Figures lift the lid on speed compliance

Nearly two-thirds of riders exceeded the speed limit on 30mph roads in 2019, new statistics show.

The DfT figures measure speed and compliance at sites where the road conditions are ‘free flowing’ – for example roads with no junctions, hills, sharp bends, speed enforcement cameras or other traffic calming measures.

Nationally, 63% of riders exceeded the speed limits on 30mph roads – compared to 53% on motorways and 26% on national speed limit (NSL) single carriageways.

Looking at more extreme incidents of speeding, the proportion of motorcyclists exceeding the speed limit by more than 10mph was 19% on motorways, 16% on 30mph roads and 10% on 60mph roads.

The DfT says the statistics provide insights into speeds at which motorists choose to travel when free to do so, but are not estimates of average speeds across the whole network.

Majority continue to exceed 20mph limits – but extra caution needed
The figures also show that 93% of riders exceeded the speed limit on roads with a 20mph limit – with 39% breaking the limit by more than 10mph.

While these figures may seem alarming, the DfT stresses that free flowing conditions are not typical of most 20mph roads and as a result, must be ‘interpreted with additional caution’.

DfT guidance suggests that 20mph limits are most effective when they have traffic calming measures or when average vehicle speeds are already below 24mph.


24 September 2020

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