Safety Charity Dismay At Lawless Road Culture
Britain's roads are becoming “increasingly lawless” as close to half of motorists admit breaking the rules, Brake says. The road safety charity's conclusion – that has been revealed in a report produced with Direct Line – shows that 25% break the law “through inattention”. The remaining 23% act “deliberately” because they think they can “get away with it” or “do not agree with the law”.
Brake claims that dedicated traffic police numbers have been “continually cut back in recent years”, and officers have “been forced to retreat” from motorways and major/minor rural roads. At the same time – the charity argues – road deaths and serious injuries “recently increased by 4% after decades of reductions”. Brake is, therefore, “calling on any new government to reverse this trend and make traffic enforcement a national policing priority”.
Law Breaking Is Endemic
Julie Townsend, Brake Deputy Chief Executive, says: “As these figures make clear, law breaking on our roads is not just down to a minority - but endemic. For whatever reason, many seem to feel they are beyond the law or that traffic laws are somehow optional. This represents a failure by government to ensure traffic policing is receiving adequate priority and to make clear the importance and legitimacy of traffic laws. Traffic laws exist to save lives and prevent injuries and terrible suffering. No matter how experienced or skilled a driver you believe yourself to be, you cannot break them safely.”
New Government Must Act
She continues: “Whoever takes power after 7 May needs to make traffic policing a national policing priority to ensure there is a strong deterrent against risky law-breaking on roads.” Ms Townsend concludes: “We also need to see road safety given greater political priority, to set casualties falling once more and deliver safer streets for communities everywhere. That means reintroducing road casualty reduction targets, and working harder to win the ideological battle to ensure everyone who gets behind the wheel understands why the rules exist and accepts their responsibility.”
The Insurer's Perspective
Rob Miles, Direct Line Director of Motor Trading, adds: “Drivers continue to flout the rules of the road without realising the devastating impact their actions can have. Traffic laws are there for a reason and breaking them puts lives at risk. Breaking the law whilst behind the wheel can lead to a criminal conviction and being declined for car insurance, with even minor offences leading to fines and increased insurance premiums.”