DRIVERS in Dorset think that using mobiles at the wheel and speeding are priorities for the police... But a large proportion also admitted they were guilty of doing both.

A recent survey conducted by Dorset County Council's road safety team has shown some surprising results.

About 850 people across Dorset voluntarily completed a set of questions about their own road safety behaviour.

The top five most important issues Dorset residents think the Government should address are, in order, drink-driving, speeding, mobile phone use (handheld), careless driving and drug-driving.

But, although almost all respondents agreed it is un-acceptable and dangerous to drive when over the legal alcohol limit, more than 40 per cent knew of people who they thought had done so.

One in six people admitted to have driven themselves when unsure if they were over the limit and four admitted to driving at some time when they knew they were over the limit.

Although speeding is cited as one of the top issues to address, more than half of respondents did not agree that it was dangerous.

On speeding, more than half of the respondents admitted to doing the following at some point: l Driving at 40mph in a 30mph speed limit area l Exceeding the speed limit on a country road l Driving at 90mph on a motorway when there is no traffic about A greater proportion of younger respondents, aged 17-24, were more likely to admit to using a mobile phone for text-ing and to consider it socially acceptable than other age groups.

The survey results suggest the older and more experienced the driver, the more dangerous and socially unacceptable they consider it to be; however, half of all those questioned knew of people who had used a hand-held mobile phone while they drive to make or take calls or to send or read texts.

Peter Finney, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for environment and economy, said: “Although this survey is only a snapshot, it's interesting to see the discrepancy between what the Dorset public think are priorities for Government to tackle and their own self-reported behaviour.”