School children at a south Leeds primary school have got in gear and are working with the council and police to look at making 20mph the new ‘normal’ in residential streets and around schools.
As part of the completion of the 20mph program across the city, which sees the introduction of a further 90 areas to the program, the police and council have been visiting local schools and communities with a package of education and publicity to raise awareness of new 20mph limits and encourage a long-term change in driver behaviour.
Lower speed limits are set to be introduced in more residential areas across Leeds as part of a city-wide program to reduce road casualties. The new 20mph limits also aim to make walking and cycling more attractive options, leading to less traffic congestion, better health, less noise, more social interaction and stronger communities.
Existing 20 mph speed limits and zones have already seen significant improvements in road safety in many of the city’s residential areas, with up to 50% reductions in road injuries.
The program was officially launched last week at Robin Hood Primary School where pupils participated in a range of road safety activities including using a Speed Indication Device (SID) to monitor traffic speeds and remind drivers to slow down; using a brake reaction tester to demonstrate vehicle stopping distances; and taking part in practical pedestrian training.
Local police supported the education and training activities and parents were provided with information regarding the changes and rationale behind the 20mph scheme.
Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning said:
“Leeds City Council has a long-standing ambition to improve safety and quality of life on residential streets within Leeds, and the completion of this program will help to meet this goal.
“It is great to see young people getting involved with this project, and getting a good understanding of why road safety is so important.
“There is strong evidence to suggest that by reducing traffic speeds within residential areas, people will feel safer and more confident on their local streets. This is particularly important for our most vulnerable residents, such as children, the elderly and those with disabilities, enabling them to travel more independently in their local communities.”