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More drivers sticking to 30mph limit
The number of drivers breaking 30mph speed limits has dropped by one third in 12 years, according to a joint report by the RAC Foundation and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety.
The latest data highlights 69% of motorists in 30mph areas exceeded the speed limit in 1998 – however, by 2010 that figure had fallen to 46%.
The research also observed that the fraction of cars exceeding 35mph in a 30 zone fell even more sharply – down to 16% in 2010 from a 32% high in 2001.
The data was collected from free-flow traffic experiments and accident rates.
Not only have speeds in urban and inhabited rural areas decreased, motorway speeding is on the decline, too. The proportion of cars breaking the national 70mph limit fell from 57% in 2003, down to 49% in 2010.
The number of drivers convicted of speeding offences also dropped from a large rise in the late ‘90s according to statistics from the report, mimicking the overall trend in motorists slowing down.
However, the general trend of decreasing speeds on the UK’s roads is at odds with recent road death and injury figures.
In 2011 1,901 people were killed in road traffic accidents in the UK and a further 23,122 people were seriously injured, marking a 3% and 2% increase over 2010 figures respectively and the first annual increase in road deaths since 2003.
Together, the latest statistics highlight speed may not be the outright cause of deaths on the nation’s roads and that better educating new motorists could lower the fatality and injury rates.
Despite an overall trend of a reduction in speeding in areas with lower limits, Department for Transport figures released last week highlighted that casualties in 20mph zones had actually increased by 24%.
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