More than a fifth of Irish motorists have broken the speed limit within the past month, according to recent research from AA Ireland.
21.07% of more than 7,000 respondents to an AA Motor Insurance survey admitted that they had broken the speed limit within the past month. Meanwhile, a further 8.76% and 10.13% admitted to speeding within the past 6 months and within the last year respectively.
Despite the increase in traffic on Irish roads, there was some positive news as the survey found that over a third of motorists, 35.06%, have never broken the speed limit. However, male drivers were significantly more likely to have broken the speed limit while driving, with just 28.11% stating they had never sped compared to 40.08% of women. Meanwhile, over a quarter of male drivers surveyed admitted to breaking the limit within the past month, almost 8% higher than the number of female motorists who had sped within the same time frame
“When it comes to road safety there is no doubt that speeding kills and puts the driver, their passengers and all other road users in unnecessary risk. While these findings did contain some positive news, it appears that many motorists still hold the perception that speeding is, for some reason acceptable,” AA Director of Consumer Affairs, Conor Faughnan stated. “Last year represented a step backwards in terms of road safety as we saw road deaths increase year-on-year and as part of ensuring that 2016 doesn’t represent a new trend is making simple changes to our own driving behaviours.”
According to the research drivers aged 36-45 were the most likely to have broken the speed limit within the past month, with 26.30% of drivers in this age bracket admitting to speeding. Meanwhile, older drivers were the least likely to have recently broken the speed limit, with just 14.45% of those over 65 admitting to having broken the speed limit in the month preceding the survey.
“We do have an issue in this country where we see irresponsibly high speed limits on narrow, winding roads and to a similar extent needlessly low limits in certain areas. Improperly set speed limits only serve to undermine the confidence motorists have in the system and lead to people doubting speed limits even where they are correct and opting to speed,” Faughnan added. “Rectifying this issue and ensuring that we see suitable speed limits on all Irish roads will only help to reduce the instances of speeding we see on our roads.”
The survey also found that drivers in Cork and Dublin were amongst the most likely to have broken the speed limit within the past month, with over 23% of Cork-based motorists admitting to speeding within this time-frame.