Direct Line Insurance: Drivers' Undecided Over Speed Limiters in Cars

Surrey, UNITED KINGDOM


STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 30, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Direct Line Insurance:

Just over half of drivers (51%) would approve of the compulsory fitting of speed limiters on all new cars to ensure they cannot speed on any given road or motorway, according to a survey commissioned by jamjar.com, Direct Line's online car retailer.

The nation-wide jamjar/MORI survey, which coincides with the launch of the Government's inquiry into Road Traffic Speed, also revealed that nearly 13 million drivers (43%) would approve of speed limiters being fitted to their existing car.

Women drivers are more in favour than their male counterparts. Two thirds (66%) of women drivers approve of the compulsory fitting of speed limiters to new cars, compared with only 41% of male drivers. Unsurprisingly, only a third (34%) of drivers who admitted to speeding at over 100mph would approve, compared to 74% of drivers who claim never to exceed 70mph.

Automatic speed limiters, which prevent lorries from travelling at more than 56mph, are already in use. They are also in operation on most coaches and are checked by Vehicle Inspectorate enforcement officers at routine and spot checks.

Mary Williams, OBE, chief executive of Brake, the road safety organisation, said:

"Suitable speed limiters for cars are still a long way off, however it is important that we look at new technologies to see whether they can help reduce speed on our roads and improve road safety. We can put men on the moon, so surely controlling our speed on the road is achievable."

Speed is a contributory factor in about one third of all collisions making it the biggest single contributor to casualties on the UK's roads. In 2000, that equated to 1,100 deaths and 12,600 serious injuries(1). According to Government figures speed is now responsible for twice as many deaths on our roads as drink driving(2).

Notes to editors:


 -- jamjar.com is a Direct Line Company.
 -- According to the DVLA, there are approximately 30 million drivers
    in the UK.
 -- Survey conducted by MORI Financial Services on behalf of jamjar 
    between 6th and 20th July 2001. A total of 2,000 interviews were 
    conducted across the UK among adults aged 17 and over, who are 
    Driving Licence holders and who have driven at least once in the 
    last month.

Website: www.jamjar.com Telephone: 0845 608 1133


 (1) Lines open 8am - 9pm everyday. DTLR figures, House of Commons
     Hansard, 26  June 2001
 (2) DTLR figures, press release, 3 December 2001

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