Brake, the road safety charity, is asking drivers to commit to safer driving following publication of a survey which shows that “overconfidence and complacency are leading to widespread illegal risk-taking on roads”.
In the survey of 1,000 drivers, commissioned by Brake and Direct Line, while almost all respondents (99%) believe they are comparatively safe, 69% admit to breaking traffic laws. 35% of respondents say they break laws because they believe they can handle it, while 33% admit it’s down to not paying attention. Only 1% said they realise they are taking risks, but do it anyway.
Brake is asking drivers to sign a Pledge to stay safe and legal and avoid risky driving behaviour.
Through its ‘Crackdown’ campaign, Brake is also calling on the Government to ensure there is a “strong deterrent against law-breaking”, and that drivers who repeatedly flout the law are taken off the road. It calls for greater priority and funding for specialist roads policing, and action to tighten up the penalty points system so drivers who tot up 12 points or more cannot escape a ban by pleading ‘exceptional hardship’.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “It is deeply concerning so many drivers break vital traffic laws, yet still believe they are safe. Anyone who thinks they can handle speeding, using a phone at the wheel or drink-driving is fooling themselves and taking an appalling chance with people’s lives.
“The first step to being a truly safe driver is to recognise that protecting people is your number one priority when you get behind the wheel – far more important than getting there a bit faster, or answering a call.
“Traffic laws exist to protect people from death and injury, and staying within them is a fundamental responsibility for everyone who drives.”
For more information contact Ellen Booth on 01484 550067.