NEW STATISTICS from the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal nearly half of all car drivers exceeded the maximum speed limits on UK roads last year.
Of the 446.6m car drivers observed at 74 sites across the country, 46% of them (208m) were caught breaking the speed limit.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the highest speeds recorded on public roads were on motorways — 48% of the 34.3m drivers observed exceeded 70mph, and 11% were recorded doing 80mph or more.
A large number of motorists were seen going even faster than that. Though only 1% of motorway users were recorded doing at least 90mph, this equates to 3.4m car drivers.
Drivers are more likely to exceed the limits on slower roads, though. Some 52% of car users were observed breaking the speed limit on 30mph roads and a whopping 86% on roads where the maximum permissible speed is 20mph (although around two-thirds of speeders surpassed both limits by less than 5mph).
At the other end of the scale, many drivers were noted travelling considerably slower than the maximum speed limit — in 2017, 13.7m drivers were recorded at speeds of 50mph or less on motorway sections where the speed limit was 70mph. According to the DfT, all of the speeds were recorded when the traffic was flowing freely.
The speed compliance data was released alongside statistics that highlight the injury risks that can result in breaking the speed limit. Figures for 2017 have yet to be published by the DfT, though speeding was cited as the “contributing factor” in 4,023 crashes involving cars in 2016, with 144 of them resulting in fatalities.