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Drivers support wider use of average speed cameras on motorways – despite more than half admitting to breaking the 70mph-limit

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More than half of drivers (56%) admit to breaking the speed limit on motorways with a third (34%) of those confessing to having travelled at speeds in excess of 80mph, research from the RAC reveals.

Three per cent say their fastest speed on a motorway was over 100mph while 4% believe their top speed was 91-100mph. While the vast majority – two-thirds (66%) – state their highest speed on a motorway was 71-80mph, a quarter (27%) claim to have driven at 81-90mph.

When asked why they broke the speed limit on a motorway, most drivers (39%) said they were simply following the example set by other motorists, although three-in-10 (31%) say it was because they thought it was safe to travel faster than 70mph. Other common reasons for speeding on a motorway were: nothing else being on the road (28%); the speed limit being inappropriate (27%) and feeling pressure from other drivers behind (26%).

In terms of what form of speed enforcement drivers think is best for ensuring speed limit compliance on high speed roads where the speed limit is 60mph and 70mph, 58% of the 3,000-plus motorists surveyed for the RAC Report on Motoring said they favoured ‘average speed cameras’ which measure speeds between cameras rather than at a single, fixed location like traditional speed cameras. Nearly a fifth (18%) felt fixed position cameras are most effective while 12% said it was mobile speed traps, with a similar proportion not offering an opinion.

While average speed cameras are used on a number of A-roads, on motorways they are currently only used in sections of roadworks. More than half of drivers (54%), however, said they would like to see them used in general motorway conditions enforcing the 70mph-limit. Only a quarter (26%) disagreed with this idea, with 18% unsure.

Average speed cameras were also preferred by the majority of drivers for use on 40-50mph limit roads with 46% saying this, compared to 29% for fixed position cameras. On 20-30mph limit roads however, fixed position cameras came out top with 43% of drivers saying they were best and a quarter (25%) opting for average speed cameras, only just ahead of police officers operating mobile speed traps (21%).

While compliance on roads with lower speed limits is far better than the 54% who admit to exceeding the 70mph-limit, an alarming four-in-10 (39%) still admit to frequently disobeying 20mph limits. This rises to a third (33%) on 60mph country roads – statistically some of our least safe roads – and to 36% on 30mph urban roads.

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Very worryingly, 11% of limit-breakers claim to have driven above 40mph in a 30mph zone while 10% have exceeded 30mph in a 20mph zone. In the case of the latter, 45% of those who speed at least occasionally say this is because they believe the limit is ‘inappropriate’ for the area or stretch of road in question.

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “Despite more than half of drivers admitting to regularly exceeding the 70-mph speed limit, road safety statistics clearly show that motorways are our safest roads.

“With so many motorists admitting to driving much faster than they should on the motorway, it was interesting to see such strong support for average speed cameras to be used more widely to enforce the 70-mph limit as opposed to just in roadworks, as is currently the case. We believe drivers see these cameras as being very effective at reducing speeds over longer distances and controlling traffic flow as well as being fairer than fixed position ones as they aren’t instantly punished for a momentary transgression.

“Our research shows speed limit compliance on all types of road has improved on previous years, but as our study was carried out during the pandemic we suspect this has partly been brought about by the reduction in the number of journeys carried out for the purposes of commuting – or for other business purposes – where drivers feel greater time pressure and may be more tempted to break the law by speeding.”

(Lead image: RAC)

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Llanelli

West Wales car dealership to double in size

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Dafen-based Llanelli Motor Company have broken ground on a new development that will see their forecourt double in size over the coming months.

Led by Managing Director Ian Jonathan, the two-phase project will see the independent car dealership increase the number of used vehicles it has on sale to over 400 by January 2023.

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“It’s certainly an exciting period for the business,” said Ian, “and with the significant changes to the used car market, we felt now was the right time to start the project, which has been in the pipeline for over five years.”

Although the business was potentially looking at 2020 as a start date for the developments, the Coronavirus Pandemic put the brakes on the project.

However, since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the delay in obtaining new vehicles, the used car market has seen an unprecedented spike in demand.

Dafen based Llanelli Motor Company is planning to double in size
The company have broken ground on an expansion that will see over 400 cars on sale by the end of January 2023

“The last 12 months have been exceptionally busy,” continued Ian.

“No sooner are we finalising our 140-point safety check on vehicles before placing them on the forecourt, than they are being purchased within a matter of days”.

With the ability to stock 150 nearly new vehicles of all makes and models at the moment, the 1-acre expansion will increase this to 250 by September before more than doubling it to 400 by the spring of 2023.

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In order to facilitate this growth, the company will also be entering a recruitment phase and looking to employ at least 10 new members of staff across its sales, workshop and admin teams as well as taking on new apprenticeships.

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Lifestyle

Swansea man’s delight as he scoops combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize

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A Swansea man who was feeling lucky during the working week was left in a state of delighted disbelief on finding out he had won a combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize with online competitions company BOTB.

Anthony Brain from Swansea could not believe his luck when BOTB’s Christian Williams picked up the phone to let him know he was the winner of its Midweek Lifestyle competition.

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Anthony, who works for Swansea-based automotive products company Marelli, scooped a brand new BMW 128ti, as well as a cash prize of £2,000.

After recovering from his initial shock, Anthony said: “It’s absolutely unbelievable – I’m over-the-moon and still on a real high from it. It’s rare that I take part in the Midweek Lifestyle Competition – I think I’ve only entered it once or twice before – but I was feeling lucky during the working week, so thought ‘why not?’ When I got the call to say I’d won, I was stunned.

“Being a car enthusiast, I’m really excited about winning the car but the cash is brilliant too. We’ve already booked some holidays with some of the winnings, including to Italy and Florida. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.”

Anthony said his prize win has prompted colleagues to throw their hat in the ring and give BOTB’s competitions a go.

He added: “The thing is you’ve got to be in it to win it – and I think once you know someone who has won, you feel more hopeful that you could be in with a chance. I’d encourage anyone thinking about entering to try it for themselves.”

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Other recent winners have bagged a motorbike, a luxury holiday to Barbados and £15,000 in cash. 

The company, listed on the stock market, was founded by William Hindmarch in 1999 and has given away more than £47m worth of cars so far. 

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Motoring

Summer of thunderstorms warning for motorists

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As weather forecasters predict the country could be in for a summer of thunderstorms, a leading insurance comparison firm warns motorists to check their insurance policies before venturing out. 

The Met Office says a ‘hotter than normal’ summer will bring outbreaks of torrential downpours, hail and thunderstorms as temperatures cool after heatwaves.

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A glimpse of what could be a blistering summer, with high temperatures, heavy downpours and thunder and lightning was seen last weekend – particularly in the south.

Heavy and thundery rainfalls are predicted for the coming weekend, especially in the west.

Quotezone.co.uk, a leading car insurance comparison website, says any damage to cars caused by driving through flash floods might not be covered by insurance policies. It warns motorists to carefully check their policy exclusions, and even if routes are partially blocked, drivers should think twice before using waterlogged roads.

If drivers find themselves stuck in the car during a thunderstorm, official advice from the Met Office is to wind up the window and stay inside the vehicle – the metal frame of the car should act as a conductive Faraday cage, passing the current around the passengers and into the ground, should it be struck by lightning.  Open or soft top vehicles are best kept under cover. 

Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, comments: “Motorists who have taken out third party only or third-party, fire and theft insurance wouldn’t be covered for any storm damage to their vehicles – only fully-comprehensive policyholders are likely to be protected in those cases.

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“If a storm is predicted, look at official flood warnings, avoid roads that are likely to flood and allow more time for your journey, note you may have to pull over and wait it out if the downpour starts to affect your visibility – not forgetting to put on the hazard lights.

“Unfortunately, if motorists do decide to drive through waterlogged roads, there’s a very real risk that they won’t be covered for any resulting water damage to the car – even fully-comprehensive drivers.”

Greg also warns motorists that have to go out, to make sure their cars are roadworthy before setting off, which includes checking tyre tread and windscreen wipers.

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