New research from the road safety charity Brake highlights the issue of excessive speeding, with more than a quarter (28%) of male drivers admitting having driven above 100mph; more than three times the number of women admitting this (9%). The findings, from a survey of more than 2,000 UK drivers, have been released to mark the start of Road Safety Week 2020, taking place between 16-22 November, which is highlighting road danger with the message “No need to speed”.

Brake, in partnership with police forces, is also revealing police data on the highest speeds over the limits in police force areas. According to the data analysed by the charity, the highest excess speed was a driver travelling at 152 mph in a 30mph zone, recorded by the Metropolitan Police. The highest speed overall, was 180mph, captured by Nottinghamshire Police in a 70mph zone.

In West Mercia the highest speed recorded was 158mph in a 60mph zone, with one driver even travelling past a speed camera in Hereford at 89mph in a 30mph zone.

Brake’s research found that nearly one in five of all UK drivers (18%), more than a quarter (28%) of male drivers (9% for females) and one in three (33%) of 25-34 year old drivers have admitted to speeding at more than 100mph on a public road.

The charity’s research also found that one in three (32%) of all UK drivers, nearly half (44%) of male drivers (21% for females) and nearly half (47%) of 25-34 year old drivers admit to having been in a vehicle speeding at more than 100mph on a public road, either as the driver or a passenger.

Drivers caught exceeding 100mph on public roads face a driving ban of up to eight weeks, and a fine of 150% of their weekly income. The use of lengthy driving bans for excess speeding is supported by Brake. The charity highlights that stopping distances at 100mph are approximately 182m – the length of nearly two football pitches– making stopping in time to avoid a crash practically impossible.

Brake is raising awareness of the dangers of speed for Road Safety Week 2020, 16-22 November, which is supported by funding from the Department for Transport and co-sponsored by DHL and Specsavers. In addition to the dangers of excessive speeds, Brake is highlighting to the UK’s majority law-abiding drivers that in many conditions, such as in the wet or near cyclists and pedestrians, even driving within the speed limit can be too fast. Drivers can visit for more information and guidance.

Brake analysis of Government data has found that, on average, there are 11 deaths or serious injuries every day on UK roads where speed – either exceeding the limit or travelling too fast for conditions – is identified as a contributory factor to the crash by the police. The charity states that while shocking, this figure is likely a vast underestimate of the impact of speed, as slower speeds mean more chance to stop in time, and speed is an inevitable factor in nearly all deaths and serious injuries. It is difficult in some crashes for the police to determine whether or not speed was a direct causal factor, and more in-depth collision investigation following fatal and serious injury crashes would be likely to show higher rates of speed as a causal factor.

As well as organising Road Safety Week and promoting road safety year round, Brake delivers support to road crash victims through the National Road Victim Service helping families cope with the shock, turmoil and devastation that road crashes cause to families across the UK every day.

Caroline Kirsopp lost her daughter and unborn grandson to a road crash in 2018 on her 60th birthday. Anna was 38 weeks pregnant with a boy, who would have been called Oscar – a little brother for her two-year-old son Henry. On December 18, as Anna was driving to her final antenatal appointment, she was hit by a car that was travelling at more than 100mph. Anna and Oscar died at the scene. This Road Safety Week, Caroline is asking everyone to remember Anna and Oscar and remember there is No Need to Speed.

Caroline said: Our lives are empty without Anna. Anna’s life was cut short, Oscar didn’t even have the chance to live, Henry will live a life without his mother and brother. I go about my life, looking as I always did; but inside I am broken. I am supporting Road Safety Week to try to make a difference in Anna and Oscar’s memory. It doesn’t matter if you think you are an experienced driver or not. Speeding kills. In Anna and Oscar’s memory, please slow down.”

Laura Lloyd, her husband Richard and their friend Chris were driving back from a rock-climbing session in June 2019 when they were involved in a crash that changed their lives forever. A speeding car failed to give way on a roundabout while being pursued by nearby police. The driver, trying to overtake a vehicle that was pulling out of a side road, rounded a corner on the wrong side of the road while travelling at 70mph, and hit Laura’s car with such force that the engine was ripped out.

All three passengers were left with severe injuries, with Laura breaking multiple bones, puncturing both her lungs, and suffering damage to her liver, bowel and spine. A year later she is still receiving treatment and suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and will never be able to take part in active hobbies in the same way she once did. This Road Safety Week, Laura is asking everyone to remember her story and that there is No Need to Speed.

Laura said: “I am extremely lucky that, after 12 months of physio, I am able to walk and live a fairly normal day to day life; however, as someone who was incredibly fit and active beforehand, I will never get back to where I was. I am extremely anxious in the car now and have only very recently started driving any distances myself. It seems like the roads have become personal race-tracks for some people. More people need to understand that what they are driving is essentially a lethal weapon and one split second mistake can kill someone.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said:

“There is no excuse for breaking the speed limit and these figures highlight the grossly excessive speeds of some drivers who show complete disregard for the law and people’s safety. None of us should be put in danger by the high-risk behaviour of others when we’re getting about on roads, and that’s why, this Road Safety Week, we are asking everyone to join us in our call that there is no need to speed.

“Many drivers drift over limits by mistake but our research shows that a shockingly large number of drivers, particularly men, break speed limits excessively. We want all drivers to remember the daily disasters that are due to speed, think about the victims, slow down, and reduce road danger. It’s important to remember that sometimes driving under the speed limit can still be too fast, particularly on winding roads, roads with poor visibility, and roads where there could be people about on bicycles and on foot. The voices of the bereaved and injured help us all to understand that getting somewhere a few minutes earlier is never worth the risk.”

Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, said:

“Speeding is illegal, reckless and puts people’s lives at unnecessary risk. For this reason, there are tough penalties and strict enforcement measures in place for those who disobey the law.

“We’re working hard to change attitudes that lead to speeding, including through our THINK! campaign which targets young men.

“The stories of families who have lost loved ones are absolutely heart-breaking. So please always remember there is no need to speed.”

Giles Edmonds, director of clinical services for Specsavers, co-sponsors of Road Safety Week, said:

“We are proud to support Road Safety Week and Brake’s campaign to highlight the dangers of speeding. Good eyesight is one of the basic requirements of safe driving, but we know one in four people don’t have regular eye tests. It’s vital that drivers can see well so they can spot potential hazards, read road signs and judge speed and distance.”

A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said:

“Ensuring the safety of the public and our colleagues remains our number one priority as we carry out our deliveries nationwide. There is no excuse for speeding; all drivers have a responsibility to travel at speeds relative to the conditions of the road. We wholeheartedly endorse Brake’s message that getting there safely matters far more than getting there a few minutes early.”