Survey highlights motorway fears

11.40 | 30 March 2011 | | 1 comment

A survey carried out by GEM Motoring Assist reveals that UK motorists believe tailgating is the most serious offence committed on a motorway – with 85% saying it causes highly dangerous situations.

Driving while using your mobile phone came second in the poll, with 66% agreeing it puts lives at serious risk. Nearly two thirds of respondents also believe that driving in the middle lane when the left hand lane is empty is dangerous and should be more strictly enforced.

20% of those surveyed said that speeding should be more closely monitored and over half said that the national speed limit should actually be increased. Over half also said they would never want L drivers to be allowed to practice on motorways before their test, with 83% saying there should be a mandatory follow up test created to test motorway driving skills.

David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Drivers need to make sure they are taking every precaution if they are planning to use a motorway and be fully aware of the dangers. We believe that bad motorway driving such as tailgating and driving in the middle lane when the left hand lane is empty should definitely be more strictly enforced as it is this kind of careless driving that can lead to frustration, annoyance and possible accidents.”

The survey also showed that 73% of motorists would like to see more approved rest areas on motorways.

David Williams added: “Many people are unaware the Highway Code states that drivers must take a 15 minute break for every 2 hours of continuous driving. Taking a good amount of breaks whilst driving is one of the most important parts of a journey. The more tired you become the less able you are to concentrate and less likely to react quickly to certain situations.”

For more information contact David Williams on 01342 825676.


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    Whilst travelling by motorcycle at the national speed limit on a motorway, a large black 4X4 was so close I could see the pimples on the driver’s face. I hastily pulled over and let him pass. Whilst motorcycling at 40mph(the limit)on the A217, the car immediately behind me was driven by a young women who was continually looking down at something on her lap. I pulled over and let her pass then tucked in behind her. I watched her eyes through her mirror. The looking down sequence continued. She was texting at 40mph.

    In Germany cameras on the motorways enforce tailgating. They also have a law prohibiting rude hand gestures and comments. In Washington State (USA)they have aggressive driving laws (they include tailgating) enforced by the WSP(Washington State Patrol, recently given the award for “Best State Police”). Every time I motorcycle in France, I see the motorcyclists of the Gendarmerie Nationale out hunting in pairs. And in Switzerland, well, I get nervous when I see the police at the roadside and I am doing nothing wrong, such is their reputation for strictness making their country a joy in which to ride.

    I am indebted to GEM for their survey which I hope will be used to “shape policing in the UK” rather than the report from Baroness Newlove that features elsewhere on this site.

    By the way, regarding rest areas, Germany has had them for over 40 years to my knowledge. I can recall sitting at one near Karlsruhe having a flask of coffee, reading the map and thinking how nice my motorbike looked in the morning sunshine. The year was 1971.

    Roy Buchanan, Sutton
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