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Most UK drivers think it’s fine to break the speed limit — a bit

The vast majority of UK drivers believe that going slightly over the limit is harmless, according to recent research. 

One in five UK motorists thinks that driving 10mph over the speed limit is acceptable. Whilst almost one in three motorists are of the opinion that a driver travelling in a 20mph zone should only face punishment if they go 10mph or more over the speed limit. 

Speeders gon' speed.
Speeders gon’ speed.

This is cause for some concern as 20 mph speed limits are typically found near schools and hospitals, where travelling at a reduced speed is crucial for the safety of children and patients who may be vulnerable. 

The survey, carried out by German based insurance company Allianz, attempted to discover British attitudes to speeding. It also showed: 

  • 74 per cent of motorists believe it is okay to go over all speed limits by 5mph 
  • 65 per cent of motorists nominated motorways as most likely to induce speeding 
  • 59 per cent of drivers get frustrated with other motorists who stick to the speed limit. 

Drivers gave a whole host of reasons for speeding but the most common were seeing a empty road in front of them, their speed gradually creeping up, and – perhaps the most predictable reason – being late.  

Despite the fact that a significant proportion of UK drivers do not regard going marginally over the limit as a problem, they do seem to support limits being in place.  

More than one third of motorists (35 per cent) agree that compulsory speed awareness courses should become standard alongside the current penalties. Moreover, as far as extreme cases of speeding are concerned, 74 per cent of motorists agree there should be harsher penalties. 

The UK Chief Executive of Allianz Insurance said: “With 1 in 4 drivers saying they had been personally involved in an accident which involved excessive speed, motorists can help significantly reduce the number of accidents on Britain’s roads by driving within the speed limit.” 

Do you find it difficult to drive within the speed limit? Or have you been in an accident that was a result of speeding? Feel free to share your experiences below. 


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