Make Atlanta streets safer by setting safe speed limits

63 supports

Speeding-related fatalities are on the rise nationally, especially for people walking and biking. A leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44 is unintentional injuries sustained by motor vehicle crashes. Children, older adults, and communities of color face a disproportionate risk of injury and death on our streets. To fast-track equity related to safe streets for all Atlantans, we outlined safety as a core pillar in our 2017 policy platform in 2017.

A driver’s speed is a critical factor in determining the probability of a victim of a collision surviving. Changing how space on streets is allocated through street design is the single most effective way to make streets safer, but transportation projects take time to implement. Policy change can happen now. 

Through Vision Zero, the international effort to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries due to traffic collisions, cities across the United States and the world are reducing speed limits in support of safer streets for all.

It's time to adopt lower speed limits in Atlanta.


Slower streets are safer and better for people.

The risk of death increases dramatically with each increase in speed: 

Source: Health Resources in Action: Community Speed Reduction, 2013

People outside of cars are more vulnerable to severe or fatal injuries when a driver speeds. The rate of speed can impact a person driving's ability to react, and it’s common for people to drive over the speed limit by at least ten miles per hour. In addition to reduced reaction time, a driver’s range of visibility decreases as speed increases. Diminished reaction time makes it more difficult for them to see the areas surrounding the car or the street. 

Diminished Reaction Time

 

The City of Atlanta currently requires traffic speed studies before enacting adjustments to speed limits requested by neighborhoods. As our population continues to grow and more people seek alternatives to gridlocked conditions, the City should forgo that costly and time-consuming practice for a proven solution.

Reducing speed limits is an effective way to reduce speed.

Severe injuries and fatalities due to traffic collisions are preventable. Reducing the speed limit not only increases the likelihood of survival for a victim; it also has positive outcomes for communities. Safe streets give people more space to be active, resulting in healthier people in our community. Businesses also thrive as a benefit of reduced speeds. A slower speed limit provides people driving an opportunity to take in their surroundings and observe businesses they may overlook when they are driving at faster speeds.

By reducing the speed limit, top outlier speeds are reduced, allowing for more cars to get through at safe and consistent speeds. The difference between 25 mph versus 30 mph during a 5-mile drive is 2 minutes, but the increased risk of dying for people outside of cars is nearly double. For city streets, 25 mph allows vehicles to travel a more consistent speed with fewer stops and starts, smoothing traffic flow and ensuring safer access for all users of this public space.

Join us and our partners in calling on the City of Atlanta to reduce the speed limit on city streets to 25 mph.

 

We'd like to thank our partners for their support of the Safe Speed Limits campaign.

   

 

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