose to exceed this limit.
If you still believe that traffic travels too fast along roads in your area you can help the Council by identifying when and where the problem occurs.
- Repeater signs are not used where the national speed limit applies (such as on motorways, or in most urban areas which have street lights)
- Some schools in Dudley now have 20 mph limits (both mandatory and advisory)
- 30 mph and 40 mph limits are used in urban areas
- 50 mph limits are appropriate on some rural roads with a road safety problem
- It is not appropriate to use speed limits over short lengths (less than 400 metres) or at isolated hazards; these are best dealt with by using specific road signs advising drivers of the problem.