Why is SLOW written on the road surface?

You are probably thinking, the word SLOW written on the road is telling you to slow down. I have been told by one person I was training it meant “Speed Low Official Warning” which I thought was good. But how slow should you be?

The simple answer is contained in the Highway Code, which is “you must be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear”.

The other question you as a driver should be asking is, why do some junctions have SLOW painted on the road before the junction and others don’t?

Basically, it all comes down to a history of crashes. The more crashes at a location, the greater the risk which is a proven risk not a perceived risk. In the picture you will see a warning sign telling you there is a side road to the right and under the sign is a plate telling you it is in 120 yds, but there are other signs in the image that tell you the exact location of that side road.

The National Speed Limit signs just behind the blue oncoming car tell you exactly where the junction is and the fact that they are National Speed limit signs must mean the road you are on is either a 40 or 50 mph road (these speed limits will have repeater signs at intervals along the road). If the road you are on was a 30mph limit it would either have streetlights or repeater signs at regular intervals.

Next time you are driving, try looking out for the road signs and markings, you might be surprised by how your driving improves.  If you had missed the SLOW, the warning sign and the National Speed Limit sign, think would you be able to stop if a driver pulled out of the junction in front of you.

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