Following the recent legislative change in Wales, the default speed limit on restricted roads has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph.

There are multiple reasons the Welsh government is making this change, mainly focussed around safety. It claims they will decrease the number of accidents and serious injuries, a study suggests 40% fewer collisions by reducing the limit to 20 mph.

This will also alleviate the burden on the NHS in treating injured individuals. They hope it will promote walking and cycling, enhancing the well-being of individuals while ensuring the safety of streets, especially for children.

In light of this change, Welsh local authorities have been tasked with updating road signage, traffic signals, and road features to ensure that drivers are adequately informed of the new speed limits and are encouraged to drive more responsibly. Additionally, road safety campaigns will be promoted across Wales to educate drivers about the importance of road safety and the potential risks of speeding in built-up areas.

Whilst there may be some initial resistance to the new law from motorists, it is important to remember that the 20mph speed limit is designed to improve road safety and protect vulnerable pedestrians and road users.

By adhering to this new speed limit, drivers can play their part in promoting a safer, more responsible driving culture and ultimately contribute to a more pleasant, communal living environment in Wales.

Audi A4 Saloon rear driving down the road
Audi A5 Coupe interior with man driving

Tips for driving in a 20mph zone:

  • Give yourself enough time for your journey - People who are running late often try to make up time by driving faster than allowed. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination so you can adhere to the speed limit at all times.

  • Stay calm before driving - Feeling stressed or angry affects a driver's control and can make their driving more erratic. Maintaining control helps reduce the urge to speed.

  • Know the limits - Look for signs indicating changes in the speed limit, especially near junctions or roundabouts, and check your vehicle's speedometer when transitioning from higher-speed roads so you can reduce your speed before reaching the sign.

  • Glance at the speedometer to help you stay within the limit. - You should already do this regardless of the speed limit, a quick glance at your speedometer will help you stay on top of your speed. It will soon become more natural to drive at 20mph in residential areas in Wales.

  • Use technology to avoid speeding - To prevent going above the 20mph speed limit, use your vehicle's speed limiter function.

  • Look for streetlights -The presence of closely spaced streetlights can indicate that you are traveling on a 20mph road unless a speed limit sign tells you otherwise.

Wales 20mph speed limit change FAQs



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