London Mayor Livingstone To Enact 20mph Limits

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Reuters reports London mayor Ken Livingstone, currently locked in a battle for re-election, is seeking to further alienate motorists from his campaign by saying that if re-elected he would institute a 20mph speed limit in all residential portions of London. Reuters reports that Livingstone's follow up to a proposed hike in congestion charges is justified as a life-saving measure. "I'll work with all London boroughs to designate all residential streets as 20 mph zones," said Livingstone in a public statement. "Nine out of ten pedestrians will be killed if hit by a car traveling at 40 mph," Livingstone asserts without citing anything in the way of sources, "but only one in forty will die if hit at 20 mph." And we thought the federal double nickel was bad in the 70's and 80's.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Geeber Geeber on Apr 08, 2008

    I'm surprised that traffic even hits 20 mph in London. It's a beautiful city, but not one in which I would like to drive a car.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Apr 08, 2008

    I think that one thing that galls a lot of Americans seeing this is that in the US, the speed limit in residential areas is typically 25 mph. By US standards, 20 mph would be awfully low. But in the UK, there are no 25 mph speed limits. Unlike the US, where limits are set in 5 mph increments, this is not legal in the UK. The standard urban speed limit in the UK for both commercial and residential districts is 30 mph. So if the 30 mph limit is considered to be too high for streets like those, the next notch down would be 20 mph, not 25 mph. 30mph limit was chosen as the safest after extensive research that showed that 20mph was not safer than 30mph because drivers concentrated less. I frankly doubt it. It's a blanket national speed limit that they apply to virtually every urban street, in both commercial districts (that the US would typically post at a higher limit of 35 mph) and residential (that Americans would usually limit to 25 mph.) There's no way that they sent traffic engineers to study every street to determine whether those limits were optimal in each case.

  • Willbodine Willbodine on Apr 08, 2008

    I can't imagine an American candidate running on a promise to bring back the double nickel. But I fully expect some bureaucrat to propose it any day now.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Apr 08, 2008

    Captain Neek : WTF is the pedestrian doing in the middle of the road? Bird watching... Of course!