news that the Department of Transport (DoT) is to launch a consultation on possibly raising the speed limit on motorways from 70 mph to 80 mph." />

Motorway Speed Limit to Be Raised to 80mph?

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As someone who does a fair amount of driving I think very selfishly about how this will benefit me. It may make my life easier by not having to spend so much time on the road. But will it really reduce journey times because the road conditions have to be right to enable you to drive that fast? Will this also involve investment in the roads infrastructure?

On the other hand as a personal injury lawyer I see on a daily basis how accident victims and their families have to cope with sometimes devastating injuries following car accidents. Should we risk more people being injured for convenience?

The speed limit was set in 1965 and is described as being out of date due to huge advances in safety and technology. The DoT also say that 49% of drivers float the current 70mph limit.  Are these good reasons to change?

Whilst the number of people killed on our roads has reduced by 70% since the original speed limit was introduced, I wonder how many more have been injured? I also wonder how many more cars there are on the roads today, so are we really comparing like with like?

Will that 49% still driver faster and if so, are our cars safe to sustain impacts at 85/90mph?

There is also an environmental consequence to this proposal. Whilst drivers travelling 10mph faster might get them to their destination quicker, they will use 20% more fuel and emit 20% more CO2.

Is this really a good idea ?

Claire Howard
Partner - Personal Injury Team 

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