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It's a weird misconception this..... Speed limit for HGV on a motorway is 60, and has been for decades. The 55 idea was to save fuel, and it works. Quite how the majority have come to believe the limit is 55/56 - I have no idea!
Maybe it`s something to do with all the rules,regs and red tape all over the place,is everyone supposed to know everything about everything now? maybe it`s the sign on the rear of many HGV`s that states"limited to 56" or some other mis-information everyone should know about? Why they put these signs on "could" be part of the reason,not everyone gets everything absolutley right 100% of the time,sorry about that.
Sheesh.
 

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Wow, didn't expect that!

FWIW, everyone who has passed a driving test should be aware of speed limits, they are in the highway code, which is, whilst not a set of laws, a pretty comprehensive guide, not wrapped in red tape!

Nowhere did I state everyone should know everything, I did however offer a 'little' known fact, in the hope it will prevent the further spread of misinformation!
 

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The legalities are absolute. It would be an offence to continue driving regardless of speed along the hard shoulder, and the legal minimum speed on a motorway is 30 mph. So if you drive into a car doing that speed you will get done for it, not the slow driver. If you knew that was the minimum legal speed (which it is your duty to know) then you should drive in such a way as to be able to accommodate that without causing an accident. So the answer to the original question becomes clear, if you can't maintain 30 mph or more you must pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. I think turtle mode is much slower and only gives you about a mile, from what I've heard. Cruising at 30 will extend your range while some is left, but I would be too scared to actually do it, myself, bugger what is legal!


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Around 50mph is probably the lowest reasonable speed presuming an open and unrestricted motorway. People are still going to expect things moving at or not much above that (HGV's) so it's not likely to cause many issues. I think once it's down to 40-45 it's time to consider the hard shoulder and anything much below 40mph is pretty suicidal on some stretches.
30mph on the main carriageway is ridiculous. Imagine a truck coming down a normal road doing 25-30mph. Would you pull out infront of it then stop? That's the equivalent closing speed and chances are if it's dark the driver isn't going to realise just how slow it's going until they are already quite close.
 

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Travelling south on the M6 on New Years day, (light traffic) spotted a car in the distance ahead which we were approaching in rapid time while we was travelling at approx 70mph... As we got closer I saw It was a silver Leaf.

Road conditions where light rain but plenty of spray but decent visibility all round but this changed mile after mile..

The car was in lane 1 doing approx 30mph, we passed at 70mph and went past like it was stood still. (car had 2 people in my passenger said..)

This sparked off a conversation in the car, If the car had limited range or was in some sort of limp mode.....

  • At what speed (if the car had some kind of issue) would you decide to pull over onto the hard shoulder and stop to get recovered??
  • If you decided it was "safe" to keep the car moving to the next junction, would you drive up the hard shoulder with the hazards on to prevent creating a tailback and possible collision due to speed behind you ?
  • Run in lane 1 with hazards on ?
  • If the driver was in fact trying to "preserve" battery due to limited range left would you continue at say 50mph / 56mph until the car runs flat or just stop onto the hard shoulder ? (or any of the above)
  • Or it could of just been a really poor driver.
Will never know the real reason, but running at around 30mph in live traffic was maybe not the best decision made by the driver regardless of reasons and i was in 2 minds to inform the police for the safety of others travelling behind but decided as the traffic ahead, approx 8 miles was down to 50mph there was no need.

So, back to the main question...
At what "slow" speed would you bail out onto the hard shoulder ?

Anyone been in this position ?
I really thought you meant jump out at first! There was a guide on how to do it with minimum risk in this month's Focus magazine!


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On New Year's Day I gather there was no support available from Ecotricity for their Electric Highway (unbelievable really.) If the driver had planned to use one of the rapids and couldn't they'd be forced to move on to try another with perhaps little in reserve. Just conjecture, but highly possible. I wouldn't have thought being New Years Day there would have been many commercial vehicles to cause concern though. So crawl at 30 or flatbed. The EH not providing support has the potential to put EV drivers using the motorway system in grave danger at such times it seems, if that was the reason. Please EH, if you don't want to do it, let someone who does and drop your exclusivity deals at MSAs.
 

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On New Year's Day I gather there was no support available from Ecotricity for their Electric Highway (unbelievable really.) If the driver had planned to use one of the rapids and couldn't they'd be forced to move on to try another with perhaps little in reserve. Just conjecture, but highly possible. I wouldn't have thought being New Years Day there would have been many commercial vehicles to cause concern though. So crawl at 30 or flatbed. The EH not providing support has the potential to put EV drivers using the motorway system in grave danger at such times it seems, if that was the reason. Please EH, if you don't want to do it, let someone who does and drop your exclusivity deals..
It would seem to me that if it's a matter of possibly causing someone serious travel issues that the service should be there as a default so any time they can't be bothered to provide back up for their ridiculous app the chargers should revert to free vend. It's a service on a motorway so not something to just be messed about with. If they can't be bothered to employ one minimum wager to answer a phone I can't see why people should have to pay.
 

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Wow, didn't expect that!

FWIW, everyone who has passed a driving test should be aware of speed limits, they are in the highway code, which is, whilst not a set of laws, a pretty comprehensive guide, not wrapped in red tape!

Nowhere did I state everyone should know everything, I did however offer a 'little' known fact, in the hope it will prevent the further spread of misinformation!
Sorry,if i seemed "spikey" but i have spent years driving 7.5 tonners,when the EU messed with the rules i lost my job,as did many other 7.5t drivers,i refused to go large with licencing,they wanted me to drive artics,i didn`t want too,so i was out.
The thing is,if it doesn`t directly affect you,then why would you know,i`m talking about the speed limits,i didn`t know the 56 for trucks was just optional (for fuel saving) i thought it was a rule/law for commercial HGV,so sorry again for the partial rant/reply.

Once you have read the High Way Code,how often do you read the amendments? or changes in rules?
Hopefully there will always be some "wriggle room" for common sense with regards to actual laws.

And Yes,the EH needs to be 24/7/365 even if just for the safety benefits mentioned above,i`m sure it will be very soon.
 

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It was made clear by ecotricity operations they don't have the resources for proper support and the prices would have to rise just at a time when there's is a proposed crackdown on rip off pricing. All the other charge providers have out of hours cover. Ecotricity are the only ones that don't. If engenie with 3 chargers can offer it then there's no excuse.
 

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As far as I can find from Primary Legislation there is NO minimum speed limit on Motorways in England Wales or Scotland. There is a requirement that vehicles of one class are capable of maintaining 25 mph , on the level. But NO general minimum speed limit.
It is worth remembering that when the first Motorways were opened in the UK there were large numbers of pre-war cars on the road, I think it was just pre MOT Tests as well. Any one who has driven such a car will know that 40 mph was death defying! And yet there was NO maximum limit either. You had new Jags mixing with elderly Austin 7s, The fatal results are on record.
 

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... You had new Jags mixing with elderly Austin 7s, The fatal results are on record.
I remember it well. I lived in Newport Pagnell when the earth movers moved in to build the M1. We had a Jag MK IX at the time. Pre-70mph limit. There were not that many of pre-50's cars on the road actually, and certainly not on the motorway. Even the latest cars didn't have crumple-zones or seat belts let alone air bags.
I think the Highway Code is more than advisory and minimum speed limit offence would come under some other offence code like due care and attention or even reckless. I too hope that the rules about limping along the hard shoulder would be intelligently applied in such a situation, but being rescued and ferried to the next services still has to be the responsible and legally safe course of action.


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I think I would rather pull over on the hard shoulder, get out and give plod a call and explain the situation and be guided by them. With luck they would send a car to escort me off the motorway on the hard shoulder.
 

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I'm not sure why, but I think the answer is very simple: the speed doesn't matter, all that matters is that you get on the hard shoulder and stop.

On the other hand, as long as the car can move, it should be safe to drive as quickly as possible to the nearest exit and leave the motorway. You should not be getting on the motorway if you know that you can't achieve reasonable speeds though!
 

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It's a weird misconception this..... Speed limit for HGV on a motorway is 60, and has been for decades. The 55 idea was to save fuel, and it works. Quite how the majority have come to believe the limit is 55/56 - I have no idea!
The EU apparently mandates a 56mph speed limiter is fitted on HGVs...
 

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It's a weird misconception this..... Speed limit for HGV on a motorway is 60, and has been for decades. The 55 idea was to save fuel, and it works. Quite how the majority have come to believe the limit is 55/56 - I have no idea!
Nope it's an EU thing, speed limiters are required to be set at 90kph which is ........ 56mph.
 

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Travelling south on the M6 on New Years day, (light traffic) spotted a car in the distance ahead which we were approaching in rapid time while we was travelling at approx 70mph... As we got closer I saw It was a silver Leaf.

Road conditions where light rain but plenty of spray but decent visibility all round but this changed mile after mile..

The car was in lane 1 doing approx 30mph, we passed at 70mph and went past like it was stood still. (car had 2 people in my passenger said..)

This sparked off a conversation in the car, If the car had limited range or was in some sort of limp mode.....

  • At what speed (if the car had some kind of issue) would you decide to pull over onto the hard shoulder and stop to get recovered??
  • If you decided it was "safe" to keep the car moving to the next junction, would you drive up the hard shoulder with the hazards on to prevent creating a tailback and possible collision due to speed behind you ?
  • Run in lane 1 with hazards on ?
  • If the driver was in fact trying to "preserve" battery due to limited range left would you continue at say 50mph / 56mph until the car runs flat or just stop onto the hard shoulder ? (or any of the above)
  • Or it could of just been a really poor driver.
Will never know the real reason, but running at around 30mph in live traffic was maybe not the best decision made by the driver regardless of reasons and i was in 2 minds to inform the police for the safety of others travelling behind but decided as the traffic ahead, approx 8 miles was down to 50mph there was no need.

So, back to the main question...
At what "slow" speed would you bail out onto the hard shoulder ?

Anyone been in this position ?
This question seems to presuppose that any speed less than warp speed on a motorway is dangerous.
It is a simple fact that many people who drive on motorways have such low standards of vehicle control that they are dangerous at almost any speed, hence the 70 mph limit. As any half decent Instructor will remind you, speed limits are not a target, they are limits to be approached only when safe to do so.
Case Law is quite clear , if you drive into a slower moving vehicle the fault lays with you. Vehicles quite often come to a halt on UK motorways, they often drive slowly , for all sorts of reasons. You as a driver should be prepared, and drive according to this known fact.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thanks to All who have replied.

Good debate and raised some great vsild points of disscussion.

Thanks
 

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This question seems to presuppose that any speed less than warp speed on a motorway is dangerous.
It is a simple fact that many people who drive on motorways have such low standards of vehicle control that they are dangerous at almost any speed, hence the 70 mph limit. As any half decent Instructor will remind you, speed limits are not a target, they are limits to be approached only when safe to do so.
Case Law is quite clear , if you drive into a slower moving vehicle the fault lays with you. Vehicles quite often come to a halt on UK motorways, they often drive slowly , for all sorts of reasons. You as a driver should be prepared, and drive according to this known fact.
All absolutely true. The question was what is the minimum speed you would feel comfortable driving at on a motorway. That is a perfectly reasonable question to ask - given the standards of driving there is a point at which I would not feel safe. In light traffic, with high average speeds, I would be concerned below 45mph.
 

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An unrestricted 7.5tonner sure,but they are very rare these days,most stuff is restricted to 56,certainly anything over 7.5t.
It's a 10Ton Recovery Truck, used to collect and deliver cars, usually get the limiter calibrated before the tyres are replaced as well, adds another 1 or 2 mph to the top speed so we get a true 60mph out of it, might not sound a lot but when you can only drive for a maximum of 10 hours 4 or 5mph makes a big difference, if we are going right up north we invariably run out of hours so someone comes out to finish the journey and that saves us 150 miles of travel.
 
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