Department for Transport (DfT) statistics reveal that in 2017, 86% of cars exceeded the speed limit on 20mph roads, with 18% breaking the limit by more than 10mph.
DfT’s Vehicle Speed Compliance Statistics report was released last week. The statistics provide an estimate of compliance with speed limits at sites where road conditions are ‘free flowing’. Free flow roads are described as roads where no external factors that could restrict driver behaviour are present, for example roads with no junctions, hills, sharp bends, speed enforcement cameras or traffic calming measures.
The figures demonstrate that the percentage of cars exceeding 20mph speed limits rose by 5% in 2017.
The highest levels of speed compliance by motorists was seen on single carriageway roads where the national speed limit (60mph) applies, where only 9% of cars where found to exceed the limit, although this is a 1% rise on 2016 where this figure was 8%.
48% of cars on motorways exceeded the 70mph speed limit, with 12% exceeding the limit by more than 10mph.
The proportions of motorcycles complying with the speed limit were 44% on motorways, 74% on national speed limit single carriageways, and 15% on 20mph roads.
This means that 56% of motorcycles exceeded the speed limit on motorways, with 20% exceeding the limit by more than 10mph. In comparison, on 20mph roads, 85% of motorcycles exceeded the speed limit, with 27% doing so by more than 10mph.
In the report, the DfT included figures from RAC’s recent Report on Motoring 2017 to provide additional context to its speed compliance statistics. In the RAC report, the top five reasons given for breaking the speed limit (on motorways and 30mph roads) were:
The speed limit is inappropriate for the roadIt is sometimes safe to go faster than the applicable speed limit/no other vehicles or pedestrians on the roadI drive according to the speed of other road usersI don’t look at the speedometer frequently enoughI feel pressured by other drivers behind me
Other reasons for speeding included I underestimate the power of my car, insufficient speed limit signage, the chances of being caught are low, I lose concentration while driving and speed limits are meaningless to me.
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