VAN fleets are walking a legal tightrope amid confusion about the speed limits their drivers should stick to.
Do you know the legalities?
The Highway Code says the following:
Car-derived vans weighing up to two tonnes can travel at:
- 60mph on single carriageways
- 70mph on dual carriageways
- 70mph on motorways
- Effectively making them the same as cars.
Commercial vehicles under 7.5 tonnes are restricted to:
- 50mph on single carriageways
- 60mph on dual carriageways
- 70mph on motorways.
- Cannot use outside lane if speed limiter fitted.
Some dealers register small vans as ‘car-derived’ and others as ‘commercial vehicles’, meaning two vehicles exactly alike are subject to different speed limits.
These include some Ford Transit Connects, Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partners.
The Department for Transport has been unable to shed any light on the problem, as civil servants tried to provide a definitive answer. So for the moment it has been left to the industry to work it out.
Manufacturers admit it is something that has to be tackled and the solution may lie at the dealership.
The sales team in the showroom fill out the form and he or she can put the vehicle down as either a car or van.
This means that, potentially, two identical vehicles could have different speed restrictions.
Nearly half of cars, motorbikes and vans broke the 70mph UK motorway speed limit in 2013, according to official Department for Transport statistics.
“One is rarely if ever stopped by the police and prosecuted for driving at 80mph”, AA President Edmund King told the Daily Mail. “Therefore it is almost accepted as the common law speed limit.”
There are, however, concerns that because drivers are not being prosecuted for speeding on motorways, they are more willing to break the 30mph speed limit in residential areas – something that is statistically much more dangerous.
Be sure you are aware of which bracket your van falls into and that your staff are aware of the relevant speed limits for these vehicles.