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Drivers want motorways policed by average speed cameras despite majority speeding

More than half of drivers would be supportive of increased use of average speed cameras on motorways, despite the fact that the majority of drivers speed.

While average speed cameras are used on a number of A-roads, on motorways they are currently only deployed in sections of roadworks

Over half (56%) of drivers admitted to breaking the 70mph speed limit on motorways, according to latest RAC research. A third (34%) of those confessed to having travelled at speeds in excess of 80mph, of which 4% said their top speed was 91-100mph and 3% said it was over 100mph.

Despite this, more than half (54%) of the 3,000-plus motorists surveyed for the RAC Report on Motoring said they would like to see average speed cameras used in general motorway conditions enforcing the 70mph limit, with a further 26% disagreeing and 18% unsure.

In fact, drivers thought average speed cameras would be more effective on motorways than traditional fixed-location speed cameras; this contrasts with 20-30mph roads where drivers thought the latter would be more effective.

Explaining the rationale, RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “It was interesting to see such strong support for average speed cameras to be used more widely to enforce the 70mph limit as opposed to just in roadworks, as is currently the case. We believe drivers see these cameras as being very effective at reducing speeds over longer distances and controlling traffic flow as well as being fairer than fixed position ones as they aren’t instantly punished for a momentary transgression.”

The research also showed speed limit compliance on all types of road has improved on previous years, but this is believed to be the result of the pandemic.

And the figures are still high; a third (33%) still admit to speeding on 60mph country roads – statistically some of our least safe roads; up from 39% in 2019. A total of 36% admitted to speeding on 30mph urban roads while 39% said they speed in 20mph limits – compared to 44% for both in 2019. And speeding on motorways has gone up, from 55% in 2019 to 56% in 2020.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.