THIS is Road Safety Week and with experts at GEM Motoing Assist calling for personal repsonsibility to be at the top of a casualty reduction agenda, it is shocking to note that some drivers are still willing to break speed limits for stupid reasons.
New research by car finance broker, CarFinance 247, found that despite the new, increased speeding penalties that came into force in April, UK drivers are still willing to break the law to satisfy their need for speed.
Some drivers admitted to knowingly breaking the speed limit at least three times per car journey, dramatically increasing the likelihood of causing a potentially avoidable road accident every time they set off.
In fact, almost seven in 10 drivers (69 per cent) stated they have had at least one speeding-related road accident since passing their driving test. For those caught out, speed-related offences have cost drivers an average of £307 each over the past 12 months.
And it seems that traffic signs aren't helping - the research, which included a mock theory test, showed that a significant number of drivers were still confused about The Highway Code, particularly with speed-related traffic signs.
When asked about behaviour on the road, drivers stated that if circumstances dictated, the following would be legitimate reasons for speeding:
1. Driving to A&E (47%) 2. Passenger in labour (36%) 3. Avoiding severe weather conditions (11%) 4. Attending to a fire alarm at home (11%) 5. Needing to catch a flight/train (7%) 6. Urgent need for the toilet (7%) 7. Needing to take pet to vet ASAP (4%) 8. Running late for a meeting (3%) 9. Family members locked outside home without a key (3%) 10. Kids running late for school (3%)
Two per cent said they would break speeding laws in order to get to a store before it closes, and another two per cent said they wouldn't want to miss a TV show. Others stated that legitimate reasons include "being on an empty road when it is perfectly safe", attending to a "burglar alarm at home going off" and even "to escape the police".
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth believes it is vital for all drivers to be more aware of the risks they face and the risks they pose to others.
"We can all make a difference to road safety," he said. "With raised awareness of what can go wrong, we can focus on developing a positive, considerate attitude to driving that leads to less risk-taking, less law-breaking, less conflict and fewer incidents. We can make a difference from the very next time we get behind the wheel."
Choosing speeds that are legal and safe is one decision that would quickly lead to a safer road environment.
"Central to the theme of Road Safety Week is the simple fact that breaking the speed limit - or travelling too fast for the conditions - is a factor in nearly a quarter of fatal collisions in Great Britain," said Mr Worth.