Van and lorry drivers worst for speeding on Scotland’s roads

Larger vans and lorries up to 7.5 tonnes are limited to 50mph on single carriageways. Photograph: Getty Images
Larger vans and lorries up to 7.5 tonnes are limited to 50mph on single carriageways. Photograph: Getty Images
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Van and lorry drivers are the worst for speeding on Scotland’s roads, an unpublished Transport Scotland study shows.

The finding came from 11 million vehicles whose speeds were tracked on single and dual carriageways.

Police chiefs said part of the problem could be drivers hiring vans being ignorant of their speed limits.

While car-derived vans – under two tonnes – have the same speed limits as cars, they are different for larger goods vehicles.

Larger vans and lorries up to 7.5 tonnes are limited to 50mph on single carriageways, 60mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways.

In Scotland, lorries over 7.5 tonnes are limited to 40mph on single carriageways apart from the A9, 50mph on dual carriageways and 60mph on motorways.

Minutes of a Transport Scotland road safety group meeting which discussed the report stated: “The main finding was that HGVs [heavy goods vehicles – over 3.5 tonnes]/large vans showed the least compliance, making this an enforcement issue.” Superintendent Louise Blakelock, Police Scotland’s deputy head of road policing, told the meeting it was working with hire firms to better educate drivers on the different speed limits.

Neil Greig, of the IAM RoadSmart motoring group, said speed camera officials “frequently report ignorance of van speed limits as one of the most common excuses they get from drivers”.

“Ignorance by professional drivers is not acceptable, but if they are just thrown the keys of a transit having only ever driven a Fiesta it no surprise there are problems.”

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Initial work has been undertaken to better understand the average speeds by vehicle and road type at a small number of locations across Scotland. “Discussions are planned to consider the findings and agree next steps.”

Chris McRae, head of policy for Scotland at the Freight Transport Association, said: “Hire companies should always be rigorous in pointing out speed restrictions to those using their vehicles.”

The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland said: “Those driving commercial vehicles have as much of a duty to comply with the law as everyone else.”