One of the biggest problems in road safety, speeding greatly increases the risk of accident. It is a key factor in around 30% of fatal road accidents.
Some 40-50% of drivers drive faster than the recommended speed limit and 10-20% exceed the limit by more than 10 kph. Not only does speeding make you more likely to crash, it also increases the likelihood of severe injuries or death from an accident.
There is no single solution to the problem of speeding. What is needed is a combination of better road design, speed limits and driver education. Speed limits must be clearly posted and reflect a road’s function, design and the type of vehicles using it. Features like humps and narrowings can also help lower speeds.
A study was commissioned to provide independent and unbiased evaluation of road safety, environmental (fuel consumption and CO2 emissions) and economic effects of the application of Directive 92/6/EEC ("Speed Limitation Directive", amended by Directive 2002/85/EC) to heavy commercial vehicles, such as buses and lorries. The study also assessed whether the Directive should be amended to include the application of speed limitation devices and Intelligent Speed Adaptation systems (ISA) to light commercial vehicles, such as minibuses and smaller vans.
Roadside police checks and speed cameras provide some deterrent to speeding. In future, it may be possible to enforce speed limits everywhere and at all times using new technology such as electronic vehicle identification, intelligent speed assistance and black boxes.
The VERA3 project tested a system that would enable EU countries to exchange information on traffic violations. This would make it easier for one country to punish speeding and other road-safety offences by residents of another country.