Number of speeding drivers in the countryside accelerates – Automotive Blog



National speed limit sign

According to new RAC data, the percentage of drivers who admit to exceeding the speed limit on 60 mph country roads is at its highest level since 2016.

A whopping 48% of the 3,102 drivers surveyed for the RAC Report on Motoring claim to have exceeded the speed limit on these roads in the previous year; this is an increase from 44% in 2021 and equals the highest proportion the RAC has ever recorded in 2016.

Eight percent admit to doing this frequently, while forty percent admit to doing it periodically on up to fifty percent of their trips on these highways.

On non-built-up 60 mph roads in 2021, 514 persons perished in a total of 11,827 collisions, a death rate that is higher than on highways (4%).

Up to 60% of drivers admit to exceeding the 70 mph limit on motorways and high-speed dual carriageways, the fastest roads in the UK, either on the majority of their trips (16%) or on as many as half of their travels (43%) in the previous year.

In comparison to 2021, when 55% of respondents acknowledged exceeding the limit, this number is up five percentage points. Since 2017, when 66% of respondents admitted to doing so, the RAC has not seen a figure higher than 60%. It is still less than the historical average of 70% reported in both 2015 and 2016.

When asked whether they occasionally go above the 30 mph limit, 40% of drivers said yes, down from 41% in 2021. When asked whether they frequently go over the 20 mph limit, 46% of drivers said yes, which is the same as the year before.

The most often cited excuse given by drivers (42% of the time) for breaking the 70 mph motorway speed limit is that they are keeping up with other drivers.

The most common rationale cited for breaking the limit on these routes is the same one used by 32% of individuals who violate 60 mph limits.

30mph speed signs


Nearly half of motorists who go over the 20 mph limit said they did so because they believe the limit is too low for the route.

The majority of drivers (69%) believe that 20 mph zones are only respected when there is physical traffic calming in place or enforcement, while 65% claim that signs alerting vehicles of speed cameras nearby help them comply to the limit.

Furthermore, half (52%) of respondents said they would object if further 20 mph limits were implemented in their neighborhood. Similar numbers, however, (48%) think that some 60 mph speed restrictions on unclassified rural roads should be lowered.

According to RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams, “the recent increase in the percentage of drivers admitting to speeding on 60mph rural roads is extremely worrying as more people lose their lives in collisions on these roads every year than on any other road.”



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