Truck speed limits on single carriageway roads were raised from 40mph to 50mph, and dual carriageway limits from 50mph to 60mph – the same as the limit for vans.
The research found that all HGV drivers who took part in the study knew about the changes on single carriageways, but fewer than 90% were aware of the changes on dual carriageways. Awareness of the changes was substantially lower among car drivers.
“The study still has some time to run, and early data should be treated with caution. However early results have not identified negative road safety impacts,” the Road Haulage Association’s Director of Policy Jack Semple said. “Indeed, the research so far confirms the industry view that modestly raising the speed limit would both improve road safety and operating efficiency.
“There have also been clear benefits in terms of increased compliance, and a reduction on the pressure on drivers and operators to stay within what were unrealistic speed limits. In addition, we can reasonably assume a reduced frustration for car drivers caused by HGVs moving at unreasonably slow speeds.”
According to a report in Motor Transport, the rate of accidents involving HGVs in the period of the study by 10-36% regionally although this “isn’t necessarily directly attributable to the speed limit changes”.