A Subtle point for Learner Drivers and later Defensive Drivers

Having held licenses on 3 continents (UK,USA, Zambia and the Antipodes) I became aware of the international road signs with the red ring and number in inside on white background.

All students are told that this is the MAXIMUM speed allowed in the area of the road.

MOST students (or have never really learned) that this is NOT the minimun speed.

The car coming up behind please note (who likes to push rather than overtake (and may be rich enough to afford a fine for speeding).


I am very lucky that my father was there when I was young and living in Zambia and learning for my license. Roads were not crowded in the mid sixties.

He stressed that in order to overtake safely it is important to stay well back for 3 reasons.

  1.  In order to have a clear view of oncoming traffic or not.
  2.  To have time to build up overtaking speed.
  3.  Then one can pull out and indicate only when sure to be able to have safe amount of time and speed to overtake.


This dangerous behaviour is so common it is unbelievable!

Most people will have had some kind of instruction before they received their license, except for those (assume nothing) who have bribed or bought it one way or another.

If they took a test to get their license – it is a reasonable expectation that all road code books tell the student to leave enough stopping lengths according to the speed of both vehicles. Logically, to spell it out – this is in case the car in front brakes suddenly (kangaroo, oncoming truck the other side of the road).