Almost half of all drivers ignore speed limits on motorways, according to official figures.
In 2013, the Department for Transport found that 47 per cent of cars were doing over 70mph.
Edmund King, President of the AA, warned that while plans to raise the speed limit had been shelved, there was still an increasing tendency among drivers to go faster than they should on motorways.
“One is rarely if ever stopped by the police and prosecuted between 70 and 80mph,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Therefore it is almost accepted as the common law speed limit. That’s why half of drivers tend to break it.”
There are fears that this complacency could set a dangerous precedent, with more motorists beginning to break the speed limit in built-up areas as well.
Former Transport Secretary Philip Hammond had previously made the case for officially introducing an 80mph limit on motorways, arguing that this would cut journey times and boost the economy by hundreds of millions of pounds.
The policy faced fierce criticism from road safety groups, who feared the move would lead to “more deaths, crashes and serious injuries.”
Following the backlash – and claims that the changes would alienate women drivers – few were surprised when Patrick McLoughlin, who took over the transport brief two years ago – kicked the plans into the long grass.
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