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Council Services:

Speeding - what's your excuse?

Drivers do often not relate driving too fast to an increased chance of being involved in a collision.

They accept that speed exacerbates the severity of a collision even to the point where death will occur but still feel it acceptable to speed even when it is inappropriate to do so even accepting the risk because they have done it many times before and ‘nothing’ has happened.

Image from What's your excuse campaign

Comments from motorists included:

  • “It’s when I’m late for work that I take most risks… the last thing you want to be is late, it looks so unprofessional. I sometimes think I shouldn’t have done that - it is literally a split second”
  • “I’m a good driver, I’ve never been caught speeding and never had an accident”
  • “It’s not me, it’s the other idiots that are the problem”

All too often drivers kill or seriously injure others, or themselves, rather than take the time to learn about road safety.

Key messages

  • kill your speed, or live with it. THINK! - It’s 30 for a reason
  • keep to the speed limit and slow down
  • if you kill a child while speeding you will have to live with the long-term emotional consequences - these emotional consequences could destroy your life
  • speed limits are there for a reason
  • car drivers and passengers are four times more likely to die on a rural road than on an urban road
  • don’t assume it’s safe to break the speed limit on rural roads because there is less traffic
  • with a clear road ahead you may be tempted to put your foot down - THINK! before you accelerate on rural roads - junctions or bends can mean you don’t see another vehicle until it’s too late if you’re driving too fast
  • drive at a speed suitable for the characteristics of the road and be aware that there may be unexpected hazards, such as blind bends, vehicles coming out of junctions and animals on the road
  • the national speed limit is not a target speed

Recent national campaign activity

The ‘Live with it’ campaign first ran in February 2009 with the latest burst in January 2010. TV, cinema and radio were the key media channels used to generate mass awareness and challenge societal norms of the acceptability of speeding.

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Last updated: 24 March 2017

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