04 July 2017
80 Per Cent of Drivers Ignore 20mph Speed Limits
A staggering four in five British drivers were caught breaking the 20mph speed limit last year, according to a new report.
Figures released by the Department for Transport revealed 81 per cent of drivers were caught breaking the speed limit across the country, with some travelling at twice the legal speed.
Typically 20mph speed limits are found outside schools (AND?), calling children’s safety into question.
15 per cent of drivers caught in these areas reached 30mph and 1 per cent broke the barrier by travelling at 40mph.
A DfT spokesman said: “Research shows that 20mph zones in the right areas can save lives and we have made it easier for councils to introduce them.
"It is for councils to set speed limits in their area and police to decide how best to enforce them.”
Drivers who ignore the speed limit are not just breaking the law, but they are exposing themselves and others to danger.
Jennifer Maloney, a road traffic accident lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “This data highlights that dangerous driving habits are a huge national problem. Speed limits exist for a very good reason, to promote public safety. Drivers who ignore the speed limit are not just breaking the law, but they are exposing themselves and others to danger. It’s especially disappointing to see that a large majority of drivers are exceeding the speed limit in 20mph zones, which are the locations where the most care needs to be taken.
“We represent people who have been killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions on our roads. Speed is a factor in many of these cases. Often the terrible accidents involving my clients could have been avoided if the driver(s) involved had obeyed the speed limit, for example they could have braked in time to avoid hitting a child pedestrian.”
The report also shows one in 10 drivers flout motorway speed limits by more than 10mph, with 1 per cent of drivers speeding at 90mph.
The stats were recorded in 2016 using traffic counters installed on the roads.
Councils across the country have introduced 20mph limits in a bid to improve road safety and tackle the severity of accidents in residential streets.
The Department for Transport figures differed with a similar study carried out by road safety charity, BRAKE, where only 52 per cent of drivers admitted to surpassing 20mph maximum.
Speaking in May when their findings were published, Brake’s community engagement manager Dave Nichols said: “All children have the right to play safely and live a healthy life without fear - rights that are universally recognised by the United Nations and world leaders.
“Yet in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic.
“We’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children by driving at 20mph or less and taking more care in communities.”
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