Speed increase concerns

Safety fears over planned speed limit increase

Published:  30 September, 2011

Transport Minister Philip Hammond plans to increase the national speed limit to 80mph. He was quoted on Radio 4's Today programme saying: "When the speed limit was introduced, my family had an Anglia and the speedometer only went up to 70. Today's cars are capable of much greater speeds"

However, the RAC's Stephen Glaister noted that improvements in infrastructure need to take place before changes could be safely implemented: "It's not just the cars that are improved, we now have ways of making the roads safer when accidents happen to protect the occupants. If we do move to an 80mph speed limit we would need to see improvements to items such as crash barriers."

The roadworthiness of vehicles is also being called into question, particularly in light of the forthcoming MOT review. John Ball, RMI MOT chairman commented "If cars are allowed to go faster there will be an increased need for a rigorous MOT test."

Ball continued "One area for concern is tyres. There is plenty of data to show the public are now increasingly driving with illegal tyres. At the annual MOT the amount of cars with tyre tread below the legal limit is rising. If under the forthcoming review MOT frequency changes from once a year to once every two years that figure will inevitably grow.

"The RMI urges the Government to consider this when reviewing the frequency of MOTs under the forthcoming review."

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