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Living on speed

Speed is one of the biggest killers on our roads. Many drivers do not always obey speed limits and this section seeks to investigate why young people speed. It also explores the concepts of speed, speeding and safe speeds.

Resources required:


Website links: 

Teacher information 

Speeding continues to be a contributing factor to many road crashes. Often, driving too fast for the conditions contributes to further crashes.

The speed that a vehicle is travelling is one of the most important factors in determining the force that it hits another object and the extent of any injuries that occur.

Activity 1

Students log on to the road safety website and search the speeding section. They examine the table on reaction time and braking distances for cars travelling at 50 kilometres per hour (km/h) and 60 km/h. They answer the following questions:

  • Is the braking distance proportional to the speed travelled? Why/why not?
  • What difference does car size have to braking distance? How does this compare for an increase of 10 km/h?

Activity 2

Students are asked to discuss the information provided in the Roads and Traffic Authority speeding research section of their website and also the road safety website in terms of:

  • Is it still socially acceptable to speed in local streets when it can be shown that driving at less than 60 km/h substantially lessens risk of serious crashes?
  • Should the actual speed limit be enforced or should there be a tolerance of a slightly higher speed before vehicles are booked for speeding?
  • Should there be a lower speed limit in local streets or is 50km/h too slow?

Activity three 

Students discuss the following statements:

  • Attitude has no impact on speed.
  • There are safe and unsafe speeds.
  • Driving at the speed limit is always safe.

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Last updated
31 January 2018