Title: Free Flow Vehicle Speed Statistics 2015

Organisation: Department for Transport
Date uploaded: 21st July 2016
Date published/launched: June 2016

This statistical bulletin shows that 84% of car drivers and 83% of LGV drivers exceeded a 20mph speed limit during 2015.

The bulletin also reveals that 20mph roads had the lowest level of speed limit compliance in 2015. 16% of car drivers broke a 20mph limit by more than 10mph, while 31% exceeded the limit by between 5-10mph. 30mph limits were the second most flaunted, with 52% of car drivers exceeding the limit during 2015.

The bulletin presents estimates of traffic speeds in free flowing conditions on roads in Great Britain. The DfT says the statistics provide insight into the speeds at which drivers choose to travel and their compliance with speed limits.

The estimates are based on speed data collected from a sample of the DfT’s automatic traffic counters (ATCs), excluding locations where external factors might restrict driver behaviour (junctions, hills, sharp bends and speed enforcement cameras etc).

Despite the figures for 20 and 30mph limits, the bulletin says that since 2011 the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit has generally declined. It also shows that average free flow speeds for all vehicle types across each road type have remained broadly stable.

On motorways, 46% of both cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) exceeded the speed limit (70 mph), a small and steady decrease from 2011, when the figure was at 49% for both vehicle types.

Of all road types, national speed limit single carriageways had the highest level of speed limit compliance, with 92% of cars not exceeding the 60mph limit.

44% of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) exceeded the speed limit on 30 mph roads, while on motorways 99% of HGVs complied with the 60mph limit.

The bulletin also gives details of collisions where ‘exceeding the speed limit’ was reported as a contributory factor.

In 2014, for all accidents, 2.5% of vehicles had exceeding the speed limit as a contributory factor allocated, while for fatal collisions this rose to 9.7%.

The report also reveals that there were 743,000 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued for speed limit offences in England and Wales in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 4%.

FPNs for speed limit offences accounted for 73% of all motoring FPNs in 2014, with the majority (90%) detected by speed cameras.

In 2015, more than 1.2m drivers attended a speed awareness course in the UK. The bulletin says attendance has increased year on year since 2011 ‘due to more police forces joining the scheme, and not solely due to more offences being committed’.

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