Why 30 km/h?

A welcome message from Love 30 Canada / Vision Zero Canada Executive Director Graham Larkin

Love 30 Canada is campaigning to make 30 km/h into the default speed limit for our urban and residential streets. No matter how safe vehicles, roads and drivers are, all of these things will fail beyond certain speeds. Each road must be designed to have speeds that are in line with the injury potentials on each type of road in the event of a crash. The level of harm to vulnerable road users rises dramatically at speeds of higher than 30 km/h, making this the correct speed for places where vehicles and people mix.

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Probability of Fatal Injury for a Pedestrian Colliding with a Vehicle. Click image for source.

Remarkable safety gains have been made through the implementation of blanket reduction to safe speeds, even in the absence of physical calming. We accept that on some streets it may be appropriate to have a higher limit based on the road, vulnerable road users provision, etc. But any limit above 30 km/h should be a considered decision based on local circumstances.

Love 30 Canada grew out of conversations between  Vision Zero Canada founder Graham Larkin and Anna Semlyen at the UK-based 20’s Plenty for Us advocacy organization. Founded by Rod King MBE in 2007, 20’s Plenty for Us is rooted in the power of more than 300 local campaigns. Already over 15M people live in local authorities (or wards, as we would say) adopting this policy. Many European cities have likewise adopted a 30km/h limit for residential and urban streets (map). According to recent data the UK has the fourth lowest traffic death rate in the world—right after Sweden. Alas, Canada is in 27th place.

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Some Canadian cities are taking serious steps in the direction of safe speed legislation. In 2015 twelve Toronto & East York community councillors voted unanimously to reduce speeds on residential streets to 30 km/h. This decision will affect 387 kilometres of local roads. Since the provincial default remains 40 km/h, it will entail installation of 4,450 signs. Love 30 Canada has vigorously supported westward expansion of that 30 km/h zone. Ideally we will eventually see changes in legislation that would make 30 km/h the default residential speed limit throughout Ontario, and throughout Canada.

Much of the content on the Love 30 Canada site will redirect to the 20’s Plenty for Us campaign. Executive  in the UK. I had the pleasure of convening with 20’s Plenty colleagues during a very productive London visit in June 2016, where i took this photo.

Having grasped the basics, I look forward to partnering with communities throughout Canada. Together we can raise consciousness about safe speeds, and implement changes to make our communities more livable. If you like this site, please consider becoming a founding sponsor, and get in touch if you’d like to start a local campaign.

Yours in solidarity,

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Graham Larkin
Executive Director, Love 30 Canada / Vision Zero Canada

 

 

 

 

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