Britain Debates 80 mph's Benefits

Will raising the speed limit on British highways to 80 mph really boost the economy? The British government is set to announce the increase from 70 mph, a speed limit that about half of all drivers ignore, according to Department for Transport data.

80 mph = 128.74 kph. These two numbers will soon be important for motorists on Britain's highways to remember because the government is unveiling a plan to raise the speed limit on those roads from 70 to 80 mph. The plan, to be promoted this week as a way to boost the British economy by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, troubled safety groups.

Hammond also will say that 80 mph simply acknowledges reality and will point to Department for Transport data showing about half of all cars on British highways last year exceeeded the 70 mph limit, and 14 percent were recorded traveling faster than 80 mph, James Kirkup, political correspondent for The Telegraph, reported.

The road safety campaign Brake says 80mph is a mistake that is likely to increase deaths and injuries in road crashes, at a time when the government should be taking steps to reduce them.

Still, British speed limits currently are lower than thsoe in many other European countries.

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