These statistics provide insight into the speeds at which drivers choose to travel and their compliance with speed limits under free flow conditions but should not be taken as estimates of actual compliance or actual average speed across the road network.
Between 2011 and 2016, there has been a gradual increase in compliance with speed limits for most vehicles on most roads.
- 46% of cars exceeded the speed limit on motorways
- 8% of cars exceeded the speed limit on national single carriageways
- 53% of cars exceeded the speed limit on 30mph roads
- 81% of cars exceeded the speed limit on 20mph roads
The proportions exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 miles an hour were much lower, at 11%, 1%, 6% and 15% respectively.
Similar relative patterns were seen for most vehicle types. For all vehicle types, speed limit compliance was highest on national speed limit single carriageways and lowest on 20mph roads (note that these 20mph roads have no traffic calming measures, so compliance across all 20mph roads may be higher than these statistics suggest).
Across the day, speed limit compliance was higher during daytime hours and lower at night for all vehicle types.
For all vehicle types, average free flow speeds were very close to the appropriate speed limits on 30mph roads (28 to 31mph), above the speed limit on 20mph roads (21 to 25mph) and under the speed limit on other road types.