Two recent motorway collisions could have been much worse if the speed limit was higher, campaigners say.
Police from Avon and Somerset are currently investigating a pile-up on the M5 involving 34 vehicles. Seven people were killed in the accident and dozens more were injured. In another accident, a lorry toppled over a bridge in Cheshire and landed on the M56 below. The driver of the lorry died and two people might file personal injury claims after their vehicles collided with the lorry and they needed to have hospital treatment.
Ellen Booth, a campaigns officer for Brake, said the cause of the M5 crash was still unknown and whether speed was an issue. However, we do know that people will drive faster in higher speed limit zones. The faster people travel at the time of impact, the more likely they are to die, she added.
The full impact assessment of the proposal to increase the speed limit to 80 mph has not yet been conducted, but the Transport Research Laboratory has suggested that it would increase road fatalities by 1%.
Last year, almost 1,850 people were killed in road traffic accidents. Several people have now called on the government to abandon the proposed speed limit increase.