London, 7 Feb 2005.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

'Speeding Epidemic' is Inevitable Result of Inappropriate Speed Limits
Today's RAC report that the numbers of motorists admitting to breaking speed limits has increased should come as no surprise, say leading drivers group The Association of British Drivers.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory explained:
"As local authorities, urged on by the government, continue to ratchet down speed limits, often against police advice and in contravention of tried and tested principles, more and more drivers who are setting their speeds quite safely for the traffic conditions are finding themselves outside the law."
Gregory continued:
"The ABD have long predicted that this cavalier attitude to speed limit setting would result in disrespect for the law. This is clearly occurring as the RAC claim 57 per cent of drivers now break the motorway speed limit and almost two-thirds break 30mph speed limits. The danger of this is not in drivers exceeding improperly set limits but in the destruction of a very useful road safety tool. Drivers used to see a limit and know there was a high probability it was there for a reason. Nowadays limits are so often put in without good reason that drivers will simply ignore them."
The ABD has called for a body of experts from a traffic policing and road engineering background to take over the task of setting speed limits and for it to be taken out of the hands of local politicians. However, the Department for Transport instead seems mindful to give local authorities powers to further destroy this important road safety tool by scrapping current guidelines for speed limit setting.
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
"The RAC's claim that speed is the "cause of one-third of all fatal accidents" is misleading. Firstly 'cause' and 'contributory factor' are very different things. The RAC appear to be confusing the two. The bulk of crashes involving speed as a contributory factor occur within the speed limit such as taking a corner too fast in slippery conditions. They also include drunk, drugged and unlicenced drivers, those in stolen cars and police on pursuit and emergency work. The sober, legally registered driver who causes a crash whilst travelling above the speed limit is a rare animal indeed."


Notes for Editors