Vehicle speed compliance statistics for Great Britain: 2021

Organisation: Department for Transport (DfT)

Date of Publication: June 2022

Uploaded to Knowledge Centre: 21 June 2022

The percentage of cars exceeding the speed limit fell on all road types during 2021 – following a peak caused by lower traffic levels during the Covid-19 pandemic.

That’s according to these Government statistics, which measure speed and compliance at sites where the road conditions are ‘free flowing’ – for example roads with no junctions, hills, sharp bends, speed enforcement cameras or other traffic calming measures.

The stats show in 2021, 48% of drivers exceeded the speed limit on motorways, compared to 53% in 2020.

They highlight a similar fall on National Speed Limit (NSL) single carriageways (down from 12% in 2020 to 11% in 2021) and on 30mph roads (down from 56% in 2020 to 51% in 2021).

Meanwhile on 20mph roads, 87% of cars exceeded the speed limit – with 19% breaking the limit by more than 10mph.

While these figures may seem alarming, the DfT stresses that free flowing conditions are not typical of most 20mph roads.

DfT guidance suggests that 20mph limits are most effective when they have traffic calming measures.

Speeding increases at the weekend
The data also shows that the percentages of vehicles exceeding speed limits was higher at weekends.

On motorways, 47% of cars exceeded the speed limit during weekdays, rising to 52% on weekends. 

Meanwhile on 30mph roads 50% of cars exceeded the speed limit on weekdays, compared to 55% on weekends, and on NSL single carriageways, the figures were 11% and 14% respectively.

The DfT says figures quoted in the report are not representative of the level of speeding across the whole road network, which it would expect to be lower.

Download the statistical report from the website: