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Speeding becoming less acceptable, new research reveals

By / 3 months ago / Latest News / No Comments

Speeding is becoming more of a taboo among motorists, with some now considering it less acceptable than they did five years ago.

IAM’s latest research found 43% of motorists thought it was acceptable to drive up to 80mph on a motorway, down from 55% in 2016. And the vast majority thought it was unacceptable to speed in towns

IAM RoadSmart’s annual Safety Culture Report, which tracks drivers’ changing attitudes to key road safety issues over time, surveyed 2,000 motorists and found 43% (down from 55% in 2016) thought it was acceptable to drive up to 80mph on a motorway and that 23% (down from 28% in 2016) thought it was acceptable to drive even faster than that.

The findings come after recent provisional figures, released by the Department for Transport, highlighted that the number of UK road deaths was down significantly compared to the previous year due to less traffic being on the roads due to Covid-19. That’s despite evidence that speeding had increased substantially during the first lockdown.

But while IAM RoadSmart said there had been a significant improvement in attitudes towards speeding, it added that the figures were still worryingly high.

Director of policy & research Neil Greig commented: “While there are signs of improvement, the results of this survey are still deeply concerning and there is clearly much more work to do on education and training.

“Speeding consistently causes more than 4,400 casualties on UK roads each year, which is an average of 12 people a day killed or injured on UK roads.”

The research also found the vast majority of drivers find it unacceptable to speed in towns, which has remained basically unchanged in the last five years. However, a disconcerting one in five of those surveyed still think it is acceptable to drive 5mph over the speed limit on a residential street and nearly one in 10 thought it was acceptable to drive at these speeds outside a school.

The Department for Transport also recently launched a THINK! campaign combating winter lockdown speeding. Dubbed ‘Be the mate who won’t speed’, it’s predominantly targeted at young men, who are particularly high risk.

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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.