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Opinion

'Urban speed limit must be lowered from 60 km/h to 30 km/h'

9 April 2021 12:58 PM
Tags:
Road deaths
Pedestrian death
Reduced speed limit
Open Streets
speed limit
The Midday Report on CapeTalk
Amy MacIver
urban design
urban speed limit
Kirsten Wilkins

"If you get hit by a car at 60 km/h, your chance of survival is zero," says Kirsten Wilkins, an urban designer at Open Streets.

Two hundred and thirty-five people died on South African roads over the Easter long weekend.

Pedestrians accounted for 35% of casualties.

Most of the pedestrian fatalities occurred between midnight and 2:00 AM, in violation of the curfew.

Amy MacIver interviewed Kirsten Wilkins, an urban designer at Open Streets, a citizen-driven initiative working to change how we use, perceive and experience streets.

The release of the statistics during holiday periods is always incredibly sad for us…

Kirsten Wilkins, urban designer - Open Streets

We try to sensitise people… around the experience of pedestrians… The best way to care about pedestrians is to be one yourself…

Kirsten Wilkins, urban designer - Open Streets

We have a 60 km/h speed limit in urban areas… If you get hit by a car at that speed, your chance of survival is zero… The United Nations is calling for a reduction of urban speed limits to 30 km/h…

Kirsten Wilkins, urban designer - Open Streets

You can contact your ward councillor now, and say, ‘This intersection is dangerous’ or ‘that street is dangerous’ or ‘I need speed-reduction measures outside my child’s school’. We shouldn’t be scared to ask for our spaces to be safer… You don’t even have to draft the email yourself. Give us a call… We’re here to help…

Kirsten Wilkins, urban designer - Open Streets
Pedestrians are not safe next to South Africa's roads. © Katarzyna Białasiewicz/123rf

Convenience is not a right. Safety on our streets is! … Be patient; that could’ve been you mom! …

Kirsten Wilkins, urban designer - Open Streets

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




9 April 2021 12:58 PM
Tags:
Road deaths
Pedestrian death
Reduced speed limit
Open Streets
speed limit
The Midday Report on CapeTalk
Amy MacIver
urban design
urban speed limit
Kirsten Wilkins

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