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One-third of motorists do not know motorway speed limit, survey finds

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One-third (32%) of motorists do not know what the motorway speed limit is but 60% believe people drive too fast on them, a study released by Co-Op Insurance has found.

Furthermore, one-third (31%) of motorists think you can only drive on the motorway if aged 18 or over and a further 4% think drivers need to be aged 21.

Nick Ansley, head of motor at Co-op Insurance, said: “It’s worrying that a third of our drivers don’t know what speed they should be driving on UK motorways and that there is confusion among so many drivers about what age you need to be in order to drive on a motorway. 

“Our study highlights further why it’s so important that learners are educated when learning to drive on motorways to ensure that they are other motorists are safe on motorways.”

The survey also found two-thirds (63%) of motorists incorrectly think that HGVs and motorists pulling trailers can use the right-hand lane which is against the law.

More than one-tenth (13%) of drivers don’t know that it’s illegal to use the hard shoulder in a non-emergency.

Mike Bristow, spokesperson for road safety charity Brake, said: “Motorway driving can often be a daunting task, especially for those who have recently passed their test.

“It’s important that people who chose to drive on motorways feel confident and able to do so safely.

"The introduction of motorway driving lessons is a welcome step, but these statistics clearly highlight that more can be done to educate drivers and keep them safe on our motorways.”

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  • john4870 - 03/11/2017 12:19

    This is not news; it is the status quo and has been for 30-40 years.

  • Edward Handley - 05/11/2017 17:26

    This is not exactly a surprise. I am amazed by the number of times I have seen a car in the right hand lane towing a trailer travelling at a speed well over 70 mph. The problem is there are not enough Traffic Police - typically a Police Force will only have an average of two or three traffic cars patrolling the motorways and they have to prioritise collisions and serious offences so are not going to "waste" time chasing after someone with a trailer in lane 3 unless it looks as though they are about to lose control. The powers that be want cheap self funding solutions like average speed cameras which only see speed and ignore the context.

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