Statutory speed limits are set according to the type of road you are driving on and its individual characteristics.
As a guide, unless signs state otherwise, the following speed limits apply to car drivers: (for speed limits of other vehicles please click here)
- Motorways – 70 mph
- Dual carriageways – 70 mph
- Single carriageways – 60 mph
- Street-lit carriageways – 30 mph
These are the maximum allowable speeds you should drive at; you should not view the speed limit as a target to aim towards.
The importance of speed limits
Speed limits are there to:
- Create a safe experience for all road users – this includes drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders, cyclists, farmers and pedestrians.
- Ensure the safety of vulnerable road users, particularly the young and the elderly who are not as quick to react.
- Allow drivers extra time to spot hazards and dangerous situations on the road ahead and to take the necessary action to avoid them.
- Provide guidance for drivers on potential hazards, such as sharp bends in the road ahead.
- Reduce traffic speed in rural towns and villages resulting in fewer serious collisions and improving the quality of life for local residents by cutting traffic noise.