The road safety charity Brake has welcomed the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) clarification of its written guidance for driving examiners on appropriate speed in built-up areas.
Brake says the clarification comes in response to concerns it raised, over whether driving test candidates could potentially be penalised for driving at 20mph in 30mph areas, even where the “lower speed is more appropriate to the road environment”.
The DVSA document that contains the guidance now reads as follows: "The speed limit is a limit and not a target and there are many instances especially in narrow residential streets when candidates may need to reduce their speed considerably lower than the speed limit – this should not be considered as a fault."
Brake says that this reflects advice already given to examiners by the DVSA during training.
Welcoming the change, Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "It is critical that drivers learn right from the start of their driving careers that speed limits are limits, not targets, and that slowing down is one of the most important things they can do to safeguard others.
“This change will help give drivers the confidence to make the choice to protect people, and slow down to 20mph in communities, even in areas where the limit is still 30mph."