Sammy Hagar won't be visiting Edinburgh anytime soon. The "I Can't Drive 55" rocker would undoubtedly be aghast by the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, and its plan to enforce a speed limit of 20 miles per hour throughout most of its residential and busier commercial districts, all for the sake of encouraging cycling and reducing traffic-related injuries, the Edinburgh News reports.

The city has already been piloting the lowered speed limit in the city's Marchmont district and found that average driving speed fell about 10 percent to 21 miles per hour (yes, folks will always break the speed limit). The speed limit there was lowered from 30 miles per hour to the lower, mule-walking-backwards pace. Of course, city officials and biking advocates praised the plan, though a spokesman for the Institute of Advanced Motorists told the publication that the plan shouldn't be extended to straight, arterial roads because any speed limits there will merely be ignored. But we already knew that.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      20 mph that is 32 km/h. Even with my old bike I can beat that. Will I be ticketed If I am faster than the cars? will the drivers be SUPER pissed if I do and try to cut me?
        GoodCheer
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        Common Smoking_dude, if you got a speeding ticket on your bike, wouldn't you frame it and hang it on your wall?
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bicycles are an excellent solution to traffic and pollution. Cities should do more to encourage people to ride.
        Greg
        • 1 Day Ago
        @RC
        I agree, but I don't think this measure is the best option. However, that depends on space they have available, how roads are already laid out, etc. It wouldn't work in my city, but there may be different.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @RC
        Cities do! When I worked in HR in So. Calif. we had a car pool program for people to ride together. Incentives were tax breaks also for the company. Are you kidding in CA, no one wants to be without their car!! Why do you think freeways are so crowded and took my husband and hour and a half to go 13 miles on the freeway!! We need trains, monorails and good rapid transit . Cities like LA are so spread out it's hard to car pool.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 1 Day Ago
          KillGrammy: two things 1. carpooling != riding a bike 2. LA does have trains and rapid transit (though any area dependent on freeways is going to be tough to serve well with public transit) I agree that the "spread out" nature of LA encourages car use. I believe that point has been made a number of times...
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Day Ago
      Speeding on them is a Federal offense, as well, making it a little bit harder to get off your record.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seriously I'm beginning to think we need lower urban/suburban speeds and strict enforcement in the US. Idiots near me fly through a local park going 50, Sooner or later some jackass is going to kill a child while speeding to Taco Bell or some other banality. Last year a kid hit an old lady in a parkinglot at the mall-he was going something like 80mph on the outer ring around the mall.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Teleny411
        I understand that US bases have never had a fatal traffic accident. That is because they have had a strict low speed limit for years.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is it me or UK is becoming more and more BS? I cannot understand why ppl vote for all these weirdos that make life artificially more inconvenient in order to turn ppl to use the mean of transportation they support. If you want to promote bikes go ahead and make more dedicated lanes (even in expense of car lanes), build places to lock safely one's bike's etc... STOP playing with ppl's nerves...
      ufgrat
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the average speed in the pilot area fell 10%, to 21 MPH. So the average speed was (approximately) 23 MPH. I'm pretty sure that if I'm hit on a bicycle by a car at 21 MPH, I'm still going to be injured as much as I would if the car was doing 23 MPH. This is a whole lotta effort with next to no payoff that is guaranteed to offend a significant portion of the population.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @ufgrat
        The kinetic impact is 1/2mass times velocity squared. That means that the damage done rises disproportionately with speed. Not only that, but the stopping distance increases with speed. 'Speed significantly increases the chance of being injured in a collision. One of the first studies of pedestrian injury and car impact speed found that at 20mph there was a 2.5% chance of being fatally injured, compared to a 20% chance at 30mph' http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/advice/highway/info/20-mph-zone-factsheet.pdf The above does not take account of the effect of longer stopping distances. The bottom line is that traffic moving at 20 mph is unlikely to kill people. Large numbers are killed by traffic moving at 30 mph, the usual urban UK speed limit.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          It would be a curious thing to find out what idiot is downrating the laws of momentum.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have succeeded in repopularizing the "I can't drive 55" meme. :-)
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      What folk in the US may not understand is how narrow and congested most city streets are in the UK, with cars parked on both sides of the street and only just room for cars coming either way to get past them. Visibility it also extremely limited, and if a child popped out from behind a car then you would have no chance of stopping fully, but at 20 can likely brake enough to save their lives, when they would be dead if you were doing 30. 'Speed limits will be reduced from 30mph in all residential areas, shopping districts and streets heavily used by 
pedestrians and cyclists. The city centre will also become a 20mph zone. Only arterial, trunk and main roads will be exempt from the new restrictions.' (Edinburgh News) So people will be able to travel faster on just about the only roads which are really suitable to do so. I drive a car and don't ride a bike, but I fully support this measure. Pedestrians and cyclists first, with cars driving at safe speeds rather than what the driver fancies, which get you there hardly faster anyway, During rush hour, you are lucky to do 10mph on many roads, so the sacrifice is limited!
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        I assume what you say is true, then why make it about encouraging cycling? If it's unsafe to go over 20, then you make the limit 20. Period. Don't need any fluff there.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          Don't take my word for it. Call up 'Street view' in Edinburgh or any major UK city, and have a virtual drive through their streets. You will see why traffic anyway averages more like 15mpg than 20 mph. If I want to see a friend on the other side of Bristol, around 5 miles away, I allow 40 minutes for the drive!
          q`Tzal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          Some journalists have been known to intentionally stir the "bikes are waging a war on cars" pot to drive up page views for increased ad revenue.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      My city already has a 20mph speed limit in the residential districts as well as downtown. Works great, people still manage to get where they're going, no matter by car or by bike. Bikes are typically faster though, due to gridlock. Arterial streets have a higher 35mph limit, which is more than adequate.
      Greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't believe lowering speed limits encourages people to get out of their cars and onto bikes. It may, however, make cyclists more confortable for riding alongside traffic, but then again, the best option for that is to separate cars & bikes with a real barrier.
      Joseph Brody
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would be getting speeding tickets on my bike!!!!
        RC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joseph Brody
        True, wonder if there is an exception or whether law enforcement turns a blind eye. Commercial ebikes have a max speed of about 28mph.
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