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Higher speed limits lead to crash rate DROP, study claims

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 13:00
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Accident sign-police accident-accident-car-fleet news

FASTER: Are higher speed limits safer?

Speed limits should be raised, the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) have insisted, after a Danish study found an increase has led to an accident drop.

The research – a two-year experiment by the Danish road directorate – discovered accidents have fallen on single-carriageway rural roads where the speed limit was raised from 80km/h to 90km/h.

Researchers also found accidents fell on motorways where the speed limit was increased from 110km/h to 130km/h nine years ago.

The study claimed the decrease in accidents can be attributed to the reduction in the speed differential between the slowest and fastest cars – resulting in less overtaking.

Slower drivers, the study claims, have increased their speeds, but the fastest 15% drive 1km/h slower on average despite the higher limit.

Brian Gregory, Joint-Chairman of the ABD, said: “These findings vindicate what the ABD has been saying for years, that raising unreasonably low speed limits improves road safety by reducing speed differentials and driver frustration.

“They also confirm decades of research from the USA and UK on the setting of speed limits.

“It is now time for the government to push ahead with raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph.

“It must also change its guidance to local authorities on setting speed limits, so that they are once again set at a level that commands the respect of drivers.

“This means reinstating the 85th percentile principle – setting limits that 85% of drivers would not wish to exceed.

“Those who have argued that lower speed limits improve safety have been proved wrong.”