The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Thursday, 28 May

Highways Becoming Highly Dangerous

A report released by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line has revealed ‘worrying and widespread disregard’ for traffic laws among UK drivers with half (49%) admitting to breaking them.

The report found that 50% of drivers who admit breaking traffic laws (25% of all drivers) say they do so through inattention, while the other half (23% of all drivers) admit doing so deliberately because they think they can ‘get away with it or do not agree with the laws’.

With dedicated traffic police numbers being continually cut back in recent years – they have fallen by 23% in the last four years in England and Wales – Brake states it is concerned that UK roads are becoming increasingly ‘lawless territory’ and that police officers have reported that they have been forced to ‘retreat’ from motorways, major and rural roads.

At the same time and perhaps related to the behaviour of drivers, road deaths and serious injuries have recently increased by 4% after decades of reductions and follows government casualty reduction targets being dropped in 2010, against the advice of road safety experts, including Brake.

The charity is calling on any incoming government to reverse this trend and make traffic enforcement a national policing priority, alongside giving greater impetus to bringing casualties down and making streets safer.

Other key findings from Brake and Direct Line’s report on the state of UK driving include:

  • UK drivers are more confident in the safety of their own driving than they were 10 years ago, with 69% rating themselves as safer than most other drivers, up from 50% in 2005. Drivers judge each other more harshly than themselves, with the majority (58%) saying there are more dangerous drivers than safe drivers on UK roads.
  • Young drivers (17-24) are most likely to rate their driving as safer than others, with 58% saying they are ‘much’ safer. Given young drivers are proportionately involved in more crashes than older drivers, this suggests overconfidence is putting them at risk. Young drivers are more likely to rate the majority of other drivers as dangerous and to feel endangered by them, suggesting they may be more aware of bad habits that become habitual for experienced drivers.
  • When asked what unsafe driving behaviour they witnessed, the figures were for mobile phones (71%), tailgating (71%), speeding (67%) and risking overtaking (66%).

“As these figures make clear, law breaking on our roads is not just down to a minority but endemic,” said Julie Townsend, Deputy CEO, Brake. “For whatever reason, many seem to feel they are beyond the law or that traffic laws are somehow optional. This represents a failure by government to ensure traffic policing is receiving adequate priority and to make clear the importance and legitimacy of traffic laws.”

Picture: A recent report by Brake and Direct Line shows a decline in driving standards with mobile phone use while behind the wheel accounting for 71% noticed as ‘unsafe’ by drivers themselves.

Article written by Mike Gannon


Related Articles

Taking the Pledge for Safety

Road safety charity Brake has launched training courses throughout the UK to help companies improve the safety of their at-work drivers. Working with the support of...

 Read Full Article
Has to be a Brake on Rising Figures

The road safety charity, Brake, is calling on the government to show ‘strong leadership’ and reintroduce causality reduction targets. The demand comes as...

 Read Full Article
Making EV Accessible - BP Agrees Chargemaster Charge

June 28 saw BP enter into an agreement to purchase Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging company. Chargemaster operates the UK’s largest...

 Read Full Article
Biker Down - First Aid Training For Motorcyclists

The London Fire Brigade is helping to make London’s roads safer for motorcyclists by offering free regular motorcycle safety courses. The training sessions take...

 Read Full Article
Euro Tipsy TISPOL Driver Clampdown

Together with the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), police forces in England and Wales will be supporting a June long campaign to clamp down on drink...

 Read Full Article
Training for a Dangerous Occupation

Driving is documented as the most dangerous work activity that most people carry out. With more people killed or injured in at-work accidents than in all other workplace...

 Read Full Article
Will You Take the Pledge?

  The Brake Pledge is a flexible driver training resource for companies that want to engage their drivers with positive behavioural change. The Pledge is based...

 Read Full Article
Hide and Seeking Driver Safety

Health and safety at work should also include drivers on work trips, a road safety organisation spokesman has said. A quarter of all crashes involve people driving as...

 Read Full Article
Driving the Air Quality and Congestion Argument

Former racing driver and motoring Editor Amanda Stretton says she has a solution for the impact cars have on air quality. She says: “The air...

 Read Full Article
A Clear View on Banning Dangerous Lorries

Transport for London has published research that shows having direct vision from the cab of a lorry rather than relying on mirrors and monitors has a substantial impact...

 Read Full Article