Speeding laws to get tougher from April 24

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Stricter penalties for speeding will come into force next week.

The new guidelines, which will start on April 24, mean that drivers caught speeding will pay a percentage of their weekly wage in fines – ranging from 50 per cent to 175 per cent.

But new research into British attitudes toward speeding and other driving offences has cast doubt on whether the change will be effective.

The survey by breakdown cover provider Green Flag shows more than a fifth of Britons think the new speeding laws will have little effect, with 73 per cent blaming lack of enforcement funding.

And three quarters of those polled are even calling for the motorway speed limit to be raised to 80mph. While almost 40 per cent think the UK’s speed limits are “out of date and in need of review”.

Simon Henrick, head of news at Green Flag, said: “With a 44 per cent increase in speeding offences in some parts of the country last year and a quarter of people saying someone they know has been injured by someone else’s speeding, it’s important that drivers stick to the speed limit, stay off their phones and check their car is road worthy before heading out on a journey.”

But just over a quarter of those questioned believe speed limits should be made more lenient on empty roads, And 56 per cent of people think that drivers breaking the limit by speeds of less than 5mph should have allowances made for them.

However, attitudes on speeding are harsher for busy urban areas, with 55 per cent saying speed limits are most important in built up areas. While 45 per cent say 20mph zones in town centres are a good idea.

The new guidelines on speeding follow recently introduced rules on using phones at the wheel. Drivers now face double penalty points and fines.

The survey also revealed 80 per cent of people believe the offence should have harsher penalties.

The Green Flag survey into traffic offences also asked people, ‘What do you think are the reasons for people speeding?’

Top of the tree was being late for work at 65 per cent.

Next, at 43 per cent, was a medical emergency.

Being late on the school run came third at 39 per cent. Trying to impress a passenger and ‘after an argument’ were close behind at 38 and 37 per cent, respectively.

Other excuses were listening to loud music (31 per cent), needing to go to the toilet (25 per cent) and getting to the vet for a pet emergency (23 per cent). Being low on petrol was last at 10 per cent.