What's driving Tory and UKIP voters to high speeds?

July 25, 2014, 9:29 AM GMT+0

Conservatives and UKIP supporters drive faster on motorways, are more likely to want autobahns and feel more strongly opposed to increasing the number of speed cameras

In 2011, 3,267 people were killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents where speed was a factor. The RAC Foundation has found that the number of serious and fatal collisions near 551 fixed speed cameras dropped by 27% after the cameras were introduced.

Increasing the number of speed cameras looks like a simple remedy for road accidents, so would anyone oppose it?

A new YouGov survey finds that by 53-38% British people are opposed to massively increasing the number of speed cameras, so that it would be almost impossible to get away with speeding in a motor vehicle.

Men and women are opposed to differing degrees (62% and 44% respectively), but the same difference exists between Labour voters (45% opposed) and Conservatives (62%), with UKIP supporters even more opposed (66%).

Conservatives and UKIP voters are also more likely to prefer driving fast on motorways than Labour voters. The national speed limit is 70mph on motorways, but 41% of Conservatives say their preferred cruising speed on them is 75mph or above, along with 40% of UKIP voters. This compares to 34% of Labour voters.

Understandably, given their opposition to increasing the number of speed cameras and preference for fast driving, supporters of the Conservatives and UKIP also are more supportive of introducing German-style ‘autobahns’, motorways with no speed limits (50% and 49% respectively compared to 40% of Labour voters).

Whatever the reasons Conservatives and UKIP supporters have for valuing freedom on the roads, the parties also appear to share them. At the 2009 Conservative Party conference Theresa Villiers, then shadow transport secretary, pledged to stop any new speed cameras and introduce a range of new policies for motorists. The former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom also vowed to scrap speed cameras: "If speed killed people there would be no Formula One racing", he said, arguing that it is "speed in the wrong place that kills people".

See the full poll results