In this education piece, you will learn about the following:
Why do we speed?
Risks related to speeding
Fines and penalties
To enable professional LGV drivers to recognise the importance of speed limits, to keep up to date with changes to limits and the outcomes of using excessive speed.
By the end of this topic the drivers will be able to describe why speed limits are in place, the risks of speeding, identify speed limits and the consequences of not adhering to speed limits.
What vehicles are required to have a speed limiter fitted?
In 2015 two speed limit changes came into force which affect vehicles over 7500kg, but what are they?
Revised regulations in England and Wales increased the limit for vehicles over 7500kg.
Although unpopular with many road safety charities, the speed limit increase was defended as being necessary to keep limits relevant to the modern transport network and improved vehicle technology.
It has also been suggested that it will hopefully curb the number of hasty and dangerous passing manoeuvres pulled off by impatient car drivers.
There have also been changes to speed limits in England during 2020. Do you know what the changes were?
In July 2020, Highways England announced that following extensive research and trials, vehicles can be driven at up to 60mph where it is safe for road users and roadworkers, and where shown on road signs.
This is 10mph faster than the previously enforced 50mph limit.
Is limiting speed implemented purely for road safety purposes?
The reality is that it isn’t, as it is becoming increasingly related to environmental reasons too.
In September 2020 it was announced that as part of a 12 month trial, laws are being introduced where speed limits will be reduced across four key sections of motorway to cut down pollution levels.
The four sections are:
- Junctions 6 and 7 on the M6 near Witton, Birmingham
- Junctions 34 to 33 on the M1 near Rotherham
- Junctions 1 and 2 on the M5 near Oldbury
- Junctions 1 and 3 on the M602 near Eccles
- The new plan will be in effect 24 hours a day and seven days a week to measure the effects on pollution levels.
- The speed limits trial will stay in place until the shift to cleaner vehicles means they can remove the restrictions and maintain cleaner air.”
- Initial assessments show the 60mph limit led to an average 17 percent cut in NO2 emissions.
- Highways England commented that if lower limits were “not having the desired impact after 12 to 15 months then we’ll remove them and look at alternative ways to tackle air quality in that area”.
Why would a professional driver be tempted to speed?
The risk factor in an LGV is significant:
- Speeding affects reaction times, an LGV takes long enough to stop without adding speed into the equation
- Speeding affects the outcome of an accident
- The greater the speed, the greater the energy released in any collision – imagine the results of a lorry collision
- Much of the energy is absorbed by the human body
When you think about speeding, what type of road do you see in your mind’s eye?
The chances are many of you pictured a motorway or other fast moving road
- Instances of LGV speeding are typically more common on A roads
- Many speeding offences happen in residential/built up areas and rural locations
- The pressures of the final mile of the journey can make goods drivers push a bit beyond the posted limit
- In rural locations people feel more comfortable speeding
Fines and penalties
Depending on the situation, the fines and penalties that can be imposed on drivers caught speeding tend to vary.
Professional drivers can often be subject to heavier fines or penalties because of the perceived level of risk while driving an LGV.
Speed limits are enforced by technology and uniformed police officers using:
- A fixed penalty of £100 can be issued, along with 3 points on your licence
- The officer will decide whether to prosecute
- Speeding offences could also heavily impact on your employer’s O licence
In April 2017, the sentencing guidelines for if you are found guilty in court of speeding changed. Do you know what the changes were?
- Band A = 3 points and 50% of weekly income.
- Band B = 4 – 6 points or 7 – 28 days disqualified and 100% of weekly income.
- Band C = 6 points or 7 – 56 days disqualified and 150% of weekly income.
However, these fines are capped at £1000 for normal roads and £2,500 on motorways.
It also states in the sentencing guidelines that factors increasing seriousness includes driving an LGV, HGV, PSV etc