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Speed limit guidelines published

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As a new 10-year road safety strategy is being launched to include lower speed limits, drivers may want to ensure they have good value car insurance policies.

Calls for more 20mph zones are expected to be included in the consultation document, which transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick will use to seek views on road casualty reduction targets up to 2020.

Guidelines on deciding speed limits for local roads and built up areas are to be given to councils in England and Wales. The existing casualty reduction targets have helped cut road deaths to below 3,000 for the first time.

Compared to the 1990s, the Government aimed for a 40% reduction in the number of people killed in road accidents by 2010. This figure fell by 36% in 2007 and the target for a 50% reduction in the number of children killed has already been met.

Car safety improvements, traffic calming measures, and drink-drive regulations have all also helped road casualty figures.

People hit at 20mph have a much better chance of survival than those struck at 30mph, according to road safety researchers.

Robert Gifford, government advisor on transport safety, said: "The 20mph zones are proven to save lives and that is especially important when thinking about children and the elderly."

© Press Association 2009