NEARLY 90% of drivers struggle to stick to 20mph speed limits, according to new government statistics.
The Department for Transport (DfT) found that more than four-fifths (87%) of the 16.2m car drivers observed at 20mph sites across the UK in 2018 were found to be travelling faster than the speed limit.
Many of the drivers weren’t breaking the limit by a small margin either: nearly a quarter (22%) were recorded travelling at speeds in excess of 30mph.
While 20mph zones were found to be the biggest hot spots for drivers violating traffic laws, many motorists were found to exceed higher speed limits, too.
Just over half (52%) of drivers were caught breaking the limit on free-flowing 30mph roads and nearly as high a proportion (46%) were caught speeding on motorways. Overall, 47% of all car drivers were spotted breaking the speed limit at some point last year.
Tailgating was also a problem identified by the DfT. According to the data, just over a quarter (26%) of driver left a gap of less than two seconds between themselves and the vehicle in front, increasing the chances of having a collision.
Though car drivers were noted as the biggest offenders in the DfT’s figures, van drivers were also found to be frequent speeding offenders. Just under half (46%) of vehicles spotted exceeding the designated speed limit on UK roads last year were vans. Even bus drivers break the speed limit, it was found: more than a third (35%) of buses were recorded travelling faster than they should on 30mph roads.
This isn’t the first time statistics have suggested Brits have a need for speed. Figures released in November 2018 revealed that nearly half of all motorists had broken the speed limit, with a startling 3.4m drivers clocked at 90mph or higher on motorways.
While speeding is seemingly prevalent across the UK, the offence only accounts for a minority of crashes. Figures for 2018 weren’t available, though data from 2017 revealed that of the 93,125 reported road accidents, 4,805 (5%) were attributed to excessive speeding with 203 (0.2%) resulting in fatalities.
To reduce the numbers of drivers who break speed limits, legislators are introducing new methods in an effort to slow motorists. Next year, a blanket 20mph speed limit will come into force in London’s Congestion Charge Zone, and intelligent speed limiters are set to be mandatory equipment on all new cars by 2022.