Annual survey paints picture of attitudes towards road safety

12.00 | 30 August 2017 | | 3 comments

While 50% of respondents to an annual Government survey agree that use of a mobile phone at the wheel is dangerous – including hands-free – only 40% agree this should be banned.

Published yesterday (29 August), the British Social Attitudes Survey for 2016 also shows that 10% of respondents believe the use of a hand-held mobile while driving isn’t dangerous – up 2% on the 2015 edition of the survey.

71% agree or strongly agree that the law on using mobile phones while driving is not properly enforced – a level which has been similar since 2007.

The Government has been conducting the survey, which measures people’s attitudes to transport, since 1996. It covers issues including willingness to change current travel behaviours, attitudes to the environment and transport, congestion and views on road safety.

The results of the 2016 survey suggest that there is a growing willingness to walk short journeys (less than two miles) – rather than by car. 14% expressed a willingness in 2016 (compared to 6% in 2006). The proportion disagreeing has fallen from 23% to 13% over the same period.

Looking at drink-driving, the proportion supporting the belief that ‘if someone has drunk any alcohol they should not drive’ has remained at around 80% over the last decade.

The proportion of adults believing that ‘most people don’t know how much alcohol they can drink before being over the legal drink drive limit’ – fell by 9% to 72% in 2016.

In terms of speed cameras, 56% of respondents agree that speed cameras save lives. However, the survey results also show that nearly half of respondents (48%) think speed cameras are mostly there to make money, with 32% saying there are too many of them.

Also on the topic of speed, 69% of respondents support 20mph limits in residential streets. Opposition to speed bumps on residential streets has declined from 41% in 2009 to 29% in 2016.

Category: General news.



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    What we fail to realise is that we perceive members of the general public to be as interested as ourselves in the subject of road safety. The general public will never be as interested as you or I. Therefore they will make their own assumptions and beliefs born from basically total ignorance. Myth, legend and alligory.

    m.worthington Manchester
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    Yes I’m sure people’s views on this subject and others are influenced by what they hear, and what they read or watch in the media rather than a view based on their own personal experience or reasoned knowledge and understanding of the subject.

    Propaganda can work both ways however, and people tend to go with whatever supports their preconceived and possible bias on a subject and may not see beyond the misinformation and hearsay.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    They say “a lie can get half way round the world before the truth even gets it’s boots on”.

    While many of the questions can only be answered with opinions, some of the questions have right or wrong answers, ie what does the evidence tell us. In those cases the public are generally wrong. What is interesting is that the public seem to be giving the answers that the state has been trying to convince them of. We might conclude that publicity by the state is working.

    Given the resources spent by the state in persuading citizens to believe the official version, it may come as some surprise that the level of opposition is as high as it appears. Another conclusion that might be drawn is that Milgram is being proved right again when he said, Most people don’t have the social skills necessary to effectively challenge authority.

    dave finney
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