Road Safety Week survey highlights issue of excessive speeding

22.05 | 15 November 2020 | | 5 comments

Brake says there is no excuse for breaking the speed limit, on the back of a survey in which approximately a fifth of drivers admitted to travelling at more than 100mph on a public road.

The survey findings, which garnered the views of more than 2,000 UK drivers, have been released to mark the start of Road Safety Week 2020.

Established by Brake more than 20 years ago, Road Safety Week seeks to raise public awareness of road safety issues and is intended to act as ‘the driver for positive change on UK roads’.

During Road Safety Week 2020, which takes place between 16-22 November, Brake is raising awareness of the dangers of excessive speeds, using the slogan ‘no need to speed’.

It is also highlighting to the UK’s ‘majority of law-abiding drivers’ that in many conditions, such as in the wet or near cyclists and pedestrians, even driving within the speed limit can be too fast.

In total, 18% of the survey’s respondents admitted to speeding at more than 100mph on a public road – something which was more prevalent among male drivers (28%) than females (9%). The figure rises to 33% among 25-34 year old drivers.

In partnership with police forces, Brake has also revealed data on the highest speeds over the limits in different police force areas. 

The highest excess speed was 152 mph in a 30mph zone, recorded by the Metropolitan Police, while the highest speed overall was 180mph, captured by Nottinghamshire Police in a 70mph zone.

Drivers caught exceeding 100mph on public roads face a driving ban of up to eight weeks, and a fine of 150% of their weekly income.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “There is no excuse for breaking the speed limit and these figures highlight the grossly excessive speeds of some drivers who show complete disregard for the law and people’s safety. 

“None of us should be put in danger by the high-risk behaviour of others when we’re getting about on roads, and that’s why, this Road Safety Week, we are asking everyone to join us in our call that there is no need to speed.

“Many drivers drift over limits by mistake but our research shows that a shockingly large number of drivers, particularly men, break speed limits excessively. We want all drivers to remember the daily disasters that are due to speed, think about the victims, slow down, and reduce road danger. 

“It’s important to remember that sometimes driving under the speed limit can still be too fast, particularly on winding roads, roads with poor visibility, and roads where there could be people about on bicycles and on foot.”

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    I would like to know how they have calculated that 1 in 5 fatal collisions involve speed?
    This would be 20%.

    Whilst excess speed may be a commonality in these collisions we have to look at them in more detail before designing an intervention.
    We cannot treat 25% of excess speed collisions that involved stolen vehicles with a “no need to speed” message.
    Likewise the stolen vehicles or impaired drivers.


    Chris Harrison, Bristol
    Agree (10) | Disagree (0)
    +10

    “No need to speed”. Quite right – in the interests of road safety research, would any readers who are prone to speeding, like to say why they feel the need to speed? It’s a mystery to some of us.


    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (4) | Disagree (11)
    --7

    > Brake says there is no excuse for breaking the speed limit, on the back of a survey in which approximately a fifth of drivers admitted to travelling at more than 100mph on a public road.

    Then I presume Brake, an organisation that says that there is no excuse for exceeding a speed limit, will be supporting a call to remove or heavily restrict the exemptions (also known as an “excuse”) for speed limits that emergency services enjoy?

    Or is “no excuse” actually just “no excuse except for excuses that we say are okay”

    > It’s important to remember that sometimes driving under the speed limit can still be too fast

    And equally important to remember that speed limits can be too low for the road in question. However approaching a corner too quickly (and learning how to cope with it, emotionally and physically) isn’t part of the driving syllabus. Maybe it should?

    > Would it not be better to emphasise a positive social norm – that most drivers don’t?

    Do “most” drivers feel confident and competent whilst “making progress”? Of course not, they’ve not had the chance to build on this knowledge.


    David Weston, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
    Agree (2) | Disagree (3)
    --1

    No need to speed, exactly, so why does a police officer doing over 130 in a 30 in an unmarked car off to a meeting about his lad, get a cheerful pat on the back for claiming he was only doing CPD?


    Mike, Lincoln
    Agree (27) | Disagree (0)
    +27

    Good to focus on speed, but is it helpful to emphasise that so many people speed by so much and presumably get away with it? Would it not be better to emphasise a positive social norm – that most drivers don’t? What do behaviour change experts think?


    David Davies
    Agree (12) | Disagree (0)
    +12

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