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Calls for More Action to Change Driver Behaviour

New research from RAC Business has highlighted a worrying trend in driving behaviour reported by company car drivers.

Company Car Drivers Admit to Speeding

The research found that as many as 88% of company car drivers questioned admitted breaking the speed limit on motorways, which is a 7% increase over the previous year. In addition, 48% of respondents said they speed on motorways on most of their journeys, which is significantly higher than the 26% of private motorists who admitted the same.

Looking at the level of speeding in more detail, the survey found that in 2016 51% of company car drivers reported driving at 80mph on a regular basis, and 7% said they frequently drove to 90mph. The comparable figures from the previous year are 46% at 80mph and 5% to 90mph.

Attitudes to Speeding

The survey also looked at attitudes of company car drivers to speeding, and found that 60% believe it is totally acceptable to travel at 80mph on motorways and a third (31%) think the current speed limit is inappropriate for the road. It therefore comes as no surprise to find out that nearly three quarters (71%) believe the motorway speed limit should be increased to 80mph.

However, company car drivers appear in general to confine their speeding to the motorway. On riskier routes, such as country roads, only 5% said they would travel over 60mph, and two-thirds said they keep to the 20mph speed limit in urban areas.

“Knowingly breaking the speed limit is a dangerous approach to driving, whether you think you can justify it or not, and the risks associated with speeding far outweigh the time saved,” commented Jenny Powley, corporate business sales director at RAC Business.

“Encouraging better driving behaviour will not only result in safer roads, but also enable significant savings on the cost of fuel and wear and tear on vehicles,” she added. “It’s also really important to not just focus on motorways. ROSPA data shows us that around two-thirds of crashes in which people are killed or injured occur on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less, so it is essential that company car drivers are on high alert throughout their journeys, not just at the highest speeds.”

Calls to Reduce Drink-Drive Limit

The RAC has also been involved in recent efforts to urge the UK Government to follow Scotland’s example and reduce the drink driving limit in England and Wales.

The RAC Foundation explains that action is required by the Government after the latest statistics reveal a lack of progress on drink driving since 20110, with 240 deaths and more than 8,000 casualties reported each year.

The current limit in England and Wales is 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, which is one of the highest drink-drive limits in the world. Scotland lowered its limit to 50mg in December 2014, and police figures apparently showed a 12.5% decrease in drink-drive offences in the first nine months. Northern Ireland is set to lower its drink driving limit before the end of 2016.

“Policy in this area hasn’t moved for half a century, but in the face of mounting evidence it increasingly falls on opponents of a limit reduction to defend the status quo, rather than asking those who support a cut to keep making their case,” commented Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.

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If you have been charged with a road traffic offence, including speeding or drink driving, then contact our expert criminal defence lawyers today.