Road safety group slams new HGV speed limits
Hauliers across the country may be celebrating new higher speed limits for HGVs, but the move has been criticised by road safety campaigners who claim that lives are being put at risk.
A change in legislation sees the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes rise from 40mph to 50mph on single-lane roads, and from 50mph to 60mph on dual carriageways.
The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the move, claiming that it will reduce the occurrence of hasty overtaking moves by frustrated motorists stuck behind lorries, therefore improving overall road safety.
Highlighting the benefit to haulage firms, FTA spokesman Malcolm Bingham said: "We believe that it will benefit industry as it will allow operators to use the additional speed, where it is safe to do so, and gain running cost benefits," the Press Association reports.
However, road safety charity Brake has been quick to condemn the move as hasty, and claims that road users are being subjected to needless additional risk.
Brake's campaigns manager Gary Rae told the Press Association: "The decision to increase HGV speed limits is short-sighted and runs against work to more effectively manage traffic speeds and reduce casualties on our roads.
"The relationship between speed and casualties is a proven one, so allowing the largest vehicles on our roads to reach higher speeds more often risks more deaths, serious injuries, and additional cost to the taxpayer."
Do you think increased speed limits for HGVs will improve road safety?