This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Third of drivers speeding 'routinely'
One in three Scottish drivers routinely speed on motorways and on wide roads in town despite being aware of the speed limit, according to new research published to coincide with the return of the Foolsspeed campaign.
The research - The Speeding Driver: Who - investigated the attitudes and behaviours of speeding drivers and found a link in male drivers between speeding and recent crash history.
With schools going back next week Transport Minister Nicol Stephen reaffirmed the Executive's commitment to encouraging speed cutting initiatives, particularly near schools and in residential areas.
He was in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, where a new 20mph zone is being introduced by the local authority, similar to others across Scotland.
Mr Stephen said:
"The Speeding Driver research shows that excessive speed - classed as 10mph or more above the speed limit - has fallen in town and that drivers are increasingly supporting traffic calming measures to reduce urban speed.
"I am glad to see that excessive speeding in town is becoming socially unacceptable - just like drink driving.
"Speed contributes to one in three road accidents. The higher the speed, the more frequent and serious the crashes. Lives are lost each week through speeding.
"The Foolsspeed campaign aims to change driver behaviour. It shows that drivers have the power to take control and not be pressurised into speeding. It shows that it is fools that speed.
"The Executive is committed to reducing fatal and serious road casualties by 40% by 2010, compared with the average for 1994-98. We are also committed reducing accidents involving children by 50% by 2010.
"But we must do more. That is why I am pleased to welcome the return of Foolsspeed and see for myself our work with Local Authorities to provide 20mph zones."
Key from the research are:
- Over the last decade in Scotland excessive speed in town has fallen. However in 70 mph zones there have been increases in the percentage of drivers reporting excess speed (driving at 80 mph) and excessive speed (driving at 90 mph)
- Scottish drivers' attitudes to speed limits have remained largely unchanged. However there has been a substantial rise in support for measures such as speed bumps and 20mph zones to reduce speed in residential areas
- The number of Scottish motorists who have seen speed cameras while driving in Scotland rose from 54% to 96%. Support for camera enforcement fell slightly from 80% to 75%
- Most speeding offences occurred on built-up roads. Offending levels were highest during the weekday inter-peak period
- Young males aged 16-25 were the most likely to offend seriously be the subject of Police Reports for excessive speed
- For male drivers, the more likely they were to speed, the more likely they were to have recently been in a crash whilst driving
- One third of drivers would drive faster if 'the traffic ahead is moving faster than you normally drive', 22% if 'feeling stressed', and 14% if 'someone is driving close behind you'
The Foolsspeed campaign was launched in November 1998 by the Scottish Road Safety Campaign (SRSC). It is based on a psychological theory of behaviour change and is designed to reduce the use of inappropriate and excessive speed on Scotland's roads. This year will see a return of television, as well as busback and petrol pump, adverts.
The SRSC is Scotland's principal organisation for the development of key road safety educational resources and publicity messages. It co-ordinates and brings together various road safety organisations, including local authorities, police, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Institute of Road Safety Officers and motoring organisations.
The Executive provides funding, currently £8 million per annum, to local authorities specifically for Cycling, Walking and Safer Street projects. A wide range of measures can be implemented, including crossings for pedestrians and cyclists; pedestrian footpaths; and 20 mph schemes.