The government is expected to announce a raft of proposals today aimed at cutting road deaths, including reducing the speed limit on rural single carriageway roads to 50mph.
For the first time, the Department for Transport is expected to set a specific target for the reduction of casualties on the road. The DfT aims to reduce deaths on the public highway by at least a third from the current figure of around 3000 per year.
As well as the speed limit cut for rural roads, the plans include the expansion of 20mph limits, which are already in place outside schools and in residential areas in some UK cities. Average-speed cameras could even be introduced to monitor urban residential areas.
Police could also be given increased powers, aimed at improving the efficiency of traffic policing. Officers would be able to hand out fixed penalties for careless driving, the fine for not wearing a seat belt would be doubled to £60 and the police would no longer need to suspect a motoring offence in order to be able to breathalise someone.