The Campaign to Protect Rural England is calling for cuts to rural road speed limits.
New Government guidance for local authorities on how to set speed limits is widely expected to be published later this week.
The CPRE believes the guidance is a key opportunity to improve conditions for rural road users and cut down on deaths and accidents by increasing the use of 40 mph zones.
Ralph Smyth, Senior Transport Campaigner for CPRE, said: “Since the last speed limit guidance was published, deaths on rural roads have tragically increased from half of all road deaths, to over two thirds.
“While the UK has made urban areas safer through introducing 20 mph zones, we have failed unlike other countries to do anything similar in the countryside.
“The Dutch have found that widespread adoption of rural 60km/h (37 mph) zones has been even more cost effective in saving lives than their urban 30km/h (19 mph) zones.
“If we want to have an enviable safety record in our countryside, it’s time for 40 mph zones to become the norm on minor rural roads.”