Watching your speed is an ideal way of keeping the pounds in your pocket and the points off your licence, said road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist.
Two months after Wales moved to a 20 mph default speed limit in urban areas, GEM is supporting Brake’s Road Safety Week 19 to 25 November, with its theme of ‘Let’s talk about speed’, by offering tips for drivers to ensure they stay within speed limits on every journey. This is not only a key part of reducing collisions and casualties on the roads, but it’s also an effective way of avoiding costly penalties and reducing our environmental footprint as drivers.
GEM road safety adviser James Luckhurst said, “We need to choose speeds that are both legal and appropriate for the conditions. It’s a vital part of taking personal responsibility for our own safety – and that of others – when we are driving.
“Research1 shows that reduced speeds mean fewer collisions, and reduced severity of collisions. For example, an overall 1mph reduction in speed results in an average five per cent reduction in collisions.
“We also know that a car speeding at 80mph uses 10 per cent more fuel than one driven at 70mph. A car driven at 70mph uses 15 per cent more fuel than one at 50mph.”
Courteous drivers who choose legal, appropriate speeds are lifesavers because their actions minimise the risk of a collision, especially when they are alert at all times and mindful of the space they leave in front of them.
James Luckhurst added, “Smooth, safe driving means we’re doing our bit for the environment, we’re keeping licences clean, saving money from using less fuel and reducing the risks you face on the road.”
Tips for slowing down
- Don’t rush on a journey. Leave earlier and ensure you have plenty of time, with no reason to speed.
- Keep a close eye out for speed limit signs, and watch for clues that the speed limit may soon be about to change.
- Scan the speedometer frequently so you always know your own speed.
- Always ask yourself: is my speed both legal and safe? After all, the speed limit is just that – a limit, not a target, and there will be circumstances when you will feel much safer driving below the limit.
The financial cost of speeding
- A ‘speeding ticket’ will result in three points on your driving licence and a fine of £100. In some circumstances a speed awareness course may be offered, costing around the same as the fine. Completing a course avoids the fixed penalty notice and points.
- Changes to the system of fines in 2017 means higher-end speed offenders now face fines of up to 150 per cent of their weekly salary, with six penalty points and/or disqualifications of between seven and 56 days.