Nearly half of Britain's young drivers feel less safe on the roads than ever before according to a new survey by the RAC.

The survey suggested the rise in offences such as drug-driving and using mobile phones, particularly on Twitter, while driving were key to the increase in concerns among the 1,002 motorists asked.

With drug-driving at an all-time high, 95% wanted to see some kind of driving ban for those who drink-drive or drug-drive, with around 55% approving of life bans for such offenders. In addition, 42% wanted to see some kind of ban for illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel.

The RAC suggest that a fall in government spending on road safety campaigns is behind the rise in offences, with 61% saying there aren't enough police on the roads.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "Government cuts have meant an extremely large drop in spending on road safety campaigns in the past two years, but our 2012 report highlights the damaging effect this is having. The growth of the new breed of motoring offences, like drug-driving and social networking behind the wheel, is highly concerning.

"We welcome recent announcements [the Queen's Speech] that Government will tighten enforcement around drug-driving, but the planned changes focus too much on penalties rather than prevention. Government funding should be directed to educating people through road safety campaigns to deter them from driving dangerously and putting lives at risk."

The results come just one week after the creation of the No to 80 coalition formed of charities Brake, Campaign for Better Transport, Greenpeace, Roadpeace, Road Victims Trust and 10:10, who estimate the cost of the proposed increase of motorway speed limits will exceed £1 billion annually.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: "Experts predict it [80 mph speed limits] will lead to more lives being brutally cut short and more people suffering debilitating injuries. At the same time, the economic argument being used to defend the proposal does not stand up to scrutiny and the average driver will gain little to nothing in journey time savings - it is time the government faced facts and withdrew these senseless plans."

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning defended the government's record on the roads, saying "we have an enviable record on road safety in this country".

You can join the No to 80 campaign at www.noto80.orgor on Facebook. 

Posted 23/05/2012 by (picture posed by model)