Author Topic: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit  (Read 427 times)

Mr Onion

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Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« on: March 25, 2023, 11:18:06 AM »
I was watching a "Motorway Police" TV show the other day (OK I know, I am a sad git) and the Traffic Officer said that the minimum speed on a UK Motorway is 40mph.

I was always under the belief that it was 30 mph minimum, so I got out the Highway Code (new edition) and there is nothing in there about a blanket minimum speed in the Motorway section. The only thing relating to minimum speed is the reference to the 'Blue Circle' speed signs which may be placed anywhere on any road and is no real help here (unless of course it is placed on a motorway, but that is a special case not a blanket rule)





Does anyone have a definitive reference to Minimum Motorway speed?

ColinB

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2023, 12:10:21 PM »
There is no minimum speed limit on a UK motorway (unless there's a blue sign, but I don't think there's many of those). However most websites suggest that driving too slowly might result in being pulled over for driving carelessly, inconsiderately or even dangerously.

Mr Onion

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2023, 12:15:17 PM »
. However most websites suggest that driving too slowly might result in being pulled over for driving carelessly, inconsiderately or even dangerously.

I totally agree with that

There is no minimum speed limit on a UK motorway (unless there's a blue sign, but I don't think there's many of those).

...; which is why I was confused with the Traffic Officers Statement

peteo48

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2023, 02:27:33 PM »
I saw what I imagine was the very same programme - "Traffic Cops - catching Britain's speeders" - action took place in Cheshire and the traffic cop actually said 40 mph was a minimum speed on the motorway. I wonder if that was a guideline speed for police use where they might pull over somebody driving at 40 mph and give them a bit of "advice" as opposed to any penalty.

Mr Onion

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2023, 04:12:09 PM »
Thats the one.

Not clear if it was the law or just 'advice', not good IMHO

Jocko

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2023, 04:24:25 PM »
As others have said, there is no minimum speed limit on a motorway (the M25 will testify to that).
Cheshire police may set 40 mph as the speed at which they will stop and "advise" motorists driving on a free-flowing stretch of motorway. Other forces may have different criteria.

Lord Voltermore

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2023, 04:37:13 PM »
Finding a legal definition for every  possible exception, such as poor weather,  would be a nightmare.    When vehicles physically incapable of high speeds have no option but  to use the motorway they are normally expected to display flashing orange beacons.

I never took my 1931 Austin 7 on the motorway except one  or twice when I knew its was a short distance to the next junction and down hill all the way  (The car could then manage 50, or even 60 mph ) But uphill this could drop to 30 mph.   Although it may not have been illegal, it would have been stupid. No good claiming you were entitled   if  a 90 mph BMW or 40 tonne truck rear ends you.   (some cyclists please note) 

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Wilmo

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2023, 05:00:27 PM »
Try being a gun owner.
Despite relatively clear guidance for the Home Office for the management of licensing many Police Forces, sorry Services, make up their own version.
As they have the power over you it's difficult to argue unless you have a good lawyer.

nowster

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2023, 08:12:44 PM »
As others have said, there is no legal minimum speed on a motorway, and under variable message signs there can often be a speed limit of 40mph or less.

It isn't safe to be going any slower than 45mph under normal conditions, though, and often you'll disrupt things if you go any slower than the HGVs sitting on their limiters at 56mph.

Jocko

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2023, 08:30:33 PM »
When I had my 75 FIAT 126 I would do 80 mph downhill but could only manage 30 mph uphill on some motorway stretches. The M90 has some steep grades, even warning HGVs to stay in low gear. Coming up those sections were 30 mph max.


Lord Voltermore

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2023, 11:46:31 AM »
UK traffic law uses some general 'catch all' laws rather than specific laws for every possible  offence(,such as a minimum speed limit)     If objectively its considered that " driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver "

For the offence of' dangerous driving' one factor is - "  speed, which is particularly inappropriate for the prevailing road or traffic conditions;"      Note it does  not say  excessive speed

For 'driving without  reasonable consideration'   one factor is  "unnecessarily slow driving or braking without good cause;"

I have pasted these from the Crown Prosecution service  guidelines  (possibly out of date.)   

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/road-traffic-charging

This is a bit long and you may have to scroll down   but makes interesting reading.  (  I notice that dangerous driving can include not taking prescribed medicine.   :-[ )

So the 40 mph on a motorway  minimum  limit may be   one police  forces guidelines on when to consider  these offences, but it may also be nationwide CPS guidelines.   



« Last Edit: March 26, 2023, 11:53:31 AM by Lord Voltermore »
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crosstarhonda

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2023, 01:41:18 PM »
Well, the new CitroŽn Ami has a max speed of 29mph, can be driven by a 16 year old and can legally use a motorway! So whoever the police officer was needs to understand the legislation because PACE would not stand and any reports to the CPS would not srand!!

Jocko

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2023, 01:51:00 PM »
Please note that the CitroŽn Ami isnít a car by legal standards Ė itís a quadricycle (the same designation given to a quad bike), and therefore it conforms to far fewer safety regulations than most other four-wheeled vehicles. The Ami does not come with airbags, is illegal to drive on the motorway and has a maximum speed of 28mph, so driving this vehicle on roads where the speed limit is above 30mph is strongly advised against.
https://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/citroen-ami-2022/#:~:text=The%20Ami%20does%20not%20come,30mph%20is%20strongly%20advised%20against.

Lord Voltermore

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Re: Motorway MINIMUM speed limit
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2023, 02:19:29 PM »
Best not let an idiot loose in one either.   Here is one overturning.   Whats the betting it was motoring journalists?

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