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Authors Phil Green
Published 2021
License CC BY-SA 4.0
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The February 2020 Stockholm Declaration on Road Safety reflects the resolve of Member States to address speed management as a key road safety intervention, in particular to "strengthen law enforcement to prevent speeding and mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 km/h as appropriate in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix in a frequent and planned manner…" The Stockholm Declaration underscores that efforts to reduce speed have a beneficial impact on air quality and climate change as well as being vital to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries.

The Stockholm Declaration based its call for low-speed streets on studies from recent decades In cities such as Graz, Austria; London, UK; New York, USA; and Toronto, Canada, which indicated that 30 km/h speed limits and zones yielded reductions – often significant – in road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths. Evidence shows that 30 km/h streets where people mix with traffic not only save lives, but also promote walking, cycling and a move towards zero-carbon mobility.

Today, cognizant of these myriad benefits, 30 km/h (20 mph) speed limits and zones are being replicated in many cities worldwide. This includes in Brussels, Paris and cities across Spain, which from 11 May 2021 mandates in all the country's municipalities 30 km/h speed limits on dual carriageways and 20 km/h on single carriageways with a pavement which does not differ in height from the road's surface. 30 km/h zones are also being put in place in sections of cities worldwide, from Bogotá, Colombia to Accra, Ghana and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

In line with the Stockholm Declaration, the Global Plan for the new Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 reflects the intrinsic value of managing speed. As noted in the WHO document Managing speed, five actions to make #StreetsforLife are to:

  • Build or modify roads to include features that calm traffic
  • Establish speed limits appropriate to the function of each road
  • Enforce speed limits
  • Install in-vehicle technologies
  • Raise awareness about the dangers of speeding [1]

See also[edit | edit source]

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External links[edit | edit source]

  • Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, who.int

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Streets for Life campaign calls for 30 km/h urban streets to ensure safe, healthy, green and liveable cities, 17 May 2021 who.int/news