Welsh motorists warned not to rely on sat navs for 20mph information
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.
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.
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.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.