Speed limits for vans – are the DfT even more confused than the rest of us?

For many years there’s been confusion among some van drivers over the speed limits that apply to their vans. This has led to many prosecutions of drivers of medium and large vans for exceeding the speed limit.

Many van drivers just assume that the speed limits for their vans are the same as for a private car. In many cases, particularly for smaller vans, they may be right, but for anything bigger than a small van they’re wrong.

The maximum speed limits for all goods vehicles of 3500kg and less, unless lower limits are indicated by signs, is 70mph for motorways, 60mph for dual-carriageways and 50mph for single-carriageway roads. The only exemption is for ‘car-derived vans’ with a maximum loaded weight (GVW) of 2000kg or less, to which the speed limits for cars apply (70, 70, 60).

For many years it seems that the police have interpreted ‘car-derived van’ as meaning any small van with a GVW of 2,000kg or less. This would include many of the vans typically driven by same day couriers, vans like the Escort, Courier, Berlingo/Partner, some Doblos, Combo, Nemo/Bipper/Fiorino, Kangoo, as well as some of the more obvious ‘car shaped’ vans like the Astravan, Fiesta, Corsa and Punto.

In December 2007 the Department for Transport (DfT) issued a document Read More…

Posted under Courier Basics, Speeding, Vans

Posted by Alec at 7:48 pm, October 4, 2008

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SPECS Speed Camera Dodge Confirmed as an Urban Myth

According to this report in The Register the widely reported ‘dodge’ that apparently allowed speeding motorists to avoid detection by SPECS cameras has been exposed as a myth by the makers of the cameras.

The SPECS system measures the exact time taken to travel between two sets of cameras and accurately calculates the average speed over the known distance.

The Register quotes Geoff Collins, marketing director of Speedcheck Services Ltd, the manufacturers of the SPECS cameras, as describing the idea that you can avoid points on your license simply by changing lanes as “categorically untrue”.

He went on to explain that Read More…

Posted under Speeding

Posted by Alec at 10:43 am, July 25, 2008

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SPECS Average Speed Cameras – not working or just very effective?

Police in Northern Ireland have revealed that following the installation of 32 SPECS cameras on the busy A2 Belfast to Bangor road in May, only ONE motorist has been caught speeding.

SPECS speed cameras work by measuring the average speed of a vehicle over a stretch of road, avoiding the phenomenon known as ‘camera surfing’ where speeding motorists slow down for conventional speed cameras and immediately speed up again once they’re passed the camera.

The BBC reports Peter Weir, the Northern Ireland Assembly member for North Down, as saying: “It will lead to suspicions that the cameras have not been operating properly or that drivers are finding a way of evading detection. There is a key challenge to the police on this issue, and they must come forward with immediate confirmation that the cameras have been fully and properly operating.”

There is another possible reason for the low level of detection that Peter Weir seems not to have considered. Maybe the local motorists have taken notice of the 32 bright yellow cameras Read More…

Posted under Speeding, Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 12:48 pm, July 21, 2008

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Which is more accurate, Satnav or Speedo?

Your speedo is allowed by law to over-read by 10% but never under-read. So the manufacturers tend to make them over-read.

Your satnav is probably more likely to show closer to your real speed.

Neither is likely to be 100% accurate, although the Satnav should be much more accurate most of the time – particularly on level ground.

Posted under Speeding, Vans

Posted by Alec at 9:20 am, June 6, 2008

German Speeding Fine – Translation Needed

I was under the impression that speeding fines can be enforced/collected from anywhere in the EU now. Maybe I imagined that though.

Posted under Speeding, Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 11:41 am, May 9, 2008


How many people are insured to drive your van D*****? How many of them do your records show were working at 0400 on the day in question?

If you’d taken someone with you to help with the driving then it may be possible that whoever was driving didn’t notice the camera flash and that neither of you can now remember who was driving at that particular moment.

Posted under Legal Issues, Speeding

Posted by Alec at 11:57 am, June 12, 2007

New VW Caddy

Great van – the downside is that being just over 2000kg it’s subject to lower speed limits & higher insurance than the old Caddy.

Posted under Speeding, Vans

Posted by Alec at 8:28 am, April 26, 2005

Speed limits

Yes, you’d be surprised how many people don’t realise that their Transit Connects, Scudos, Dispatches, Experts and new model Caddies are subject to the same speed limits as a 7.5 tonner. 70 on motorways, 60 on NSL dual-carriageways and 50 on NSL single-carriageways.

Posted under Courier Basics, Speeding, Vans

Posted by Alec at 8:21 pm, December 5, 2004