‘Speeding on autopilot’: over half of drivers still speeding on 30mph roads

‘Speeding on autopilot’: over half of drivers still speeding on 30mph roads

New data has revealed a drop in speeding offences across English roads this year from the spikes registered during the depths of lockdown in 2020 according to the Department for Transport (DfT). 

According to the new DfT figures, there was a 12% drop in motorists speeding on 30mph roads between April and September of this year, compared to the same time period last year.  This decrease in speeding offences was recorded across all road types, with single carriageways witnessing a 28% drop this year, while drivers on UK motorways were 4% less likely to speed than last year.

However, this year’s figures are still up on pre-pandemic levels, with a 20% increase in  penalties for motorists breaking the speed limit by less than 10% across single carriageways. On 30mph roads it is a 28% increase. 

Alarmingly, over half of motorists still speed on 30mph roads, with 52% of drivers speeding on these roads this year compared to 59% last year. These roads are often located in pedestrian areas, as shown by streetlights and residential houses, these speeding violations represent a significant risk to children and pedestrians.

If caught speeding, offenders should expect three points on their driving licences and a minimum £100 speeding ticket although the amount fined depends on what the speed limit was and by how much they exceeded it. It’s usually a percentage of their weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (or £2,500 if speeding on a motorway).  Drivers could also be disqualified from driving or have their licence suspended if the offence was deemed to be particularly severe.

According to Quotezone.co.uk, the speeding ticket might not be the end of a convicted motorist’s troubles, as insurers will view motorists with points on their licence as more of a risk and will raise premiums accordingly. Motorists with three points on a licence can expect their premiums to be 5% higher each year for four years after a conviction. Things get a lot worse for drivers with six points on a licence, which can add as much as 25% to premiums over the same time period. 

Responding to the new figures from the DfT, Greg Wilson, Founder of car insurance comparison site Quotezone.co.uk comments: “This new data suggests many seem to be speeding on autopilot, simply out of habit, given the reduced traffic across the pandemic – particularly as the research shows many drivers break the speed limit by small margins.

“This ties in with a common misconception that police will ignore motorists that break the speed limit by no more than 10%, but this isn’t based on fact. If penalised for any speeding offence, the rise in insurance premiums can be significant and may even increase year on year – especially if a motorist is a repeat offender. 

“The most important thing is to be honest and fully disclose the offence to the insurance provider – failure to do so can result in the policy being invalidated, meaning motorists aren’t covered for any further incidents on the road.  Another option for convicted drivers is to try a specialist convicted driver insurance policy or switch to a car in a lower insurance group to try to bring the costs down.

“We’re coming into the holidays, and with December being the highest month of the year for traffic accidents, it’s important drivers slow down to give themselves as much time as possible to react to the unknown, especially as passengers get merrier and the winter weather settles in and roads become icy.”

1 thought on “‘Speeding on autopilot’: over half of drivers still speeding on 30mph roads”

  1. Just to clarify – percentage of your weekly wages applies if you decide to take the matter to court and lose the case. The fixed fine is £100.

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