DfT backs down on one-third lie

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    The Department for Transport has stopped claiming that speeding is the cause of one third of accidents, after coming under pressure to back up the figure. In a recent letter sent out by the department, a spokesman said:

    “Speed is a complex issue that simply cannot be viewed in isolation. There are two types of speeding problem. Excessive speed – that is to say exceeding the posted speed limit, and inappropriate speed – that is to say within the posted speed limit but considered too fast for the prevailing conditions. Both examples of speeding behavior need to be addressed in order to improve road safety. The Department has, in the past suggested that around one third of accidents are speed related. This is not a figure it continues to use. But not because the Department no longer believes in its accuracy. Just as speed is a complex issue, so is the recording of contributary factors.”

    For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.

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