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The Standard Of Driving Standards

More than eight out of every ten British motorists are unaware of new speeding fines, which could see someone earning £50,000 pay a fine of £1000 for travelling 41mph in a 20mph limit. This is according to research carried out for a survey by a leading consumer motoring website (acknowledged) and it is relevant to driving standards.

An astonishing 84% of respondents said they didn’t know what the new sentencing guidelines, which come into force this week, meant, while more than half were completely unaware that the penalties for speeding were changing at all. With wearying inevitability this comes as no surprise at all.

Driving Standards & Them

Recently, on a roundabout in beautiful uptown Swindon, your correspondent was soundly cut-up exiting a roundabout. Because we couldn’t pass it happened again as the idiot in question (he drives a grey Kia Sportage on a 59 plate) came across the lanes once again on the next roundabout. As luck would have it he then pulled in to the supermarket we were attending.

This irksome cove apologised. He wasn’t aware (this is the key point) that he had done it even after we had pointed out the wing mirrors on his car. There you have it: he was not aware of pulling across from the outside to the inside lane. Had we thought to ask he no doubt would have been unaware also of the new speeding fines despite the fact that this news has been emblazoned across all media for weeks.

It is clear that driving standards in this country have fallen, no; plummeted, over the last few years. It coincides – and I realise that this is contentious – with the rise of high-tech safety gadgetry on cars. It is as if drivers absolve themselves from fault or are trusting that their car will save them from themselves because it is clear, just like the moron above, that motorists refuse to blame themselves.

If you ask around you will find that almost everyone will agree that the general standard of driving on our roads has worsened over the last few years. Ask them if they themselves are guilty of sloppy driving I suspect you will find that few will admit to it. It’s always the other bloke.

Without question the modern British driver thinks it’s always the other person’s fault when it comes to driving standards.

Driving Standards & Us

Speed limits and cameras, draconian penalties, CCTV and all the rules and regulations without end have certainly helped to make our roads safer – except from ourselves. We all have to take personal responsibility and can’t keep blaming everyone else.

We even realise it! Fear of worsening driving standards is at an all-time high, even to the point of putting people off driving at all, so if motorists want safer roads and better driving standards they should look at improving their own skills and awareness.

Bad driving standards are not just annoying, they are also the source of most accidents, and it isn’t just about speed. Evidence over time clearly demonstrates that around three quarters of crashes are caused by human error. We all like to think the best of our own abilities, but perhaps we should take a good hard look at ourselves in the rear view mirror (when stationary!) and wake up to the fact that none of us are perfect. Perhaps then driving standards will improve. I’m not holding my breath, mind. Geoff Maxted