Half of people think speeding is acceptable

Speeding car

Hit the brakes – speeding is just as risky as driving after a pint.

IAM Roadsmart says speeding should be deemed as socially unacceptable as drink and drug driving, as new data reveals many people think excessive speeding is ‘acceptable’.

Neil Greig, policy and research director for the road safety charity, called the results “deeply concerning”.

Excessive speeding

A survey of 2,000 people found that nearly half (46%) believe it’s acceptable to drive 10mph over the 70mph speed limit on motorways – and a quarter of those would go even faster.

It’s not just on motorways either – over one in 10 drivers (14%) admit to exceeding 30mph speed limits by 10% in residential areas, despite one in nine classing speeding as the same level of threat to their personal safety as driving under the influence.

One in 10 are even happy to break the speed limit when passing a school.

Mr Greig said: “Speeding consistently causes more than 4,400 casualties on UK roads each year. That’s an average of 12 people a day killed or injured in some form.

“We need a fundamental shift in attitudes towards speeding so that it becomes as socially unacceptable as drink and drug driving – where public opinion has changed over previous decades.”

IAM also discovered differing attitudes to speeding across the country. According to the survey, a fifth of Londoners believe they drive faster than most others on the roads – compared to the 13% national average.

Meanwhile, drivers outside of England were found to be more safety conscious – with only 8% of Scottish and Northern Irish drivers and 7% of Welsh drivers saying they drive faster than others.

Driving law

Speeding in the UK carries a minimum penalty of £100 and three penalty points, however this could go up to as much as £2,500 if your case goes to court.

If you’re caught speeding more than 10mph over the limit, the fine is even higher – ranging from 75%-175% of your weekly income, plus penalty points and a possible driving ban. 

Feeling behind the kerb? Brush up on your driving knowledge with our essential guide to speeding laws.