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How is the UK''Coronavirus Lockdown'' changing Road Safety?

28 April 2020

Richard Owen – CEO, Agilysis writes: 'Since the Government’s decision to restrict movements on the 23rd of March 2020, there has unsurprisingly been a large drop in vehicle movements on the road network. The Government’s daily briefings often include traffic figures provided by Department for Transport that show the lockdown is being observed widely across the UK. Of course, key workers are still travelling and others are still able to travel for essential purposes.

We work with a large number of local authorities, analysing road safety data including collisions and traffic profiles, which means we are in a fantastic position to be able to review what’s happening on the road network. '

In his blog he shows that typically, pre-lockdown on the roads we were seeing around 0 .6% of vehicles travelling at 45 in a 30. Immediately after lockdown this leapt to 1.5% and has remained close to 2%,and sometimes as high as 2.5% on the Easter Bank Holidays. He shows that typically, pre-lockdown on the roads we were seeing around 0 .6% of vehicles travelling at 45 in a 30. Immediately after lockdown this leapt to 1.5% and has remained close to 2%,and sometimes as high as 2.5% on the Easter Bank Holidays.

He highlights that although this study only looked at a small number of urban roads in 30 mph he has been lucky enough to see data for a sample national speed limit single carriage way road that demonstrate very similar changes in speed choice. With traffic flows between 10,000 and 12,000 per day typically only around half a percent of motorists were exceeding the speed limit. Now traffic flows have reduced to around 4,000 to 5,000 per day, the percentage of people exceeding the limit now ranges between 5 and 8% post lockdown.

He ends by saying: 'There is an opportunity for collaboration between authorities who hold this information to enable us to understand what is happening on the roads now, and to inform future enforcement strategies. I will be seeking to work with fellow road safety experts around the country to produce a paper in May which tries to understand what's happening in more depth and in more areas of the country.'

His full blog is available here.

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