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Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists

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Almost three-quarters of people believe a lack of road traffic officers is making it easier for drivers to get away with motoring offences.

A survey of 15,500 motorists by the AA saw 74 per cent say motorists can get away with a variety of driving offences due to a lack of police presence on the road. The respondents believed that only 16 per cent of people who committed a careless driving offence would be caught and punished. Meanwhile, it’s thought that just 22 per cent of drug-driving offenders and 26 per cent of uninsured drivers would be apprehended.

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The drivers surveyed said they didn’t believe road policing had changed significantly since 2017. The only exception to this is speeding, for which the general feeling is offenders are more likely to be caught than they would have been four years ago.

The AA has warned that these “continuous low levels of expectation that law-breaking drivers will be caught” could lead to more motorists feeling free to drive in a dangerous or unlawful manner.

Some 85 per cent of respondents felt having a visible police presence would make the roads safer. Only 20 per cent said it was likely for them to see a police car on their local roads, rising to 25 per cent on motorways.

Only 14 per cent of drivers believe roads can be policed using cameras alone. Interestingly, 57 per cent would like to see Highways England traffic officers given more powers, while 42 per cent say the same regarding police community support officers.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “Drivers clearly feel that the lack of police officers on the roads means that the likelihood of getting caught for some major offences is hugely diminished.

“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.”

Do you think the lack of traffic police is giving motorists a licence to drive badly? Let us know in the comments...

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