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  • What do the increased speed limits for HGV's mean for your fleet?

    In April this year a revised speed limit was set for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes in England and Wales. On single carriage roads the limit has increased from 40 mph to 50 mph and on dual carriageways it has increased from 50 mph to 60 mph.

    Increased speed limits for HGV�s

    Higher speed limits thought to reduce congestion and reduce delays

    The government implemented the change in a bid to boost the economy and to stimulate economic growth by an estimated £11 million per year by using the carriageways more efficiently and reducing running costs through better fuel efficiency. Higher speed limits are thought to reduce delays and congestion by removing the 20 mph differential between other vehicles on the road. The change has also brought speed restrictions more in line with most other European countries and is thought to make better use of our transport networks and improved vehicle technology.

    Criticism for safety comes head to head with European stats

    This move has since been met with much criticism in terms of worries that increasing the speed limit will in turn increase the risk to road safety. However, the counter-argument suggests that other countries in Europe have in fact found that raising speed limits has helped to reduce accident rates where other drivers become less frustrated with a slow-moving HGV in front, and therefore take less chances in terms of attempted risky overtaking. It has also been found that those faster drivers tend to slow down following a more lenient limit and slower drivers tend to start speeding up. In general tests have shown that due to this drivers have in fact maintained the same overall average speed when speed limits were raised.

    Increased speed limits highlights case for improved safety monitoring

    But what will this change mean for your fleets? With safety still remaining paramount the use of telematics equipment to monitor and improve driver behaviour becomes ever-more important. Telematics data can highlight danger spots as well as working to improve the quality of driving and perhaps the revisions in speed limits provide a good argument for focusing on your duty of care and monitoring your driver safety. In addition to the help of telematics fleet managers should also continue to communicate and educate their drivers on the new limits whilst also highlighting that speed limits should only be reached when it is safe to do so, to consider the environment around them at all times and to continue to be aware of the dangers when overtaking.

    When operating a larger fleet of Heavy Goods Vehicles it may also be pertinent to implement competitions and incentives to adopt safe driving techniques. Some healthy competition can help to develop a culture committed to safe driving whilst also improving fuel efficiency and sustainability as well as keeping safety front of mind.

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