Green MEP gains European Parliament’s support for 20mph safer speed limit

27 September 2011 – Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for South East England has welcomed today’s decision by the European Parliament to support 20mph speed limits in urban areas. The measure was part of a report, adopted by the parliament, which aims to improve road safety across the EU.

As a member of the parliament’s Transport Committee Keith had argued for the 20mph speed limit in urban areas to be included in the report and was delighted with today’s result. He said:”Road accidents across Europe remain at unacceptably high levels and there is a need for a more concerted effort to improve road safety. The European Parliament has today signalled the right direction for road safety, notably by strongly recommending an EU-wide speed limit of 30 km/h (20mph) in urban areas.

He continued: “This limit would ensure drivers have to respect the same road rules no matter where they drive, making it easier for drivers and safer for all those on or near our roads. Lower speed limits in urban areas will not only have major safety benefits for all road users but will also reduce noise and air pollution and, as such, would be a win-win situation.”

The overall target of the report, adopted by the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, is to reduce EU road deaths by half (from 38,000 in 2010) by 2020 as well as reducing injuries. Various measures to tackle the major causes of traffic accidents – alcohol, drugs and speed – are included in the report. These range from recommending lower blood alcohol levels for new and professional drivers, fitting alco-locks which prevent driving if alcohol is detected to new types of commercial vehicle, reducing danger from ´blind spots´ and promoting safe routes to school.

Since becoming an MEP last summer Keith has been campaigning across the South East for the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas. Portsmouth and Oxford have already adopted 20mph limits and recently Keith welcomed the news that Maidstone Council in Kent will trial 20mph zones outside six primary schools.