International Policies. Effects on casualty trends.
Look what "speed kills" policies are doing around the world...

International trends in road safety

We've been looking at data from various sources, and have discovered the trends revealed on this page. We can't claim scientific rigour, but the trends are clearly apparent. At the very least the authorities should investigate urgently the apparent relationship between speed enforcement policy and failure of the downwards trends in road casualties.

We've not selected countries which show clear trends to try and spoof our point. That's not our style at all. There are countries with odd trends like Hungary and Greece, but these are almost certainly due to economic conditions. We've chosen exclusively "rich western" countries with stable economies mainly to help ensure we are comparing like with like. We don't know of ANY country which has western style wealth and economic stability which bucks the general rule:

Countries with "speed kills" as the central plank of their road safety policies are not achieving reductions in road casualty rates.

Primary reference source: The International Road Traffic Accident Database. IRTAD.

Small (white background) graphs below show road casualties per 100,000 population by year.

new Additional reference source IRTAD figures compiled by ACEA (data)

new Additional reference source Australian official figures (data)

NOTE: in most cases figures for 1981 through1984 and 1986 through 1989 were unavailable and were interpolated from 1980 to 1985 and from 1985 to 1990. Figures for Australia were available for all years.
To make this graph we have added the fatality totals from each of the four countries in each of the two groups. (i.e. the red trace is France + Germany + Italy + Austria, and the blue trace is GB + Sweden + Belgium + Australia.) We've then adjusted both figures to 1993=100%. In recent years it's clear to see that the blue line is curving upwards and the red line is curving downwards. We calculate the difference at 2000 to be 1,250 lives per year. We know of no reason why the blue trace countries should not have been able to match the achievements of the red trace countries. We have included ALL the countries for which we have sufficient data in this graph. There's no trick grouping, and the references above are sufficient to enable anyone to duplicate the calculations.

By the way, the flat section in the red trace between 1985 and 1990 is due to Germany's re-integration.

We have more work to do with the figures and hope to reveal further trends and details in a few days.

Why is this happening?

We predicted a loss in road safety as soon as the cameras were first talked about back in about 1989. It's no surprise at all to see this tragedy played out on roads in many countries round the world. We well understand a range of mechanisms whereby excessive speed enforcement should tend to have the effect of reducing road safety.

All the while that speed enforcement is making drivers more dangerous, roads and vehicles are getting safer. We think the roads and vehicles trends show clearly in the improving trends showing in Germany and France for example.

If this is true, then roads and vehicles are getting safer in the UK too, but this trend is balanced by worse driving standards. We suggest that lower driving standards are caused by excessive speed enforcement.


Comments on this page are welcome. If there is a demand we will create a comments page. We will be delighted to publish all suitable emails including those whose content we disagree with. Email comment.


Casualty trend rising
1999 to 2000 figures not available.
Road safety policy: Speed Kills


Casualty trend rising. 2000 was quite a good year.
0.4% drop in injury accidents 1999 to 2000
Fatalities up 3% 1995 to 2000
Road safety policy: Speed kills


Casualty trend rising.
6.0% rise in motorway casualties 1999 to 2000
Fatalities up 1.4% 1995 to 2000
Road Safety Policy: Speed Kills


Casualty trend steady / perhaps rising
0.2% drop in injury accidents 1999 to 2000
Road Safety Policy: Speed Kills
Cameras since 1992
See (click here)


Casualty trend rising
Official data (click here)
Road safety Policy: Speed Kills


Casualty trend falling
3.2% drop in injury accidents 1999 to 2000
Fatalities down 9.7% 1995 to 2000
Road safety policy: sensible

new Graph to follow Austria

Casualty trend falling
Fatalities down 24% 1995 to 2000
Road safety policy: sensible



Casualty trend falling
2.7% drop in injury accidents 1999 to 2000
Fatalities down 10% 1995 to 2000
Road safety policy, sensible, changing to speed kills now.


Casualty trend falling
3.2% drop in injury accidents 1999 to 2000
Fatalities down 26% 1995 to 2000
Road Safety policy: sensible. 

Speed cameras cost lives

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Promoting intelligent road safety.