Slow down - 60mph is a limit and not a target on rural roads, say Herts police

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Police are calling on drivers to slow down on rural roads, where more than half all motoring deaths happen.

Speed is a big factor in accidents and although most country roads are covered by the national 60mph limit, the layout of many require care and caution. Often the roads are narrow, have no pavements, and feature sharp and blind bends. Potholes and fallen branches pose an additional peril.

Insp Philip Bloor of the Beds Herts & Cambs road policing unit said: “Drivers must slow down and remember that the national speed limit on these types of roads is a limit and not a target.

“Please don’t allow the empty road ahead and the increased speed limits lull you into a false sense of security – slow down”.

He warned that his team will be carrying out speeding checks on rural roads and called on motorists to exercise caution.


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Motorists should:

Avoid overtaking: overtaking on any single carriageway is risky. It’s impossible to judge the speed of oncoming traffic, so if in doubt hold back. Arriving a few minutes later is better than not arriving at all.

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Slow down in bad weather conditions: bad weather significantly affects stopping distances and grip on the road.

Be aware of horse riders: when you see a horse rider in the distance, slow down in plenty of time to ensure any drivers following you also have time to get down to a suitably slow speed to pass.

Be aware of cyclists and pedestrians: ensure that the road ahead is clear of oncoming traffic to enable you to pass them leaving enough space

Slow down at bends: if you approach a bend at speed it could result in you crossing the other side of the road and either coming off the road or into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Take care at night: rural roads tend to be poorly lit. Remember to use full beams and to dip them when oncoming traffic approaches.

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