Overseas Visitors & Driving In The Cotswolds
Visitors who intend driving in the UK should follow a few simple tips that will help keep them, their passengers & other road users safe
- The most important thing to remember if you are going to drive in the UK is that you must drive on the left. You should be careful when you need to turn right. It is also important that after a prolonged stop you remember to continue your journey on the left hand side.
- Distances are measured in miles.
- If your are driving long distances, it is recommended to take regular breaks for at least 15 minutes.
- The normal speed limits in the UK are measured in miles per hour abbreviated to MPH. Many towns
& villages make use of speed safety measures including, speed humps,
chicanes & flashing speed warning signs:
- In built up areas the speed limit is - 30MPH although lower speed limits are being used particularly in areas where children are at school or play.
- On the outskirts of built up areas the speed limit can be 40MPH. Many highway authorities are now using a 50 MPH speed limit for a short distance after leaving or when approaching built up areas.
- On a main road the normal speed limit is - 60MPH although this can be 50MPH or even 40MPH depending on the conditions of the road.
- On a dual carriageway the normal speed limit is - 70MPH but this can also change in built up areas or when road conditions dictate.
- On a motorway the normal speed limit is - 70MPH unless road conditions dictate the speed, for example road repairs.
- Local authorities are increasingly using mobile speed cameras. These can be operated outside of control vehicles, usually white, yellow or orange vans. The operators can be hidden inside the vehicle or operate the systems from the roadside. Police officers will also use hand held speed detectors. Fixed speed cameras are also on the roadside verges and will normally be coloured yellow on the reverse side.
Always watch out for changes in the speed limit, this may not always be clear.
- At roundabouts you must give way to traffic approaching from the right, unless the road markings tell you otherwise. You must drive clockwise & signal left when you intend to exit the roundabout. Many towns & villages use small roundabouts as part of the traffic calming & these may be difficult to negotiate. The same rules will apply.
- At road junctions there will be a sign which will tell you to Stop or Give Way. There may be a white triangle and line markings on the carriageway. Either way you should stop at these junctions before merging into the traffic.
- It is illegal to drive a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol. Remember many wines, spirits & beers contain large volumes of alcohol which can impair your driving abilities. It is best if you don't drink at all if you are driving
- It is illegal for you or your passengers not to wear seatbelts if they are fitted to the car. This includes the front & rear seats.
- It is illegal to use a handheld mobile telephone whilst driving in the UK.
- If you are involved in an accident, you must stop & exchange your name, address & insurance details with the other driver(s). If there are any injuries resulting from the accident then the police must be informed.
- If you need to stop on the roadside use a safe place leaving room for other vehicles to pass, switch on your hazard warning lights. Never stop on or near to a bend or road junction.
- Please give way to emergency vehicles if they are using sirens or flashing blue lights & headlamps. You should be aware of pedestrians, cyclists or other motor vehicles
, signal to let others know your intentions, pull as far to the roadside as you can, don't panic & stay alert, there may be more emergency vehicles coming.
Vehicles that use sirens & flashing blue lights include police, fire, ambulance, coastguard, mountain rescue & National Blood Service. There are several other agencies that use these signals. Be alert! Be safe!
Conversions from MPH to Km/H
- 30 MPH 48 Km/H
- 40 MPH 64 Km/H
- 60 MPH 96 Km/H
- 70 MPH 112 Km/H
Conversions for distance 1 mile 1.6 kilometers