Why safe speeds matter

Safe Speeds involves reconsidering speed limits to reflect the road quality and its surroundings.

In a crash, the vehicle's speed at the moment of impact and the weight of the vehicle determine how much force hits the human bodies involved.

The human body can only withstand certain amounts of force. In fact, if a car travelling at 30km/hr hits a pedestrian, the impact forces can be enough to kill that person.

For our fragile bodies, even a small difference in speed can mean the difference between life and death. This is especially true for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicycle riders and especially children and older people.

The Safe Speed component of Towards Zero is concerned with setting appropriate speed limits and travelling at safe speeds that are right for the conditions. If speed limits are set appropriately and drivers travel within those limits, the effectiveness of initiatives implemented in the road or vehicle space are enhanced and help reduce road trauma.

Human tolerance in different crash types


Head-on 70 km/h

Side-impact 50 km/h

Side-impact with tree 30 km/h

Impact with pedestrian 30 km/h