The Highway Code deals with regulating speed limits in Article 142, the legislation dedicated to the protection of pedestrians, motorists and passengers. Mainly, speed limits are divided into maximum limit and minimum limit, classifying different types of vehicles according to their types.
Speed limits on the road: the case of heavy trucks
As we have seen, speed limits change depending on the type of vehicle and the type of road being traveled. Paragraph 3 of Article 142 of the Highway Code regulates the categories of vehicles that cannot exceed specific speed limits. Speed limits for heavy vehicles, i.e., trucks and cars pulling trailers or caravans, are clearly reduced due to the size of the vehicles:
- 50 km/h on urban roads (i.e. in built-up areas);
- 70 km/h on secondary suburban roads;
- 70 km/h on major suburban roads;
- 50 mph on highways.
Although most of the time we are talking about maximum limits, in some rare cases, such as on three-lane highways, there may be a minimum speed limit to be maintained while driving even for heavy trucks. In contrast, in the city, the maximum speed allowed is 50 km/h, and in the vicinity of schools it can go down to 30 km/h. On major suburban roads, the limit is 110km/h; it is reduced to 90km/h for novice drivers and in bad weather. Also set at 90 km/h is the maximum limit on secondary suburban roads. On both main and secondary extra-urban roads, there may be short stretches where a maximum speed of 70 km/h is required to be kept, but in these cases, the change must always be communicated by appropriate road signs.
The maximum limit on the highway is 130 km/h, 110 km/h if the driver is a newly licensed driver (who has held a license for less than three years).
The 130 km/h limit may drop to 110 km/h in bad weather and to 50 km/h in cases of reduced visibility due to fog: in these cases, changes in limits are indicated by special notices located along the route. The maximum speed, moreover, may increase to 150 km/h on 3-lane highways and on all those routes whose design features allow it, subject to the installation of the appropriate signage by the concessionaire or owner entity.
In the case of speeding, there are tolerance margins so as not to incur fines and loss of license points: these are a margin of 5 km/h for maximum allowed speed below 100 km/h and 5% for speeds above 100 km/h. Now that you have a more complete overview of the limits imposed by our Highway Code, be careful not to exceed the required maximum speed and remember to always drive safely.