Four out of five British motorists admit to having broken the law while driving in the past year, a survey suggests.
The phone poll, conducted by Flexed.co.uk, discovered huge numbers of people who routinely drive while using the phone, have no tax or insurance, speed, or have a vehicle that's unfit for the road.
"To say we were shocked is an understatement to say the least," said Mark Hall from Flexed. "We expected people to admit some minor wrong-doing, but what we heard simply beggars belief."
More than 1,100 drivers were asked if they had broken motoring laws within the past twelve months and almost four-fifths (79%) said they had, while 5% refused to answer.
Of those who said they had broken the law, the following crimes were admitted (some owned up to more than one offence):
• Using a mobile phone 37%
• Speeding 32%
• Illegal parking 25%
• No seat belt 19%
• Drove through a red light 17%
• Drove while drunk 11%
• Worn tyres 9%
• Expired tax disc 7%
• No MOT 6%
• No Insurance 6%
• Left the scene of an accident 1%
• Other 8%
While most of these can be classed as minor infringements, it's the small yet significant number of unroadworthy cars and incapable drivers that are the most worrying, Flexed says.
"More than one tenth admitted drink-driving in the last year, and that's a frightening statistic," said Hall.
Unfortunately, stretched police forces with tightened budgets mean the chance of being caught is lower, and some drivers think there's a risk worth taking, said Flexed, calling for a high-profile police crackdown on offenders.
"Unfortunately, when you're on a busy road, any of the drivers around you could be uninsured or driving a dangerous car," Hall continued. "That's a sobering thought, and something needs to be done.
"Insurance premiums are high enough without armies of illegal drivers driving them higher."