Speeding in school zones: violation or lapse in prospective memory?
- Published: J Exp Psychol Appl. 2014 Sep;20(3)
- Authors: Gregory, B., Irwin, J.D., Faulks I. J., Chekaluk, E.
- Date Added: 05 May 2017
- Last Update: 05 May 2017
Inappropriate speed is a causal factor in around one third of fatal accidents (OECD/ECMT, 2006). But are drivers always consciously responsible for their speeding behaviour?
Two studies are reported which show that an interruption to a journey, caused by stopping at a red traffic light, can result in failure to resume the speed of travel prior to the interruption (Study 1). In Study 2 we showed that the addition of a reminder cue could offset this interruption. These studies were conducted in a number of Australian school zone sites subject to a 40 km/h speed limit, requiring a reduction of between 20 km/h and 40 km/h.
Motorists who had stopped at a red traffic signal sped on average, 8.27 km/h over the speed limit compared with only 1.76 km/h over the limit for those who had not been required to stop.
In the second study a flashing "check speed" reminder cue, placed 70 m after the traffic lights, in the same school zones as those in Study 1 eliminated the interruptive effect of stopping with drivers resuming their journey at the legal speed.
These findings have practical implications for the design of road environments, enforcement of speed limits, and the safety of pedestrians.
Inappropriate speed, Traffic light, School zones, Interruption.