|Excessive and inappropriate speed is a contributory factor in a significant number of road accidents in Scotland. The Scottish Office commissioned research with the aim of identifying the characteristics of the speeding driver, to assist in targeting future road safety campaigns at those drivers most likely to speed. The study conducted by Colin Buchanan & Partners used police records of speeding offences and developed a model to enable the propensity to speed to be estimated for various driver types on different roads at different times.|
- Most speeding drivers are men. Male drivers are twice as likely as females to commit a minor speeding offence, and four times more likely to commit a serious one.
- Male drivers are more likely to speed than females on all types of road and at all times of day.
- Young men aged 21-29 are the group most prone to speeding.
- Drivers become less likely to speed as they get older; the age at which driving behaviour appears to change in terms of propensity to speed is at about 40 years old, with younger drivers speeding more than expected and older drivers speeding less.
- Non-manual workers and those with high mileage occupations are more prone to speeding than others.
- Most speeding offences recorded by Police are on roads in built up areas with 30mph speed limits which is likely to be as a result of the intensity of use of these areas by drivers and of police targeting.
|Over 85,000 speeding offences are committed on Scottish roads annually and speeding is widely recognised to be a contributory factor to road accidents. Previous research has shown that whilst the public perceive driving too fast as a main cause of road accidents, a significant number of drivers continue to speed*. Consequently, The Scottish Office commissioned Colin Buchanan & Partners to conduct a study of speeding drivers in Scotland in order to develop a profile of 'the speeding driver', with a view to assisting future speeding campaigns in the targeting of those drivers most likely to offend.|
|* "Evaluation of Speedwatch" and "Attitudes of Scottish Drivers Towards Speeding", Central Research Unit 1996 and 1994|
|Methodology and objectives|
|The data used for the study was a sample of more than 2,000 police records of drivers reported for speeding offences in 1995, consisting of 'standard' conditional offers (COs), 'camera' conditional offers and Police Reports (PRs). The sample was drawn from the Strathclyde, Grampian and Dumfries & Galloway regions in Scotland. The conditional offer records were extracted from the 3 forces in proportion to the total annual vehicle kms travelled annually in each. Data from the National Travel Survey was used to provide a control for the speeding data by estimating use of the road system by different drivers. The model developed provided indicators of the driver's propensity to speed by sex, age and occupation on different road types and at different time periods.|
|Further analysis was also carried out on the data obtained from the police records, using variables such as vehicle make and age, traffic, road and weather conditions, road types, local/non local driver type and region. It was not however possible to control this data by reference to the National Travel Survey.|
|The number of observed and expected speeding offences (Fig 1) for COs, PRs and total offences clearly shows that men are more likely to speed than women regardless of the severity of the offence.|
|Figure 1a |
Severity of Offence by Sex (all roads, all times)
|The propensity to speed can be expressed as a ratio of observed to expected offences.|
|Figure 1b |
Severity of Offence by Sex
(all roads, all times) - Propensity
|Women are much less likely to speed than men, but of the ones that do, the offences tend to occur in built up areas during evenings and weekends, and are likely to be of a minor nature.|
|Men are consistently more prone to speeding regardless of road type and time period. Males are 2.5 times more likely than females to speed on rural roads and during working hours.|
|Effects of age|
|For all speeding offences, the propensity to speed decreases as age increases with the exception of the youngest group of drivers (16-20 years) who are less likely to commit a serious offence than the worst offenders, the 21-25 year olds. The age at which driving behaviour appears to change in terms of propensity of speed is at about 40 years, with the 30-39 year olds speeding more than expected and the 40-49 year age group less. This pattern remains the same regardless of road type.|
|Figure 2a |
All roads by age (all times, all offences)
|Figure 2b |
All roads by age (all times, all offences) - Propensity
|The youngest age group of drivers is particularly likely to speed during the evening and at night. They are more likely to speed in built up areas whereas the group most prone to speeding on motorways is the slightly older 26-29 year old group.|
|Figure 3a |
Evenings and nights by age (all offences, all roads)
|Figure 3b |
Evenings and nights by age
(all offences, all roads) - Propensity
|Generally, non-manual workers appear more likely to speed than other drivers, particularly on motorways, whilst manual unskilled workers are found to be the least likely to speed. Analysis of police records of offences in absolute terms suggests that drivers with high mileage occupations are most likely to commit speeding offences.|
|Descriptive analysis of the number of police records for speeding offences, to which the control model could not be applied, showed that: |
- There is a direct relationship between vehicle age and the likelihood of its being involved in a speeding offence - the newer the vehicle, the more likely the driver is to speed.
- The greatest number of speeding offences took place during moderate traffic conditions and dry weather, with some 70% of offences occurring during daylight hours.
- Just over half of the speeding offences occurred in built-up areas with a 30mph speed limit, with just under one-fifth occurring in non-built up areas with a speed limit of 60mph.
- In both Strathclyde and Grampian, more locals than non-locals were caught for speeding, whilst more non-locals were caught in Dumfries and Galloway
|This research has confirmed anecdotal evidence on the character of the typical speeding driver. The broad personal profile of the speeding driver which emerges from this study is that of the male driver, between the ages of 16 and 40 years old (the most prone to speeding being the 21-29 year old), employed in a non-manual, possibly high mileage, occupation. Within this broad group it is possible to segment speeding drivers and the research recommends that speeding campaigns should particularly focus on: |
- the male driver between the age of 16 and 20 years who tends to speed on built up roads in the evenings
- the 21-25 year old non-manual worker who speeds on all types of roads during working hours
- the 26-29 year old in a non-manual occupation who is prone to speeding during working hours, particularly on motorways.
|"The Speeding Driver", the research report summarised in this Research Findings, and "Evaluation of Speedwatch" and "Attitudes of Scottish Drivers Towards Speeding - 1994 Survey" are available each priced £5.00.|
|Cheques should be made payable to The Stationery Office Books and addressed to: |
The Stationery Office Bookshop,
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Edinburgh EH3 9AZ.
Telephone: 0131-228 4181 or Fax: 0131-229 2734.
The report can also be ordered online from:www.thestationeryoffice.co.uk
|Further copies of this Research Findings may be obtained from: |
The Scottish Office Central Research Unit
Area 2J CRU
Telephone: 0131-244 7562