Use GEM’s top tips on speed limits to be safer… and better off

Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is issuing a series of simple tips for drivers to ensure they don’t exceed speed limits. This, says GEM, is not only a key part of reducing collisions and casualties on our roads, but it should also help drivers keep their cash in their wallets.

After all, a speeding fine will be a minimum of £100, and three penalty points will most likely add an average of £50 to next year’s insurance policy1.

If you’re offered a speed awareness course you can expect to pay between £80 and £95.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “Driving within the speed limit at all times on journeys is a vital part of taking personal responsibility for our own safety – and that of others – when we are using the roads.

“Research shows that reduced speeds mean fewer collisions2, and reduced severity of collisions. For example, an overall 1mph reduction in speed results in an average five per cent reduction in collisions,” he said.

“However, we know that driving within the speed limit is not an automatic guarantee that we will be safe and everyone around will be safe.

“That’s why it’s so important to ensure you’re aware of what’s going on all around you, and can identify developing situations that may require you to take action. Choosing safe, legal speeds will help ensure you have time to make decisions and take whatever is the most appropriate action.

“We do not buy into the argument that allowing your speed to creep up a little is OK because you’d rather put your focus on what’s happening outside the car and be a few miles an hour over the limit.

“For us, as with any safety organisation or advanced driving group, it simply isn’t an ‘either/or’. Frequent scans of mirrors and speedometer are vital safety tasks that will help ensure you’re fully aware of your vehicle’s speed and position, and what’s going on all around you.”

Wise up on safe speeds – GEM’s top tips

Make sure you always know the speed limit for the road you’re on. A quick look at speed limit information in the Highway Code is a great idea.

Don’t rush on a journey. Leave earlier and ensure you have plenty of time, with no reason to speed.

Keep a close eye out for speed limit signs, and watch for clues that the speed limit may soon be about to change. Why not call out the new speed limit as you drive past the signs.

Check your speedometer frequently so you always know your own speed. Expert drivers scan mirrors and speedometer systematically every few seconds, ensuring a glance down and around is part of a safe driving plan, not a distraction to it.

Always ask yourself: is my speed both legal and safe? After all, the speed limit is just that – a limit, not a target, and there will be circumstances when you will feel much safer driving below the limit.

Higher penalties

A ‘speeding ticket’ will result in three points on your driving licence and a fine of £100. However, the system of fining changed in April 2017, so serious ‘speeders’ now face fines of up to 150 per cent of their weekly salary, with six penalty points and/or disqualifications of between seven and 56 days.

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