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Alarming total of six in 10 admit to motorway tailgating

Date: 22 May 2014

Hidden cameras have been installed on parts of the M25 around Clacket Lane as part of smart motorway efforts to cut speed

An alarming total of nearly six in ten drivers (57%) have admitted to tailgating on motorways, according to a new study from Direct Line and road lobby group, Brake.

The survey found that an even greater number of people (60%) owned up to breaking the speed limit by more than 10mph on dual carriageways and larger motorway road networks.

Men were found to be considerably the worst offenders (61% against 53% of women), with 95% of those taking part in the survey expressing concern about tailgating causing potential major road accidents.

This year has seen the Highways Agency introduce a raft of speed cameras that will appear on more than 100 years across so called 'smart motorway; stretches including parts of the M1, M6 and M25 in a bid to curb excessive driver speed.

However, the move has been highly criticised, with the equipment being condemned by groups including the Alliance of British Drivers, as a "stealth tax" generating fines due to the cameras being harder to spot grey colour, rather than the clear yellow marking of existing systems.

According to latest road incident data, crashes on 70mph roads have double the death rate as those at lower speeds - with 88 fatalities and 654 serious injuries recorded on UK motorways in 2012.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, traffic management director at the Highways Agency, commented on the study.

He said: "Safety is our top priority and we are committed to continuing to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. Congestion on the strategic road network is estimated to cost the economy £3 billion each year, 25 per cent of which is caused by incidents.

"That's why we remind drivers of the dangers of tailgating and support Brake's advice to keep a safe distance from the car in front and to adhere to fixed and variable speed limits."