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Reflections on speed control from a public health perspective.

McLean, A (Peer reviewed)



The level of understanding of the risks associated with speed and speeding is increasing. However, this is not fully reflected in the implementation of speed reduction measures nor in an awareness of the significance of these risks by the general population. This paper reviews approaches to three other public health-related behaviours about which public perceptions and attitudes have changed radically – smoking, seatbelt wearing, and drink driving. The paper examines the evolution of policies and strategies designed to manage these public health issues and bring about enduring changes in people’s behaviour. In each case, identification and understanding of the problem has derived from epidemiological investigations of the behaviours themselves, which in turn have provided the basis for the introduction of control measures. This has significant implications for improved management of travelling speed. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to assess opportunities for the further development, introduction and acceptance of measures used to control speed and reduce the incidence of speed-related crashes.