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Speeding continues to be hard to detect and enforce

By Sasha Davison
News entry dated 07th Feb 2018

As a motorist it is important to be aware of the speed limit at all times to ensure that you are driving safely and that you are not breaking the law, but there have been a couple of speeding-related stories in the news recently which may change how likely it is that you will get caught if you were to drive a bit too fast. Here at PetrolPrices, we want to keep you informed and updated on all the latest speeding-related stories.

Wear your seatbelt

The first update is less to do with speeding itself and more to do with speed cameras, as more than a third of British police forces have admitted to routinely using mobile speed camera vans to catch people breaking other road laws.

This tactic saw 8000 drivers who were not wearing a seatbelt and 1000 drivers who were using their mobile phone while driving getting fined, with 500 more being caught for unnamed offences in 2016.

With 16 out of 54 police forces using these vans to crack down on motorists, they have been able to dish out £100 fines for not wearing a seatbelt and £100 fines plus 3 penalty points for using a mobile phone behind the wheel (although this has doubled to £200 and 6 points since 2017).

Among the forces who say they routinely use mobile speed camera vans to catch unlawful behaviour are Hampshire, Northumbria, Kent and North Wales, and there are also 4 other forces who say that they use this method occasionally.

Could this revelation be enough to encourage people to wear their seatbelts and not use their phones whilst driving due to the fear of being caught? It is thought that this could be the key to changing drivers’ behaviours, but can this really be more effective than campaigns showing the kinds of horrific crashes that can occur when a motorist is distracted by their phone or not wearing their seatbelt?

Speeding car

Tighter regulations

The topic of scaring people into following road laws has been present in another speed-related story this week as Chief Constable Anthony Bangham came under fire from other police leaders for suggesting that officers should be less lenient on those speeding even 1mph over the limit and that the 10% buffer should be scrapped.

In addition to this it was suggested that he was backing the implementation of websites where people can upload dashcam footage of unsafe drivers to alert the police, causing campaigners to argue that the roads are already covered with CCTV, speed cameras and Automatic Number Plate Recognition Systems and motorists really don’t need to be watched any more closely.

It has also been said that this idea would cause mistrust and suspicion amongst drivers, especially as the UK has the most surveillance cameras in Europe and the network responsible for monitoring motorists takes 40 million photos per day, people do not need to feel like they are being spied on by fellow road users too.

In reaction to Bangham’s claims that officers were not doing enough to enforce speed limits, a speed camera was set up outside his office in Hindlip Hall near Worcester by the Sunday Times to see what kinds of speeds were being driven closer to home.

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The results showed that 117 motorists were caught speeding in the 30mph zone within an hour, at a rate of 2 per minute, with a quarter driving between 31 and 35mph and the highest recorded speed was 51mph which shows how much more work would need to go into clamping down on minor speeding offences.

Following this, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham has clarified that his aim of penalising even those going 1mph over the speed limit would not be achievable and has said that it would be suitable on occasions where someone was driving over the limit outside a school for example.

Tickets revoked

It was also revealed in the news that almost a quarter of a million speeding tickets issued in the last year were cancelled. Greater Manchester police revoked 28% of their tickets, West Midlands 21% and Bedfordshire 19%. On the other end of the spectrum, both Staffordshire and North Wales police stood by 99% of their tickets. Gloucestershire Police said that 43% of tickets cancelled were because of officers not being able to trace guilty drivers. Previous Home Office showed that 53% of cars broke motorway speed limits, 53% also breached 30mph areas and a huge 81% went over 20 in a 20mph zone.

With these types of stories highlighting speeding issues and other violations too, hopefully, it will put these factors at the forefront of drivers’ minds so they are less likely to commit them themselves.

Do you think speeding regulations need to be stricter? Would you expect a speed camera to check for seatbelts? Let us know

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