Last week Brake, the road safety charity, released a new report in collaboration with Direct Line and it revealed a serious issue with respect and the upholding of the traffic laws across the UK. 49% of all drivers questioned in the survey admitted breaking the traffic laws we have in this country and that is a clear sign of the disregard motorists have.
Although not all of those admitting to flouting laws did it for malicious or intentional reasons it still paints a stark picture. The report found that 25% of respondents who admitted to breaking traffic laws said it was due to inattention whilst 23% of the whole 49% said that their actions were deliberate, splitting into the categories of believing they could get away with it or simply because they didn’t agree with the laws they were flouting. This is evidence enough that more needs to be done to enforce traffic laws and convince drivers of the importance of following them.
Traffic Police Cuts
Statistics show that traffic police have had their budget and their numbers cut consistently and Brake believes this is having a negative impact on our roads and our motorists’ mentalities. This is clear if accident statistics are looked at as evidenced by Department for Transport report which shows fatalities were up 4% last year, after many years of reductions.
The new government will be in a position to make serious changes to our roads, their enforcement and the legislation related to them in the coming weeks and Brake and other road safety campaign groups are lobbying for serious changes. They want our streets to be safer and want the trend for road traffic laws to be flouted, to be reversed.
This new report also made some further interesting discoveries. 69% of all respondents stated they believed they were safer than most other drivers, which is an increase from 50% in 2005 and within this figure young drivers aged under 24 also were found to be more likely to rate their driving as safer than others. This could be down to evidence which suggests younger drivers are overconfident and therefore once again highlights the need for a close focus on young driver safety.
The laws are put in place to manage our roads for a reason. Not following them or ignoring them puts you and other road users at risk. Accidents occur when people aren’t following the rules correctly, as well as when hazards appear. Lamb & Co work with hundreds of clients who have been victims of road traffic accidents and in some of these clear flouting of road laws is to blame. Let’s hope the new government take Brake’s considerations to heart and look at ways of enforcing the laws on our roads.