MOST young drivers speed every week, new research shows.
The study by Huddersfield-based road safety charity Brake revealed that 60% of motorists aged 17 to 24 drive over 35mph in 30mph zones at least once a week.
This compares to 37% of older drivers.
A pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 35mph is more than twice as likely to die than if hit at 30mph.
Brake’s research also shows that more than 40% of young drivers break the speed limit on 60mph roads at least once a week, as against 18% of older motorists.
Under-25s make up 13% of all motorists, but 29% of drivers killed on the roads are in this age group.
Brake’s head of education, Jools Townsend, said: “It’s horrifying that so many inexperienced drivers are gambling with their own lives – and those of others – by speeding in both built-up and rural areas.
“Breaking limits by just a few mph can be lethal, and we’re urging all drivers, young and old, to realise that it’s unacceptable to endanger lives just to get somewhere faster.
“We need to get tough with drivers who speed, through more enforcement and tougher penalties.
“We also need a more structured approach to learning to drive, so young people develop their skills and experience gradually.”
Brake is backing proposals by the Commons Transport Select Committee for a minimum 12-month ‘learning to drive’ period and a ban on young people carrying passengers at night.
The charity also wants 20mph zones with traffic-calming measures around homes and schools, more speed cameras and a greater presence of traffic police.
Brake opposes plans to cut fixed- penalty points for lower-level speeding offences.
The charity surveyed 4,640 motorists, including 533 younger drivers.
An average of nine people are killed on Britain’s roads every day and 82 people are seriously injured.