The 10 most popular road safety measures

14 July 2009

The Government's Road Safety Strategy Consultation closes today and we are publishing the results of our research on many of the issues raised. Some of the biggest divisions among drivers are on the direction the Government is taking in aiming to reduce road casualties by a third by 2020.

With the Government closing its consultation on UK road safety stategy for the next 20 years today, the AA outlines the 10 most popular road safety measures for UK roads, drawn from its AA/Populus panel surveys of Europe's biggest motoring opinion panel of 75,000 drivers1. However, the panel's often supportive attitudes are sometimes contradicted by a significant numbers with directly opposing views.

Most popular measures:

100% want prosecution of anyone caught with traces of illegal drugs in their body and unfit to drive.

81% agree that the motorway speed should be raised to 80 mph but be enforced.

Measures with slight contradiction:

79% agree that the police should be able to breathalyse a driver at any time – but 16% disagree.

66% think that new drivers are not adequately prepared to drive after passing their test – but 17% disagree.

Measures with significant contradiction:

51% think the national speed limit for single carriageway roads should be the same or higher – but 47% think it should be lower.

70% find the use of speed cameras acceptable – but 30% do not.

70% think improving roads and junctions to remove accident blackspots would most benefit road safety – but 29% prefer other measures.

67% say serious speeding should result in 6 penalty points – but 24% disagree.

58% would be OK with tighter regulations to help achieve the road safety target – but 24% would not support this.

66% think the drink drive limit should be lowered – but 20% disagree.

Road deaths target

Opinons on the Government's proposed target to reduce Britain's 3000 road deaths per year to 2000 by 2020, is even more divided:

25% (male 30%, female 18%) say it is over-ambitious
38% say it is about right
21% say it is under-ambitious
16% say they don't know

Read more from the AA/Populus panel on road safety issues »

AA comment

AA President Edmund King said "our AA/Populus panel views have been important in the consultation process and we are pleased to have helped the Department for Transport in gauging the views of drivers through this work and initiatives like my web discussion with the Road Safety Minister, Paul Clark.

"The results of our research show that future road safety policy must tread a careful path in following public opinion, not only taking in the high level of general support for many measures but also the issues which a small but important minority may strongly oppose. A small ripple of opposition to a measure can soon become a fast rising tide of discontent. The consultation may have closed but the debate does not stop."

Read more from the AA/Populus panel on road safety issues »

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14 July 2009

1survey responses of up to 20,000