Nearly half of drivers flash their lights to warn other drivers of speed checks, according to an IAM poll of more than 4800 motorists.
The poll followed the recent prosecution of a driver who was fined £175 and ordered to pay £250 costs after warning approaching cars of a speed check. Nearly 70% of respondents to the IAM poll said that a driver should not be prosecuted for warning others, while 21% believe they should.
Peter Rodger, IAM chief examiner, said: “The biggest reason for not flashing to warn of a speed check is safety, with ‘drivers who speed deserve to be caught and fined’ and ‘the meaning of the flash could be misinterpreted’, each polling a third of the votes from those who don’t flash.
“However, safety was also used as a major justification for those who do flash to warn of speed checks, with nearly 20% saying they ‘wanted to avoid a possible collision when drivers see the speed check late and brake harshly in response’.”
The poll also found that nearly 35% of respondents say they use their lights to tell other drivers they are giving way to them, and 30% use them to thank another driver for giving way to them. Less than 10% of drivers said that they don’t flash at all.
Nearly 45% of drivers feel that the Highway Code should contain a standardised code of what flashes mean, as there could be confusion as to what message people are trying to get across.
For more information contact the IAM Press Office on 020 8996 9777.