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The motorway speed limit is due to rise to 80mph with the aim of the rise a measure which the government hopes will boost fuel economy. But should we risk putting more lives in danger for the sake of saving money on fuel?
It is thought that the rise of the speed limit to 80mph will help shorten journey times for motorists, which will in turn give the economy a boost. Driving at a slower speed of 70mph is not cost effective, and with most drivers exceeding this limit quite considerably, driving at the existing motorway speed limit could begin to cause problems on Britain’s motorways in the future.
Currently, there are very few people who are prosecuted for driving at 80mph on the motorway. Police tend to turn a blind eye to motorists who are driving at this speed in favour of catching the culprits who are exceeding 90mph or more, therefore the new change will not actually change things that dramatically on the motorway.
With the above in mind, many motorists already choose to travel on the motorway at a speed of 80mph, and therefore there is a worry that officially changing the speed limit will not contribute that much in terms of boosting the UK’s economy.
Following this month’s Conservative Party conference, it is expected that the new broad agreement with the coalition and among civil servants will be announced. With it will come stricter laws on speeding, whereby anyone exceeding the 80mph limit will be prosecuted, to avoid motorists from rising to the common speed on the motorway of 90mph.
It is thought that there will be great disapproval from road safety groups in relation to the proposed law, but they may be appeased by another new measure campaigned for by the Liberal democrats which is for the introduction of more 20mph zones.
A road safety expert close to the discussions spoke to popular national newspaper, the Daily Mail and said: ‘We have heard whispers from civil servants that they have been looking at it and have been advised from Whitehall insiders that they are minded to raise it soon, either before or at the Tory conference. But they are aware that safety groups will oppose it.’