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Drivers want speed limits cut when it rains

Drivers want speed limits cut when it rains

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A poll of 2,100 motorists by the RAC showed that 72 per cent would like the standard 70mph reduced during wet conditions.

The vast majority of drivers would like to see lower motorway speed limits introduced in wet weather, a new survey has suggested. A poll of 2,100 motorists by the RAC showed that 72 per cent would like the standard 70mph reduced during wet conditions in order to help boost safety and promote better driving habits. Some 78 per cent of the respondents who were behind the move felt that it would encourage other road users to slow down while 72 per cent thought that it was worth introducing as a way of saving lives. Nearly two-thirds of those quizzed said that a lower speed limit would help improve visibility due to the reduced amount of spray generated by moving vehicles. 


Department for Transport statistics show that 246 people were either killed or seriously injured across Britain’s motorways during 2019 when the road surface was damp, wet or flooded - a significant increase on the 203 recorded two years earlier. In France, motorway speed limits are dropped from 130km/h (80mph) to 110km/h (68mph) when inclement weather strikes. Of the drivers questioned, 17 per cent would like to see the maximum speed limit in wet conditions reduced to 65mph. Some 33 per cent would like to see it dropped to 60mph, while eight per cent were behind a 55mph wet-weather speed limit. Some nine per cent would like to see it reduced to 50mph, meanwhile. A further 14 per cent would like to see the speed limit reduced, but aren’t sure about how much by. 


RAC data insight spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Statistically the UK has some of the safest motorways in Europe but it’s also the case that there hasn’t been a reduction in casualties of all severities on these roads since 2012, so perhaps there’s an argument for looking at different measures to help bring the number of casualties down.

 

“Overall, our research suggests drivers are broadly supportive of lower motorway speed limits in wet conditions, as is already the case across the Channel in France. “And, while most drivers already adjust their speed when the weather turns unpleasant, figures show that ‘driving too fast for the conditions’ and ‘slippery roads’ are still among the top 10 reasons for motorway collisions and contribute to significant numbers of serious injuries and even deaths every year. “The overall success of any scheme would of course depend on sufficient numbers of motorists reducing their speed, but even just a proportion reducing their speed in the wet would be likely to improve the safety of the UK’s motorways.”