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Speeding Dangers and Penalties

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 9 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Speed Limits Speeding Penalty Points

For many the thrill of driving at speed is exhilarating and exciting and presents them with an element of danger that they struggle to mirror elsewhere in life. The downside to this thrill seeking is that they put not only their own lives at risk but the lives of other road users and pedestrians. This is why the United Kingdom has a very clearly defined set of speed limits in place.

Speed Limits

Throughout the UK there are well defined speed limits in place for motor vehicle and motorcycle users. These limits are in place to help protect motorists and pedestrians and should be adhered to at all times. You should be aware that there are rarely any acceptable excuses for breaking the speed limits.

Cars and Motorcycles

In built-up areas cars and motorcycles should travel no faster than 30mph (48km/h). The maximum speed on other single lane carriageways is 60mph (96km/h) and dual carriageways at 70mph (112km/h) unless shown otherwise by road signs. Motorways have a maximum speed of 70mph (112km/h).

The 20mph limit

20mph zones have been introduced in heavily built up areas where pedestrians and cyclists are at risk. These tend to be around schools, colleges and shopping areas. In these zones and indeed in any built up area - take notice of the conditions and what's going on around you. Noone wants to live with the death or serious injury of a pedestrian or cyclist on their conscience.

Cars with Caravans or Trailers

In built-up areas, the same speed limit of 30mph applies to cars towing a caravan or trailer can travel. Single lane carriageways should be driven along at a maximum of 50mph (80km/h) whilst 60mph (96km/h) is the maximum for both dual carriageways and motorways.

These are the general rules in the absence of signs, but it is important to check the road signs wherever you are driving.

Speeding Offences

Breaking the speed limit comes with a minimum penalty of 3 points added to your driving licence and a fine of £60. If you already have points on your licence you may have to go to court instead of receiving a fine.

If you are caught driving at a speed substantially greater than the stated limit, you may also have to go to court, where the decision will made whether to disqualify you from driving for a period of time.

How Can You Get Caught

There are several devices aimed at catching speeding vehicles: fixed or mobile speed cameras - and average speed cameras, which measure a vehicle's average speed between two points.

Sensible Driving

Of course, driving according to the conditions on the road is just as important as sticking to the speed limit. If you're travelling on a busy motorway in torrential rain, it is foolhardy to do so at 70 mph just because that's the stated speed limit. If you adapt your driving to show a good awareness of your surroundings and a knowledge of your car's stopping distance, you won't go far wrong.

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