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Survey reveals drivers don’t know the motorway speed limit

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A survey carried out by the AA Charitable Trust has found that the equivalent of 250,000 drivers don’t know what the motorway speed limit is.

The research revealed that 8% of drivers got the motorway speed limit wrong with 7% thinking it was 80mph and 1% thinking it was 60mph. It was also found that men were twice as likely as women to incorrectly say the UK speed limit for cars was 80mph.

Interestingly young drivers topped the poll for knowing the correct speed limit with 95% of 18-24 year olds knowing that the speed limit is 70mph compared to 89% of over 65’s. 74% of young drivers also correctly said the speed limit on a dual carriageway is 70mph compared to 64% of over 65’s. The speed limit that over 65 drivers correctly answered compared to 18-24 year olds was identifying the speed limit in a built up area which is 30mph.

The regions where drivers were situated also revealed interesting results with nearly half of drivers in the North West and four out of ten drivers in London not knowing the correct speed limit on a dual carriageway. However drivers in the East of England were most likely to identify the correct speed limit on a dual carriageway.

The results from the poll highlights that drivers need to keep up to date with their driving skills once they have passed their practical test.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “It is astonishing that 250,000 qualified drivers don’t seem to know the motorway speed limit is 70mph. Some confusion about the motorway speed limit for cars could well be down to the previous Transport Secretary floating the idea of raising the limit to 80mph.

“There is no reason why drivers shouldn’t be able to correctly identify the speed limit of dual carriageways and single carriageways.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge