Vehicle speed compliance statistics for Great Britain: January to March 2021

Organisation: Department for Transport (DfT)
Date of Publication: May 2021
Date Uploaded: 24 May 2021

The percentage of cars exceeding the speed limit rose on all road types during the first quarter of 2021 – but remained lower than during the first national lockdown.

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 that between January and March 2021 – the most recent lockdown period – 50% of cars exceeded the speed limit on motorways, an increase from 46% during the same period in 2020.

However, the Q1 2021 figure is lower than the 53% reported during April to June 2020 – when the first national lockdown largely took place.

The figures paint a similar picture for National Speed Limit (NSL) single carriageways, where 13% of cars exceeded the speed limit during the first quarter of 2021.

This compares to 10% in the first quarter of 2020 – and 17% between April and June 2020.

Meanwhile on 30mph roads, 56% of cars exceeded the speed limit in Q1 2020 – up from 53% a year earlier. As per the other road types, the figure was lower than during Q2 2020 – when it stood at 63%.

The Government says speed limit compliance continues to correlate with the exceptional changes in road traffic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It adds that during periods of reduced traffic, more drivers are speeding.

Access the statistical bulletin via the website: