Characteristics of speeders

Williams, Allan F. / Kyrychenko, Sergey Y. / Retting, Richard A.
Journal of Safety Research

Objective: To determine the characteristics of speeders, defined as drivers of vehicles traveling at least 15 mph above the posted speed limit and relatively faster than surrounding vehicles.
Methods: Vehicle speeds were recorded on 13 roads in Virginia with speed limits ranging from 40 to 55 mph. Speeders were compared with slower drivers, defined as drivers of adjacent vehicles traveling no more than 5 mph above the speed limit. License plates were used to identify vehicle owners; owners were inferred to have been driving if observed gender and estimated age matched those of the registered owner. For these drivers, information on exact driver age and gender, vehicle make and model, and driving record was obtained from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Results: Five percent of the vehicles observed were traveling at least 15 mph above the limit, and 3% qualified as speeders, as defined in this study. Speeders were younger than drivers in the comparison group, drove newer vehicles, and had more speeding violations and other moving violations on their records. They also had 60% more crashes.
Discussion: Speeders are a high-risk group. Their speeding behavior is not likely to be controlled without vigorous, consistent enforcement, including the use of automated technology.

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