Half of all UK drivers break traffic laws

Half of all UK drivers break traffic laws 29th April 2015

Nearly half of all drivers on UK roads are potentially putting themselves and other road users at risk by flouting the law – sometimes deliberately – a new survey has offered. 

Road safety charity Brake said 49 per cent of the drivers who were polled admitted that they break traffic laws. The results have caused Brake to call for more measures from the new government to focus on casualty reduction and an increase in policing on the roads. 

Brake's survey also found that there are two main reasons why people break the law while driving. For 25 per cent, their indiscretions are down to inattention on the road, while 23 per cent admitted they will break the law because they think they can get away with it.

Men were found to be bigger lawbreakers on the road than women as well, with 42 per cent of men saying they will never flout the laws. This is compared to 60 per cent of women who said the same. 

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “As these figures make clear, law breaking on our roads is not just down to a minority but endemic. For whatever reason, many seem to feel they are beyond the law or that traffic laws are somehow optional. This represents a failure by government to ensure traffic policing is receiving adequate priority and to make clear the importance and legitimacy of traffic laws." 

The study also looked into the most common illegal practices that drivers see in other road users. It said that distraction, such as using a mobile phone, has been seen by 71 per cent of drivers. The same number said that tailgating was a common occurrence, while 67 per cent witnessed people speeding and 66 per cent said they had seen drivers carrying out risky overtaking. 

Posted by Danielle Barge