In advance of the June Bank Holiday weekend, new research by Liberty Insurance shows that more than half (52%) of Irish drivers admit to breaking the speed limit, with incidence of speeding highest (61%) among those 60 years of age or over.
Conducted by RED C Research among 469 drivers, the survey found that 38% of over-60s admit to having received a fine or penalty points for speeding, compared to the national average of just over 1 in 4 (26%) drivers.
The research suggests that only 51% of Irish motorists are “always” aware of the speed limit for the road they are driving on. 46% claim to be aware of the speed limit “most of the time”.
Split by region, Munster drivers showed the highest awareness of speed limits, while Dublin drivers fared worst. 53% of drivers in Munster claimed to be “always” aware of the speed limits versus 48% in Dublin.
Awareness of own speed when driving
Less than 2 in 3 (63%) drivers are “always aware” of their own speed they are driving at, with a further third (35%) admitting to being aware of their own speed “most of the time”. By region, Connacht and Ulster have the highest percentage of drivers who are “always aware” of their own speed when driving, with 69% confident in their speed awareness. Of these drivers in Connacht and Ulster, 58% claim to never break the speed limit.
Graduated penalties for drivers
Almost two in three (65%) of drivers support the proposed introduction of graduated penalties for drivers caught speeding. In effect, this new system would mean that the more a driver is caught breaking the speed limit, the higher the fine or number of penalty points given to the driver.
Commenting on the research
Commenting on the research, Siobhan Fay of Liberty Insurance, said: “We are all aware that speeding is a major problem on Irish roads, particularly on rural roads. The Road Safety Authority has done great work in recent years in seeking to tackle this problem, however we need to maintain this momentum and do what we can to make our roads safer.
the over-60s, as opposed to younger drivers, are the worst offenders
“Many people associate speeding with young drivers. However, it will come as a surprise to many people to learn that the over-60s, as opposed to younger drivers, are the worst offenders.
“More than 3 in 5 Irish drivers’ over-60s admit to breaking the speed limit and nearly 2 in 5 drivers over 60 have received penalty points or fines for their driving on Irish roads.
“Part of the problem may be a low awareness of speed limits amongst road users or complacency while driving, with only 51% of Irish drivers ‘always’ aware of the speed limit for the road or street they’re driving on. We need to ensure that all road users are aware of the speed limits and increase the level of diligence by motorists to exercise more care and attention while driving.
“One potential solution proposed by the Minister for Transport is the introduction of graduated penalties for speeding. In effect, this means that the more you exceed the speed limit, the more penalty points you will receive on your licence. Any measures or proposed new solutions with the potential to make Irish roads safer is to be welcomed, though we await with interest the Minister’s proposals on how this would work in practice”.