A sign of the times

We conducted some research in March 2014 to investigate some of the nation's speeding habits and were shocked by what we found out.
Passengers view from the back of a car looking forwards on a sunny day

A white circle with a black stripe signifying the national speed limit is one of the most common signs on British roads but one in three drivers have no idea what it means.

Addicted to speeding

It would seem that this ignorance about road signs is just the tip of the iceberg of the dangers on British roads. We also appear to be a nation addicted to speeding. Of the 2,000 drivers and 29 police forces we questioned, 20% of drivers have received penalty points in the last 10 years as a result of driving too fast.

That's backed up by the DVLA's revelations of March 2014 that 1,340,680 drivers received penalty points or were disqualified from driving in the past 12 months alone, while 818,768 drivers were penalised for speeding offences - 2,243 each and every day. Marry that to the fact that the minimum cost for a for fine is £100 and usually invokes a 13% increase in your Car Insurance premium - that's a pretty expensive habit.

Points aren't effective

Our research also suggested that penalty points are seen as nothing more than the lesser of two evils by many drivers, with 28% of those surveyed confessing they'd much rather pick up points and a fine than attend a police speed awareness course. In contrast, speed awareness courses do appear to work - as only 5% of those who attended one re-offended.

Government data from road casualties in 2012 shows that 4,745 crashes were caused by a driver exceeding the speed limited - that's 13 every day.

Download our Speeding habits of the UK infographic here


Our research has shown that the most common speeding offences occur on our motorways, but not far behind are our populated areas.

In a 30mph zone…
  • One in every three drivers (36%) admit they always drive over the speed limit (an estimated 13.25m drivers).
  • On average these drivers admit to doing 38mph.
In a 40mph zone…
  • 32% of drivers admit they always drive over the speed limit (an estimated 11.5m drivers).
  • On average these drivers admit to doing 47mph.
In a 70mph zone…
  • 43% of drivers admit they always drive over the speed limit (an estimated 15.6m drivers).
  • On average these drivers admit to doing 81mph.

(According to the DVLA there are approximately 36 million registered licence holders in the UK, so our approximate estimates for UK drivers are taken as a percentage of this data.)

Janet Connor, former Managing Director of MORE TH>N, commented:

“This research shows there’s a worrying number of drivers for whom speeding is an acceptable everyday behaviour. Couple this with shocking ignorance when it comes to the most common road signs which are designed to help ensure safe and responsible driving and you've got a recipe for road disaster as well as an increase in the cost of car insurance.”<

(First published on 01/05/2014)

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