“Everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t i?” Victorian drivers and low level speeding
Background: The Transport Accident Commission has worked toward changing the attitudes of road users in Victoria since 1987. The TAC’s efforts have contributed to changing the community’s beliefs about drink driving behaviour, with a reduction in acceptability and self-reported levels of drink driving.
Objectives: This report studies how Victorians’ attitudes and behaviour relating to low level speeding have changed over time, and examines the changes in acceptability of speeding behaviour since 2009.
Method: 2,000 Victorian road users completed an online survey to determine the acceptability of a variety of driving and non-driving behaviours, and identify differences in the attitudes and perceptions of various groups based on demographic profiles.
Results: While some driving behaviours including mobile phone use and driving whilst on drugs are rated as very unacceptable by most Victorians, low level speeding is relatively more acceptable. Victorian drivers are generally law-abiding, with around 70% self-reporting travelling at or below the speed limit in 50 or 60km/h zones, and only 18% of drivers stating they would speed if they thought they get away with it. Acceptance of travelling at 50km/h in a 40 km zone has declined from 18% in 2009 to 8% in 2014.
Conclusion: TAC research findings suggest that while low level speeding is more acceptable than some other driving behaviours; most Victorians don’t in fact speed. This study has provided the TAC with direction for future research, particularly in regard to the small minority of drivers who think it is acceptable to speed.