Is it Time to Support Health Services People by Reducing Speed Limits

Professor John Crown has called for lowered speed limits during this COVID-19 emergency via social media (Twitter, Mar 20). On behalf of people who walk and cycle every day, we back him 100%. As he said, soon our Emergency Departments will likely be busy enough.

Frontline healthcare professionals have to self-isolate outside of work, both to protect themselves and us. Many are choosing alternatives to public transport to get to and from work. Cycling provides social distancing, daily exercise, and mental health benefits; all of which our doctors, nurses, carers, porters, and cleaners need.

Empty streets mean people are staying home. But we are deeply concerned by countrywide reports of people driving faster and ignoring speed limits. They are putting people walking and cycling at risk of being patients in our EDs.

The research is stark: collisions at 50km/h are five times more likely to be fatal than at 30km/h.

As Prof Crown says, we need lower speed limits, now.

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