What could be the reason we don’t have 30km/h already?
These insights by Dr Ian Walker, a British traffic psychologist are helpful to understand why in Australia (and in the UK) for many people it is not obvious why speed limits should be aligned with what the international best practice is: 30km/h in areas where cars and pedestrians/bicycles mix.
A very helpful way to frame this issue is:
“Should one person’s freedom to go fast in built-up areas trump the freedom of another person to be safe on the streets?”
People who have been prioritised by our traffic system often feel threatened by change.
“When all you’ve known is privilege equality feels like oppression.”
As with other unconscious biases arising from culture, the first step is for decision makers to understand these biases exists and that they are making decisions from a position of privilege.
Systems must be put in place to ensure marginalised voices feed into decisions. In particular, we must reverse the debate from its motocentric norm:
“The burden of proof should fall on people advocating the status quo, not people advocating change.”
The traffic psychologist explains this in a fascinating way from minute 24:00 in this webinar by 20splenty: http://www.20splenty.org/webinar_25-6-20