Drivers opinions' of 20mph speed limits

Research report posted on 14/07/21 |
Safer Vehicles
This is the second time IAM RoadSmart has sought the opinion of UK motorists on attitudes to lowering speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in certain locations.

Over 1,000 interviews were conducted with UK motorists via an online questionnaire for the latest research paper to establish safety attitudes and behaviour.

The survey includes respondents’ attitudes to current 30mph limits being reduced to 20mph, priority areas for the new speed limit, perception of main advantages to speed reduction and attitudes to those caught speeding in the lower limit zones.

The survey covers a representative sample of gender, age, and UK region.

Key findings include

Just over four in ten drivers (44%) agree all currently 30mph limits should be reduced. This is a significant increase from 2014 levels at 31%.

Overriding reasons include to make roads safer (49%), reducing accidents and saving lives (34%).

High priority areas were those around schools with 89% supported this. Followed by those with a high pedestrian flow, accident hotspots and hospitals.

Over half of drivers 54% would like the road outside their home to have a 20pmh limit which is an increase from 44% in 2014.

Sign posting of speed limits was believed to be the most significant way of controlling lower levels with 37% ranking it as a first priority. Road humps, chicanes or road narrowing’s is a close second at 29% followed by speed cameras at 20%.

Things have not changed much in seven years, with four in ten drivers (43%) indicating they have trouble keeping to the lower limits compared to 42% in 2014.

Nearly two thirds 64% of drivers responded that those caught speeding up to 30mp in a 20mph zone should be offered a tailored driver education course in preference to a fine. No change from 2014 levels at 64%.

While IAM RoadSmart’s Director of Policy & Research, Neil Greig doesn’t believe blanket reductions on speed limits are necessarily the best routes, he believes certain areas constitute attention. He would like to see each situation reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Read the full report below.

Supporting media

  • 20mph research report thumbnail
    Drivers opinions' of 20mph speed limits report - prepared by Lake Market Research
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