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Speed

Kent is a unique and beautiful county with an extensive road network. Our campaign aims to remind drivers to drive at an appropriate speed for the changing conditions.

Poster of Cyclist riding down country lane reminding drivers to slow down

Whether you regularly travel as a motorist or you only drive occasionally,we want to remind you that although the speed limit displayed remains the legal limit on many of these roads, this isn’t a target speed.

Take your time, read the road and expect the unexpected. All roads can present an array of hazards, that we may or may not be used to seeing; a pedestrian on a narrow lane, a farm vehicle moving slowly, a car overtaking on a blind bend, horse rider or cyclist.

Many of us forget that we share our roads with a variety of other road users. Users such as motorcyclists, horse riders, cyclists, agricultural vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and walkers are common.

The campaign aims to increase awareness and knowledge among motorists, that increasing your space and time when driving means reducing your speed and ultimately reducing crashes. By encouraging you, the driver, to interpret the speed limit sign as a maximum speed, remain conscious of the numerous hazards and to adapt speed according the road conditions, we hope to be able to reduce these deaths and injuries significantly.

REDUCE SPEED. REDUCE RISK OF A CRASH. By making the right choice you reduce the risk to yourself, your passengers and other road users. When you are driving, the danger often lies in what you can’t see.

If you would like to support this message in your local area your parish or local council can access various toolkits available:

Speed Toolkit

30mph Toolkit

20mph Toolkit

N.B. The 20mph and 30mph toolkits are only available for existing areas with established 20mph or 30mph limits and/or zones.

But did you know?…

  • The definition of a crash is – you crash because you cannot stop in time. If you cannot stop in time, you’re travelling too fast for the conditions. Hence all crashes have an element of speed as a causation factor.
  • The sense that we have to travel faster to make up time is often overstated. A 10 minute journey made at 60mph will save you a little over 1½ minutes compared to if you drove at 50mph.
  • Speed limits are a legal maximum and not a target.

Speed – You’ll be surprised

As a driver you can choose the severity of the crash you may have and therefore your level of injury you cause. How? By choosing the speed at which you travel.

Most of us adopt the same mentality when it comes to driving – more speed = more time saved. This is simply not true. The sense that we have to travel faster to make up time is overstated. A 10 minute journey made at 60mph saves you, incredibly, just over 1½ minutes compared to a journey at 50mph… and what would you do with that “saved” time?

We all know that stopping distances increase dramatically with driving speed. But by doubling your speed, you significantly more than double your breaking distance. By keeping your speed lower and adapting it to the conditions on all roads, hazards such as large vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife should be safely negotiated.

Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving, where a driver may have been driving at an inappropriate speed and below the limit, can result in:
FINE
DISQUALIFICATION
UP TO 5 YEARS IN PRISON
COMMUNITY ORDER
CRIMINAL RECORD

Causing death by dangerous driving, where excessive speed may be shown as a factor, can result in:
£5000 FINE
DISQUALIFICATION
UP TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON
CRIMINAL RECORD

If you would like to know more about the campaign and how you or your local area can get involved, please contact: roadsafety@kent.gov.uk