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By: Dave Robbins
01 December 2017

According to a news item in ‘The Times’, lorry and van drivers north of the border are the worst offenders when it comes to exceeding speed limits on Scottish A roads, dual carriageways and motorways.
The driver survey, conducted by Transport Scotland, tracked the speeds of 11m vehicles. The survey findings and resultant (unpublished) report were discussed at a Transport Scotland road safety group meeting. Minutes of the meeting state that HGVs and large vans up to 7.5 tonnes showed least compliance with speed limits. As a result Police Scotland have made it an enforcement issue.

However, it may well be that professional drivers in Scotland aren’t the speed merchants that this survey is suggesting. Police Scotland reckon that part of the problem could be drivers of hired vans who aren’t aware of the different speed limits which apply to larger vans.

In Scotland, larger vans and lorries up to 7.5 tonnes are limited to a maximum 50 mph on single carriageway roads, 60 mph on dual carriageways and 70 on motorways. Lorries over 7.5 tonnes are limited to 40 mph on single carriageway roads (apart from the A9), 50 mph on dual carriageways and 60 mph on motorways.

It seems this isn’t just a Scottish issue. Neil Greig of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Roadsmart motoring group said that drivers caught on speed cameras across the UK frequently cite ignorance of van speed limits as an excuse. He added: “Ignorance by professional drivers isn’t acceptable. But if someone who normally drives a Fiesta is just thrown the keys for a Transit it’s no surprise there are problems.”

Meanwhile,  back in Scotland, the police are now working with hire firms to better educate drivers on different speed limits. 
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