As many as 84% of Britain’s car drivers routinely break the speed limit in 20mph residential areas, according to the latest figures from the Department for Transport.
The new statistics released last month and analysed by motoring experts Quotezone.co.uk show compliance on 20mph roads is significantly worse than on 30mph roads (49%).
The vehicle speed compliance statistics compiled throughout 2022 show the worst offenders are motorcyclists, with 92% breaking the limit on 20mph roads.
The news of the scale of rule-breaking on 20mph roads across the UK coincides with Wales moving to a default 20mph speed limit on restricted roads.
However, the change is set to be debated as a petition opposing the decision has received a record-breaking number of signatures.
Many local politicians oppose a blanket move to 20mph arguing the policy is anti-motorist and will slow down Wales, impacting the effectiveness of emergency services.
Scotland will also follow suit, with Transport Scotland's national strategy stating that default 20mph limits will be rolled out to every road in built-up areas across Scotland by 2025.
Transport for London says that 20 percent of its Red Route network – the arterial roads that carry almost a third of the capital's traffic – will be 20mph by the end of 2024.
The latest figures add fuel to the debate revealing more than 8 in 10 drivers are routinely ignoring 20mph restrictions.
Pedestrians have a much higher chance of survival if hit at 20mph with a 2.5% chance of death, compared to 20% when travelling at 30mph.
There were 1,695 deaths on British roads last year, which was an 8.7% increase from the year previous.
The data also shows that 42% of car drivers broke the speed limit on motorways while just 11% drove above the speed limit on national speed limit single carriageways last year.
He said: “It’s staggering to realise that the vast majority of motorists are consistently breaking the speed limit on residential 20mph roads.
“The World Health Organisation and the UN General Assembly support the transition to 20mph streets, calling on policymakers to act for low-speed streets worldwide, agreeing it is the right speed limit for people and traffic to mix safely.
“20mph limits are historically set in high-volume areas of pedestrians or near schools so drivers should respond appropriately and slow down.
“These new restrictions will aim to cover all residential areas which has sparked a mixed reaction from local residents throughout Wales.
“The key argument being deaths on British roads rose again last year and statistics show that survival rates are significantly higher if hit at 20mph rather than 30mph.”
Motorists who continue to drive at the old 30mph limit in Wales and other places that adopt the new 20mph limit, can face a fine of £100 and three penalty points on their licence.
Wilson says penalty points can add anything from 5% to car insurance premiums for the first three points on a licence, which can rise to 25% for six points.
He said: “If convicted, it’s important, to be honest and fully disclose the offence to your insurance provider, because failure to do so can result in the policy being invalidated, meaning you won’t be covered.
“Regardless of which side of the argument you sit on when it comes to the new speed limits being set around the UK, it's important to follow the rules while you are in the car and leave the debate for a time when you aren’t behind the wheel."