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SPEEDING ROUTINE FOR MAJORITY OF DRIVERS 27/08/2009, By By Peter Woodman, Press Association Transport Correspondent

MORE than four in five motorists break speed limits, a new survey has showed.

As many as 82% of drivers admitted to sometimes or frequently exceeding the limit, the poll by YouGov and insurance company Admiral found.

For male drivers, the figure was as high as 86%, while 78% of women motorists owned up to speeding.

Based on responses from 3,280 drivers, the poll also revealed:

:: Only 27% think speed cameras improve road safety;

:: Just 18% reckon more speed cameras should be installed;

:: 14% have been caught speeding in the last year;

:: 30% say the speed limit should be 20mph on residential streets;

:: 71% think the speed limit should be 80mph or higher on motorways.

People in Yorkshire were the biggest supporters of speed cameras, while those in north-east England disliked the cameras the most.

Admiral managing director Sue Longhorn said: "I'm surprised so many motorists admit to speeding. Our research suggests it's not just commonplace, but routine for the vast majority of drivers. What's not surprising is the percentage that get caught speeding with so many breaking the speed limit.

"Speeding is such an emotive issue for motorists, and one area where they feel the Government interferes too much. Our research illustrates just how disliked speed cameras are and how suspicious motorists are about the motives of police forces who install them. It would seem that most people think enough is enough."

She went on: "Many councils are introducing 20mph speed limits in more residential areas and this is already commonplace near schools. Our research suggests this might not be such a popular move, but in order to keep motorists onside, maybe they should consider raising the speed limit on motorways to 80mph when conditions are good."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "We know that speed kills. Nearly 600 people were killed in 2008 in accidents where someone was driving too fast.

"That is why we run hard hitting Think! campaigns highlighting the potentially devastating consequences of speeding and have recently proposed increasing the penalties for those drivers who exceed the speed limit by a significant margin.

"Enforcement of speed limits is important for road safety, therefore the Government is clear that the best safety camera is the one which takes no fines at all, but succeeds in deterring drivers from speeding.

"Independent research showed that deaths and serious injuries were reduced by 42% at safety camera sites, including 100 fewer deaths per year overall."

The spokesman continued: "In addition, we are proposing that councils should make more use of 20mph zones in residential areas to make these roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

"The national speed limit of 70mph on motorways reflects a balance between economic, environmental and safety objectives, and we keep this under review."