Speed bumps linked to 25,000 deaths a year caused by pollution

Speed bumps in their current guise could be abolished after a health group linked the traffic calming measures to 25,000 deaths a year caused by pollution as a result of frequent acceleration and deceleration.

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is calling for a redesign of the current speed bump, to ensure vehicles do not need to sharply decelerate and then accelerate, in order to cut air pollution in urban and residential areas.

NICE placed a large emphasis on the importance of driving smoothly to reduce air pollution in its report and targeted buses and lorries with the greatest need to avoid these sharp accelerations and decelerations.

As an alternative to existing traffic calming measures and speed enforcement measures on major roads, an extension of variable speed limits has also been recommended by NICE to “promote a smoother driving style”, much like the ones seen on the ever-growing ‘smart motorway’ network in the UK.

The group further advised reducing the amount of time drivers are allowed to spend with their engines idling by restricting it in certain places, such as outside schools. NICE claims the air pollution caused by this affects children and the elderly more than it affects others. A wider use of 20mph limits in residential areas is on NICE’s list of recommendations, too.

Read about motorway reforms here, and the public's reaction to them here

Paul Lincoln, chief executive of UK health forum and NICE guideline committee chair said: “Traffic-related air pollution is a major risk to the public's health and contributes to health inequalities.

“The NICE guidance sets out a strategic range of evidence-based practical measures to encourage low or zero emissions transport. This is very timely given the imperative to meet EU and national air quality standards.” 

In addition to this, NICE has also observed the impact of the reduction of the speed limit on motorways to 50mph and considered the extra resources needed to enforce this. It described the impact as “highly cost effective at reducing air pollution”.

NICE’s list of recommendations is up for public consultation until the end of January 2017.

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Comments
18

1 December 2016
I'm no boy racer, I prefer driving at the legal limit. I'll happily sit there in 4th with my engine lazily spinning around 1200rpm as I watch the rat race and road rage unfold around me. I love watching those impatient sods weave in and out traffic only to discover that after 5 miles, all they've gained is 100yards. (and high blood pressure!)

Change the limit to 20mph? I'm still the same driver and I'll still stick to the speed limit as before but now 4th gear is not possible, I'm in 3rd with my engine spinning faster and producing more emissions. The rat race will still be happening around me, they'll still be taking place, they'll have dropped a gear too and will still be over-revving at the same rpm and getting nowhere.

Emissions is related to the speed of the engine, not the speed of the car so how's reducing the speed limit to 20mph going to work? Some folk should stick to hugging trees rather than come up with this rubbish.

1 December 2016
It's all about context isn't it? On some roads 20mph is clearly fast enough. On others the limit is too low. Please engage with the debate rather than just shout 'rubbish' - it doesn't get us anywhere.

1 December 2016
It's all about context isn't it? On some roads 20mph is clearly fast enough. On others the limit is too low. Please engage with the debate rather than just shout 'rubbish' - it doesn't get us anywhere.

1 December 2016
To refer to that number of deaths in a headline without further explanation or qualification heaps discredit upon the author and indeed NICE itself. I thought good reporting was about interrogating and challenging ones sources, not regurgitating whatever nonsense comes ones way.

Myk

1 December 2016
And how exactly are they going to target buses with a reduction in acceleration/deceleration? Remove all of the bus stops presumably. Make sure buses stick to 20 mph and if you want to get on you have to run and jump as it goes past.

1 December 2016
Surely there is another solution to the problem? ban all diesels!Over years we have been duped in thinking they were the answer for fuel economy,good for our wallets but not for our lungs.
I would like to see their figures from a proper scientific study!

Madmac

1 December 2016
madmac wrote:

Surely there is another solution to the problem? ban all diesels!Over years we have been duped in thinking they were the answer for fuel economy,good for our wallets but not for our lungs.
I would like to see their figures from a proper scientific study!

Is 'banning all diesels' really a solution though? It's all well and good suggesting these things but not if they're impractical and don't lead to solutions to the problems that they create (i.e what do all the diesel drivers move to? What happens to the cars? Are the drivers supposed to foot the bill of a ban?)


"Work hard and be nice to people"

2 December 2016
I quit my office job and now I am getting paid 92 Dollars hourly. How? I work-over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was to try-Something ddifferent. 2 years after...I can say my life is changed completely for the better.W!0C..

Check it out what i do>>>>>>> W­O­R­K­J­O­I­N­3­0.C­O­M

1 December 2016
Many jobs that could currently be done anywhere still expect you to get to a 'place of work'. Making remote working an option by law (even just 1 or 2 days a week) would reduce traffic, congestion and pollution and let those who actually need to be somewhere get there easily!

 

 

 

1 December 2016
Speed humps and unnecessary roundabouts piss me off for this exact reason, they ruin driving efficiency, and are a huge contributor to air pollution right where it has the most impact - densely populated areas.

The air pollution issue becomes moot when the vehicle is electric though. Mandate that city bus operators only buy electric buses from new, and it'll alleviate a lot of the problem.

50mph motorway limit sounds like a terrible idea. Slowing them down only lengthens the amount of time we're exposed to traffic fumes; motorways present a very different situation to residential roads. It also punishes drivers even if they're not driving anything that spews particulates and NOx.

20mph in a few additional residential areas is a more reasonable idea. As Scrap says, there are plenty of roads on which 20 is about as fast as it's safe to drive, and just depends on the context, rather than blanketing every 30mph road with a 20 limit.

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