A coalition of road safety and environmental organisations have launched a campaign protesting the government's plans to increase speed limits on motorways to 80mph.
The No to 80 coalition is highlighting the huge costs to society of the proposal, which it predicts will exceed £1 billion annually in economic terms, mean more families needlessly suffering from motorway crashes and casualties, millions of tonnes more carbon pumped into the atmosphere each year and further damage to tranquillity in the countryside.
80mph limits are predicted by experts to result in more violent road deaths and serious injuries, causing unnecessary trauma and suffering. One academic estimated it would lead to 25 extra deaths and 100 more serious injuries each year.
When other countries have raised their motorway limits, it has led to more casualties. In the USA, a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that in states that raised limits from 65mph to 75mph the death rates rose by 38%. Germany, which has autobahns famous for their lack of speed limits, has a death rate on these roads that is 75% higher than comparable roads in the UK.
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