By Bob Taylor
As many as 60% of motorists believe there are not enough police officers on the road to enforce driving laws, according to an RAC survey.
More than half (51%) of drivers think it is unlikely that motorists will ever get picked up for texting while stopped in traffic.
And 40 per cent reckon they stand little chance of being stopped by police for aggressive driving, the poll of 1,526 drivers found.
The research also showed that only 29% think drivers will get into trouble for texting on the move while 42% think it is unlikely.
24% think tailgaters will be pulled over
For the new offences of tailgating and middle lane-hogging only 24% and 22% respectively think motorists are likely to be pulled up by a traffic officer.
The only offences motorists believe are dealt with effectively are the ones that are enforced via cameras such as speeding and traffic light violations.
A total of 45% reckon drivers are likely to get caught for speeding, while 46% think those running red lights will get caught.
Of those motorists questioned who have speeding points on their licences, 49% said they were trapped by a speed camera, while only 24% were caught by a police officer.
67% break 70mph motorway limit
The survey, the 26th annual poll of its kind by the RAC, also showed that 34% are concerned about other drivers talking on hand-held mobile phones and 22% are worried about other motorists breaking traffic laws generally.
In addition, 75% of motorists reported regularly seeing other people talking on mobile phones, with 44% saying they see this happening during most of their car journeys. Yet only 8% of drivers admit to using a hand-held phone on most journeys.
On speeding, around 40% admitted breaking the speed limit on non-motorway routes, while as many as 67% owned up to exceeding the 70mph limit on motorways. A total of 70% of drivers supported raising the motorway limit to 80mph.
Potholes were a worry for 41% of motorists in this year's survey, compared with 36 per cent last year, while 47% put the cost of fuel as their main motoring concern despite reductions in prices at the pumps of late.
31% worried children could be distracted by smartphones
As many as 69% reckoned children were as safe, if not safer, on the roads than when they were young but 31% were worried that children could get distracted by smartphones while using roads.
Four in five motorists felt uncomfortable driving on icy roads, with nearly all (96%) avoiding driving in the snow if at all possible. Younger drivers were more concerned about driving in wintry conditions than older ones.
RAC technical director David Bizley said: "Our research shows that millions of law-abiding motorists are frustrated with the reduction of traffic police and believe that the chances of drivers being pulled up for breaking the law are now minimal.
"Motorists are tired of constantly seeing other drivers breaking the law and getting away with it so it is hardly surprising that they want to see a greater police presence on our roads to enforce motoring legislation more effectively, which would also act as a genuine deterrent."