Poll: Richer drivers more prone to speeding

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Washington state drivers who are wealthier are more likely to speed and use their cell phones while driving, but overall, fewer motorists are speeding than two years ago, according to a new poll. Washington drivers whose household income exceeds $75,000 are more prone than their counterparts to speed and talk on a cell phone, according to a PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll.

About half of Washington motorists admit to speeding, three-quarters saying they do it to keep up with traffic; 12 percent of drivers in the 2007 poll admit to speeding often, down from 20 percent in PEMCO’s 2005 poll. The 2007 data, based on a statewide phone survey with 600 respondents, indicate that drivers most likely to speed are male, younger than 55, have at least one child at home, and earn at least $75,000 in household income. The motorists least likely to speed are females ages 55 and older who are childless and earn a household income of under $75,000.

Wealthier drivers also think talking on a cell phone while driving should be legal regardless of whether a hands-free device is used. Washington state law will make it illegal to talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device beginning in 2008. Drivers can take the survey and compare answers to the official survey results at www.pemco.com.