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Motorists warned to cut their speed and use assisted driving systems 

PAGE 20 Motorists warned to cut  their speed

Spain’s driving directorate says it is determined to crackdown on speeding motorists after new studies showed a direct link between accident deaths and how fast vehicles were travelling.

Police have been stepping up speed checks with special campaigns in various parts of the country.

In 2017, 400 people died in accidents in which speed was a concurrent factor. In some of the cases, says the DGT, some of the cars were going too slowly.

In its latest report, the Organisation for Cooperation and Development “Speed and risk of accident” analyses experiences in ten countries around the world – including Denmark, France, Norway and Sweden – after implementing changes in speed limits or implementing surveillance radars. At higher speeds, there were more accidents and victims, while a decrease in speed is accompanied by a decrease in the accident rate.

In addition, the report confirms that the risk of death of a pedestrian is multiplied by five when the impact speed goes from 30km/h to 50km/h and that on interurban roads, a reduction in the average speed of 5km/h produces a decrease of fatal accidents by 28 per cent.

The report recommends reducing the speed of traffic to reduce accidents and victims and proposes a limit of 70 km/h on roads without a median separation be-tween the two directions due to the risk of frontal crash; and 50 km/h in urban areas with intersections and high risk of side collisions and in urban residential areas, where vehicles share space with vulnerable users.

In Spain, on conventional roads, between 2013 and 2017, the percentage of victims killed has increased by 12 per cent. This increase was 35 per cent in accidents at road exits, accidents in which the inadequate speed is one of the concurrent factors of the same.

The survey shows that if systems of assistance to driving (ADAS) was widely implemented, it would reduce the severity of accidents by 57 per cent and avoid a figure of 51,000 accidents and their conse-quences.

Many of the ADAS available on the market have been grouped according to the different types of accident (collision, run over, exit …) and many of them automatically reduce the speed of the vehicle if they detect a collision risk such as FCW (frontal collision); AEBS (automatic emergency braking); SLI (speed limit indicator) or ACC (adaptive cruise control).