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Blog - 4 Surprising Ways Slower Driving Creates Better Cities

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The Need for (Safe) Speed: 4 Surprising Ways Slower Driving Creates Better Cities

This blog by WRI looks at how establishing safer speeds in cities can not only save lives, it can also generate many other benefits.

Traffic crashes kill 1.25 million people every year and cause permanent disability to millions more. No matter the location, speed is frequently a factor. Deaths and serious injuries are the painful and highly visible result of a lack of road safety, but we have lost more to high car speeds than we realize. What about fear of children playing on sidewalks, walking to school, or learning to ride a bike? What about people who struggle to pay high transport costs, but don’t feel safe commuting by bike?

Speeding cars can limit physical activity, use of public space and quality of life, and the impacts are felt most by the least advantaged . Lower-income residents often live in close proximity to roads with dangerously fast-moving traffic. They are also more dependent on walking, biking or public transport, which are most exposed to the danger of speeding cars. These negative impacts are even more dramatic in developing countries, where a rapid increase in car and motorcycle ownership is taking place on roads with little speed regulation.

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4 Surprising Ways Slower Driving Creates Better Cities

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82% of Road Crash Fatalities and Injuries in the economically productive age groups (15 - 64 years.)

82% of Road Crash Fatalities and Injuries in the economically productive age groups (15 - 64 years.)