Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Motorway tailgating 'on the rise'

Tailgating on motorways is an increasing problem, says road safety charity Brake
Tailgating on motorways is an increasing problem, says road safety charity Brake

Tailgating on motorways is on the increase, with more than three in five men admitting the fault, research has suggested.

As many as 53% of drivers said they drove too close to the vehicle in front on motorways, the poll found.

This compared with 49% in 2004, with the latest figure including 61% of male drivers, according to the survey of 942 motorists by road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line.

A total of 46% of women owned up to motorway tailgating, with 30% of men saying they did it at least on a weekly basis compared with 15% of women. As many as 56% of young drivers admitted motorway tailgating, with 30% of them admitting to offending weekly or more often. In contrast, just 21% of older drivers said they regularly tailgated on motorways.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: "Drivers who don't keep their distance increase the risk of pile-ups, which can and do result in multiple and violent deaths and injuries, and devastation for the families involved.

"We urge all drivers to realise the vital importance of the (safe distance) two-second rule, and make a personal commitment to always stick to it."

She went on: "We are also appealing to the Government to ditch proposals to raise the motorway limit (to 80mph). The fact most drivers aren't keeping their distance only adds to the case against this inhumane policy.

"Various researchers have predicted an 80mph limit will mean more lives cut short and more horrific injuries, while arguments in favour simply don't stand up to scrutiny."

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "The Government is committed to tackling reckless drivers who put lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to target those who tailgate or drive aggressively by making careless driving a fixed-penalty offence.

"The Department for Transport is carrying out work to assess the potential economic, safety and environmental impacts of increasing the national speed limit on motorways to 80mph."

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