Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Society Attitudes to Road Safety Demographic Comparisons

The research clearly shows that age is the main predictor of how frequently drivers exceed the speed limit. However, while the tendency to exceed the speed limit continues to decline with age, the number of under 24 year olds saying they mostly or always do so has declined from 20% to 15% and is now at the same level as the 25-39 years age group.

Speed tends still to be referred to far more often than drink driving as the single main cause of road crashes, regardless of age. The one exception is those under 24 who mention speed and drink driving with similar frequency. Mentions of speed as one of three main crash factors has declined, reflecting a greater focus on the dangers of drink driving among this group.

However, more 15-24 year olds are now showing support for strict adherence to the limit in a 60 km/h zone, and while similar numbers support 65 km/h, the number tolerating 70 km/h in a 60 km/h zone has halved. Traditionally, tolerance of speeds in excess of 60 km/h could be seen to decline with age. In this survey speed tolerance is broadly similar across the 15-60 year group, then drops markedly, with 60% of those over 60 years favouring strict enforcement. A similar pattern emerges in relation to speed tolerance in 100 km/h zones.

While approval for RBT remains high across the age groups, over one in ten males aged 15-24 years disagree with it. This youngest age group continues to be the most inclined to feel that RBT levels have increased. Claimed exposure to RBT is highest among this age group, which is also the most inclined to say a BAC of .05 will affect their ability as a pedestrian. This youngest age group is most likely to say I dont drink if driving (48% compared with a national average of 37%), and remains the most interested in the use of self-operated breath testing machines. Some 22% of the 15-24 years age group (up from 14% in CAS 13) have used such a device in the past six months.

CAS 14 has shown an increasing awareness of fatigue as a key crash factor, among people under 40 years, from 36% in CAS 13 to 43%, against a national average of 33%.

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