Drivers only just realising you can legally ignore this motorway speed limit sign

A 40mph speed limit sign

There is one kind of speed limit sign you can ignore

According to the Express, motorists are suddenly realising that there’s one kind of speed limit sign you can ignore. 

Amber speed signs 

The speed limit on amber speed signs on the motorway are completely advisory and are not legally enforced.  

These signs are usually temporary and are seen on gantries or by the side of the road. They’re most often used around accidents, roadworks or something else that is likely to disrupt the flow of traffic.  

Reddit user BevvyTime made this discovery while driving in Kent and had this to say: “On the M2, big crash on the other side with a guy being intubated in an ambulance. Big Amber 50 signs flashing for about two miles beforehand, yet I appeared to be the only person adhering to this?” 

They went on to say they had to speed up to 60mph just to avoid being a danger to themselves and others, but hadn’t realised the temporary 50mph speed limit was advisory.  

What happens if you don’t stick to the limit? 

Despite not being compulsory, you should still stick to the advisory speed limit. 

Another Reddit user, Federal-Lemonade, added to the thread saying: “If I recall correctly, from a speed awareness course I did a few years back, they said that amber speed limit signs are advisory, but if you get into an accident and you’re over that limit you’re leaving yourself open to a dangerous driving charge.” 

This is in-line with driving course provider PassMeFast’s advice: “Sometimes advisory speed limit signs are used on motorways. These display a number, with amber lights flashing in the corners of the sign. Although not enforceable by law, you should still take note of advisory speed limits. They reflect conditions on the road, and potential hazards that you need to be aware of.” 

What’s the difference between the compulsory, temporary, and advisory signs? 

 The advisory signs have amber numbers and are usually dot matrix signs, the digital type that use coloured dots to write words or numbers.

Temporary speed limits have amber numbers inside a red circle. These speed limits are legally enforceable, so be sure to stick to them.  


The compulsory speed limit signs are the type you see everywhere, usually a black number on a white background with a red outline.  

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