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Motorway speed limits- does the UK have it right?

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Motorway speed limits- does the UK have it right?

Old 4th May 2018, 09:39
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Motorway speed limits- does the UK have it right?

I recall a few years ago there was a proposal to raise the UK motorway speed limit. Then all went quiet.
is 70mph the right limit?
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Old 4th May 2018, 09:51
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No. The speed should definitively be higher.

But it even more important is they should have a lower limit as well I would say any vehicle/driver not capable of maintaining at least 60 MPH be banned from the motorway network.
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Old 4th May 2018, 09:54
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Originally Posted by TangoAlphad View Post
I'd say strictly enforced variable speed limits based on condition / road.
Car technology has progressed hugely both in braking effectiveness and handling. There are some stretches of UK motorway I'd feel perfectly comfortable doing 90mph on and my car is an average 5 door diesel family hatchback. Condition, road layout / road surface pending there are some stretches 70mph almost feels ambitious or reckless.
My gut however tells me it won't happen as allowing an increase in vehicle speed will up emissions and pollution which they are trying to cut back on.
variable limits are the worst thought out idea in the U.K. yet. They are so infrequently updated that they become a self fulling prophesy. (This also goes with roadworks speed limitations).
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:16
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The road can carry more vehicles going 60 mph than going 70 mph.

And you will always have those unable or unwilling to drive at the limit. A speed limit is not a recommended speed.

Speed isn’t dangerous, it is the differences in speeds that are.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:16
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I spent years driving up and down the country on motorways before there were cameras everywhere, and the near-universal speed in good conditions was around 80mph, and the police didn't seem to be the slightest bit interested in nicking anyone. The problem of driving at 80mph has only really raised it's head because of speed cameras, I believe.

I can't see any good reason not to adopt the system used in places like France, where there is a higher speed limit for dry roads than there is for wet ones. IIRC, the French autoroute speed limit is 130km/h in dry conditions (which is a bit over 80mph) and 110km/h when it's raining (a bit under 70mph). That's always seemed a sensible idea to me, although I think I'd argue that the speed restriction in the wet should be a bit lower than the French have set it at.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:17
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Originally Posted by highflyer40 View Post
No. The speed should definitively be higher.

But it even more important is they should have a lower limit as well I would say any vehicle/driver not capable of maintaining at least 60 MPH be banned from the motorway network.
As I understand it, in the UK, lorries are (theoretically) limited to 56mph - I know, we've all been passed by a juggernaut doing at least 70. Are you suggesting that no lorries be allowed on motorways? That would really do wonders for traffic levels on non-motorway routes.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:18
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The speed limit shouldn't be raised just yet. But the thoroughness of the driving test to include dual carriageway and roundabout usage should. An average speed camera enforced 80 mph with a 5% tolerance in clear and dry weather would probably be about right. Magistrates should also get tough(er) on the, "but I'll lose my job" pleading of the 12 point caught doing 70 in a 40 merchant.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:20
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Worst idea?

Depends on on how you look at it - from the side of those who install and manage them they are a major money earner. For all their apologies, expect them to be progressively introduced across the motorway network and A-roads, just as early speed cameras were.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/i...lising-drivers
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:25
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Originally Posted by RedhillPhil View Post
the, "but I'll lose my job" pleading of the 12 point caught doing 70 in a 40 merchant.
Ah, but, should such people be punished for the failure of their parents to teach them, as most of us try to teach our toddlers, that "sometimes your choices, decisions and actions have consequences"?
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:31
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The road can carry more vehicles going 60 mph than going 70 mph.
And it can carry the most traffic at 28 mph. Let's make that a mandatory speed.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:36
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Bring on self driving cars that are speaking to each other. You wouldn’t need a limit, but that wouldn’t be as much fun.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:37
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Worst idea?

Depends on on how you look at it - from the side of those who install and manage them they are a major money earner. For all their apologies, expect them to be progressively introduced across the motorway network and A-roads, just as early speed cameras were.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/i...lising-drivers
One of the major flaws seems to be that it's too damned easy to forget there is a variable limit in force, especially if your car has a speed display that automatically let's you know when you are over the limit, by turning red, with a separate speed limit sign shown all the time as a reminder of the limit on that road section. I'll freely admit to having got used to checking the limit in force by glancing at the display in the car, especially at this time of the year when a lot of the 40mph limit signs are temporarily obscured by spring growth, that won't be trimmed back for a couple of months. However, the in-car speed limit display falls over when driving on a motorway with variable speed limits in force, as the display always shows the motorway limit at 70mph, not the variable limit in force at that instant. I doubt I'm alone in using the internal car speed limit display as a useful reminder, either.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:38
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Is 70 MPH about right? I’d say yes, it is. The danger in having it any higher, e.g. 80mph, is that too many drivers will use that as carte blanche to do 90mph……

Personally, I’d prefer speeding on residential roads be treated as a higher priority.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:45
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I DREAM of 70 mph. NZ highest is 100 kph = 62.5 mph, and some idiot in Gummint is proposing reducing it to 70 kph = 43 mph except on Motorways / dual carriageways or roads with a central barrier.

I might just emigrate.
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Old 4th May 2018, 11:25
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
One of the major flaws seems to be that it's too damned easy to forget there is a variable limit in force, especially if your car has a speed display that automatically let's you know when you are over the limit, by turning red, with a separate speed limit sign shown all the time as a reminder of the limit on that road section. I'll freely admit to having got used to checking the limit in force by glancing at the display in the car, especially at this time of the year when a lot of the 40mph limit signs are temporarily obscured by spring growth, that won't be trimmed back for a couple of months. However, the in-car speed limit display falls over when driving on a motorway with variable speed limits in force, as the display always shows the motorway limit at 70mph, not the variable limit in force at that instant. I doubt I'm alone in using the internal car speed limit display as a useful reminder, either.
Actually, the major flaw is the inability of a driver not to monitor signs showing the speed limits, then relate them to the speedometer via the Mk1 eyeball and right foot application on the throttle. ....and to be seemingly reliant on technology in lieu of basic driving techniques.
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:02
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Originally Posted by ExXB View Post
Bring on self driving cars that are speaking to each other. You wouldn’t need a limit, but that wouldn’t be as much fun.
Why not put them on rails and join them together?
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:04
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In France, there is a higher speed limit for dry roads than there is for wet ones. IIRC, the French autoroute speed limit is 130km/h in dry conditions (which is a bit over 80mph) and 110km/h when it's raining (a bit under 70mph). That's always seemed a sensible idea to me.

Understandable & sensible? Yes. Rain ferocity has a spectrum and you can be at the whim of Mr. Plod.( Even us pilots know that what ATC think about wet is different to us.)

But what about night time? There you are, en-route for a long drive; the motorway is empty and you trundle along at 70mph/120kph in the dark getting sleepier & sleepier. If speed is a safety issue, why not 00.00 - 05.00 let you do 80 or 90mph? The saving on a 5 hour trip is significant.
The next question is, except for Germany, why are there so many 155mph cars being produced? EU limits are generally 80mph/130kph, so why produce 155mph/250kph cars? I know the real reason, but it begs a question.
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:26
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I am by no means an evangelical slow driver but I think the present 70mph motorway limits are sufficient, as long as common sense is applied to enforcement. The recent proposal by one individual senior police officer to allow absolutely nil tolerance would be both impractical and unenforceable.

It appears that many motorway drivers would be out of their depth if the limit were to be raised any higher; as it is many are already preoccupied with other pastimes whilst supposedly concentrating on driving.
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:39
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No. I think the speed limit should be higher. I also believe that there should be a substantial increase in police patrolling our roads.
Cameras cannot catch, drunk, drugged, tailgating and other appalling behaviour on our roads. Yet so much effort is put into catching someone who is driving over the limit, sometimes just a few MPH over. I recently travelled 170miles to Whitby. Took me 2 hours 37mins. Never saw a police car, never got a ticket and never had any other car making rude gestures at me.
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:40
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“Common sense applied to enforcement “? Not going to happen. Most enforcement is by whatever speed the camera is set at; generally a function of desired revenue. Sense, common or otherwise doesn’t come into it.
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