Millions of motorists putting their lives at risk by breaking road rules
Millions of Britons routinely put lives at risk by breaking the rules of the road, research revealed today. About nine million road users admitted to jumping red lights in the past year, with motorists almost as bad as cyclists.
Three in five drivers confessed to breaking the speed limit while just over half the cyclists questioned said they had used the pavement, putting pedestrians at risk. The survey for uSwitch.com said one in five pedestrians have put their own lives at risk by failing to look both ways before crossing the road.
A second poll by AA Cars said that more than two million motorists forgot to renew their car’s MoT in the past five years, despite the risk of a £1,000 fine. As one in three cars failed their MoT in the past year, this suggests many forgetful motorists are travelling in unroadworthy cars.
This in turn puts the motorist at risk not only of a dangerous breakdown but also a fine of up to £2,500. The results were released ahead of the Easter getaway when 20million motorists re expected to take to the roads.
After its poll uSwitch.com called for the Highway Code to be taught in schools to prepare everyone to use the roads safely.
Its survey of 2,000 adults found that 21 per cent of motorists and 27 per cent of cyclists admitted going through a red light in the past year.
Despite new rules which have doubled the penalty for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving to six points and £200, 29 per cent have done so in the past year.
But despite the poll’s findings only one in three think they have broken the Highway Code.
Rod Jones, an insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “It’s clear there’s a lack of understanding of the Highway Code among drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and the consequences could be fatal, even before you think about the financial and legal risks.
“It’s essential that we reacquaint ourselves with the rules to ensure everyone stays safe while on the road.
“Starting this with school lessons on road safety is a strong forward step to making our highways safer for everyone, whether they are behind the wheel, on two wheels or walking the streets.”
The AA survey of 21,000 drivers found that two million drivers forgot to renew their MoT up to a week and one million by up to a month.
Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency show that over one in three cars fail their initial MoT tests.
And the AA poll found that nearly two million drivers whose cars had an MoT were alerted to a serious fault.
Simon Benson, Director of Motoring Services at AA Cars, says: “For drivers across the country, MOT tests should be part and parcel of car ownership – or so we’d have thought.
“Despite the MOT test being an annual statutory obligation for cars over the age of three, it’s the sort of thing that can easily slip through the cracks.
“It is crucial that drivers book their test in advance – they are not just a routine checkup, but a legal imperative to make sure your car is still fit to be on the road.