A fifth of drivers (21 per cent) think new speeding fines will have little effect. Three quarters (73 per cent) of those believe the lack of police enforcement means drivers will ignore the new fines, even though they could be hit harder in the pocket if they are caught. And 74 per cent of drivers want the speed limit on UK motorways to be increased to 80mph.
Research into the attitudes of British drivers to speeding by Green Flag revealed that new speeding guidelines, which come into effect on April 24, 2017, are unlikely to yield the desired results. The government made the changes after some local authorities in the UK reported a significant increase in drivers caught speeding compared to the previous year.
New fines will see drivers hit with a penalty that could cost them up to 175 per cent of their relevant weekly wage. According to Government figures the average weekly wage is £507. It means a driver who exceeds 101mph could be banned for 56 days and receive a £887.25 fine. Green Flag’s Simon Henrick said: “Even though this new fine structure could leave some out of pocket, drivers seem to think speeding is such a serious offence that it deserves more rigorous enforcement by the authorities.”
More speeders caught by camera
Government figures show there has been a downward trend in the number of police officers since 2010. This is backed up by the Green Flag research. This revealed that 41 per cent of people admit to being caught speeding. Of those, 39 per cent were caught by a fixed speed camera, 36 per cent by mobile speed camera and a mere nine per cent by an officer in a car.
Of the numbers caught speeding, 1.9 per cent were stopped doing more than 101mph. Relate that to Britain’s 45.5 million drivers and it means 864,500 have been stopped doing three figures. More than 6m or 13.2 per cent were stopped at more than 70mph.
Brits want the speed limit raised
Speed limits were also something that Brits have a strong opinion about. Three quarters of drivers think Britain’s motorway speed limit should be raised to 80mph. The 20mph zones in towns get a mixed reception with less than half (45 per cent) thinking they’re a good idea. Four out of 10 think the UK’s speed limits are in need of review.
Although fines for driving while using a hand-held mobile phone were toughened up in February 2017, drivers clearly don’t think they went far enough. The number of points was doubled from three to six and the fine increased from £100 to £200. However, Green Flag found that eight out of 10 drivers thought penalties should be tougher.
A third want in-car smoking and eating penalties
Drivers also think there should be penalties for smoking and eating at the wheel. It is currently illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under 18. But it’s still legal to smoke in a car with only adults present. It’s not against the law to eat at the wheel either. But if a police officer sees you driving dangerously while smoking or eating, you could be prosecuted for careless driving.