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Average Speeds The problem aint what you don't know. It's what you know that aint so - Will Rogers
Fact LTSA & Police Myth
Reducing average speeds has not reduced fatality rates and fatality rates have fallen when average speeds have not. Lower average open road speeds result in fewer fatalities!

For much of the last two decades fatality rates have consistently fallen across the developed world and in New Zealand.  During the same periods, average open road speeds have stayed the same or increased.

In New Zealand during the Midland area hidden camera speed trial, LTSA and the police claimed to have significantly reduced average open road speeds.  However, there is no indication that there was a corresponding reduction in fatalities.  In the first year of the trial fatalities reduced and in the second year they increased.  Moreover there was no reduction in crash frequencies relative to the rest of New Zealand.


From LTSA's own website: http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/study-guides/advertising.html

Where speeding is concerned, within the first year of the campaign there had been a 26 percent drop in fatal and serious injury crashes in rural areas and 14% in urban areas. Over the last five years the average urban speed has dropped 3 km to 54 km/h but open road speeds have remained static.

Again, open road speeds were shown to be unrelated to drops in fatalities and crash rates.

From LTSA's own website: http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/publications/docs/2010-strategy.pdf

The October 2000 Road Safety Strategy states:

The LTSA has for many years now conducted a series of speed surveys at over 130 sites around the country. Average urban traffic speeds have fallen by more than 2.5 km/h over the last ten years (figure 21). Average open road speeds have remained almost constant, but there are fewer drivers travelling at very high speeds. Provided we augment our efforts to combat speeding (box 14), we expect average urban traffic speeds to fall to about 51 km/h (a reduction of 7%) and open-road speeds to about 99 km/h (a reduction of 3%). These gains have been, and will continue to be, achieved in an environment of ‘speed creep’—that is, the tendency for traffic speeds to creep upwards (if unchecked) as cars become faster and more comfortable to drive.

The chart shows the average open road speed in 1990 was 102.3 and in 1999 it was 102.2 - yet over those nine years fatalities dropped by 50%. 

In the face of all the evidence LTSA continues to claim a strong correlation between average open road speed and fatalities.

But now the data is available and completely refutes any beneficial relationship between reducing average speeds and road fatalities either in urban or rural speed zones.  In fact, reducing average speeds by rigid enforcement of speed limits has caused a serious increase in injuries with no decrease in fatalities:  Rigid Enforcement is Catastrophic Failure.

Again the facts show that speed doesn't kill.