Speeding is more likely through 30mph zones, says new DfT statistics

The majority of car drivers exceed the speed limit on 30mph roads, according to the Department of Transport’s latest Vehicle Speed Compliance Statistics.

The statistics reveal that 54% of cars were driven too fast during free-flow conditions last year, despite these routes mostly being through residential areas and towns and cities with lots of pedestrians and cyclists. This compared with 50% on the motorway network and 9% on 60mph roads, said the statistics.

The figures said that the average speed in built up areas was 31mph, while a fifth of cars exceeded 30mph limits by more than 5mph and 6% at least 40mph. The stats also showed that 86% of cars were found to exceed 20mph limits.

In terms of how this relates to convictions, the figures show that 88% conviction rate (175,000 motorists were found guilty) in England and Wales for speed offences. 

These offence types made up 28% of all motoring offences last year and nearly 1,400,000 drivers attended a speed awareness course in 2019. Half of car drivers exceed the national limit on motorways, the government department found. The figures show that motorcyclists most commonly speed in 30mph zones, with more than three in five (63 per cent) riding too fast.

But more than half of articulated (44%) and rigid HGV (47%) drivers also break 30mph limits, despite the size of the vehicles and the damage they can cause to vulnerable road users. 


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