the introduction of a speed limit or increases in enforcement of speed limits can lead to reductions in accidents. nevertheless, it seems that a large proportion of motorists break speed limits sometimes, and this report describes a survey among drivers to examine why this occurs. the survey was conducted in 1976. the study confirms some pilot research which showed that many motorists are not fully aware of how to recognise what speed limit applies to a stretch of road. speed limits had been changed several times prior to the time of the survey, and this survey showed that many motorists were not aware of the speed limits which applied at that time. motorists seem to think that speed limits are useful as guidelines and few feel that motorists should be left to decide appropriate speeds for themselves. motorists favour quite severe punishments for those who exceed speed limits by 20 mile/h, particularly at the higher limits. some 44 per cent of motorists say they do not wish to see speed limits changed. some data are presented on which type of driver favours or disapproves of limits and some suggestions are made about ways in which knowledge might be increased about limits and where they apply.(a)

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