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Detailed survey reveals we are a nation of speeders with little respect for speed cameras

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27/08/2009

More than four out of five motorists admit they break the speed limit.  This is one of the surprising statistics on attitudes to speeding and speed cameras revealed by Admiral in its Annual Survey of British Motorists released today.

The car insurance expert and YouGov surveyed 3,280 motorists for its sixth annual survey and found a massive 82% of motorists questioned said they sometimes or frequently drive over the speed limit.  This attitude is most common among men; 86% of them said they do so compared with 78% of women.

Admiral also found opposition to speed cameras and a willingness to break the speed limit is the norm among motorists.  Only 27% said they believe speed cameras improve road safety, while fewer than one in five think the police and road safety organisations should install more of them.

The opposition to speed cameras could be explained by an increase in the number of motorists who have received a speeding conviction sometime in the last year.  14% of the motorists surveyed, around one in seven, said they had been caught speeding in the last twelve months, up two percent on the previous year.

Sue Longthorn, Admiral managing director, said, "I'm surprised so many motorists admit to speeding, our research suggests it's not just commonplace, but routine for the vast majority of drivers.  What's not surprising is the percentage that get caught speeding with so many breaking the speed limit.

"Speeding is such an emotive issue for motorists, and one area where they feel the government interferes too much.  Our research illustrates just how disliked speed cameras are and how suspicious motorists are about the motives of police forces who install them.  It would seem that most people think enough is enough."

Regionally, motorists living in the North East are the most cynical about speed cameras; only 22% there think they improve road safety.  At the other extreme, people living in Yorkshire and the Humber are the most favourable towards them, with 33% of motorists in the region saying they think speed cameras do improve safety.

When it comes to getting caught speeding, motorists living in the capital have been the hardest hit with speeding tickets this year.  Nearly a quarter of those surveyed who live in London have been caught speeding in the last twelve months.  Whereas only 9% in the East Midlands have been caught during the last year, the region with the lowest conviction rate.

But Admiral's survey reveals not all motorists are constantly concerned with driving at high speed.  Almost one in three motorists think the speed limit on residential streets should be reduced to 20mph.  This suggestion is most popular in Scotland, where 38% of motorists think the speed limit in residential areas should be 20mph.

However there is a call by many for the speed limit on motorways to be raised to 80mph or even higher. 56% of the people surveyed think the motorway speed limit should be 80mph, with an additional 15% saying it should be higher still.

Sue Longthorn, said, "Many councils are introducing 20mph speed limits in more residential areas and this is already commonplace near schools.  Our research suggests this might not be such a popular move, but in order to keep motorists onside, maybe they should consider raising the speed limit on motorways to 80mph when conditions are good."

Admiral's Annual Survey of British Motorists was conducted by YouGov in June 2009.  The total sample size was 3,260 adults.  The survey was carried out online. For more information on the survey and a complete regional breakdown, visit www.admiral.com/surveyofmotorists.

 

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