Leader:Employing ‘pester power’ is good start

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It’s one of the most memorable road safety slogans ever developed, “Kill your speed, not a child”.

The statistics speak for themselves, dropping speed from 30mph to 20mph can lead to a reduction in casualties of up to 50 per cent.

The trouble is that, good slogan or not, the most effective way to convince motorists to take their foot off the gas is with the threat of a fine or points on their licence.

We will be watching the city council’s move to pilot a huge 20mph zone in south Edinburgh with interest.

While the debate over raising the speed limit on motorways rages, it is difficult to argue with anything that will make residential streets and areas close to schools safer for everyone. Research suggests slower and calmer driving is also better for the environment, producing less pollution.

It seems like a good idea then, but how effective this scheme will be in changing driver behaviour is very much up for debate. More speed bumps have been ruled out, much to the relief of many. The Evening News has previously pointed out how they can hamper the emergency services and buses, as well as anger motorists, who worry about damage to their cars.

The police support the new speed limit, obviously, but have previously warned that they do not have the resources to enforce it properly.

So we are left with lots of new signs and the hope that drivers will obey.

The local communities will be key here, and the move by schools in the area to employ “pester power” of children to convince their parents and relatives to slow down is a good start.

We would also hope that local residents will help to monitor the situation and act as the eyes of our over-stretched police, directing them to particular trouble spots.

Signs, slogans, and pestering are good but we need to know this will be backed up with tough action.

The best way to get drivers to kill their speed is to hit them where it hurts – in the pocket.