All this week, until Sunday 22 April, traffic police across Europe will be paying special attention to one of the #fatal4 contributing factors to road traffic incidents, inappropriate speed.
In Spain, the plan is for the Guardia Civil to carry out about 700,000 controls before the end of the campaign, which will, for the first time, involve the new portable radar equipment, Velolaser.
Innapriopriate speed is not only oneof the four main contributing factors in road traffic incidents, it is also present in one in every five road fatalitles.
Speed, whether excessive (above established limits) or inappropriate (within limits but not adjusted to the conditions of the road, vehicle or driver) is a problem for road safety in many countries as established by the Organisation for Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Conference of Transport Ministers (ECMT). According to both organisations, half of all drivers drive at an inappropriate speed and 20% in excess of the established limit by 10 kilometres per hour.
Not respecting the speed limits is a fundamental element that determines the greater or lesser incidence in road accidents, and the severity and degree of injury of the victims in the event of a traffic accident. In addition, in the case of fatal incidents, in 21% of them, speed was a concurrent factor. In 2016 (the last year with consolidated data) more than 350 people died on the roads in incidents in which speed was one of the concurrent factors.
For this reason and because awareness to respect the speed limits is essential to reduce the incident rate, the Directorate General of Traffic has joined the Europe-wide campaign of awareness and monitoring of speed on the roads that will last until Sunday 22 of April. This campaign is carried out simultaneously in almost thirty countries that make up the International Organization of Traffic Police (TISPOL), of which the Traffic Group of the Guardia Civil is a member.
In addition, as usual, local and regional police will join in the campaign on urban roads across the country, taking into account that in cities, pedestrians are the users who suffer the most deaths where speed is the main cause.
As a result of the reluctance for many drivers to realise the dangers of excessive speed, the DGT is investigating an overall reduction in the maximum permitted speed limit on conventional roads, which, if approved, will see many of the current limits reduced by 10 kilometres per hour. You will be able to read more about this, and other developments soon to be implemented in tackling speeding vehicles, soon.
On Monday, the press were invited to one of the first controls to see the new Velolaser in use, and, as if to prove how these controls are aimed at helping road users and reducing incidents, the attendees were slightly distracted at one point as the officers assisted a young mother and her children across the road.