SPEED: A HUMAN AND PLANETARY HEALTH HAZARD

This paper attempts to illustrate how addiction to speed has had a widespread influence on transport and society. It is not only an issue related to reducing fatalities and injuries from road accidents, vital as that is. It has many other harmful effects. Perceptions of the dangers of motor vehicles have adversely affected independent mobility of children and other vulnerable road users, and reduced the extent to which they cycle and walk. There is growing concern that current speed limits for urban and residential areas are too high. High vehicle speeds also increase the emissions of several exhaust pollutants. High-speed roads sever communities, and otherwise distort land use functions. They facilitate longer journeys which can only generally be made by car, and encourage demands for more roads while traffic demand continues to outstrip road supply. Many solutions are available now to free society from speed culture. They require political will, so that local and central governments can act on them. They include: (1) ending company car subsidies; (2) diverting most roads programme funds to public transport, traffic reduction policies, traffic calming, encouragement of walking and cycling; (3) implementing a carbon tax for motorists; (4) incorporating full environmental accounting in the evaluation of transport schemes. For the covering abstract see IRRD 866185.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00668646
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Nov 16 1994 12:00AM