Around 50 per cent of motorists have admitted to previously breaking traffic laws, and half of them revealed doing so on purpose, according to a new survey put together by insurance company Direct Line and road safety charity Brake. Half of those who'd broken the law said they did so through inattention, with the other half claiming it was simply because they felt they could get away with it, or because they didn't agree with the laws in place. Law breaking was more common amongst men responding to the survey, with around 60 per cent of women and only 42 per cent of men claiming that they never broke driving regulations.æ Men were also twice as likely as women to flout the laws due to thinking they could avoid being caught. Other notable points to arise from the survey included:

  • Increased levels of driver safety, with drivers simply more confident with their own skills than they were 10 years ago.æ 69 per cent considered themselves to be safer than most other drivers, an increase on the 50 per cent in 2005.
  • Drivers judging others more harshly.æ 58 per cent of respondents claimed there were more dangerous than safe drivers on UK roads.
  • Youngster confidence, with 17-24 year olds more likely to rate their driving as safer than other peoples: 58 per cent considered themselves 'much' safer.
  • Distraction being the most commonly witnessed broken rule, with tailgating, speeding and risky overtaking also common.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: 'As these figures make clear, law breaking on our roads is not just down to a minority but endemic. 'For whatever reason, many seem to feel they are beyond the law or that traffic laws are somehow optional. This represents a failure by government to ensure traffic policing is receiving adequate priority and to make clear the importance and legitimacy of traffic laws.î