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Speeding penalties should be reviewed and increased, says drivers

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

82% of drivers agree with using speed cameras to automatically fine drivers who travel more than 10mph over speed limits near schools.


Throughout Brake’s Road Safety Week 2020, IAM RoadSmart drew on findings from its annual Safety Culture Study of 2,000 motorists, highlighting the different attitudes to speeding.

It saw that whilst only 63% of drivers support the use of cameras to detect those driving 10mph above the limit on motorways, 46% of all motorists actually think it is ‘acceptable’ to drive at 80mph on motorway roads, and one in four believe they’re ‘allowed’ to drive quicker than 80mph if they need to.

What’s even more interesting however, is that these findings actually do confirm that 82% of drivers support the use of cameras to detect speeds 10mph over the limit near schools.

Policy and research director at IAM RoadSmart, Neil Greig, said that whilst “it is reassuring to see that most motorists we surveyed are in favour of using speed cameras to improve road safety outside schools. Speeding in towns may be universally disliked, but we still have a long way to go before the same message gets through on motorways.”

The data pinpointed that the ‘acceptance’ of motorway speeding was most evident with drivers aged 17-96, but did find an increase amongst drivers who travelled longer distances, with 56% of those covering more than 10,000 miles on the road each year believed it acceptable to reach speeds of 80mph or more on motorway stretches.

Greig continued to say that “speeding causes more than 4,000 casualties each year on UK roads – that’s an average of 11 people a day killed or seriously injured. So, it is extremely disappointing to see such apparent acceptance of speeding on motorways, and we need to do more to create a fundamental shift in attitude and behaviour here.”

Venson Automotive Solutions also carried out research of its own which found that 52% of drivers do not believe that existing penalties for breaking the speed limits are enough, and a huge 27% of people would actually support a full review of the speeding penalty system in its entirety.

The research findings reveal that people are calling for speed-limited devices to be fitted as standard to all cars to remove the risk of offending, and for repeat speeding offenders, the option or speed-limiter devices should be offered as an option in lieu of fines or physical speed awareness courses.

Supporting Brake’s Road Safety Week, Venson urged fleet managers to support the campaign’s ‘No need to speed’ theme, ensuring that drivers are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to speeding.

Director of client management at Venson Automotive Solutions, Simon Staton, said:

“When a driver is on the road for work, they represent their company – whether in a company branded vehicle or not. Employees who speed, not only put themselves, other road users and pedestrians at serious risk but also risk legal penalties for their employer should an accident happen and damage to the company’s reputation.

As a responsible employer, a strong and well-understood code of conduct for driving whilst on company business should be an important part of the employee induction process, ongoing driver training and company vehicle policy.

We would advise fleet managers to adopt strategies that not only create awareness among their company drivers of the consequences of speeding, but also reward good driving habits.”

Sales director at Licence Bureau, Steve Pinchen, adds: “Someone is injured on a UK road every four minutes. With it estimated that more than a third of all road accidents involve someone who is ‘at work’, without doubt, driving for work presents a risk which needs attention.”

Drivers and businesses need to ensure they operate in a compliant manner – whether that be within the boundaries of corporate, legal or road legislation – and focus on the duty of care to all employees.”

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