Speed – Urban

The facts

  • Breaking the speed limit, or driving too fast for the conditions on the road, contributes to more than 727 deaths and 4,555 injuries every year.
  • In 2007, going over the speed limit was reported as a factor in 13% of fatal accidents. And exceeding the speed limit or going too fast for the conditions was reported as a factor in 25% of fatal accidents.
  • Over 70% of drivers in one study admitted to speeding.

THINK! strategy for urban speed

The aim of our campaigns is to illustrate the dangers of speeding and encourage people to drive at speeds appropriate to the conditions by pointing out the incremental danger of even relatively small increases in speed.

The previous THINK! Urban Speed Campaign illustrated the reasons why speed limits, particularly the 30mph limit, exist, by pointing out that if you hit a child at 40mph there’s an 80% chance they’ll be killed, but if you hit them at 30mph there’s an 80% chance they’ll survive. The television ad illustrated the potentially fatal consequences of not sticking to the speed limit and ends with the line: It’s 30 for a reason.

The New Campaign asks drivers to consider the long term impact on their own lives if they kill a child while speeding. The TV ad shows how a man who has knocked down a child while driving too fast on a 30mph road is haunted by an image of the dead boy. As the man continues the everyday aspects of his life: working, travelling and shopping, an image of the lifeless boy he has killed appears to him. This is a powerful portrayal of the long term psychological trauma suffered by the driver and reinforces the line: It’s 30 for a reason.


A combination of engineering and enforcement measures alongside the education campaigns have seen some improvements in speeding behaviours. For example, in 1995 72% of cars exceeded the speed limit on 30mph roads; by 2005 this had reduced to 49%.

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