Speeding and speed limits

Report road users breaking the speed limit to Sussex Police using: Operation Crackdown.

Setting speed limits

Local authorities can vary speed limits for the roads they control. We follow government guidance and legislation when deciding where and how to make changes to speed limits.

Changes to speed limits

Speed limits, to be effective, must be set at a level which appears reasonable to a driver and adequately reflect the environment through which the road passes. Many people consider speed limits as the answer to all road safety concerns and whilst appropriately set speed limits can improve road safety, erecting speed limit signs does not always produce the desired level of vehicle speeds unless a driver can see a need for the limit.

There are a number of factors that are taken into consideration when assessing a site for a speed limit. These include visible frontage development, existing vehicle speeds, road character, crash record, local facilities, and level of vulnerable road users as it is these factors that influence the speed chosen by a driver. For a speed limit to be effective, and as far as possible self-regulating, it must appear reasonable to a driver and adequately reflect the environment through which the road passes.

All requests to change speed limits are assessed by the Road Safety team, see: road safety improvements – how we decide.

30mph ‘repeater’ signs

Street lights usually mean the speed limit is 30mph, unless there are signs showing otherwise. The law does not allow us to put 30mph signs on these roads.

Temporary speed limit posters may be available from your Town or Parish council, see: how your community can help.

Speed cameras

Speed camera management and locations are decided by the: Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP).

Vehicle Activated Signs (VASs)

The safety benefits of vehicle activated signs are proven but these can be lost through proliferation which lessens their impact and can lead to drivers disregarding those signs which have been installed at sites with significant crash histories. Vehicle Activated Signs (VASs) are only provided in the following circumstances:

  • where there is an ongoing history of crashes involving personal injury and all other practicable remedial measures, such as permanent signing, have already been implemented 
  • where we have identified a speed management issue and are implementing the necessary measures to ensure drivers comply with the speed limit, particularly where we are proposing to lower the current limit
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