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Risk-taking by drivers leads to renewed call for 50mph limit on rural roads

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 12, 2013

Risk-taking by drivers leads to renewed call for 50mph limit on rural roads

Comments (15)

Campaigners have renewed calls for a 50mph limit on rural roads after new research revealed the extent of risk-taking by motorists.

As many as 44% of men have broken the 60mph speed limit on rural roads, the poll by road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line found.

The survey, based on responses from 1,000 UK drivers, showed that, in the past year, 24% of men and 18% of women motorists admitted overtaking when they could not be certain nothing was coming.

A total of 24% of women admitted breaking 60mph rural road speed limits, while 20% of men and 9% of women were involved in an overtaking near-miss or incident while driving in the past year.

Brake senior campaign officer Ellen Booth said: "Overtaking dangerously or driving too fast on rural roads puts yourself and others in grave danger, risking needless deaths and injuries.

"Some people kid themselves they can get away with excessive speeds and dangerous manoeuvres because they know the road. Yet driving on rural roads is highly unpredictable, and the consequences of risk-taking often horrendous."

Brake is pressing the Government and local authorities to lower speed limits on rural roads to 50mph or lower. In 2011, the latest statistics available, six in ten UK road deaths were on rural roads.

Direct Line spokesman Simon Henrick said: "More than three people die on rural roads in the UK each and every day and many of these deaths could be prevented. Our own data suggests that young drivers and their passengers are even more likely to die on this type of road."

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "It's clearly worrying the sheer number of motorists who admit to speeding, particularly on country roads, which are the most dangerous of all. Our own report reveals 37% drivers speed in 50-60mph zones.

"The fact that the number of accidents and fatalities is higher on country roads highlights the need for motorists to apply the highest levels of responsibility when driving both in urban and rural areas."

Give your views in our online poll at www.thisisdevon.co.uk

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  • Jungle_Jim  |  April 16 2013, 6:26PM

    Burwood Psychology, most will only break the speed limit by a certain amount, so if you reduce the limit you reduce the speed - even if it is still illegal.

  • burwood  |  April 16 2013, 6:35AM

    If so many are breaking the speed limit how will lowering it have any effect?

  • iseveryidused  |  April 16 2013, 12:28AM

    Oh the irony... My car is off the road at the moment, so I'm using my moped to get to work (restricted to 30mph). I was overtaken, then cut up (unnecessarily), wait for it... By a Honda Jazz! Sowester, your car isn't black is it?

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  • Jungle_Jim  |  April 14 2013, 4:05PM

    Jimjams Speed limits were reduced n the 70s to save fuel during the fuel crisis. Other than the standard 'national' limit on single carriageways, these were returned to their previous levels. There is a tendency to reduce speeds now in the name of 'safety' I agree, speed does not cause accidents per se (though it will make the effect worse) - excessive speed does. Unfortunately excessive speed and speed limits are generally mutually exclusive. On 2 wheels there's always a smooth bit of road and time to pass - if you're any good that is.

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  • iseveryidused  |  April 13 2013, 11:45PM

    "Limits" are a very odd thing by there nature, technically, you can drive past my house which is a narrow side road, at the same speed as the main road between Paignton and Torquay. Speed is just an easy and quantifiable method of punishing someone, quite often, speed goes hand in hand with dangerous or bad driving but certainly not exclusively.

  • jimjams2011  |  April 13 2013, 4:50PM

    Break need to get upto date with the latest news in science and engineering. The quality of cars have increased significantly when the speed limits were put in. Secondly, the speed limits were only put in because our government wanted to reduce the amount of fuel used by our nation, which they are currently doing via petrol tax. As the research shows as many as '44% of people ADMIT to breaking the speed limit. Of the proportion of drivers that is a very high number which goes to show that the answer for the cause of accidents IS NOT SPEED!! It is inattention, lack of skill, stupidity, tiredness and as mentioned here risk taking. Driving at speed, is not a risk if you are sensible. If anything they should be RAISING The speed limits, especially on motorways. I'm still amazed that someone has seen fit to reduce the speed limit to 40mph on the newquay to chivvy cross road down past goonhavern and callistick. Where was the consultation on that? What was the purpose of that?!! Has it prevented accidents? No, I use that road every day and there are always crashes along that bit of road... caused by INATTENTION and lack of skill!!

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  • TWINSCREW  |  April 13 2013, 10:13AM

    Well said is "isever***used" these people, and they are not always ancients, seem oblivious to the fact that working people have places to go besides Asda, another problem is drivers who are slow to get away briskly at traffic lights causing frustration which leads to accidents, and dont get me started on islands with inconsiderate drivers who are too idle to use indicators to signal their intentions, Brake is an organisation who think that speed is the only cause of accidents, there are many other causes,

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  • BoomT  |  April 12 2013, 3:18PM

    Rather than worrying about reducing the speed limit why don't they worry about the amount of potential Motorbike and cyclist accidents there going to have this summer unless they start to sought the roads out rather than just wasting money doing some patchwork here and there which will only get worn down and turn into another bigger pothole 3 months down the road, its stupid how how they can find all the silly problems to chuck money at rather than all the main problems Britains roads have

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  • Stuboy13  |  April 12 2013, 2:47PM

    If it's a Honda Jazz in your way there's every chance that it will get out of you way by mounting a pavement and striking a wall

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  • iseveryidused  |  April 12 2013, 2:37PM

    Sowester obviously drives a Honda Jazz! Or maybe a Volvo? And by the way, if you can read my telephone number, you're too close BACK OFF!!! And please pull over to phone the Police unless you have a hands-free car kit...

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