Speed limit increase makes roads safer

Increased speed limits helps to cut accidents
21 Mar, 2014 7:27pm Chris Ebbs

Danish study over two years finds that raising limits helps to cut accidents and fatalities

Motoring groups have backed a Danish report which claims that increasing speed limits is safer – but there are question marks over whether it could be easily implemented in the UK.

The study, carried out over two years by the Danish Road Directorate, looked at how driver behaviour and accident rates changed when speed limits 
were raised on single-carriageway rural roads and motorways.

One of the key findings was that after raising limits on two-way rural roads from 50mph to 56mph, accidents fell, due to a drop in the speed differential between the fastest and the slowest drivers, resulting in less overtaking.

While the slowest drivers increased speeds, the fastest 15 per cent were found to be driving 1mph slower on average.

On sections of motorways where the limit was raised from 68mph to 80mph nine years ago, fatalaties also fell.

A spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers told us: “The research would seem to suggest that we are going the wrong way in the UK. This has proven that deaths and accidents have fallen despite limits increasing.”

A Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) spokesman said the research raised interesting questions. “A key element isn’t just the risk of the crash that is proportional to travelling speed for a given road, but the risk of injury should a collision occur.”

“We would be interested to see how the Danish study has handled confounding factors. This would all influence the applicability of this scheme to other countries or road networks," he added.

The Association of Chief Police Officers would not comment.

Disqus - noscript

Of course the plod aren't going to like it, because such a thing reduces the chance for revenue raising.

The safety groups aren't going to like it because they want to protect those of us who are responsible drivers from ourselves, just in case we hurt ourselves.

Going too slow on a motorway or dual carriageway is just as dangerous as going fast past a school at chucking out time as it ultimately causes irritation & frustration to those who want to go & get on with their business.

It's time for minimum speed limits to apply on major routes.

...of course the number of accidents reduced when all were travelling at the same higher speed, but surely logic and common sense dictate that if they all travelled at the same, but LOWER speed, surely they would show less accidents as well, but also less severe accidents/injuries. duh

A minimum speed limit (didn't there used to be a 40 mph min. speed limit on motorways?) would only give speed camera operatives the chance to book those who perforce had to drop below it, such as in a tailback.

This is only one study and it certainly doesn't 'prove' anything in isolation. The TRL response is the most sensible of those given. More research needed.

Which just goes to show that common sense isn't that common. Statistics show that people breaking sharply because they see a speed camera actually causes accidents that would otherwise not have happened, they also show that accident increase in areas directly after traffic calming, (driver annoying), measures, but no one used your common sense on those inevitabilities.

Yes, great... Book the dawdlers who cause congestion & delays, they're the one's who cause most of the problems & cause severe irritation and anger by those who want to get on with work & in life.

I know of areas around Surrey where the speeds have been lowered because people don't drive according to the conditions name the A24 Dorking one woman who was driving like a loon in heavy rain or by an idiot who decides that the A24 Mickleham bypass is a good place for a walk at night & gets killed.

Everyone gets treated like an kid & everyone pays the penalty for two idiots.

Speed limit was dropped from 70-60 now 50, if SCC keep going we'll soon have a man with a red flag!

Since the speed reduction they've still had loads of accidents, because of people doing stupid things & illegal turns.

...yes, because common sense isn't that common, they need to reduce all speed limits and require all motor vehicles to have speed governors installed to eliminate the completely unnecessary selfish act of speeding in public areas.

If people want to speed and race, they should go to a race track.

People who experience severe irritation and anger because of dawdlers need to see a psychiatrist.

Oh to be so self righteous...

No, the dawdlers (eg. OAP's who have all day & think everyone else can take all day too) should be penalised, they cause trouble.

Plain & simple.

You've got a bit of a problem going on there, mate.

You've misunderstood. Parking cameras are already leading to people getting tickets for stopping in traffic. Do you think a minimum speed limit wouldn't have the same effect?
Perhaps those of us who don't charge about the place getting severe irritation and anger -but who nonetheless have jobs- have worked out that getting on in work and life is not the same thing as having a life.

No, I don't you'll find that a lot of people get completely p155 off with idiot drivers who will dawdle along a nice straight road at say 30 with the occasional slight & sweeping curves which is well below the speed limit of say 50 or 60 mph and I'm sorry but if you do that then you should be fined for it as it's just as dangerous to go too slow as it is to do 80-100+.

If you want to dawdle around at that speed keep off motorways, keep off dual carriageways & main routes and use the quieter lanes.

I don't dawdle, but I don't fall out of my tree whenever I encounter someone who is driving slowly. That's the point that you seem unable to grasp. It's not about the other driver, it's about you.

Sorry to break it to you but it's the speeders, not the dawdlers who are the self righteous, it's the idiots who don't know how to plan their day and schedule so that they don't have to speed and put others at risk.

...and so we don't need to throw higher road speeds into the mix of people doing stupid things.
That'd be crazy.

From you're attitude, you must be one of the self righteous, never do anything wrong office plebs then.

I am one of the people who fall into the critical worker category, if I'm late I will screw up possibly 1100 people's day in ONE HIT & more when you add the other bits to it.

And I've noticed that you're a Canadian, so why not stick to your own country.

...you should try to get ready earlier so that you're not late for your job.

Speeding because you're unorganized and unable to schedule yourself so that you don't get fired is selfish and irresponsible behaviour.

Get yourself together so that you do not need to put innocent victims at risk because of your tardiness.

(road safety knows no borders)

We need to get better at hindering speeders, not enable them.

Duh... they are already going slow when they bereak sharply because they have no idea how slow they are travelling.

It would make no difference to the idiots walking where they shouldn't would it?

So there goes all the greenies policies then make vehicles drive at a speed that wastes fuel great idea the government gets more money out off us.

I'm sorry, you've entered the wrong discussion.

"People with Brain Injuries" is one link over.
Have a nice day.

Speed itself doesn't cause accidents. Ok, so we install a speed governor and get stuck behind a car travelling at 25 mph in a 30 mph zone. That means you would need an incredible amount of clear road to safely overtake. So now your stuck, along with everybody else behind you, or you can take a now greater risk to overtake! Just because some beurocrat has set a speed limit on a road doesn't mean it's appropriate. What's appropriate are the circumstances surrounding the situation.

You accuse people of being self righteous? Read your own posts you total hypocrite. What a Bellendian.

There will always be idiots wandering on roads, if you run one down it will ruin your life regardless of blame. Grow up and listen.

So you think that speed cameras save lives despite the research that shows that the number of accidents increases in the area beyond them and that no accidents are reduced in the areas where they are placed, all it does is raise revenue for the exchequer, you seem to be brainwashed by the propaganda, and do not understand the subject matter whatsoever, Bruce.

How on earth can you blame speed cameras on accidents that occur beyond the cameras? Why would you not blame the drivers/speeders involved in the crashes? You make no sense at all.

Are you drunk?

You shouldn't drink and then post opinions. You make no sense at all.

Barry, You have no grasp on the facts or reality.

I'm sorry that you have a problem with understanding the english language, maybe you should just post and read those that you do understand.

which specific facts are you referring to, the one where all speed cameras do is raise revenue, or the one that driving in low gears, and stop starting is an inefficient use of fuel, oh sorry those are true and they are the ones I am referring to, or do you have a tenuous grasp of the english language.

I'm not drunk, is that the best insult you can think up, nor do I have simple minded ideas that do not work, cameras do not make roads safer, it has been shown that people, not speeding, panic when they see a camera and Brake sharply causing accidents as people behind not speeding are not expecting the idiot in front to slow down sharply.

...again with the nonsensical posts.

Are you suffering from a stroke?

Do you need me to call you an ambulance?

Have you fallen and can't get up?

...if the "idiot" in front slows down unexpectedly, and there is an accident, then it is clearly the fault of the morons following too close behind who are obviously driving without due care and attention.

Do you even have a driver's license?

Sorry Barry, those are not facts. They are merely your simple-minded misinterpretations of the facts.

...and sorry to break it to you, but speed does kill.

It's too bad that you are so closed-minded to the facts that you come across as some sort of speeding zealot unable tolerate those who drive at reasonable speeds.

Oh dear typical response from someone without a cogent argument, make childish personal attacks on someone who does.

No it is the fault of the driver who panics and brakes for no reason whatsoever. They cause the accidents, in fact when there is a long line of traffic they cause multiple accidents, because the idiot at the front had no idea what speed (s)he was driving at. I have 3 drivers licences and have many thousands of miles of driving experience to call upon

Really you think that the speed cameras save lives do you, so where is your evidence to prove that?

You think that running engines at a level that wastes fuel is a good idea, or do you think that crawling along stopping and starting saves fuel?
Most people are killed by cars travelling below 30 mph in built up areas where pedestrians and cyclists don't pay attention, or break the law.

Are you some sort of anti vehicle zealot who blames drivers for everything others do?

...you are a fool void of the facts. I'm not here to educate you, just to provide you a platform to display your true ignorance of the issues, for comedic relief.

Obviously every measure taken to slow cars down will save lives.

Slowing traffic down does save fuel. It's impossible to go faster and use less fuel.

Cars are the number one leading cause of youth death.

You are a dinosaur; a dying breed addicted to the self entitlement that many polluting motorists hold.

Adapt or remain obsolete.

No, in the collision type you describe, the driver following too close is at fault.

I'm confident that I've been driving (privately and professionally) longer than you have, and I'm an educated and widely published writer who has thoroughly researched the subject.

You're just all sorts of wrong and you're likely a danger to others on or near the road when you are driving.


Where's your cogent argument?


I'm confident that you will not have anything like my experience if you did have you wouldn't be posting this tripe here, being a widely published writer doesn't mean you know anything about the subject matter, just that you got something published. As anyone with any level of education knows you just have to repeat what others have said to get a qualification.

Ha ha ha ha still no argument in favour of your claims. People who are frustrated by being held up particularly when they need to get somewhere on time and are held up are likely to get agitated by the person doing the holding up. I have seen people who wrongly believe they are being held up by a large vehicle overtake when they think it is safe only to find someone in from in a car holding up the traffic which extends the distance needing to be travelled, and the truck having to break to prevent an accident, the idea that driving slowly is safe is a fallacy, that is why there is a minimum speed limit on motorways although that is to low.

You sure think a lot about me and my opinion.

Is this the kind of irritation and frustration you feel when motorists in front of you don't speed as fast as you?

You inappropriately and with extreme prejudice consistently empathise disproportionately in favor of the impatient motorists and speeders.

The dangerous driver in your odd story sure doesn't know how to pass a large vehicle with due care and attention, and it sounds like the large vehicle was following the row of traffic too closely. Yikes. Some drivers are crazy.


I think you are wrong and don't agree with your opinion so don't try to fool yourself, you clearly do that when you think you are posting snide remarks.

The average driver I used as an example behaved completely rationally unlike the very bad driver at the front, I'm sure you have met the man who has never had an accident in 50 years of driving but has seen many now you know why, because the slow moving vehicle was the catalyst.

out of interest .. what makes you such an expert? I doubt you have ever driven a car considering some of your comments - "Slowing traffic down does save fuel. It's impossible to go faster and use less fuel." ?????? you use more fuel at a higher speed that much i'll give you but you also cover more distance. the usage of fuel is how much was required to cover your journey. A vehicle travelling at 58mph will use far less fuel to cover the same distance at 30mph or even 50mph. In my own car I can travel 30miles at low speeds or 53 miles at high speeds in the same amount of fuel. this is the case with every car - try reading the vehicle mpg specs!

sorry ... can't resist .. "educated and widely published" - if I were you I would ask for a refund and getting a letter printed in the VIZ doen't make you a writer. You are the 1st professional driver I have ever came across that doesn't understand fuel consumption.

You just can't get me or my opinion out of your mind - you just can't stay away.

That's cute.

Well Bobby, I'm such an expert because I research with an open mind.

Fuel efficiency is only one SMALL issue related to highway speeds, and you're referencing much lower speeds.

Fuel efficiency varies from vehicle to vehicle, and is becoming less of a factor now that people are using alternate fuels and vehicles are not being designed and engineered for unnecessary high speeds..

Safety is the main issue which nullifies any polluting motorists concerns for fuel efficiency.

The world doesn't revolve around motorists who need to speed.

Try reading some death statistics and not the car manufacturer specs if you want facts on the issue.

Try to stay on topic, Bobby.

Sorry Bobby, but fuel consumption only peaks at an average rate of around 40 to 55 mph - and that only matters if you ignore the death and destruction caused by speeding vehicles, which is the real issue the article attempts to address - fuel efficiency is not the issue.

You think you have a point, Bobby, but you don't, you have a half thought, at best.

Well clearly you are not here to educate me because you are devoid of anything sensible to add to the conversation.

I wonder how many people following the car doing between 15 and 20 mph I followed today in a 30mph area, on a wide straight road who could not overtake would agree with you that the person was driving safely?

Stopping traffic from moving or slowing it down does not save fuel that is a common misconception believed by the gullible.

Drug abuse is the the number one cause of youth death.

You are someone with adenoids who starts conversations with "you didn't want to do that", then spouts utter junk as to why you think that.

I find it amazing that you think you have anything to add to the debate we know you position all cars should have their ignitions removed and never move so that reckless pedestrians and cyclists can behave stupidly at will.

What are you talking about?

Ignitions removed?

Cars never move?

Reckless pedestrians?

Is this how you add to the debate? Nonsense, pretend facts, and hatred for pedestrians and cyclists?

(you do know that when you are not driving you are a pedestrian?)


It is the obvious outcome of why you are bleating about, with your fabricated facts, I am not a reckless pedestrian or cyclist because I am aware by being a very experienced driver the problems I could cause, you do know when you are a pedestrian or cyclist you should take responsibility for your own stupidity don't you, or are you just another one of the people that blames everyone else for your stupidity.

My fabricated facts?

You're funny.

You just insisted that the leading cause of death for youth is drugs, not motor vehicle accidents.

You just make stuff up that only you and your mommy believe.

Sorry Barry, wrong again;

"The most common cause of deaths in the UK among people aged 10-24 is traffic accidents."
(The Guardian, September 11, 2009)

"Road traffic crashes leading cause of death among young people."
(World Health Organization)

Saving fuel? You keep wanting this issue to be about saving fuel, and it is clearly NOT. It's about saving lives and making our roads safer.

Nice try Barry. Try using real facts.


Does the nursery know you are out, my deceased mother hated people who were driving to slowly, because she realised they were not safe to be on the roads, either through a lack of confidence or skills, so she would have found someone like you driving your puddle jumper at 5 mph very annoying.

I'm glad you are saying sorry for being wrong before you post your twaddle

...so, your patience and intolerance is hereditary?

Your mother is a road rager, too?

...a family tradition?

...so, you're gonna play childish and ignore that you're providing pretend facts?

Why is it hard for you to admit the truth, that motor vehicles are the leading cause of death for youth?

...does the truth hurt?

Society has clearly got to the point where everyone has a right but no one has a responsibility, you clearly believe that pedestrians and cyclists have no responsibility and that everyone should be controlled by whatever politically correct regulation you think is right clearly you have no knowledge whatsoever regarding Psychology sociology or indeed the ability to drive.

No it doesn't, I know that because I use it, unlike you with your continual twaddle, that you come up with because you actually apparently believe the nonsense you have been told.

There you go taking all crazy again Barry.

Who on earth believe that pedestrians and cyclists have no responsibility?

You are talking like a fool.

Pedestrians and cyclists are VERY AWARE of the motor vehicles that can kill them in an instant.

To suggest they operate without responsibility is beyond stupid. Their lives are threatened daily by motor vehicles.

Do you tell your shrink about your beliefs about pedestrians and cyclists, and about your rage about "slow" drivers?

No, you don't use the truth,

...for example, your lie about the leading cause for the death of youth, or have you forgotten already?

Maybe you need to cut back on your medication, Barry,

...because you are ignoring the two references I provided to prove what you said was a complete lie.

Nice try, B,B,B,Barry.

Clearly you live in a parallel universe where everyone is like a step ford wife, I would imagine the closest you ever got to driving was your pedal car in the front room because you clearly are devoid of any sensible comments. Your childish jibes are not exactly helping your case either. I suggest that you go and discuss something where you have a small idea of the subject matter because clearly that is nothing to do with this particular subject matter.

The Office of National statistics doesn't concur with your view your references are not those one would consider to be valid the graudian and world wide statistics we are after all talking about the UK.

But what about your lie about drugs being the major cause of death for youth, and not motor vehicles?

Your fan (mommy) is waiting for your explanation.


The statistics that you claim do not exist.

ALL studies point to motor vehicle fatalities as being the leading cause of the death for youth.

Sorry Barry, I did my research and you just made yours up.

(next time provide a direct quote and reference source name, as I did and you ignored.)

(You are in over your head, pal.)


This is the very last time I will reply to you because it is clear you know nothing and just want the last word, the office of national statistics is the official statistical body of the UK government not wikipedia written by people with no knowledge or warped ideas, not the guardian whose factual reporting is highly dubious at the best of times. I know which one out of those three I believe.

Research takes a bit more than googling and going to the wiki site.

You're quitting because you are wrong and you don't have an argument.

You were in over your head from the start.

If you know so much about research, why can't you provide a quote or title of the document you are referring to at the Office of National Statistics?

YOU CAN'T, because I did, and I am right and YOU ARE WRONG.

"Leading Causes of Death; 5-19 years: 1st-Land Transport Accidents"
(The Office for National Statistics: Leading Causes of Death; Part of Mortality Statistics: Deaths Registered in England and Wales -Series DR-, 2012 Release)


Go cry to your mommy, Barry.

Sorry, Bobby, but you are just plain wrong. Learn something before posting. Check out the effect of aerodynamics on fuel usage - if you travel at "high speed" you will definitely use more fuel. Try the same route at 70mph and then at 80mph and check the fuel used. It will absolutely definitely be less at 70mph.

Anything that will allow you to concentrate on the task in hand i.e driving the vehicle is bound to reduce accidents, as currently i suspect at least 33% of a drivers concentration is taken up looking for road humps and speed cameras.


You don't seem to understand what mpg means. It's miles per gallon.

Mpg tells you how many MILES you can travel on one gallon of fuel.

So if a car does, say,
50mpg at 56mph, and
30mpg at 75mph,
which is further
FIFTY miles (at 56mph) or
THIRTY miles (at 75mph)?

well its no suprise, the slower you drive the less you concentrate so you pay more attention when driving faster so to a point faster is safer in a lot of situations.
anyway the speed limit was always just that, a limit not a recomendation as you should drive to the conditions at the time but in the UK it seems that its used more as the recomended speed so the responsibilty for choosing a safe speed is taken away from the driver which is once again wraping people in cotton wool while been great for raising extra cash.

I understand fully what mpg is!! The original post I responded to stated that it was impossible to drive faster without using more fuel with no mention of speeds in question - just a general statement. The example I stated clearly states that I make the statement in regards to the comparison of 30mph to 58mph - as far I am aware these are the same speeds manufacturers use when calculating the MPG for urban , extra urban and combined (was told this by the motorcodes a few years back)
At no stage do I mention driving at speeds of 75mph or make any comparisons. so taking a pop at me for something I have not said is a bit pointless don't you think?

if you re-read my post you will clearly see that I make no mention whatsoever of speeds of 70mph or 80mph. I clearly state a comparison of 30mph and 58mph in response to a general statement from OP that it is impossible to go faster without using more fuel - clearly incorrect as my example shows! If you can say to me that driving the same distance at 58mph does not use less fuel than 30mph then I would see the point of your post but maybe you should try reading a bit yourself before getting on your high horse and posting. The article itself relates to speed comparison of 50mph to 56mph so speeds of 70 and 80 are not even being discussed therefore I do not see the point of you bringing it up just to try and have a go at someone!

so in your view we should all drive at all times at 30mph - as far as I am aware this the speed at which no fatalities could be guaranteed - even on motorways? If you are looking to take the moral high ground on deaths then this is what it should be! I could make the same statement towards the foolishness of your ideas that you have just made yourself! BTW - every car I have ever driven - 1.0l to 2.5l have all had their optimum mpg at 58-62mph (real speed if speedometer variances are taken into account would probably be a range of 54mph to 58mph) Done by resetting the trip computer and driving at the same speeds constantly on motorways without breaking or accelerating ( would normally get bored after 50 odd miles and revert to normal driving style but this is what I have experienced)

I never said anything about everybody driving at all times at 30mph?

Are you drunk?

The numbers I provided were not mine; they were from a UK study. Maybe you should tell them they were wrong - that you know how to set your trip odometer.


if safety is the concern then should we not make a start by removing all vehicles not upto current safety standards from the road? As you seem to be aware of all the stats and are so well learned could you provide a breakdown of how many fatalities were in older vehicles without modern safety features and in vehicles that would not meet current safety test standards? Then collisions with larger vehicles i.e. trucks and buses in which even if speed had been lower the impact would still have had the same outcome.

You are supposed to provide your own facts for your own hypothesis, not me. Lazy much?

Removing unsafe vehicles from the road, sure, that's a good idea, that's why they already do it.

away you go ya walloper!! Year ending june 2013 there were 1785 road deaths. There were 2500 drug related deaths in England and Wales alone - Scotland will probably add another 500 to that figure. Don't know about you but the school I went to always told me that 3000 was more than 1785. Do you have any idea of the carnage drugs is causing in the UK .. infact you will probably find that the root cause of many of the yout car deaths are down to alcohol and drugs being used by the driver prior to getting behind the wheel. Your stats therefore do not gie the full picture unless you can give a breakdown of every single rta death and al the factors involved outwith speed

think you will find there is no legal requirement for vehicles to have any safety feature other than a seatbelt and working braks - older vehicles are not removed from the roads because they no longer conform to safety standards of more modern vehicles - the only time this happens is when the owner of said vehicle decides to scrap it but aslong as the vehicles brakes work and it has a seatbelt and emmissions are within the parameters that vehicle can be driven regardless of what the occupant safety would be in a collision. for example - cars without airbags are not illegal and very common in the UK.
And I suppose the study you so much like to quote is one that you wrote and researched? Bit lazy taking someone else work to go on a moral crusade or is it just trying to make yourself feel important?

WRONG, again. :-)

You need to do better research, and provide a link to your "facts" - but you can't because you are wrong;

"The total number of deaths related to drug misuse in England and Wales was 1,496 in 2012." (NOT 2500)
(Statistics on Drug Misuse: England 2013 - Copyright © 2013, Health and Social Care Information Centre.)

...and what was your lame point; ignore road deaths because drugs kill many?

You're funny, but in over your head.


...so, like I said, no facts to back up your argument, eh?

Why do you think about me so much, and why do you worry so much about what I say?


No they don't measure fuel consumption at 58. The fuel consumption figures (for cars sold in Europe) are taken on the New European Drive Cycle - which has a variety of speeds from stationary (engine idling) to 75MPH (extra Urban). Most modern cars are unlikely to use less fuel at 58 than they are at 40. At 30, they might use a bit more, depending on the car and the gearing. Generally, they deliver the best fuel consumption at the lowest speed they can pull in their highest gear - typically around 40-45.

I can't believe your still trying to push the over-simplistic (but highly lucrative!) "speed kills" argument, right under an article about a piece of research that shows otherwise! Not an isolated instance either - same thing happened in the USA (Montana)!