Ayr & District Advanced Motorists are a local group affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists

Driving on Rural Roads

Should 60mph speed limit on rural roads be cut to save lives?

Contrast this road with a 60mph limit...   ...to this.


60mph Too High?

Speed limits on all rural roads are to be reviewed in the light of figures that show motorists are 3.5 times more likely to die driving in the countryside than in towns. Government ministers believe that often, the national limit of 60mph on rural roads is too high.

The RAC Foundation, said: 'We do have some A-roads, where there isn't pedestrian or cycle access, and the limit is 40mph. There are also country roads going through villages where the limit is 60mph, when it should be 30mph.'

No New National Limit

The Scottish Transport authority, said they wanted the limit raised on some 30mph and 40mph roads, where the risk to pedestrians and cyclists is low. This would not result in new national limits for motorways or built-up areas. The current national speed limit is 30mph on urban roads with lighting, 60mph on single carriageway roads and 70mph on dual carriageways, and motorways.

Driving Fast at Night

A study by the Department of Transport in 2004 found many drivers wrongly thought that there was less chance of crashing on rural roads because they were quieter. One in five men thought driving fast on rural roads late at night was safe because they could see on-coming cars' headlights.

Rear End Shunt

A survey by the insurer Direct Line found that three out of four motorists thought the 60mph speed limit on rural roads was too high. More than a quarter admitted breaking the limit, mostly because they thought there was less traffic and fewer pedestrians on rural roads. Some drivers also think they may be less likely to be caught speeding on a country road. Direct Line said: "In towns you are much more likely to be involved in a rear-end shunt or little bump or scrape, whereas head-on collisions or accidents involving animals using or straying on to the road are much more likely on country roads."