The success of speed cameras was put under the spotlight today when official figures showed that more car drivers exceeded 40mph limits on built-up roads last year than in 2005.
The statistics also showed that 49 per cent of all car drivers exceeded limits on 30mph built-up roads in 2006 and 54 per cent of them went over the limit on motorways, with 17 per cent of them exceeding 80mph.
Issued by the Department for Transport, the figures also showed that the percentage of motorcycles travelling at more than 10mph above the speed limit on all types of road rose last year.
In 2006, a total of 28 per cent of car drivers exceeded the speed limit on 40mph built-up roads – an increase of 4 per cent on the 2005 level.
No figures were released on how many car drivers exceeded the speed limit on 30mph built-up roads in 2005, but the 2006 figure of 49 per cent compares with 65 per cent in 2001 and 72per cent in 1996.
The 54 per cent of car drivers going over the limit on motorways last year compares with 56 per cent in 2005.
The ‘safest’ driving last year was on single carriageway roads with a speed limit of 60mph, where only 11 per cent of cars were driven over the limit.
The figures also showed that 25 per cent of motorcyclists travelled at 80mph or more on motorways last year compared with 17 per cent of car drivers. This compared with 27 per cent and 19 per cent respectively in 2005.
On major, non-built-up single carriageway roads, 76 per cent of articulated heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) exceeded the 40mph limit, 28 per cent by more than 10mph.
The average speed recorded for articulated HGVs on these roads in 2006 was 46mph, just 2mph less than the average speed of cars (48mph), for which the limit on these roads is 60mph.
The survey also showed a high incidence of speeding by HGVs on 30mph roads in 2006, with 44 per cent of 2-axle HGVs exceeding the speed limit, 15 per cent by more than 5mph. This compares with 46 per cent and 18 per cent respectively in 2005.
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