Charity warns of danger posed by increase in lorry speed limit

Monday 17 November 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed disappointment at government plans to raise the speed limit for large lorries on dual carriageway roads to 60mph, despite serious concerns from a number of road safety groups. The move comes on the back of the government’s decision to increase the speed limit for HGVs on single carriageway roads earlier this year.

See Brake’s response to the government consultation on raising the dual carriageway HGV speed limit.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake, the road safety charity, said:“This decision runs against work to more effectively manage traffic speeds and reduce casualties and emissions on our roads. As with the decision to raise the HGV speed limit on single carriageways, the government is making a leap of faith in spite of the legitimate concerns of road safety groups. The government itself admits that, at best, there will be no economic or road safety benefit. At worst, it risks increasing deaths and serious injuries on our roads if the largest vehicles are allowed to reach higher speeds more often. The relationship between increased speed and increased casualties is a proven one, so why take the risk?

“Increasing the HGV speed limit on single and dual carriageways sets a dangerous precedent, sending a message that if traffic laws are persistently flouted, the government would rather change them than get tough with the law-breaking drivers putting everyone at risk.”

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.