The default 60mph speed limit on UK country roads has been in place since 1977, but that is set to change in one southern county.
According to localgov, Surrey County Council is set to introduce speed limits of 20 and 30mph across an 80-mile stretch of land between Guilford and Dorking.
In what is believed to be a first for the UK, it is hoped that the new law can help make country roads less dangerous for motorists.
Data collected by The Times shows that more than 10,000 deaths and serious injuries are reported annually on rural roads – which accounts for around 57 percent of total road-related deaths.
With blind turns and fast corners prevalent on rural roads, there is a much greater chance of cars losing control at speeds of up to 60mph. Add in natural obstacles that cars could hit, like trees, and it's hardly surprising that action is now being taken.
"This project is an important opportunity for us to improve the safety of our rural roads in the south and southwest of Surrey and ensure that the most appropriate speed limit is applied to each," Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council cabinet member for transport, infrastructure and economy said of the decision.
"Most rural roads in the area are still subject to the national speed limit of 60mph, which is inappropriate for these types of roads.
"Evidence suggests that implementing lower speed limits should reduce the number and severity of road collisions, whilst also helping to support our active travel programme, improve air quality, and address concerns over excessive vehicle noise," he added.
While a reduction from 30 to 20mph in residential areas has been common practice for many years, changes to the speed limit on rural roads has been a long time coming.
The action being taken in Surrey comes after another landmark law was approved in Wales, where a new national speed limit of 20mph has been agreed upon.
Set to be rolled out next year, the vote from the Welsh government will affect residential roads and busy pedestrian streets.
In her speech about the plans, climate change minister Julie James told Wales Online: "The future of our towns and cities depends on our ability to move around sustainably and on solutions that have a positive impact on public health environment and communities."
"That is why we will use the principle that walking cycling and active travel must remain the best options for short urban journeys and a 20mph default speed limit will help achieve this.
"The introduction of a national 20mph limit would be an important and far reaching policy. We're asking you all to be part of this change and make our communities understand the wider benefits of 20mph."
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