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Speed limits are already reduced by up to 12 mph when it is raining in France in an attempt to reduce accidents. Speed limits are set at 80mph on motorways with a toll in dry conditions but fall to 68mph when it is raining.
Speeds also drop by around four mph on dual carriageways and a massive six mph on other roads.
Similar proposals for the UK have now been considered by a range of police and recovery experts on twitter with a wide range of views.
Former Police Traffic Management Officer and road safety consultant, Simon Wickers said: “On French Autoroutes a lower speed limit applies when it is raining.
“What are your thoughts on a similar weather related lower speed limit on UK motorways? This could automatically apply or be proactively controlled.”
The message was supported by RAC’s chief spokesperson Rod Dennis who revealed it could be a “good idea”.
He revealed this would act as a “visible reminder” to drivers to remind them it was “important to slow down in the rain”.
Mr Wickers revealed the new scheme would “require a change in legislation” for use on the road.
He said each smart motorway already has a “statutory instrument” which allows the use of variable speed limits.
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However, he revealed these were “not currently used for weather related speed reductions”.
Instead, these were only activated automatically in response to traffic volume or manually controlled in response to incidents.
But the proposals were not met with optimism from everyone with Surrey Police’s Road Policing Unit against the proposals.
They have raised concerns about the legal issues involving the scheme with many drivers possibly unsure as to what was wet enough to constitute the new limit.
In a statement on Twitter, they said: “Our first legal question would be, what is ‘rain’ for the purposes of the change in speed?
“What about the road surface – wet but no rain? Why complicate matters. Drivers struggle as it is.”
The Highway Code warns drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front while driving in the rain.
It warns stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping in dry conditions.
Motorists can also be fined for dangerous driving if they travel faster than is necessary in wet conditions.
This is because road users could risk losing control of their vehicle through aquaplaning which is a safety risk.
A range of motorists backed the idea of the new proposals online with some describing the scheme as “very sensible”.
One road user said: “It’s a good idea, let’s change our speed limits to be in line with France. 80mph in the dry and 70mph in the wet.”
Another motorist said: “There will be some quibbling over what counts as “rain” but considering all the rear-wheel-drive vehicles doing 90+ with no lights on in torrential rain, something should be done.”
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