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Did World Cup fever cause young drivers to speed home in Suffolk?

PUBLISHED: 13:45 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:45 23 August 2018

England fans drove with more caution in Suffolk than elsewhere across the country, according to insurance company findings  Picture: ADRIAN JUDD

England fans drove with more caution in Suffolk than elsewhere across the country, according to insurance company findings Picture: ADRIAN JUDD

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Suffolk drivers displayed trend-bucking patience on the roads during England’s World Cup campaign, according to new speed tracking statistics.

The county was among a handful across mainland Britain to see speeding fall in the hour before matches involving the national football team.

By looking at speed tracking data recorded one week before the tournament began, statisticians found football fans resisted the urge to rush home for kick-off.

Technology fitted in the cars of insurance customers showed speeding incidents fell 35% across the county, while cases went up by almost a third (31%) in Norfolk and by more than half (52%) in Essex.

Across England, only drivers in South Humberside showed more patience with speeding down 41%.

While steeper declines were recorded in five areas of Britain, all were located in Scotland or Wales, where fans watched from a position of neutrality after their nations’ failure to qualify.

According to insurethebox analysis, speeding among the firm’s predominantly younger drivers, aged 17-24, increased 133% across the East of England in the hour before England’s semi-final match against Croatia.

Half of all serious accidents on country roads involve drivers of in the same age range and are due to loss of control – largely because of speeding.

The bigger the game, the more likely people were to speed, according to the data, which showed speed increased 29% among fans in the East of England ahead of the group game against Belgium, before reaching 133% in the hour before England’s swan song fixture.

Simon Rewell, road safety manager at insurethebox, which uses individual driver data to determine the risk profile of each policyholder and calculate their premiums, said: “Fans must make sure that, no matter how big the game, it is not worth the risks that come with speeding.

“Leaving five minutes earlier is a much safer way of getting home for the game – and avoids the risk of a collision that could have lifelong consequences.”

Liz Brooker, MBE, Vice Chair, Road Safety GB added: “Helping young drivers to understand the risks associated with inappropriate speed is vital to help reduce the number of collisions and casualties caused by speeding.”

A Suffolk mum said she had to leave the Suffolk village where her family had laid down roots as they were priced out of the property market - a story that is repeated in rural communities across the county.

Teaching young people new “thinking skills” will make a “critical difference” to teenagers involved in gangs and violence, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

‘There is a tendency to talk Essex down - London looks down on our ability to prosper. But we should be hugely proud of our county.’ That’s the message from Adam Jones, a partner at Birketts law firm and one of the masterminds behind a new report showing profits at Essex’s top 100 firms have shot up by 17% in the last year.

Energy bosses are facing growing pressure to rethink plans for a substation in a Suffolk beauty spot – after the site’s owner raised a “technical objection” to its use.

A Suffolk charity combatting rural isolation has been praised in a Government report on how to tackle loneliness.

Police have warned of the dangers of drug use after finding empty canisters of laughing gas by a Suffolk village hall.

A driver has been taken to hospital with ‘potentially life changing injuries’ after their 4x4 crashed into a stationary vehicle, reported to have been a digger.

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