Road Safety

How to Stay Informed About Temporary Speed Limits

Temporary speed limits are often enacted during road construction, special events, or adverse weather conditions to ensure safety. Unlike permanent speed limits, these can change with little notice, making it crucial for drivers to stay informed. This blog provides essential tips and tools to help you stay ahead of these changes, ensuring both safety and compliance on the roads.

Understanding Temporary Speed Limits

Temporary speed limits are set to manage traffic flow and enhance safety under specific conditions. These can be due to:

  • Construction Work: To protect workers and motorists in construction zones.
  • Special Events: In areas hosting large events, to control traffic and enhance pedestrian safety.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: During fog, heavy rain, snow, or ice, to reduce accident risks.

Tips for Staying Informed

1. Utilise Navigation Apps

Modern navigation apps like Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps are updated in real time. They provide current speed limits, including temporary changes, and can alert you to upcoming speed adjustments.

2. Tune into Local Radio Stations

Local radio stations often broadcast traffic updates, including temporary speed limit changes. This is especially useful during long drives or when driving through unfamiliar regions.

3. Check Highways England & Transport Scotland

For information on England’s motorways and major A roads, check the Highways England website or the Traffic England service.

For Scottish roads, check the Transport Scotland website and the Traffic Scotland service, which offer information on roadworks, planned events, and travel updates.

4. Observe Road Signage

Stay vigilant for digital road signs and temporary speed limit signs, especially when entering construction zones or areas with changing weather conditions.

5. Follow Social Media and Community Alerts

Local community groups, traffic alert apps, and social media platforms can be excellent resources for real-time updates on road conditions and temporary speed limits.

Tools and Technologies

  • Smart Dashboards: Some modern vehicles come equipped with smart dashboards that can display real-time speed limit information, including temporary changes.
  • GPS Speed Limit Indicators: Some GPS devices have built-in speed limit indicators that update in real-time, helping you stay within legal limits.
  • Speed Limit Reminder Apps: There are apps designed to alert you when you exceed the speed limit. These can be set to account for temporary speed limits when manually updated.
  • Speed Awareness Device/Speed Camera Detector: A Speed Awareness Device/Speed Camera Detector instantly alerts you to speed limit changes, and alerts you if you go over the speed limit, protecting you from speeding fines and potential accidents.

Staying informed about temporary speed limits is crucial for safe and lawful driving. By leveraging technology, staying observant, and utilising real-time information sources, drivers can adapt to changing road conditions and ensure the safety of all road users.


Navigation apps are generally reliable for speed limit information, including temporary changes, thanks to real-time updates from their user base and official data sources.

It can be challenging to contest a speeding ticket on the grounds of unawareness, emphasizing the importance of staying informed through various means.

Temporary speed limits can change rapidly, especially in response to road work or emergency situations, making constant vigilance essential.

You can report inadequate signage or unclear temporary speed limit areas to the local council or directly to Highways England for motorways and major A roads.

If a temporary speed limit sign doesn’t specify a speed, you should adhere to the national speed limit for the type of road you’re on, keeping in mind the type of vehicle you’re driving.

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