‘Mr Loophole’ is claiming that 20mph speed limit zones re a road safety and environmentally damaging issue.

The celebrity traffic lawyer’s real name is Nick Freeman. He became infamous for getting celebrities off driving driving charges. This is generally achieved through finding loopholes in the legal framework.

Not concentrating

In his latest headline grabbing statement, he has said the policy fails to factor in the design and technology of modern cars.

He believes  even the slightest down hill slope is likely to cause unsuspecting motorists to break the limit. With most modern cars being automatic transmission, he says it is difficult for them to keep to such low speed limits because they are more liable to ‘free roll’.

Mr Freeman added that automatic cars rely principally on brake pedals rather than manual graduated gear changes to slow down and maintain a lower speed. Drivers of modern automatic cars are therefore more likely to be fixated on their speedometer and less likely to concentrate on the road around them. It is therefore a road safety issue.

Campaign group 20’s Plenty For Us says the lower limits are proving successful across the country.  28million in the UK, equivalent to more than one in three of the population, now live in local authority areas which ‘accept 20mph as the right speed limit where people live, work or play’.

A rich seam

Freeman’s clients have included David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Jeremy Clarkson. “Cars are becoming increasingly sophisticated all the time,” he stated to MailOnline.

He is ‘astonished” that “absolutely no thought or consideration” of the practicalities of the speed limits and modern car compatibility.

He says that “ironically 20mph zones actually pose a greater threat to road safety”.

What’s more, he says the “constant braking increases particulate emissions from tyre and brake wear which has a huge impact on our carbon footprint”.

Mr Freeman, thinks that even a 25mph limits wold be more beneficial.

“But since 20mph zones are here to stay, these restrictions should only operate at peak times and in certain locations”.

His comments come on the back of growing calls for default 20mph speed limits and enforcement .


‘The problem is that legislation isn’t drafted by those who understand the roads or the law,” continued Freeman.”If they do, one wonders if such lawmakers have a more fundamental agenda – to get cars off our roads?’

He has previously claimed that reducing the limit to 20mph was making roads more dangerous. This is because drivers are tempted to use their mobile phones while driving more slowly.

Citing a three-year study by Queen’s University Belfast last year in his latest statements, he says it shows restricting limits to 20mph in town and city centres did not seem to reduce road traffic collisions, casualties or driver speed.

However, that followed a study by the University of Edinburgh issued in October last year. This found that restricting the city’s speed limits to 20mph reduced road deaths by almost a quarter and serious injuries by a third.

While Mr Freeman regards “speeding is a serious criminal matter”, he says it is “only one factor”. He believes the slower limits mean drivers are less aware of what is going on around them and easily distracted.  ‘The 20mph limit presents a danger to all road users – with a cost to the environment too.’

Default limits

From September 17, the Welsh Government is introducing a default 20mph limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets, becoming one of the first countries in the world to bring in such legislation.

The Scottish Government has pledged to make all appropriate roads in built up areas 20mph by 2025.

Parts of England already have 20mph limits, with many councils having introduced such zones around schools.

Department for Transport figures show 2,456 children aged under 16 were killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads last year.

Many councils in England have introduced 20mph speed zones around schools.

Who’s responsibility

A crash at 30mph has twice the amount of kinetic energy as a crash at 20mph. So, reducing speed saves lives, particularly in built up urban areas with other vulnerable road users.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: ‘Local authorities in England decide speed limits on their roads but we always encourage road designs that prioritise safety. There are no plans to introduce default or national 20mph speed limits in urban environments.’