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Welsh motorists warned not to rely on sat navs for 20mph information

12 Oct 2023 3 minute read
20mph signs in Newport. Photo via Newport

Experts have warned drivers that they could be fined £1000 and lose their license for following the old speed limits in new 20mph areas if devices don’t update.

Wales and many places across the rest of the UK are introducing 20mph speed limits in a bid to reduce the number of accidents making roads safer.

However, GPS firms say map updates may not update immediately, meaning motorists relying on their sat-navs for the speed limit could be in trouble.

Research has shown that Britain is a nation of sat nav junkies with 40% of drivers relying on a sat nav when heading out on a road trip.

That equates to over 20 million drivers who rely on their satnav for directions and road information including speed limits.

If a driver is found to break the new 20mph speed limit, they are liable for a speeding fine and penalty points.

If pulled over by the police, motorists could be sent a fixed penalty notice or ordered to attend court to plead guilty or not guilty.

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to the driver’s license.

Drivers who claim they are not guilty of the speeding offence but are found guilty by the courts could face a maximum fine of £1,000.

Motorists who are within two years of passing their test could also get their driving license revoked if they build up six or more penalty points.

20mph speed limit at St Brides

The Welsh government introduced a default 20mph speed limit on roads across Wales from 17 September 2023.

A further 65km of London’s road network is also set to be capped at 20mph as part of Vision Zero.

There are also plans to introduce 20mph across Cornwall and in Scotland and more rural authorities are introducing larger-scale extended 20mph programmes.

If the 20mph default limit proves to save lives, reduce collisions and make communities safer, there are predictions that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will feel the pressure to follow Wales’s lead and adopt the switch.

Motoring groups are warning that the potential for millions of drivers to fall foul of the planned speed limit changes is high and recommended using a satnav for directions only until the full updates have taken place.

Accidents

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said: “With new speed limits being introduced across the UK, it is extremely important that drivers aren’t solely relying on their sat-navs to get the speed limit.

“The devices may not update straight away, meaning motorists could be travelling 10mph over the new limits.

“Currently, most police forces have a tolerance of 10 per cent plus 2mph above the limit before drivers face prosecution for speeding.

“If found to be travelling at the old limits in the new 20mph zones, drivers face fines as high as £1000.

“New drivers need to be especially careful because they receive much harsher penalties, and could potentially get their driver’s licence revoked.

“Although it will take some getting used to for drivers, these speed limits have been introduced to reduce accidents and fatalities on British roads.

“Those driving in Wales must remember that the changes affect most 30mph roads, but speed limit signs will be in place where the speed limit has changed.

“It is important that drivers are always aware of their surroundings and be aware of traffic signs which are giving them instructions to avoid being caught out.”


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Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago

Ford want £80 off me for the car update. I do what I have always done, rely on the Mk1 eyeball for signs.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

I am surprised that so many people rely on these gadgets. We have a Garmin one and when new it listed speed limits. However, I quickly found that it was very inaccurate based on my Mk1 Eyeballs. Given the amount they wanted for an update I let that function lapse and not too long after Garmin gave up doing updates for the mapping on the unit too. I now rely on DIY updates for the road netwrok as there is a big community online providing these maps free, but they don’t include speed limits.

Blcollier
Blcollier
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Generally I find that phones are always better GPS devices these days, as you’re not reliant on one single company like Garmin or TomTom (showing my age there) to be benevolent enough to deign your device to be worthy of updates. Google Maps is usually “good enough”, but I find that Waze makes for a much better “sat nav replacement”.

But people still have to pay attention to the damn signs.

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Blcollier

I have a phone, its on for long distance with traffic updates all legal used. Don’t bother with it for short journeys (often amused/annoyed at the phones centre screen just to go to the local shops). Either way I rely on my eyes reading signs, 20mph or not. Bizarrely the Ford traffic announcements are very good, assuming Traffic Master at the back end.
I refuse to use google though. Or Waze. But that is me.,

Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
6 months ago

Can we rely on the MPH signs?

Jon_S
Jon_S
6 months ago

After a week of most drivers following the new limit, most now seem to be flouting it in these parts, including the police patrol cars making their way to and from the station. Ironically, things have got worse since the council got their act together and put the signs up. 🙁

Frank
Frank
6 months ago

Total, TOTAL SHAMBLES!!! We have areas here in Carmarthenshire that have road signs displaying no speed limit, then 50mph, then 40 mph, then 20 mph, then 40mph, then 20mph, then 30mph all within a few yards of each other. Narrow and very windy country lanes displaying no speed limits, signs showing 50mph then within 10 yards another sign displaying 20mph. Then we have 30mph posted signs but 20mph painted on the road or vice versa. Head towards Burry Port and there are areas of 20mph but on return journey its 30mph in the same places. The only difference being the… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Frank
Frank
Frank
6 months ago

In the event of complete independence for Wales can you imagine the state of things within a few weeks with this current bunch of AM losers running things? I sincerely hope Cymru will achieve independence one day but not until we get rid of this lot and get some new ones with logical thinking and intelligence.

Blcollier
Blcollier
6 months ago

“Welsh motorists reminded that they always should have been paying attention to the damn road signs in the first place.”

This is probably the single most “grumpy middle aged fart” thing I’ve said in a long time, but it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when people are so reliant on a little talking magic box to do their thinking when they’re behind the wheel.

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