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Driver Information

These figures show the maximum speed limits for the road and for your vehicle. Street lights usually mean that there is a 30mph speed limit unless there are signs showing another limit.  Please note that not all combinations of vehicles are included – for a definitive list, please visit

Move your mouse over a vehicle to see the maximum speed limits.

Built up areas
Single carriageways
Dual carriageways

Cars and motorcycles
including car derived vans up to 2 tonnes maximum laden weight
Cars towing caravans or trailers
including car derived vans and motorcycles
Buses & Coaches
not exceeding 12 metres in overal length
Goods Vehicles
not exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight
Goods Vehicles
exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight

Enforcement, Speed Awareness Course and Court Summons Thresholds

NSRI and Northumbria Police follow the guidelines recommended by the National Police Chiefs’ Council as pertains to enforcing the speed limit in Northumbria.  If a vehicle is detected at the lower end of speeds above the enforcement threshold, and if the person driving or riding the vehicle has not already completed one in the last three years, then the driver or rider will usually be given the option to attend a “Speed Awareness” course as part of the “National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme” (NDORS) instead of receiving a fixed penalty.  More serious offences are referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for further legal action.

The speed thresholds for these different options are given in the table below:

NDORS Thresholds

Stopping Distances

Stopping distance is affected by a number of factors, including load, condition of the road surface, tyres, brakes, driver reaction times and design and type of vehicle.

Speed Thinking
Total Stopping Distance
20mph 6m  6m  12m 
30mph 9m  14m  23m 
40mph 12m  24m  36m 
50mph 15m  38m  53m 
60mph 18m  55m  73m 
70mph 21m  75m  96m 


These figures are examples based on dry weather and good tyres and an average family car.  However good a driver we think we are, or however good our car’s ABS is, driving over the limit means it takes much longer to stop and the chances of causing a fatal collision are greatly increased.

Avoid that ticket

  1. Do not exceed legal speed limits – they are there for a reason.
  2. Remember that speed limits are a maximum not a target – often it is more appropriate to drive below this speed.
  3. Set realistic journey times.
  4. Don’t be pressured to speed by other drivers.
  5. Be aware of pedestrians, cyclists, children, animals and motorcyclists.
  6. Adjust your driving to suit the conditions e.g. near a school, on wet roads etc. so that you could stop in time if necessary:
  7. Check your speedometer as frequently as you would your mirrors – it could save your licence
  8. Don’t be distracted by passengers or use a mobile phone while driving.
  9. Be aware of the speed limits for your vehicle and the type of road.
  10. Be an ambassador for driving within the legal speed limits – if you comply the chances are that the driver behind you will too.


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