Driving law plans would introduce 'common sense' speed limits after 20mph chaos in Wales

20mph speed limits

20mph speed limits were launched in Wales two months ago

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 18/11/2023

- 08:00

More than 2.3 million speeding fines were handed out in 2021 and 2022

A leading road safety expert has called for a common sense approach to speed limits ahead of a week of action to slash the rate of cars speeding.

Data has shown that reduced speed limits in urban areas are proven to lower fatalities and serious injuries for all road users.

In the event that someone is struck by a vehicle travelling at 30mph, they have a 20 per cent risk of dying, compared to just 2.5 per cent if they are struck by a vehicle driving at 20mph.

The data, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), highlights how widespread the issue is, with a number of road safety organisations calling for more action to be taken.

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More than 2.3 million Fixed Penalty Notices for speeding offences in 2021 and 2022 by UK police forces – the highest number on record.

Lee Puffett, managing director of Start Rescue, said: “We need to be sensible when restricting speed limits.

“Where there are proven records of repeat incidents in residential areas, the speed should be reduced to protect all road users, including our recovery agents who are helping motorists every day.

“Around schools, hospitals, and in towns and villages, it makes sense to lower limits.”

The road safety expert also questioned why some drivers thought it was okay to speed ahead of Road Safety Week from November 19 to November 25.

The week of anti-speeding campaigns, organised by Brake, aims to bring attention to the issue, with five people killed by a speeding vehicle every day.

Puffett also called on local councils and residents to take action and work together to ensure all road users are kept safe.

He continued, saying: “We want to see everyone using the roads safely and in safety.

“Lower speed limits should be considered when the road narrows and twists.

“There is no point introducing a 20mph limit on a wide open country road, so a sensible evidence-based approach is required, not necessarily a blanket ‘one size fits all’ method.”

This comes as Wales adapts to new speed limits introduced in September, with all restricted roads in the country being changed to have a 20mph limit.

The Government states that the speed limit changes will help slash the number of fatalities and serious injuries on the roads, both for pedestrians and drivers.

Despite this, the law change has been met with fierce resistance from Welsh drivers with more than 465,000 signing a petition calling for the rules to be scrapped.

First Minister Mark Drakeford stated that the Government would respond to the petition once it ends after March 13 next year.


50mph speed limit

The expert said 'common sense' speed limits would help save lives


The creator of the petition, Mark Baker, said he wanted to keep the petition open for the full six months to ensure all drivers have the chance to voice their opinion.

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