Car insurance: Govt attempts to cut rural speeding

Thursday, 03 August 2006

Local authorities are being ordered to review speed limits in rural areas in order to cut the number of deaths occurring on country roads, the Times reports

The government says motorists are three and a half times more likely to die driving in rural areas than in towns and cities and is urging authorities to lower the default limit from 60mph down to 40mph or 30mph.

In 2004 the AA carried out a study on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) and found that many motorists drive faster on country roads because they believe they are safer due to the lower volumes of traffic.

However, Andrew Howard, head of AA road safety, told the Times: "People who regularly use rural roads can slip into passive mode and be caught out by the unexpected."

The DfT claims lowering speed limits on these roads would encourage drivers to take more care and be more alert to potential hazards.

"Local authorities will be required to review limits on all roads by 2011 but we are not going to prescribe what they should do. They need to look at the engineering and safety record and if circumstances have changed," a spokesman told the newspaper.

If speed limits are reviewed in rural areas drivers should take care to stick to them in order to avoid fines and licence points which could lead to a hike in their car insurance premiums.

Driving safely on country roads is crucial if drivers wish to avoid accidents and keep their no claims bonus.

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