A survey has shown three-quarters (74%) of British motorists feel a lack of traffic officers is making it easier for rogue drivers to get away with offences.
The same AA survey also saw just 16% of respondents say they would expect careless drivers to be punished. They also only expected 22% to be caught for drug driving and 26% for not having insurance.
Regardless of whether we agree with certain speed limits, it’s fair to say the vast majority of the British public are on board with proper regulation of our roads so it should both be alarming and concerning to those in charge that so many of us feel that, at times, our roads can essentially be lawless.
Police rarely seen
The survey respondents cited personal experience to support their perceptions. Only 20% said they were likely to see a police presence on local roads. This increased to 25% on the motorway network. Naturally, some enforcement comes via safety cameras and their use was generally supported by the survey respondents. However, only 14% argued the roads can be policed by cameras alone.
On this basis, 85% suggested a more visible police presence would encourage drivers to behave, make roads safer, and reduce the number of people killed and injured. Some survey respondents suggested the police might need help, though. 57% said Highways England Traffic Officers should be given policing powers and 42% claimed that Community Support Officers should, too.
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AA President, Edmund King, summarised the survey results and suggested action is required. ‘Drivers clearly feel that the lack of police officers on the road means the likelihood of getting caught for some major offences is hugely diminished’, he confirmed.
‘In order to achieve zero road deaths by the end of the decade, we need to do more to warn drivers that if they break the law they will be caught. With more than eight of out 10 drivers saying that a more visible police presence would help make roads safer, more cops in cars are needed to change the tide’, Edmund King continued.
The President further called for an ‘ambitious plan’ to recruit more traffic police to ‘stop acts of bad driving’ before people die. He also suggested there is a bigger picture. ‘There is clear evidence that the most serious traffic offenders are much more likely to be involved in mainstream serious crime’, Mr King revealed. ‘Targeting dangerous drivers helps reduce overall crime’.