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Call for 130km/h limit test

2011-11-07 19:06

0 - 80: The British government has proposed raising the national speed limit to 130km/h.

As the British government pushes to increase the country’s motorway speed limit from 70mph (115km/h) to 80mph (130km/h), a motorists’ organisation has called for a test period.

The idea should draw interest in South Africa as there are rumblings that the local limit could be reduced from 120 to 100km/h.

The British Institute of Advanced Motorists has called on the government there to pilot the 80mph speed limit after it proposed in September, 2011 that the motorway speed limit be raised.

According to the IAM, drivers regularly exceed the 115km/h mark on uncongested freeways and police rarely prosecute them travelling between the posted limit and 130km/h.


However, road-safety groups are concerned that legalising the current unofficial 80mph limit could create another 90mph (145km/h) unofficial limit. They fear increased average speeds will lead to more accidents with increased severity.

The IAM, though, wants the government to pilot the proposed speed limit on a controlled stretch of freeway to assess its practicality and safety and gauge drivers’ reaction to it.

IAM CEO Simon Best said:  "A fifth of motorway users already travel at this increased speed and more than half exceed 72mph (116km/h) when they can, suggesting that a properly controlled 80mph limit may not show huge increases in carbon or road casualties.

"A detailed trial is needed to assess these risks, though, and if they are shown to increase significantly then of course a better-enforced 70 limit may be a more appropriate system.

“Raising the motorway speed limit has been debated for many years and the evidence is that the motoring public is ready for it.”

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