An official review of the speeding laws is underway and if Britain’s Road Policing Chief for the National Police Chiefs’ Council gets his way, motorists will face penalties for going just one mile per hour over the speed limit.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham hit the headlines early this year after his comments in favour of a zero-tolerance approach to speeding received fierce backlash from other police leaders and motoring organisations who say this approach is unworkable.
The ‘buffer’ zone
As the law stands, motorists face prosecution if they break the speed limit by any amount.
While most drivers know about the current ‘buffer’ of 10% plus 2 mph, any decision to issue a speeding penalty remains at the discretion of the police officer and the individual police force, with police and fixed speed cameras both able to enforce the speed limits and issue speeding penalties.
Motorists who hit the top of the buffer zone can expect to receive either a fixed penalty notice or take the Speed Awareness Course, which, depending on where you live and whether you’ve taken the course before, will cost you £75-£100. Over a certain amount above the speed limit and drivers will receive a court summons.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, who is also the chairman of charity Road Safety Trust says the public overuse speed awareness courses and those who break the law should instead receive fines and points on their licences.
The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine, plus three penalty points. The maximum speeding fine is £1,000, but this increases to a maximum of £2,500 for exceeding the motorway speed limit. of 70 mph where no further evidence except a police officer’s opinion suffices for a prosecution.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) speeding penalty guidelines
Speed limit: 20 mph
24 mph: a fixed penalty or a Speed Awareness course
35 mph: summoning
Speed limit: 30 mph
35 mph: a fixed penalty or a Speed Awareness course
50 mph: court summons
Speed limit: 40 mph
46 mph: a fixed penalty or a Speed Awareness course
66 mph: court summons
Speed limit: 50 mph
57 mph: a fixed penalty or a Speed Awareness course
76 mph: court summons
Speed limit: 60 mph
68 mph: a fixed penalty or a Speed Awareness course
86 mph: court summons
Speed limit: 70 mph
79 mph: a fixed penalty or a Speed Awareness course
96 mph: court summons
Don’t ‘whinge’ when you’re caught
Anthony Bangham, Chief Constable for West Mercia Police, caused a stir in January when he said the current 10% plus 2 mph speed allowance leads drivers to think it’s fine to speed. He said the message should change to show that the police were proud to enforce the law, and it’s neither unfair nor should come as a surprise to drivers who get caught and booked for breaking the law, driving at 33 mph in a 30 mph zone—these drivers should feel embarrassed.
Mr Bangham stated that speeding motorists shouldn’t come ‘whinging’ to the police when the law has established speed limits for a reason.
“We need to change our messaging and ensure greater consistency of approach when dealing with those who exceed the speed limit.
“The existing speed enforcement guidance could, in fact, be encouraging driving at these more dangerous higher speeds rather than the actual speed limits.”
The Chief Constable said if the current guidance receives the proper understanding and application, it may offer forces with the flexibility that’s necessary, but that over time drivers often misunderstand its rigid application and understanding, with an expectation that “the ‘norm’ is ‘it is OK to speed'”.
We’re all aware that speeding is both illegal, has the potential to be dangerous, and that we should all do our best not to exceed speed limits. Becoming fixated with our speedometers is dangerous, too, but we now have the technology to help. From mobile apps and Sat Nav devices with audible speed limit alerts, together with devices to warn drivers of speed cameras, there’s plenty to keep us all on the right side of the law.
Neil at Drivesmart, a company who provide speed camera detectors to help people to drive safer, commented: “I think if [it] was just 1mph over the limit it would be unenforceable due to speedometer inaccuracy. Also, the appeals process would be backlogged as there would be a massive increase in people contesting their tickets. I personally think people just need to slow down and having a detector in the car actually makes you more aware of what is around you.”
For those who want to be extra careful and want to know when any speed cameras are around, Drivesmart have an exclusive offer for PetrolPrices members of 30% off their Alpha Speed Camera Detector which tells you when any speed camera is nearby and warns you in enough time to allow you to check that you’re driving at a safe limit. If you’re interested, have a look here: https://www.drivesmartdirect.com/product/drivesmart-alpha/
Should drivers fear zero-tolerance?
There is always a split public reaction to speeding. One camp will say there’s no excuse for speeding and therefore no reason for good drivers to fear a speeding fine or penalty points. Others will ask for leniency and common sense, not a world where motorists trying to keep within the speed limit while watching the road into criminals.
While it’s true that the current police speed enforcement guidelines—set in 2011—are under review, reassurance comes from a spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, who said no action will take place until ALL police chiefs review the findings. The representative also expressed that it wouldn’t be realistic to prosecute people for driving one mile per hour above the speed limit, which will bring comfort to many motorists.
What’s your opinion on the potential for a ‘zero-tolerance’ law? Would you welcome this approach to policing or is this approach unfair? Tell us in the comments.
“Speed limit: 20 mph
24 mph: a fixed penalty or a Speed Awareness course
35 mph: summoning”
To me this is the most serious of speeding situations.
Being hit at 35 mph will kill a child so doing that speed in a 20 MPH zone should incur an instant 1 year ban and £10,000 fine
20 MPH zones are generally not long stretches of road, none of us are in that much of a hurry not to be able to stick to the limit.
How would you feel if you child was the victim?
Well said ! The problem being is how do you enforce it. ? I live in an area where a 20 MPH limit is in force, mainly because the pavements are virtually the same level as the roads. In addition road humps were installed, but some drivers insist on their 30 plus MPH.
Unfortunately in the UK only speed cameras seem to work.
I have worked in Germany on a number of accessions and in various cities around the country.
I found most people stuck to the equivalent of 20 and 30 MPH limits, it seemed to be a matter of their culture plus the fact if anyone does do anything which is not right then other members of the public are willing to point it out without fear of being bashed in a road rage incident.
This despite the fact on many parts of the Autobahn(Motorway) system they have no speed limits they do seem to keep to the lower limits on busy roads.
20 mph limit on small short roads is ok, but the pathetic Green party (especially in Reading) has pushed this low speed limit even on long wide roads, driving at that speed on a road like that just doesn’t make sense.
Plus most cars will manage 30mph in 4th gear. Many, including mine, need to be in 2nd gear, using more fuel. How green os that?
In that case that is pushing things too far.
The problem is a sensible solution is to hand eg 20 MPH limit near schools and then the political activists have to jump on the band waggon just to earn more political points by going too far.
I like to ask ‘Green people’ things like what are you doing drinking your bottled mineral water which has been transported in trucks all the way from France for example.
Yes in plastic bottles which cannot be recycled maybe ?
Banning vehicles near schools will sort that problem out, also banning vehicles parking on the pavement (and implementing it by crushing all vehicles who do park on pavements) will also improve safety, but those measures are simply too hard to do, but guaranteed to help remove many child injuries and death.
My daughter lives near a school and it is bedlam. So all of you who indulge your fat children or other wise by dropping those sweat souls off at their school think again about criticising those who drive over 20mph for a moment due to lack of concentration or distraction.
All of you who chose to park on the pavement should also consider how your actions impact on safety before sitting on this thread and putting your comments on here, because parking on the pavement probably causes more injury that driving 45 in a 40mph assuming the speed limit is in a sensible place.
That however cannot be guaranteed as I know a local road that is 40mph on a school route through a local housing estate. As I have said numerous times the law is an arse.
Well tel that to the bus drivers.
How about teaching your child to cross roads safely?
Seeing as your kids are perfect at road safety, perhaps we could use them as crash test dummies and let them cross the road ‘safely’ when a car is speeding along it at 40 MPH instead of 20 MPH and see what happens?
Unfortunately some speed limits on some roads, make utter nonsence of the idea speed limits have any logic at all.
I agree that all schools should have exclusion zones, to improve child safety of up to one mile. But most parents who bleat on about child safety drive huge vehicles and would have an apoplectic fit if such an exclusion zone were to be implemented.
I agree children should be protected from driver stupidity but the best way of doing that is insisting children Have to go to the nearest school and walk but that would never be passed too.
Another things that would protect children would be for all vehicles parking on pavements to be removed and crushed unceremoniously but that won’t happen either so wheel chair users, children and babies are put at risk as they cannot access pavements, areas of safety.
So before people bleat on about speed limits – lets make children safe by being considerate. Not driving them to school and not parking on the pavements.
Far better than worrying about one mile per hour over speed limit.
Whatever guidelines are used you have to catch the offending driver. Many now drive at severely excessive speed knowing the chances of getting caught are extremely low.
Just how hard up is Mr Bangham’s force? (I checked ; that really is his name) The answer to his insane suggestion is for every motorist so entrapped to have his or her day in court. In doing so to require the prosecuting authority – the police – to produce evidence as to the date of calibration of the equipment used and evidence from the manufacturer of the equipment’s tolerances. Nothing made by man is perfect : every device is inaccurate by even a small percentage. I suspect 1 mph is well within the tolerances of almost every Gatso and handheld or vehicle mounted radar gun. If that is demonstrated in court, eg 1% inaccuracy could mean the defendant was travelling BELOW the speed limit, the prosecution must fail. If nothing else the vast amount of paperwork and incalculable cost in time would overwhelm the dwindling police resources. The lunatic idea would soon be struck down. We, the driving public, would Banghim.
West Mercia Police are great at catching speeding motorists (over 40k tickets sent out last year ££££). But ask them to investigate a crime (or anything else for that matter) and they are total sh**e!! Priorities all wrong.
This drivers awareness course are just further cash cows and nothing to do with road safely?.
Drivers are now expected to keep one eye on the road and the other one on the his speedo?👀
But it’s fine for police forces to break a law to enforce a law 😱
By illegally parking near up or gradients this method is used by every police force in the UK / Scotland/ Wales 👮♀️🚁👀
in truth any half decent driver knows exactly when their vehicle is traveling above the speed limit anyway, a glance at the speedo takes as long as a routine mirror check so this argument carries no weight. However, I absolutely endorse a harsher approach to speeding where there is more pedestrian movement but 1mph is just stupid.I live on a main road, 30 mph limit and find most drivers drive at around 40, this needs to be clamped down on. Paying attention to traffic conditions and your own interaction with these conditions is a basic, fundemental driving skill as opposed to the majority of road users who have become no more than steering wheel attendants.
Correct this is a big bug ber of mine. They park in illegal spots on hills with duel carrage way near us. 50 mph limit. Yet in town 20 mph near school an shops like a race track, this b end is sat half a mile away on a road that 100mph wouldn’t bother a sole.
Happy to respect this in 30 and 40 mph zones. But 70 on the motorway is out of date and should increase to 80 or 85. Traffic clumps up when everyone goes the same speed and that’s what would happen if there was zero tolerance. This is more dangerous than driving at 80 on a clear stretch of road.
I totally agree. This policeman wants us to live back in the Dark Ages
I have some old red flags they could borrow
I completely agree with you. Setting your cruise control to 70mph on the motorway is a scary experience. At that speed, you are mixing it with lorries and Sunday drivers all doing the same speed. Overtaking takes forever and you are exposing yourself to danger the whole time. You need the option to boot it past hazards to reduce the risk of accidents. I’m sure that a minimum speed limit on Motorways would lead to fewer accidents.
The speed limit for lorries is 60MPH. I always set the cruise control to 70 and have never found it a scary experience.
I’ll ET you scare and frustrate other road users though and frustration is a major cause of accidents, speed is not, only the application use of it, this includes sitting at 70 in the outside lane taking miles to pass another vehicle travelling at 65.
Motorway speed limit.its need upped to 80-85mph to keep pace with modern vehicles. If you fear driving at these speeds, perhaps it’s time to hand the licence in or at least keep in the correct lane.
There isn’t a correct lane for any given speed! ALL lanes carry the same speed limit. The only rule here is to keep left unless overtaking.
There are lorries every 100 yards or less on a busy motorway, so you’re always overtaking but if you sit in the middle lane instead of swerving into the inside lane and back out again at every lorry, you’re criticised for hogging the middle lane! It’s a lose/lose situation.
Lorries are restricted to the two inner lanes, and 60mph. This can cause traffic to back up behind them, especially if one lorry is trying to overtake another (can take miles and miles for this manoever to conclude) – everybody else will attempt to “funnel” into the outside lane to overtake the lorries.
Steven no doubt you are one of those idiots that come belting up flashing headlights still doing 80 or more when the limit is 70, a person doing 70 is entitled to be in the outside lane whether it is 2 or 3 lane motorway
Just as long as that driver is overtaking another vehicle in lane 2. But yes the limit is 70 in any lane for a car or motorcycle.
No. The law is now very clear. It is not the job of private motorists to police the roads. If you travel in a lane on a multi lane road and the lane to your left is empty, you ate committing an offence and can be fined and receive points on your license. Equally miyorists tailgating to try and get motorists to travel at the speed of other traffic can slso be penalised. Lane hoggers and tailgaters are exhibiting selfish behaviour and both can cause accidents.
Who said I fear driving at those speeds? I’ve driven at them in countries where it’s legal. In this country I drive at the maximum speed that’s both safe and legal.
I set my Toyota at max 65 mph on motorways but my car has radar which will slow my car down if the car in front slow down even to a stop my car will stop automatically.
Well Bully for you! Most of us mere mortals don’t have this technology, particularly that large 40 tonner currently filling your rear view mirror.
That 40 tonner has better and more advanced technology than your average car.
By sitting there at 65 you are a menace to those doing 70, causing them to either slow down overtake!
If you can’t cope with a vehicle travelling at 65 on a motorway then don’t use the motorway. You are evidently a danger to other motorists.
How do you manage with all those lorries and trailers?
70 is the maximum so why should we not drive at 65 which is faster than a lorry? I regularly sit behind a lorry doing 60.
Stan.. it his choice to drive at a speed he feels safe at. It is why we have 3 lanes in most cases so we can overtake those who prefer not to drive at the max speed limit everywhere they go.
If you’re setting your cruise control from the car speedo, then expect your true speed to be 61. Figures taken from Tom Tom and my Snooper, Dash cam GPS indicated speeds.
You need to drive the car yourself and not rely too much on technology, such as cruise control. Be aware of the traffic in front, along side and behind you, adjusting your speed as necessary to suit the changing conditions. One of the worst things you can do is set a constant speed, then sit in the middle lane oblivious to what is going on around you.
Totally agree. Ban cruise controls.
If everyone used their cruise control then traffic would not bunch up as much, we would all get there faster and less stressed.
I was driving through a village the other day at an indicated (analogue) 30mph when a smiley face sign told me I was doing 28mph. Gives you a smug sense of wellbeing!
Oh, and by the way, I do know what it’s like to drive at speed In the sixties I owned a Morris 1800 which had a modified cylinder head and twin carbs, before BMC did something similar with 1800’s, and it was well capable of over 100 mph, often and legally.
You can control most speeds with your cruise control toggle on your speed control so there’s really no argument!
Fred I use cruise control and you change speed when needed, who said he sits in middle lane
Oblivious!? Really!?! A large dollop of exaggeration sneaking in there!
Wowee! It’s called adaptive cruise control and I have that plus many other “bells and whistles” on my car. Problem is it doesn’t help one jot when you’re still required to swerve in and out of lorries in the inside lane.
The word “Swerve” says it all about your driving. Its no problem simply sliding in and out in a comfortable, safe manner. It seems to me mr Turnbull that you just don’t like people getting in your way. Learn to chill out Dud!
Irrespective of your technology, you could be holding up traffic wishing to do 69-70mph.
You are correct that the limit for HGV’s is 60, but they are electronically limited, under power on the flat, to 90kph (56mph). This can vary slightly due to worn/new drive axle tyres.
While we are in the #EU lorries are limited to 56mph. Hence why they get away with tailgating motorists in 50mph zone’s. Cameras trigger at 57 mph.
Your car Speedo is well out an why you get us trucks up your a**e. Trucks speedos are calibrated instruments car ones are not. Your 50 is about 42. I passed a 18 plate Citroen this morning and I could see his big green dash said 56 mph but I wiped past him like he was doing 50. My truck does 56 dead on the sat nav.
So, you’re the type of dangerous truck driver who deliberately drives up other peoples a**e. Well, I’ve got news for you mate….. I carry half bricks in my car now; and the next trucker who deliberately hangs on my a**e is getting it in the windscreen. I do hope its you!
I don’t regular just to nimrods who stay in the middle lane when their clearly not doing 50 as vehicles are passing them both sides. Your the stupid person that drives from Edinburgh to London in the middle lane when the inside is empty.
Not quite right the truck speedo is calibrated so is doing 50 on his speedo your the one going slower as yours is under reading
Do you live in the outer Hebrides try sticking to 70 on the M6 or 56 and I guarantee you one he’ll of a scary experience.? Which lane do you sit in😳
Your right foot should be your cruise control. NOT electronics.
I think that you will find that the speed limit for trucks on a tachograph is 56mph. Unless of course, you are a foreign driver in which case anything goes.
I have often had my cruise control set at 70 and been overtaken by lorries on the motorway…
think youi’ll find max speed for lorries is 56mph
Lorry limit is 60mph in uk. But most heavy trucks are speed limited to 56mph (90kph) under EU regs. It is calibrated every 2 years. So if you follow truck who is on his limiter at 56mph your speedo could be reading over 60mph as your car speedo under reads. That’s why in roadworks with a 40or 50 they seem to be going over the speed limit. There sitting around the limits but your car speedo is a few mph over reading.
yes I’ve seen people with that attitude upside down in a ditch
There is a minimum speed limit on motorways. May I suggest you read the Highway Code.
Really Tim, what rule number is it?
Ironbucket may I cordially suggest you actually buy a copy of the Highway Code and read it
There is no specified minimum speed limit on UK motorways unless locally posted. However, driving at speed that is obstructing other roadusers and would appear inappropriate is likely to involve a discussion with the local constabulary and a possible charge of driving without due care and attention. Many motorists driving at unrealistically slow speeds are under the influence of alcohol and or controlled substances, particularly late at night or early in the morning.
A good driver should always be aware of and considerate to other road users.
Being that m/c top out at 30MPH, you can infer a minimum limit (on free running carriageways) see Rule 253.
Addendum: m/c under 50cc
There have been times when I would have been happy to be driving on the M62 as fast as 30 mph.
Minimum speed limits are generally in tunnels, to keep the air moving.
Tim the Highway Code advise is that drivers should “cruise” at a speed that they and their vehicle are comfortable with and within the limit of the road … So cruising at at a steady 60-65mph is quite acceptable …
It isn’t that long ago the advise was that 55mph was the optimal speed to sort of equalise out both fuel consumption and the time taken to travel anywhere …..
I was under the impression that there was a minimum speed limit on motorways. That’s why mopeds etc aren’t allowed!
Wayne, dont know if you are aware but even disabled mobility carrages are allowed on 50mph dual carrigeways as long as they have a yellow flashing light. It is true that some vehicles are not allowed on motorways, likely due to their low speed and that driving at low speed my be an offence covered under some kind of other traffic rule. But Ive yet to see any specific minimum speed limit evidence, if you find some please post a link.
If you slow down due to thick fog, snow or ice on the road etc. you get a ticket?
Speed limits infer good visibility and conditions, maximum and minimum, but you knew that, right?
It’s because they’re underpowered too I believe
It’s not have fast you go, it’s how fast you can react, how observant you are and more importantly how well maintained your vehicle is, too many drive way beyond their talents. Often driving is relegated to (if you’re lucky) 3rd or 4th in priority. You have to ask yourself, just how good a driver your and not how fast your car can go..
If M’way speed limit was 80 you would not receive a fixed penalty unless you were doing 90 or more and if it was 85 no penalty notice unless driving @ 95/96 mph . The 10% added to signed speed limit would give the leeway necessary for vehicle speedometer inaccuracy – maybe the +2 mph should be removed or reduced to +1mph ? That would have relatively more effect on the lower limits so 20 limit = > 22/23 , 30 limit =>33 /34 and 40 limit= 44/45. These are reductions of 8 or 4 %, 6.6 or 3.3% ,and 4 or 2% for 20/30/40 limits.
NB A speed limit is a maximum already – the Code says to drive at an appropriate speed with the limit determining the Maximum .. PS I did a Speed Awareness Course 3 days ago – for 36mph in a 30 !
“Traffic clumps up when everyone goes the same speed”
I don’t see how this can be true, if traffic “clumps up” then there’s clearly a speed differential! Drive how you want but I regularly see the 3rd lane of the motorway with vehicles travelling way too close to each other for the speed they are travelling.
This may have been “caused” by someone driving within the limits in the 3rd lane. However who is to blame? The driver travelling at a legal speed (assuming using 3rd lane correctly to overtake) or the speeding drivers behind? If the speeding drivers were also travelling at the legal speed then “clumping” would not happen, at least certainly not as quickly as is does today with some drivers regularly driving at 80+.
Drivers driving faster than the speed limit must acknowledge they are breaking the law, regardless of opinion, while it may be possible to travel faster the 70mph on the motorway it is not your or anyone else’s right to do so.
General opinion on speeding needs to change, cars may have gotten better but the people driving them are still the same, with same reaction times and same risks of getting something wrong and causing an accident. Speed only makes this worse and increased chance of injury/fatality.
Some are relying on their cars technology too much to do the braking & accelerating
Whilst I appreciate the need to enforce the speed limit I think this is a bad idea as people will be constantly checking their spedometer rather than looking at the road. Unless you can automatically force a car to not go above a given speed limit I can’t see this being workable or at least safe.
Would be interested in others views particularly around the safety aspect of needing to constantly check your speedo to ensure you are not 1 mph over the limit….
There are a lucky few who’s cars can set a speed limit the car won’t exceed., like they can set cruise control
1mph over is a disgrace. Cannot possibly do this with inaccurate analogue speedometers. You would spend all time looking at speedometer and not concentrating on road.
Even some digital speedos aren’t accurate. I have a Honda Civic and it definitely over-reads.
You’d be Ok then if it over-reads…
Plus the difference between a new and a worn tyre – this can account for a speedo reading difference of a few percent.
A few mm over the circumference of a tyre ? #Maths lessons for Philip please
this can actually make a huge difference, even a few mm will take you over the 1mph mark. over inflated and under inflated tyres can too, it also depends if the speed measurement is taken from the wheels or elsewhere,
#CarMechanics lessons for Tony please.
my speedo in my car only shows 10 30 50 70 mph with dashes for every 10 mph its also not facing the driver it faces the centre of the car which due to perspective puts it out.
I know the design you mean. From the British driving perspective speedometer reading 30 will be actually be 18-19. From the left hand drive perspective 30 reading will be 31-32. Bad design.
Although I’ve seen those speedometers magnified to the driver.
I believe it’s a 2% difference. Standing height of a 205/50/17 is 636.8mm which is comprised of a 17″ wheel – 17″ x 25.4mm = 431.8mm, plus the tyre and 205/50 means the tyre wall is 50% of the width so since the tyre wall is at both the top and the bottom of the whole wheel it’s 100% of 205. 431.8 + 205 = 636.8 x 3.142 is 2000mm so the circumference of a brand new tyre is 2m. If you take a new tyre with 8mm tread and wear it down to 1.6mm then you’ll lose 12.8mm diameter and this will cost you 40mm of circumference which is near enough to 2%. This is, probably, why the speedo shows 2mph over what you’re actually doing just in case your tyres are brand new and you’re going 2% further for every revolution.
I am getting new tyres
he is right pie r squared etc, think of a pizza in a restaurant a couple on inches all the way round is double the meal. 8mm new 1.6mm legal 6mm on a 20 inch wheel is more than you would think
When my car was new my speedo over read by 3mph. When the tyres were almost down to the legal limit it over read by 5mph. 225 x 17 tyres.
Yes ! A brand new tyre had a great diameter than a lower legal limit tyre due to the extra depth of the tread. So a new tyre covers a great distance than a worn tyre
Nothing can be manufactured exactly to size, hence tolerances. To expect a tyre to be the same diameter from new to illegal is the thought process of an idiot. Then there is the manufacturing tolerance of the speedometer, whether the tyre is over, under or correctly inflated. For all these reasons the government issued a standard which says you are allowed plus or minus 10 percent. It would require an act of parliament to change that and the CPS would not agree with the Chief Constable without a change in the law. In fact it is not the Chief Constable who gives the extra 2 mph it is a requirement of the CPS to stop cases being thrown out of court. Also bear in mind, no matter how well calibrated the police equipment is that is used to measure your speed, it too has tolerances and while were are at it the calibrating equipment has tolerances. I believe the Chief constable had his mind changed for him and withdrew this idea.
I’ve discussed this on several forums, the main inaccuracies are;
1. One trick of the hand held speed gun is up move the target long the bonnet thus an increase in speed reading can be easily achieved.
2. I read an article from a caliber and under laboratory conditions they are only accurate to +\-0.5%, Which drastically worsens under external influences, like heat refraction, etc
3. The refraction from any droplets in the air also drastically alters the result by 100’s%.
4. Tyre pressures (as motor sport drivers know an increase in tyre temperatures increases pressures thus tyre circumstances thus road speed)
5. Tyre wear thus Tyre circumstance…..
6. A different sized wheel (diameter or width) thus Tyre to compensate will not give exactly the same circumstance. Try this with a piece of string around your original and new tyre.
7. A decent lawyer would use any of these to prove “reasonable doubt” this get kicked out of court like the footballers do.
Any response both positive and negative will be welcomed.
From what I understand, all speedos have to over-read rather than under-read therefore if you are caught then you are way over the limit!
You would spend all of your time watching the speedometer regardless of how accurate it is.
It’s actually incredibly easy. Just aim to drive at least 10% below the speed limit and then if your speed does creep up slightly you will still be driving legally. Trouble is, too many people aim to drive as fast as they think they can get away with instead of making a serious effort to keep within the limit
I generally don’t ‘speed’, but requiring drivers to stay below a limit makes that limit just as meaningless as allowing them to go a percentage over the limit. You might as well say “the limit is 60mph, but for you sir we’ll call it 54”. The bottom line is that any limit is just a stick in the sand, an indication of the adjudged reasonable maximum speed for a particular road / set of conditions, but set with a very broad brush (and I know of perfectly reasonable roads that have been changed from 60mph to 50mph or even 40mph limits out of sheer bureaucratic nannyism). As I read a long time ago: speed does not kill, stopping suddenly is what does that. Nanny State will always worry about that and the logical extension of such worry is to slow us all to a crawl. As long as you drive observantly – according to conditions and other traffic – it should not matter what speed you are doing. Indeed, driving too slowly can be just as bad, especially if it causes frustration to other road users and that frustration leads to somebody else performing a momentarily-unwise overtaking manoeuvre. If an accident occurs, then if an investigating officer suspects that a driver’s speed (high OR low) had a material bearing upon the accident, the officer could then say that the driver was not being properly observant and perhaps not paying attention to the ADVICE of the posted speed limit signs. ‘Speeding’ where no accident occurs and no other road users are inconvenienced is no more than a technical offence, an opportunity for Nanny State to interfere. What’s more, the Police do exercise their own discretion in these matters. I know of an incidence where a motorcycle was clocked at 194mph – fast enough that it outran a police helicopter (don’t bother looking it up – it was never officially recorded, because it was on an unmarked police motorbike during a technical test run and Plod doesn’t want you to know that he has bikes this fast) and the summary senior Police response was “be a little more discreet…- and congratulations, 194mph”. In another incident, the Police prosecuted one ot their own drivers for doing 169mph while ‘testing’ his car (on a clear road, causing no inconvenience to anybody else) – he was ‘grassed up’ by his own car’s recording equipment afterwards and then prosecuted for no other reason than that his fellow officers disliked him. How’s that for exercise of discretion, eh?
Exactly. That’s just what one would need to do! Who employs these idiots!
No police to enforce the limit whatever they set too. Getting caught seems to depend very poor luck!
You are right. The police should spend their resources reducing crime in this country. Unfortunately, that why there are so many speed cameras everywhere you go. Money for old rope. I would love to know where the revenue from the cameras goes these days. Is it the police or the local authority?
Karlos you’ve hit the real reason for all this. Money. They’re money grabbing *******s. Speedos are not accurate enough. Radar is but subject to so many conditions – calibration, conditions at the time, markings, operator or camera. But the police assume they have an absolute accurate speed. Just not true.
And it’s nothing to do with safety it’s all about punishment and revenue.
Let the police stick to their present rule of thumb with discretion.
Problem is the police can use their discretion i.e. in good conditions on a clear road it’s no big deal to drive over the speed limit whereas in poor conditions in heavy traffic it’d be dangerous to drive at, or sometimes anywhere near, the speed limit. Speed cameras have no discretion though and as for the variable speed ones, the number of times I’ve seen them on the M25 showing 40 when there’s hardly a car in sight!
tell him to get another job or live in the real world
There are fools in every job!
Quite frankly you’ve brought this on yourselves.
The Police gave you a 10%+2mph buffer and rather than going “I’ll try not to speed but thanks for understanding I might drift over a bit” you’ve instead took the pee by driving everywhere at the top end of that limit because you know you’ll get away with it.
Now they’re going to take that buffer away, and we’re going to have to listen to you whinge about how hard the most basic driving skill of controlling their cars speed is.
Coming from a non-drive I suspect? Do you realise that these laws were put in place when cars had drum brakes and took twice the distance to stop? The majority of death is caused by peoples poor decisions and mostly not speed. This will not reduce the death rate at all I suspect. If anything this is more dangerous because people will be slamming on more watching their clocks more than the road and slow traffic down to the point where it will take longer to get anywhere. Therefore more pollution, More frustration, more road rage incidents and a lower overall moral for drivers. With 30 million cars on the road daily you are bound to have crashes all over the country its just simple math.
tell him to get a new job or live in the real world ..i am against speeding in 20 30 40 and 50 mph zone but 1 mile over 70
have you got to have your eyes on the Speedo constantly…dangerous
In the real world, the biggest factors ensuring safety, by far, is observation & anticipation, leading to setting an ‘appropriate’ speed. There is no one in the world who can say that any speed guarantees safety. Speed on an OUTPUT of the driving equation, not an input, and if a police chief constable doesn’t understand that, find us one who does.
There should be statutory guidelines for the setting of speed limits. The current system results in some very inappropriate limits leading many to dismiss speeding. The Drink Driving campaign started to work when it became socially unacceptable. Many councils are currently not competent to set appropriate limits.
Have sensible variable speed limits. 20 mph limit on a wide road in the early hours of the morning is not logical
Have sensible variable speed limits. 20 mph limit on a wide road in the early hours of the morning is not logical.
I don’t think speedometers or speed warning signs that light up are accurate to 1 mph. We don’t know what interpretation average speed cameras have. Engineering tolerances are what they are. I know of one of those signs that flash up your speed that lights up 30 mph when you pass it at 28 yet there is another sign that lights up with a green smiley face when you do 31. So all these devices are not that accurate.
We have several locally that light up the moment they detect a car, no matter what speed it’s doing.
This idea is impractical as vehicle speedometers cannot be guaranteed accuracy to such fine tolerances.
It would appear that this idiot Bangham is out to alienate the motorist against the Police. It makes you wonder how people so stupid are able to attain such high office.
They start by joining the police.
Yep, and are promoted to their level of incompetence (the Peter Principle). In this case Chief Constable.
Answer to that one is probably what has happened for years.
I expect that he was no-good at being a normal police officer during his career (may have been a “fast-track”, don’t know that though) and no-one he worked with liked him, so he has been promoted to get him out of the way.! Post Office and BT used to do the same to stop idiots causing operational mayhem.
Sorry, Just noticed that I am agreeing with Stephen G above… Must clean my eyes out so I don’t duplicate other posts.
The police would have to prove you were speeding by getting your speedo checked. Tie up even more money & resouces.
My experience has been that the vast majority of drivers do NOT push the buffer zones which are usually inflated by speedometers which show a speed 10% higher than actual.
So if your speedo shows 60, there’s a good chance you are are actually only travelling at 55mph (the actual value is different in each vehicle).
Now most drivers I suspect are either unaware of this, or do not take it into account when driving, so even if they push the limits, i.e. travel at 56 in a 50, they are ACTUALLY only travelling at 50-52mph. The minority who aren’t doing this, tend to be ignoring speed limits unless there’s a camera.
But losing the buffer zone entirely would probably cause more harm than good – at least for 20 years until a new crop of drivers is on the roads who grew up with the stricter regime. We all grew up viewing speed limits, not as LIMITS, but as the speed we should drive at, assuming the road conditions allow. So we’d continue to try to drive at this limit, but be constantly checking our speedo to ensure we haven’t slipped over. The fall in concentration would easily offset the benefits of reducing everyone’s speed by a couple of mph.
I had to do a speed awareness course for doing 55mph in a 50mph 20 mile stretch of road works. When I queried the 10% + 2mph tolerance I was told “you were speeding and that’s all there is to it so that’s why you’re here”. Unreal!!!!!
More like 57mph.
Speedos can legally overread by up to 10%, but they cannot underread. The amount of overreaf will depend on the speedo’s own accuracy and whether the tyres are over or under inflated. Basically, unless you have a gps navigating system showing speed, the car speedo is not reliable enough for 1mph accuracy, and who wants drivers continually looking at the speedo anyway, when they should looking outside the vehicle.
Although there has to be action against wilful speeding, there has to be a margin of MORE than 1 MPH. Drivers approaching speed cameras obviously slow down, but once out of range, some drivers revert to speeding.
Electronics might have moved on over the years, but it is questionable as to whether camera or speedometers are accurate to 1MPH over or under.
Ban speed camera detectors. Drive according to speed limits and there is no need for them.
Whilst I can understand the need to keep within the law, having to constantly check one is not driving 1 mph over is dangerous. Look at how some people drive; all over the road even at 30 mph and one wonders if they know what a white line is for. That said, keeping within the speed limit is not hard, but often the speed does go 1 or 2 mph over as one goes around a corner, comes down a steep hill or equivalent. It’s not intentional speeding and one always brings it back within the limit. However, to constantly watch one is not going over by 1 mph would cause more accidents, put insurance premiums up and take a financial toll on an already strapped for cash Police Force.
Speed check should be as routine and no more distracting than doing a rolling mirror check, I carry out mirror checks on a 5-10 second basis, it takes well under a second to do and is now an autonomous part of driving but keeps me aware of what is behind me and at my sides, throwing in a speedo check adds no appreciable additional time.
Well said Steven, but then just goes to illustrate that most people are not competent drivers.
Most people are concentrating on their driving and do not get time to get out the stopwatch to check how long it takes between mirror checks. Grammar and punctuation not included.
Car manufacturers will need to make their speedometers uniformly calibrated to an exact measurement to accept a zero tolerance.
If there was the political will they could be prosecuted.
The old do as I say not as I do,obviously these people are always above the law.
The speed limits are outdated and this is just a way to create more revenue
That’s a very ‘ageist’ remark. What do you consider ‘old’ & there’s nothing in the article that suggest the old are speedier drivers than the young. I find it’s quite the opposite, actually!
I think you misread the comment. Try “It is the old ‘Do as I say, not as I do”
Why is the counter argument being made by Neil at Drivesmart? It sounds to me that pretty much no one else agrees with this Bangham given the backlash his comments recieved. Its a non story and will never happen.
because Neil at Drivesmart wants to sell you his speed detector
Until all vehicle speedometers are calibrated and re calibrated on a annual or bi annual schedule which at the moment are not this new view of the police to prosecute surely can not be enforced legally.. most manufacturers speedometers can be as much as 6mph out of true…if it was enforced then it would just be seen as another money making exercise to bolster the police coffers or is this just another way to top up there budgets that they lost through the government cuts.. it would just cause more accidents on the road with people driving and watching there speedometers rather than watching the road for fear of straying over the speed limit by 1mph… this is just crazy… the majority of drivers try to drive legally but it’s the minority of people that give everyone a bad name… come on get a grip and just look what your saying here…
Manufactures build cars with speedometers that over read the speed This is because there could be legal action from a driver who feels a false reading has caused them to be prosecuted for speeding or it could be a criminal prosecution if someone was injured as a result of excessive speed.
However your vehicle speedometer accuracy can vary based on several factors, most notably differences in wheel size due to wear, or change of wheel size, pressure, and temperature. I understand that thiis is why the tolerance guidelines were suggested.
Today, official police guidance states that police speed cameras are approved to work with a maximum tolerance of 2mph at speeds of up to 66mph and 3% thereafter, so why ZERO tolerance ????
Interesting to see Police in Scotland are altering there action on certain speed violations ( http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16253140.speeding-drivers-set-for-warnings-instead-of-fines-and-points )
The police should concentrate their efforts on banging up career criminals. You cannot get a police officer to come out to a crime of burglary or criminal damage now.
Get an incident number, wow!
Priorities are in the wrong place Mr Chief Constable.
Totally agree hand held phone use whilst driving is a bigger issue, but speed cameras can’t catch someone on the phone, this would need an actual police officer to catch them
Not any more. Mobile camera vans now detect speeding, seat belt, and mobile phone offences.
They say that Tony but I haven’t seen any statistics on how many have been prosecuted yet, I would have thought they’d be shouting these numbers from the rooftops if they were even mildly impressive
That is correct. As of 2016 many cameras have been set to catch drivers committing these offences. As of 2018 the technology is also being added to fixed cameras too, in their software. So the camera box may look the same but some will actually be able to photograph drivers using a mobile or resetting their satnav or radio or not wearing a seatbelt; all of which carry fixed penalty charges. It is early days but as its a software change it may be in widespread use faster that we expect. The biggest problem is still drivers not paying attention which leads them to get into crashes and that is much harder to photograph.
Yes that’s the one. Its not speed that causes a crash, you need to move to crash, it’s the rubbish drivers doing anything but driving. I see loads txting, doing make up, eatin breakfast and some working on laptops!
You forgot ANRS also catches driving without tax and or insurance.
People need to read what it says in the legislation. Speed limits are exactly that – A LIMIT. They are not a TARGET that people need to hit every time they get behind the wheel. If you drive below the speed limit on any road you will be making a contribution to lowering the appalling level of death and injury that happens every single day on Britain’s roads. Get over yourselves and slow down for all our sakes!
I imagine this police chief must be pretty near to, or even over retirement age to be such a miserable and bureaucratic old fool ! It would be impossible to introduce such rules without the use of sophisticated speed control aids ensuring that actual speed is
visible by both driver and enforcement agents – i.e.there would be no consideration of tolerances for errors in cars or speed cameras. I suggest you retire this buffoon off. Most of us observe the speed limits very well.
Drivers will be more concerned about watching there speedo rather than the road ahead so I could easily imagine traffic incidents rising if this came into force.
In principle I can understand where he is going with this, reduce speeds and therefore reduce death and injury on the roads, however why not consider something which is enforceable, I don’t know something like zero tolerance for drink driving i’m sure this would be a lot easier to police and also enforce.
will work in some areas where it is monitored ..but quieter roads will still get the twits that treat the roads as racetracks..very hilly where i live so have to use my brakes all the way down them most of the time anyway..am just baffled how they are going to monitor it!
Cashing in before this….
If and when we have driver less cars on the road.
It went over the speed limit….who gets the fine ?
I have never seen such such RUBBISH. ‘1 mph over the speed limit’ Has this guy ever taken the trouble to have checks taken of the accuracy of speedometers in vehicles ? I doubt it very much.
As an example. When my Sat Nav shows the speed of 30 mph my speedometer is reading 27 mph. Which one is correct ?
3 mph difference could mean that I would be fined, but which one is correct?
I have a recording of a SatNav on Cafe table registering 7mph so I always go by the speedo.
It can be just as dangerous to keep to a steady speed, various factors mean that it can lead to speedometer watching to much which does mean your eyes are off the road more.
I live on a main road and the amount of fast motorbikes, I mean fast doing above 50 and maybe up to 80 in a 30mph road also doing wheelies not necessarily the same riders and cars speeding, you never see a cop or speed camera van, the lanes are also marked with merging arrow signs and there is a collisions there at least once a week because someone won’t give or someone trying to bully another driver who won’t give way(won’t be bullied).
What a very stupid man, he is not fit to hold the position he does with such a ridiculous and unworkable approach to road policing. The speed limits are only there to make prosecution easier and to largely remove subjectivity and discretion from the process of proving guilt. It is beyond stupidity to suggest driving 1mph above the limit is, in any way, unsafe. This is just about petty law enforcement than it is about encouraging safe driving and punishing poor driving. The term ‘speeding’ has negative connotations of dangerous or irresponsible driving, it should not be used for straying above prescribed limits by a few mph or so. The current ACPO guidelines are sensible and balanced, we should stick with them for the protection of all and not revert to draconian law enforcement for the sake of it.
It should be set at 3 mph in a 30 zone (33mph) , 4 mph in a 40 zone (44mph) 5 mph for all other speed limits over 40 mph , why is it that police don’t enforce speed limit for people towing trailers ?. You see people towing trailers exceeding the speed for towing and even on motorways exceeding 70 mph !
It would be interesting to know if the speedometers in the experimental driverless cars are accurate to within 1mph?
Whilst I cannot tolerate speeding motorist this idea, apart from being idiotic, if introduced is bound to alienate many members of the public. People who would normally support the police would have great difficulty in cooperating voluntarily with the police. It has also one great flaw and that is the accuracy of speedometers, how many are spot on. If the police have time to follow up motorists for 1mph over the limit why have they not got time to take crime off our streets? Get real Mr Bangham or change your job.
Typical reaction from a minor police authority area chief. Maybe he thinks this is his one moment of fame. No doubt it will bring in some cash from fines but alienate motorists from lending assistance to his officers when in need. About time he and others like him join the real world. Pathetic!
What’s the point of having zero tolerance on speeding when so many fail to stop on a red light. Are traffic lights now ‘advisory’ ? Deal with this problem and the speeders will no longer be a problem.
Its all about money, he has been pushed by the gov. to say this just so they can cash in the extra money, if the 2 or 3 miles extra ( for inaccuracies in the speedometer) is not allowed it will generate many more hundreds of thousands of pounds…
Maybe he is after more funding? His approach would certainly achieve that. Sorry I am a cynic.
There are insufficient traffic police to enforce the equally dangerous issue of mobile phone use whilst5 driving, they are not around to enforce the various parts of the Highway Code – like lane hogging or tailgating – so, unless there is to be a vast increase in fixed cameras (something that I suspect the police would champion anyway), such a move is not likely to be effective. As to speedo accuracy which depends ultimately upon wheel revolutions, the science of mathematics shows the variability of vehicle speedos is significant simply from the wear on your tyres!
Having seen a child stepping out into oncoming traffic in a 30 mph zone, I believe we should all adhere to 20 and 30 mph limits. Notwithstanding this all of us will at one time or another momentarily stray over these limits by a few mph when our attention is taken elsewhere such as a downhill incline. I don’t believe we should be punished for that momentarily stray if the margin is small.
Another point is that cars today have better braking than when the speed limits were put in place. My 1955 Alvis compared with my BMW is a case in point. So if the law is to be changed so should the speed limits upwards to reflect the improvement in braking capabilities of cars currently on the road. I will still drive both as carefully as the conditions demand. I will do no more than 60mph on the motorway in the Alvis and 81 mph on the French motorways In my BMW despite the latter being designed to storm the German autobahn.
Also, I recall that the one of the past Chief Constables of North Wales applied a zero tolerance on exceeding the speed limit. He was eventually caught doing just that!
Lastly policing should be by consensus and it sounds as though this idea clearly fails here
Yes, cars have improved, but as someone else rightly pointed out, we haven’t. We the driver are still the same as when cars were 1st put on the road. Thinking distances haven’t changed (braking distances have) therefore the total stopping distance is only slightly reduced.
Hi agree with Chris 80 mph on motorways is much more in keeping with modern day motoring. 30 and40 yes is important it adhere to these limits as they mostly apply to built up areas. What I find more dangerous is motorist driving under the speed limit on A and M roads ie 40 on. A 60 or70 limit. Seem many a near incidence especially HGV trying to move out at the last minute!
The 30 mph limit was set in the 1930’s as I recall. Cross ply tyres, drum brakes and terrible suspension systems, not to even mention the quality of the road surfaces. All these factors combine to suggest that the 30 mph limit is way out of date and should be raised to , say, 40 mph. Also, why do the Germans have a lower accident rate on their autobahns where there are no speed limits, whereas we spend half our time looking at the speedometer rather than concentrating on our driving???
It’s true that cars perform better than they did in the 1930s, but a pedestrian in an urban area won’t be able to cross the road any faster today (especially as there are so many more elderly folk) and will find it more difficult to find a gap to cross if all the vehicles are doing 40. I suspect that some limits are set low to control drivers who are not sensible enough to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions.
When we lived in France some years ago I had the misfortune fortune to not having reduced my speed quickly enough even though I had seen the massive camera warning board common in that country. That resulted in a €90 fixed penalty being issued for 56km/h as I crossed the 50km/h line, my first infringement in 45 years on the road. The back of the fixed penalty notice clearly laid out the statutory margins which at 50km/h is, r was then, 55km/h. The interesting aspect to this is that exceeding the autoroute limit of 80km/h invited a lower fine then that of the urban area 50km/h, the logic being speeding even by a modest margin in built up areas is far more dangerous than on an autoroute by a similar margin. May be those fixed rules have since been modified, I don’t know, but that the tolerable margins were laid own by statute seemed to me to be a sensible, objective and less bureaucratically cumbersome system than the subjective system used in the UK . As for zero tolerance, I suspect that even the latest vehicles will not have instrumentation of that level of accuracy and older one will most certainly not.
A zero tolerance policy, apart from probably being unenforceable, will alienate the police further in public opinion. We do not need or choose to live in a police state, rather the police should serve the public.
I can understand that there are arguments for reviewing the current guidelines but equally it should be recognised that cars have improved dramatically in safety designs since many speed limits were set & these limits should also be reviewed.
Car speedometers are in-accurate so a 1mph over is just a stupid proposal. If people have to look constantly at the speedo they will not be concentrating on the road so there will be more accidents and that will defeat the purpose of getting speed down.
Just wish there were some police around to enforce tailgating laws. Now that would make sense rather than this baloney idea
I have seen many police cars going over the speed of marked 20 mph so now I will use my dash cam with GPS to video them .it’s one law for them and one for us. NOW YOU WILL HAVE DRIVERS LOOKING AT THE SPEEDO .INSTED OF LOOKING AT THE ROAD AHEAD.hope the police keep a check on that inspectors speed.
I’d like to drive behind this chief constable I’m sure he drives 100% the speed limit every time he gets behind the wheel!!!!
Speeding is obviously an issue and sensible people don’t “massively” speed deliberately. The allowance was indeed introduce to allow for factors like equipment inaccuracies, varying tyre pressures etc. Someone doing 40 or 50 in a 30 needs to be caught. No-one disagrees, but hitting someone at 30mph or 31mph will cause negligible difference in injuries.
So before a zero tolerance is applied to speeding, a tougher stance on drinking and driving should be looked at. ANY amount of alcohol can affect a driver, even if everyone will react different to small amounts. To compensate the limit should be zero and then the major cause of death and serious injury on the UK roads is irradiated immediately. Target the worst offenders, not the one that makes a slight error in judgement for a few seconds.
Before I see a tougher stance on drink drive I would like to see reliable stats of how much of a problem are the people between the EU limit of 50ml and the 3 countries like the UK on 80ml as most I hear about are not even close to the 80ml and that is simply irresponsible drink drive as opposed to responsible if there is such a thing and the other factor is EVEN if the sober driver is to blame for the incident the Police record it as an achohol related incident just to make the figures look worse and when we are short of money how much do you throw at a problem that is probably nearing the point of diminishing returns? but more importantly having just been on a speed awareness course one thing I did learn is at 30mph if an emergency stop you touch the persons knee caps at 32mph you hit them at a massive 11 mph, so sadly you will be massively wrong at 31 mph if its you own knee caps I hit!!! Cant remember all the examples but at a 100mph you are still over the national speed limit of 70 at 71mph rather than stopped, it did make a valid point to virtually all attendees