The 30mph speed limit is unsuitable for much of today's driving conditons

developer

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Apart from the obvious danger areas, for example, school zones, narrow side streets and the like.

I did the first IAM observed drive today - two hours long, and for those two hours I held up the traffic constantly, as my observer "forced" me to observe the 30mph limit along a selection of A roads.

40mph wasn't too bad, but at 30mph you are very clearly the obstruction, much to the annoyance of others.

Even the buses and lorries were unhappy with me.

Try it sometime - be disciplined enough to stick to the 30mph limit for a reasonable period and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.
 

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Agreed, if you don't break the speed limit every time you drive your car, you'll be holding people up as even miss daisy speeds.

The 20 limits are the worst.... usually covered in aggressive speed bumps. Its no surprise that the sale of soft roaders are rocketing in the UK.
 

grober

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The consensus seems to be that the majority of motorists drive at up to 40mph in certain 30mph built up areas. Does this mean that if the speed limit was raised to 40mph that the majority would not then drive at up to 50mph? There seems to be a natural tendency for people to permit themselves a "little leeway" in connection with speed limits. Not saying this is bad thing just the way it is. :dk:
 

MancMike

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Try it sometime - be disciplined enough to stick to the 30mph limit for a reasonable period and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.

I know exactly what you mean, for I drove with a telemetry box for 6 months! :rock:

You quickly realise that drivers are polarised into two categories, those who obey the limits either through choice or some obligation, and those who drive at whatever speed feels safe at the time.

One thing I took from that experience is to never intimidate or get annoyed by someone doing the limit. Not that I did before, and I detest nothing more than tailgaters, but being forced to drive like I'm on a driving test permanently gives you a more respectful perspective on those obeying limits religiously.

I agree, cars have gotten very modern in recent years and I very rarely see old sheds any more. Speed limits should be increased a little.

People generally drive at 10 mph over whatever the limit is anyway. Maybe with the exception of outside schools, etc, I think that should be made the new limit. Although as above, that would probably cause drivers to push their luck another 10 mph...
 

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Does this mean that if the speed limit was raised to 40mph that the majority would not then drive at up to 50mph? There seems to be a natural tendency for people to permit themselves a "little leeway" in connection with speed limits

That is the case.
There are numerous studies with guidance issued and road planners know this is the case so adjust the speed limit down. It is well known that motorists generally feel exceeding the limit by about 10mph is acceptable.
 

Giantvanman

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I agree, cars have gotten very modern in recent years and I very rarely see old sheds any more. Speed limits should be increased a little.

Despite all the advances in vehicle handling/braking/safety, there is one thing that has not changed; it is still a person in control. And people haven't improved to keep pace. Rather, they seem to rely on the advances whether they now it or not.
 

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Apart from the obvious danger areas, for example, school zones, narrow side streets and the like.

I did the first IAM observed drive today - two hours long, and for those two hours I held up the traffic constantly, as my observer "forced" me to observe the 30mph limit along a selection of A roads.

40mph wasn't too bad, but at 30mph you are very clearly the obstruction, much to the annoyance of others.

Even the buses and lorries were unhappy with me.

Try it sometime - be disciplined enough to stick to the 30mph limit for a reasonable period and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.

I try to keep to the speed limits wherever I go , and only rarely find myself straying over by 5mph or so on the occasional downhill stretch .

It may be a cultural\local thing , but I tend to find that most people in most areas are pretty compliant and have no trouble keeping to the limits , be they 30 , 40 or more .

I think that , with the vastly greater enforcement nowadays , that relatively few people risk speeding . What with the price of petrol too , few can afford it either !
 
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st13phil

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The consensus seems to be that the majority of motorists drive at up to 40mph in certain 30mph built up areas. Does this mean that if the speed limit was raised to 40mph that the majority would not then drive at up to 50mph? There seems to be a natural tendency for people to permit themselves a "little leeway" in connection with speed limits. Not saying this is bad thing just the way it is. :dk:
That is the case.
There are numerous studies with guidance issued and road planners know this is the case so adjust the speed limit down. It is well known that motorists generally feel exceeding the limit by about 10mph is acceptable.
I'm not so sure. I think that's an oversimplification of a complex matter.

While there will always be some who automatically attempt to drive to speed limit + x mph regardless of the posted limit, they are in reality a minority. The vast majority of drivers will drive at a speed they feel to be safe, perhaps moderated down by the posted limit. A good example are rural single-carriageway NSL roads where the vast majority of people drive according to the conditions, not to NSL plus a bit. There are also well documented examples of modal speeds actually dropping when inappropriate 30mph limits are increased to 40mph.

The problem with setting speed limits artificially low is that not only are compliance levels very low (absent active enforcement), but also that it encourages contempt for all speed limits.
 

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I sometimes find on NSL roads there are people who drive somewhat below the limit , even though it may be safe and legal to go faster . Without safe opportunities to overtake , everyone is then held up .
 

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Try it sometime - be disciplined enough to stick to the 30mph limit for a reasonable period and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.

I took a driving test for a taxi licence 3 years back....damn it was painful!!

I know this argument has been had before, but the stopping distances don't really apply to today's cars as the braking is much better than when the highway code was published.
 

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I think that , with the vastly greater enforcement nowadays , that relatively few people risk speeding .

heh?

Maybe north of the border (where you get subsidy :)) it's enforced but I very rarely see any police on the roads now, just gatso's (that any decent sat nav alerts you about).

I think there's much less enforcement that there used to be.
 
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st13phil

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I sometimes find on NSL roads there are people who drive somewhat below the limit , even though it may be safe and legal to go faster . Without safe opportunities to overtake , everyone is then held up .
This is the (often sole) argument that is put forward to justify lowering the posted limit on NSL roads. Lower the speed limit and there's less deviation from the mean speed, therefore everyone's safer. That this "lowest common denominator" approach also criminalises the perfectly safe actions of a competent driver is deemed "not relevant".
 

DSM10000

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I took a driving test for a taxi licence 3 years back....damn it was painful!!

I know this argument has been had before, but the stopping distances don't really apply to today's cars as the braking is much better than when the highway code was published.


That is very true but as has been pointed out the nut holding the steering wheel has not improved by the same margin and traffic density has also increased.

With car safety improving rapidly in all areas it has been shown that there is an increased reliance on and acceptance of technology to keep us safe which in turn has led to some people having a lower perceived sense of risk
 

davidjpowell

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I see there are some inappropriate 30 mph limits, but drivers driving as 45 mph in 60 limits are a far bigger problem IMO.
 

grober

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While there will always be some who automatically attempt to drive to speed limit + x mph regardless of the posted limit, they are in reality a minority.
Unfortunately for the OP his post complaining about this actually contradicts what you say. :dk:

quote:- I did the first IAM observed drive today - two hours long, and for those two hours I held up the traffic constantly, as my observer "forced" me to observe the 30mph limit along a selection of A roads.

40mph wasn't too bad, but at 30mph you are very clearly the obstruction, much to the annoyance of others.

Even the buses and lorries were unhappy with me.


But as you say its a complicated matter and someone else touched on the fact that it may well depend on driver ability. There are many factors that come into play. The state of the road at the time- e.g. a wet road is going to produce longer stopping distances. A sixty year old's reflexes may not be that sharp but his driving behaviour may be better than some testosterone fuelled youth. That venerable motor caravan may not have the latest ESP ABS brake assist electronic gismos but it might have better tyres than the almost "racing slicks" on that Toyota Supra. What I am saying is by necessity the present fixed speed limit probably has to reflect the average ability motorist driving the average braking performance of all types of vehicle in average road conditions? There is certainly a solution in the future in the form of variable speed limits/alerts by the continuous monitoring of road conditions, traffic density, weather, type of vehicle, time of day etc but before that happens I would suggest its probably more likely that drivers will have to surrender their vehicle autonomy if they wish to get to their destination faster. :(
 

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If we do not like the legal status quo then we can always lobby and vote to change it.......hold on, that might not always work!:D
 

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