Drivers support lower speed limits, but speed themselves
The majority of drivers support lower speed limits despite being unable to resist speeding themselves, according to research released today (22 September) by the road safety charity Brake and Direct Line.
The survey found that 92% of drivers want a 20mph limit around schools, 60% want a 20mph limit around homes, and 56% want a 20mph limit in all areas where there are lots of people on foot and bicycle. A lowering of speed limits on rural roads was also supported by 70% of respondents.
While supporting lower speed limits, most drivers admitted speeding themselves. The survey found that 72% of drivers had driven at 35mph or faster in a 30mph zone, with 36% saying they did it at least once a week. On rural roads 51% admitted to breaking the 60mph limit, with 30% saying they did it at least once a week.
When asked what would persuade them to drive more carefully, the measure named by most drivers was enforcement. 63% said more police and cameras would persuade them, 46% said tougher penalties and 26% said more publicity campaigns by the government would help.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s campaigns director, said: “In recent months the debate on speed and speed enforcement has been raging, following news that some local authorities are turning off their speed cameras.
“Our research suggests that drivers do understand that slowing down saves lives – as they overwhelmingly support lower speed limits on both urban and rural roads. At the same time, the majority of drivers continue to break speed limits, and tell us that enforcement is the main factor that persuades them to slow down.
“The government must listen to what drivers are saying: we need lower limits, and effective enforcement, to stamp out the menace of speeding and the needless deaths and injuries that result from it.”
For more information contact Ellen Booth at Brake on 01484 550067