The Government is set to launch a 10-year road safety strategy.
It is likely to include calls for more 20mph zones in built-up areas.
In a consultation document, transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick is likely to lay down guidelines to be followed by England and Wales local authorities in deciding speed limits on local roads.
Some councils, such as Newcastle, Portsmouth, Oxford and Leicester, already have 20mph speed limits in residential areas.
More areas can now be expected to introduce such low-speed zones around schools and in quiet, residential streets.
Mr Fitzpatrick will also seek views on road casualty reduction targets up to 2020.
The new targets will replace the existing ones which have been largely successful, in that annual road deaths have dropped below the 3,000 mark for the first time.
Road safety researchers say people hit at 20mph have a much better chance of survival than those struck at 30mph. Only one in 40 dies at 20mph, compared with one in five at 30mph.
Robert Gifford, of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said: "The 20mph zones are proven to save lives and that is especially important when thinking about children and the elderly."