Dual carriageway speed limit to rise

A higher speed limit for HGVs on dual carriageways will take effect from 6 April 2015.

The government is to increase the national speed limit from 50 mph to 60 mph for lorries travelling on dual carriageways, in line with an increase in speed limits for HGVs on single carriageways from 40mph to 50mph announced last July and also due to take effect in April. The changes will update previous regulation dating back to the 1980s.

Announcing the new move on 28 November, Transport Minister Claire Perry said: “It is really important that speed limits for lorries reflect the needs of a modern transport network and improved vehicle technology.

“Britain has one of the best road safety records in the world and I am determined to ensure this continues. This change is about ensuring rules for lorry drivers’ speed limits are in line with other larger vehicles on our roads, creating a fairer and more proportionate system.

“Our evidence indicates that actual average speeds are unlikely to change in response to the change in national speed limit.”

While the increased speed limits will be welcomed by many HGV drivers and operators, drivers must continue to be alert to avoid speeding offences.

Where a driver accumulates 12 penalty points through speeding or other offences, an automatic disqualification will follow, however there may be a case for arguing exceptional hardship to avoid disqualification.

Jeremy Sirrell, Palmers’ road traffic offence specialist, said: “Exceptional hardship must go beyond simply causing someone inconvenience through the loss of their licence by having – as the name suggests – an exceptional impact on their life, to the extent of severely affecting someone’s employment or livelihood, which may be the case for a professional driver.

“The individual circumstances in each case will vary so robust and specific evidence is necessary to demonstrate why the driver should not be disqualified.”

For more information on how Palmers can assist, please contact our Road Traffic Offences team.