Government figures show more than half of motorists break 30 mph limit. Image: BTN.
Government figures show more than half of motorists break 30 mph limit. Image: BTN.

More than half of motorists break 30 mph limit

2 min


New data reveals compliance is lowest on 30 mph roads

Road campaigners are calling on motorists to take extra care when driving in areas  where there are lower limits in place.  

It follows the recent government release of 2022 figures which show that up to half of motorists broke the 30 mph limit.

The Department of Transport says that 50% of car drivers exceeded the speed limit on 30 mph roads last year. This is compared to 45% of motorists on motorways and 11% on national speed limit single carriageway roads.

The data was compiled in ‘free flowing conditions’ which is defined as areas where drivers aren’t affected by ‘external factors’ such as sharp bends and speed cameras.

The data was based on samples collated by the Department for Transport’s Automatic Traffic Counters (ATCs).

The government says the statistics provide insights into speeds at which drivers choose to travel when they feel free to do so. The figures are comparable to previous years.

‘It’s concerning to see that every year half of drivers exceed the limit on 30mph roads, with more than a fifth (22%) last year driving more than five miles an hour too fast,’ says Simon Williams, RAC’s Head of Policy.

‘The implications of speeding on these roads is likely to be greater than on faster roads, not least as they’re generally in areas with more pedestrians and cyclists.’

Calls for more ‘repeater’ signs in 30 mph areas

‘One possible explanation for why speed limit compliance is so much worse compared to other roads is that drivers may be used to looking for speed limit signs, which are much less prevalent on 30mph roads as generally speaking the presence of streetlights indicates the limit is 30mph.’

‘While drivers should know this, perhaps there is a case for the use of more ‘repeater’ signs in 30mph areas so there is no doubt.’

Experts say car and motorcycle speed limit compliance levels tended to be highest on single carriageways – and lowest on 30mph roads.

Like it? Share with your friends!