Three-Quarters of Drivers Speed, Undeterred by Cameras, Survey Shows

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Almost three-quarters of UK drivers admit to regularly speeding, confident that they won't be detected by the current network of fixed speed cameras, according to a survey by The Co-operative Insurance.

Like drink driving, speeding reduces a driver's ability to judge hazards and to react to them. There needs to be a shift in people's attitudes to speeding, so it becomes as socially unacceptable as drink driving.

Almost three-quarters of UK drivers admit to regularly speeding, confident that they won't be detected by the current network of fixed speed cameras, according to a survey by The Co-operative Insurance.

Some 19 per cent of drivers confessed to speeding at least once a day. A further 23 per cent said that they speed a couple of times a week. Only 27 per cent of those questioned said they never break the limit.

Speeding is one of the biggest problems on the roads in the UK. In the year to the end of March, 244,770 people were killed or injured on the roads, almost 10 per cent of them children, Government figures show*. Surprisingly, about three-quarters of those questioned by The Co-operative Insurance said they worry about the dangers of others driving too fast - the same number who themselves admit to speeding.

David Neave, Director of General Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: "The frenetic pace of life today means that speeding has become endemic in British society. People often don't think about the dangers of driving a few miles an hour over the limit. But that can mean the difference between having a safe journey or a collision, and whether you survive or not."

Playing Cat and Mouse:

The Co-operative Insurance found that many drivers speed because they feel that the current system of fixed cameras will not catch them. Often, drivers play a game of 'cat and mouse' with the cameras. Some 43 per cent of drivers said they slow down as they approach cameras and immediately speed-up again once past the detection zone. More than two fifths of those polled even said they believe speed cameras encourage reckless driving.

Last week, the Government said it plans to introduce new digital speed cameras that work in clusters to monitor drivers' average speed across a much broader area than traditional cameras. The new cameras, which will be introduced next summer, work in a network making it impossible to evade detection, as they cover every entry and exit point along a route.

That is likely to increase the number of drivers who are caught speeding and consequently, reduce the frequency that they flout the limit. Currently, just a quarter of those questioned by The Co-operative Insurance had been caught speeding, despite the higher number who admitted to the offence.

Mr. Neave added: "Like drink driving, speeding reduces a driver's ability to judge hazards and to react to them. There needs to be a shift in people's attitudes to speeding, so it becomes as socially unacceptable as drink driving."

Notes to editors:

  •     *Figures refer to Department for Transport's 'Transport Statistics Bulletin' Q1 2008
  •     For more information about The Co-operative Insurance's products and services including home insurance, please visit the website at http://www.cis.co.uk or call 08457 46 46 46.
  •     ISDN facilities are available for broadcast media interviews.
  •     The Co-operative Financial Services is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world's largest consumer co-operative with over 3 million members. CFS currently has 5.5m customers and employs over 8,000 staff. It has 116 retail and corporate branches/centres and over 1,000 face to face financial advisers. It has £38bn of assets under management across its retail and corporate business areas.

In 2008, The Co-operative Financial Services was awarded the prestigious title of Company of the Year in the Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence.

The awards identify and celebrate companies having a positive impact on the community, environment, marketplace and workplace. Peer-assessed and independently assured the Big Tick award is the most respected endorsement of responsible business practice. Now in their eleventh year, they are the UK's leading Awards for responsible business practice.

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Duncan Bowker
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