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Motorists make up their own speed limits, says AA

HIGHWAY ENGINEERS are encouraging motorists to speed because they fail to impose limits consistently across the country, according to research published this week.

Instead, drivers ignore the speed limits and set their own, says the report produced for the AA Foundation for Road Safety Research by consulting engineer Ross Silcock with Social Research Associates*.

The report was the result of 2110 interviews with motorists. It reveals that 'similar or identical roads (in the driver's eye) with different limits lead to the disrespect of the system which translates into a justification for speeding.'

The report urges the Government to publish guidelines on speed limits to encourage the harmonisation of speed limit policies across local authority boundaries.

'It is essential that drivers are presented with consistent use of limits if they are to respond to the sign rather than make their own judgement,' says the report.

'Drivers generally make their own assessment of the speed at which they will drive, irrespective of the speed limit, based on their own judgement of the road environment.'

*What limits speed? from the AA Foundation for Safety Research, Norfolk House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke RG24 9NY. Price £20.

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