Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The ABD Survey By Their Members About Their Views

The membership of the Alliance of British Drivers (formerly Association of British Drivers) are currently suffering from a mass case of Vigintiphobia; that is an irrational fear of the number 20 - speed limits in this case.

This post was going to look at one of The ABD's recent press releases on the subject, but since the Bicycle User Movement #BUM was set up last week as a bit of a joke, we have been blessed with two.

First, is a survey they went and done on their members which enlightened us with the following opinions masquerading as facts;

  • 95% of Alliance of British Drivers' members believe that the roll out of 20mph zones and limits should be halted pending Government research into increased casualty statistics in current zones.
  • 56% of respondents have had a 20mph zone introduced in their locality
  • 98% of drivers thought that observation and adjusting your speed to the conditions was a more important aspect of safe driving the obeying a 20mph limit.
  • 77% thought that educating all road users on their responsibility under the Highway Code would make the biggest contribution to road safety in built up areas.
  • Only 3.8% thought that 20mph advocates had made a credible case.

Well, I suppose the "facts" are the reporting of the views of their members, but unlike any research undertaken by serious academia and learned societies (with Royal charters and whatnot), The ABD neglected to give us any data on the sample size (i.e. how many members do they have or did they ask) and they don't share the questions asked.

So, let me simply answer each bullet point;

1) Cobbers. 20's Plenty For Us has dealt with this here.

2) And? What does that show exactly? How many people answered this question?

3) No. 98% of your members who answered this question (however it was phrased) think this.

4) 77% of your members who answered that question to be precise. Also, 23% of your members who answered the question don't seem to agree with you. What did they say?

5) Define 20mph advocate? What was the question? What data is it based on?

Actually, we already know that The ABD dislikes 20mph speed limits, so what does this survey actually tell us? Nothing, other than not all of the membership (who responded) are 100% solid against 20mph. It adds nothing to the data pool, it does not help us understand what vexes the membership (who responded). The survey was basically an irrelevance and not even worth me posting about. Damn.

Next, we have another press release which turns out to be the second part of their survey "data" which they are using to counter the "spurious 20mph Quality of life claims". The enlightenment continues;

  • 94.4% of respondents did not believe that 20mph limits or zones would increase quality of life and improve health.
  • 96% of respondents stated that 20mph limits or zones would not make them likely to cycle.
  • 97.7% of respondents said that 20mph limits or zones would not make them walk more often.
  • 54.9% of those respondents now live in or near 20mph zones or limits.

This is getting serious, we have gone to one decimal point now. So, what is my considered, professional* response to the latest revelations?

6) Believe. Opinion, not fact.

7) Really? I am shocked. Hang on, if you belong (i.e. pay a membership fee to) to an organisation "whose aim is to provide an active, responsible voice to lobby for Britain's beleaguered drivers", then why the hell would you cycle anyway? Encouragingly, it would appear that 4% of your members should save themselves £25 and come and join #BUM for free ;)

8) See above. I bet they drive down to the paper shop to by the Daily Whatever as is their right.

9) Well, that is just the same as the second revelation from the first press release. Pity the numbers are different.

So there you have it. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas; bears open their bowels in the forest; the leader of a major world religion follows the religion that he is head of; and most of an undisclosed number of members of The ABD don't much like 20mph speed limits (although some seem tempted to the dark side of feet and pedals).

* My credentials are here on my own blog. I suggest that I may have a vague understanding of the subject matter.

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