Drivers ‘don’t feel safe at 60mph’ on country roads, survey finds

Road safety campaigners are calling for a review of rural speed limits following a report which found that many drivers don’t feel safe travelling at the current 60mph speed limit.

A survey of 1,000 drivers by Direct Line and road safety charity Brake found that six in 10 wouldn’t feel safe when travelling at 60mph on a country road.

Fewer than a quarter of those questioned believed that 60mph is a safe speed for a vehicle travelling on a road with horses, bicycles and other potential hazards.

According to Department for Transport statistics, nearly half of all deaths on the UK’s highways occur on single-carriage roads. On average, 17 people are killed or seriously injured on country roads each day.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “Drivers have made their views clear – travelling at 60mph on rural roads doesn’t feel safe to them, and the majority would support or not object to the limit being reduced.
 
“Looking ahead to the publication of the government’s new road safety action plan, we urge a focus on speed reduction, both in our towns and cities but also on the country’s many winding and narrow single-carriageway rural roads that are often overlooked, but where so many of our road deaths and serious injuries occur. Simply put, slowing down vehicles save lives.”

Just one in five of the people included in the report objected to a reduction to the speed limits on single-carriage roads. Even in dry, clear weather, the stopping distance for a vehicle travelling at 60mph is 73 metres – or the same length as six double-decker buses.

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