The Department of Transport released data last week that revealed speeding offences reached a six year high in 2016. There were a total of 2.2 million speed-related prosecutions during the year, compared to 1.6 million in 2011. This has sparked major road safety concerns, as excess speed contributes to almost 25% of all fatal crashes on British roads. This highlights just how dangerous speeding is.
Drivers speeding three times per journey
Despite these shocking statistics, six in ten British motorists admit that they are willing to exceed speed limits. Indeed, the average motorist will knowingly do so three times per journey.
This is despite the introduction of higher fines for those who are caught driving over the speed limit. The new speeding fines were introduced on 24 April 2017. The changes saw three bands of speeding put into place. The applicable fines increase in severity depending on just how fast a motorist is driving over the limit.
Many drivers questioned believe that there were legitimate reasons for speeding. Examples provided included driving to A&E, taking a passenger in labour to hospital, driving on an empty road, needing the toilet or escaping the police!
Almost as worrying as these findings is the fact that 55% of drivers questioned about speed-specific road signs couldn’t identify the sign that signals the end of a 20mph limit and the beginning of a 30mph limit. Meanwhile, 33% didn’t know what the national speed limit sign was telling them.
This research suggests that neither increasing speeding fines nor putting more signs on the road will encourage drivers to slow down. As such, what else can we do to try to make our roads safer for all who use them?
(Credit – Albert Bridge)
Insurance company More Th>n has been working on one possible solution. The company proposes showing photos of car crashes alongside speed limit signs to warn drivers of what they could face if they don’t obey the law. It’s a tactic that has been used on cigarette packets to try to deter people from smoking.
Using graphic images on cigarette packets has been proven to work by scientists. Smokers who see the images say that they make them understand how dangerous their habit is and that the images have made them consider quitting smoking. The MoreTh>n theory is that if showing this type of image is enough to encourage someone to give up an addictive habit, it may be that the same type of deterrent will work for speeding motorists.
More Th>n conducted a study to test this theory. It found that 67% of drivers felt heightened awareness of speeding dangers when they saw the signs, while 56% thought that the images were shocking (which made them effective).
Now, the company is sharing its findings with local police forces in the hope that they can carry out further trials, as more than half of the 2,000 drivers surveyed said that they think that the signs depicting car crashes would encourage drivers to slow down.
Unfortunately, little has been revealed so far about how young children will be prevented from exposure to such shocking images. Shops are obliged to hide the images on cigarette packets, but it is unclear how younger viewers will be protected from horrific images on speeding signs.
The study also found that 25% of motorists don’t think that speed awareness courses act as a deterrent. This statistic adds further weight to the argument that the way in which speeding drivers are dealt with needs to change.
Road safety charity Brake has found this data very concerning. It has come up with several strategies that it would like to see implemented in order to combat speeding. These include increased enforcement by police, a default 20mph limit in all built-up areas, and ‘intelligent speed adaption’ to be fitted to all new cars as standard, in order to help drivers to stick to speed limits. Such systems either alert the driver that he/she is speeding or automatically reduce the speed of the vehicle.
There are a number of different options that could be implemented in order to deter drivers from speeding. Given the rising incidence of speed-related offences, it’s time that some of them are put into action to make our roads safer.
What would be the most effective tactic to deter you from speeding? Why is it that higher fines are failing to cut speeding offences? Share your views in the comment section below.
20 mph limits should be ignored whenever possible other than outside schools ..This limit is being imposed on us by the anti car lobby and supported by Brake who also have an anti car agenda.Why do we the majority keep bowing down to these facists
In the US they have speed reduction laws outside schools. When the lights are flashing drivers must reduce speed to 15mph over a certain distance. This is heavily enforced! When the lights go out traffic is permitted to go back to 30MPH. Why do we not have a similar system here?
Very true Richard have seen this myself
The main changes that would encourage me to stay within the speed limits would be 1) raising them to a realistic level and 2) stop councils from inappropriately using unbroken white lines to enforce the speed limits (Gloucestershire is hugely guilty of this; changing loads of former NSL roads to 50mph while extending the unbroken white lines into sections where it is clearly safe to overtake).
Furthermore, you said: “This has sparked major road safety concerns, as excess speed contributes to almost 25% of all fatal crashes on British roads. This highlights just how dangerous speeding is.”
There’s nothing like a bit of cherry-picking to emphasise a point! What proportion of ALL accidents have “exceeding the speed limit” as contributory factor? I’ll give you a clue; it’s tiny. In addition, if excess speed “contributes to” only 25% of fatal accidents, then what are the main contributory factors in the other 75%? Are those contributory factors also present in the 25% where excess speed was also a factor?
In fact I think you’ll find that by far the most common contributory factor in road accidents is poor observation; how is that going to be addressed by adding even more distractions, in the form of these signs that more than are very stupidly suggesting, by the roadside?
It’s time the REAL causes of road accidents were addressed instead of concentrating on a minor factor which happens to be very easy to make money from!
Agree 100%. Speed limits are not realistic for modern roads with modern vehicles.
the 70MPH speed limit is just an easy revenue streak for councils.
They should focus their efforts on proper driver training and education in terms of understanding road conditions and road traffic signs. I think you will find idiots on the road kill more people than speed.
It’s time the REAL causes of road accidents were addressed instead of concentrating on a minor factor which happens to be very easy to make money from!
Real causes of accidents = drivers. Totally agree that they should be dealt with. As for raising the speed limits to align with your poor skillset, what planet are you on?
How about mobile phone use, tailgating and general lack of training. How many drivers have ANY form of refresher training since they first passed their test in 19 ?? or even 20??
Agree with EVERY word John, speed limits are “Draconian” in many areas and “Scammy Van’s” just collect revenue and do NOT deter anyone.
The simple reason more drivers are being caught is because there are more cameras and more police officers checking how fast we are driving instead of tackling real crimes.
No Chris drivers are NOT being caught, read the article properly the statistics were from people being interviewed not detection statistics. There is no excuse if you get caught speeding you’ve broken the law and been caught.
There are not enough police to tackle anything, and if you read last months petrol prices articles you would know there are fewer cameras on the road and over half of those are switched off!
I live on a busy 60mph road (A39), as the traffic passes through our hamlet the limit reduces to 40mph, there is a flashing “slow down 40mph” sign at each end of the village, those signs are almost always triggered by the limit being ignored, I would love to see cameras installed as well as drivers are ignoring what is an important piece of signage, and yes there have been deaths in our village due to speeding.
I would welcome the Netherlands solution, first a limit sign then, a flashing sign telling you are driving too fast, then a camera, ignore them and you are fined, no arguments your fine is income related but you don’t get points.
Sorry to disagree, but the article states that “speeding offences reached a six year high in 2016. There were a total of 2.2 million speed-related prosecutions during the year, compared to 1.6 million in 2011.” Frankly fairly useless, and misleading, statistics on their own. By how much has the number of cars gone up, how many more “safety” cameras (particularly mobile) are there, etc. ?
“six in ten British motorists admit that they are willing to exceed speed limits.”
that’s what I was referring to and,
“The study also found that 25% of motorists don’t think that speed awareness courses act as a deterrent.”
These are statistics based on opinion and as you say useless.
The only deterrent is going to be more cameras (that work) and 100% prosecution, along with signage that gives fair warning, and a massive increase in fines
No Rich, you are just reading what you want to see; you need to read what is actually there – sorry to have to point this out to you, but it says: “speeding offences reached a six year high in 2016. There were a total of 2.2 million speed-related prosecutions during the year, compared to 1.6 million in 2011.” . I personally think drivers are being ripped off by thousands of new cameras on “smart” motorways where variable speed limits are being used to catch drivers out. Its no longer about road safety, its about how much revenue a cash strapped government can screw out of drivers!
I’ve always though that the warning you’re going too fast should be followed by a proper speed camera otherwise what’s the point ?
Sadly Chris, drivers who kill someone when driving to a poor standard are REAL criminals. Over the limit is poor driving!
Quoting percentages and then using absolute numbers (1.6M increasing to 2.2M) doesn’t take into account the rise in population… Nor the rise in population who are more used to driving on the rhs of the road.
There are more British people living in Europe than Europeans living in Britain, so trying to bend this argument in that way will not work.
The biggest problem is too many changes of speed limits on many roads. Poor repetition of speed signs. Quite often end up inadvertently driving too slow or too fast if a sign has been missed or covered by overgrown trees, hedges or even completely missing! I suspect only a small percentage of people deliberately break the speed limit. Most are just getting from A to B. If it is truly a problem, the answer is simple. We will all have low power cars or create a truly unique public transport system.
Personally, I think that the best reminder are the flashing signs that remind drivers that they are going too fast, especially when travelling from fast roads into urban areas. I think they have more impact. There are several round here at the entrance into villages and I am very grateful that these reminders are there. Like most people, I don’t want to speed.
French villages often have a smiley or sad face as you enter depending on your speed – this is much less agressive and from what I saw more likely to encourage compliance – perhaps shouting less works 🙂
These are proven to be highly effective.
forst of all USE SPEED LIMITS WHERE IT IS REQUIRED ONLY.
and do not use them where there is no clear reason of doing so.
this way people will learn limit is there because it is a specific reason for it not just because councillor is living on the road and he moaned about a noise ot because it is good cash making place!
Also speed limit on Motorways should be higher than one on ordinary dual carriage A roads!
I don’t know where you are from Piotr, but in the UK you abide by UK laws. That includes speed limits, and they are set for reasons you may not be aware of, all you need to know is there is a legal speed limit that you have to abide by.
If there is a non-obvious reason for a speed limit then we need to be told – a simple standard road sign will do, such as bends in the road – in the 21st century people should be treated as sentient beings not as robots.
No need to be rude about where Piotr lives – this is unnecessary!!
I agree, very patronising
All I said was I don’t know where he is from, I don’t know where you are from and you don’t know where I’m from, nothing rude or patronising about that.
And quite often there is a road sign, have you not seen “accident black spot” or “40 motorcycle fatalities”? if we had extra signs to justify speed limits at each speed limit you would bankrupt the country.
The far easier solution is see a 40mph sign, then stick to 40mph and don’t complain if you are caught exceeding it.
A lot of people are simply selfish, they do not accept speed limits, how many does one see in foggy condition for instance overtake at speed, how many fly past on 50 limits on motorways doing 60-70, they DO NOT care, does not apply to them !!
I think that Sara’s comment about informing the driver that they are speeding is worth following up. I was recently caught speeding in a 30 mph zone through carelessness rather that a deliberate act and was the only time on my journey that I did break the speed limit, unfortunately the system of detection is flawed in that you can be caught out when speeding having inadvertently done so, whereas another driver can be doing so all day long and not get caught and in doing so can be driving at outrageous speeds.
The whole speeding issue needs a complete overhaul
Mike, unfortunately carelessness when driving even if it’s a little bit of extra speed, can easily have the same effect as purposeful excess speed and it is still breaking the law. How would you feel if you were injured by someone saying what you just said?
Would you be willing to ‘let them off’, I suspect not!
We are supposed to concentrate when driving, that’s speed, other road users, road layout.
All too often drivers don’t concentrate, as they are consciously or even sub-consciously distracted
Driving within the speed limit does not mean you are driving safe…
Middle and fast lane lane hoggers, tail gaters, tired drivers, drunk drivers, older half blind drivers at night who should not be driving, phone users, applying make up, nervous lost divers etc.
Speed limits on Motorways should be raised to 80mph and cameras on slower roads next to schools etc and there should be more Police out looking for bad drivers instead of cameras on motorways. If its foggy the Police should be on the motorway enforcing distance between cars, no point in driving at 50 mph 2m off the bumper of the car in front.
I agree, although I must admit I haven’t seen any ‘nervous lost divers’ recently. They would certainly be considerably lost.
It’s probably their snorkels suddenly popping up out of the water distracting road users and causing accidents.
In Norway they narrow town street lanes into one every 2 or 3 hundred yards it works
The number of head-on collisions must increase..!!
There are lots of good comments. Warning signs that tell you your speed and ask you to slow dow should be followed 50 yards down the road with another camera that records your number if you have ignored the warning. Secondly today’s cars are too powerful (I have driven Aston Martins, Lamborghini’s etc on the race track), the output should be cut to a sensible level, doing two things. 1) making them more fuel efficient and 2) stopping idiots using the roads as race tracks. Next. I have noticed people increasing using phones on both text and calls. The main text culprits seem to be women as do most of the young people who speed, are they trying to prove something? The answer is to impose large fines on produced evidence and by this I mean evidence given by the public and motorists in the form of video proof as well as the normal means.
On a recent holiday in France I never felt safer in a car driving at the recommended speed limit of 130 kph (approx 80 mph) on the motorways there. I think we ought to try this in the UK as most drivers sense that 70 mph is too slow and settle for 70-80 mph (with the consolation of +10% on speedometer reading being inadmissible within the law). Where traffic starts to build up, variable speed limits work well as at present on the M25, M42 and other UK motorways. Speed is what motorways were designed to handle to ensure traffic moves from A to B efficiently and to keep drivers alert. The arrival of ‘smart motorways’ is the perfect time to extend variable speed limits more widely including a higher speed limit when traffic is light.
Variable speed limit signs, with appropriate speed limits for time of day and night, weather conditions, and specific times and locations such as school starts and finishes around the school gates. Once we have speed limits that drivers understand relate to actual conditions and therefore are fair and sensible then all the traffic calming can finally be removed and we can have enjoyable and comfortable driving once again, and reduction in damage to cars.
Firstly there is now getting too many new rules on the highway code that many drivers have no knowledge of plus now more than the speed limits of 30 mph in built up areas , 60 on most other areas NSL & 70 on motorways , in places the limit changes from 30 -20 -40 -nsl then 20 just within a length of highway no wonder people are going at speeds over the legal limit . I cannot understand while on nsl roads it is thought any speed will do or driving over 70 on motorways is ok .The driving law is set to a limit for this country because the government says so , Get a grip you drivers who think it is ok to drive a a speed you think you can handle , Most of us can probably drive at 100 miles per hour , but chose to keep to the legal limit to live another day , leave earlier if in that much hurry & get there safely every time. All law breakers should be heavily fined by the speed over the top . NO I am not a goody good shoes just someone who wants to enjoy life & not in hospital or a box . SLOW DOWN !!!!
Speeding is an emotive discription, speed in itself does not kill or maim, true the results of a high speed crash will be more severe. The real problem is inappropriate speed, more realistic and fewer limits should be considered. Motorways should be set at 80mph the old built up area idea of 30mph is sensible and 20mph should be very sparingly used, outside schools at school times for example. If these rules were applied drivers would have more respect for the system of limits and be much more likely to drive within them. Road traffic police could then spend more time in policing general driving standards and clamping down on the dangerous drivers.
I agree speed itself is not the problem, it is the inappropriate use of speed.
More sensible use of speed limits is required, I live in a village and have to pass a school which has a 20 MPH limit, the ONLY time there is a mobile speed camera is out os school hours or at weekends when the tourists and visitors are travelling to our picturesque village. I could understand this during school hours but surely any other time is purely revenue raising!
Well said Sir, completely agree, in APPROPRIATE speed !!!!
Define inappropriate please, because in my world one driver’s inappropriate is another driver’s normal
The comment that raising the level of fines doesn’t work has not been properly tested. The current fine is about the same as a tank of petrol and the vast majority are happy to take the risk as the chance of being caught is minimal. I suggest the fine is increased on an annual basis by at least 25% per year till the number of speeding offences drops to an acceptable (if there is such a thing as “acceptable” and the country doesn’t adopt a “zero tolerance” approach. If your initial thought is to rubbish this idea, ask yourself how much would you risk being fined to be absolutely sure (that means always driving below the speed limit so you inadvertently creep over it). I’ll bet it would be considerably higher than the current fine. From my own experience after discussing this with others, the figure is between £1,000 and £2,000. A small increase in fines will not act as a deterrent.
Speed limits are not wrong, the drivers are. Speed, idiots or worst of all a combination of an idiot speeding kill on our roads.
Three step solution:
1. Highway authorities/local councils could do more to signify what the speed limit is in a particular area with better, bigger signs repeated or the radar warning type speed detector.
2. Enforce current road traffic laws. Police forces are undermanned and have not time to deal with road offenses anymore and it is too easy to drive badly with impunity, which leads to further deterioration of driving standards.
3. Improve driving standards. Make the driving test more realistic to match todays’ roads, including basic handling the car such as reversing and parking. Instead we seem to be dumbing down the driving test? Compulsory driving tests every 5 years for all drivers would improve driving standards and could be self funding. May even take some of our worst drivers off the road!
I agree. It’s the person behind the wheel that’s the problem not the person defining the limit. That’s why the driver needs a deterrent to act the way he/she does. There is ample government research to show that the only way to deter people is either to increase the fine or to increase the chance of being caught. As the cost to the general public of increasing the chance of being caught by the use of more speed cameras or more traffic police is high, the only other option is to increase the level of the fine to one which will act as a deterrent.
Whilst traveling at the posted 30mph on a wide and quite long road where I live i am constantly intimidated by the driver behind trying to get into my boot. and as soon as he turns off so the next one tries to do the same I have taken to using my speed limiter to stop myself from inadvertently speeding up as there is often a speed trap on this stretch of road
Surly technology has progressed enough to allow cars to be governed by the posted speed limit this way know one can speed.but I guess the government wouldn’t want that as they make so much money from fines
we could what is done in grees, if a driver kills a persone while driving he has to give 25% of his wage to family for life that would make driver think more
No I dont think so. knowing one has killed someone, or injured them is enough of a deterent IF people think about the consequences of driving at inapropriate speeds. Making them think is the key thing, and speed awareness courses can help, but limiiting them to those just a bit over the limit is silly. They should be instead of points for those in teh current band an COMPULSORY on top of points for those above that band. The faster the person was driving, the more they need to think about the potnetial consequences!
A lot of the problems are caused by inaccurate speedometers. My motorcycle’s speedo says 70 but at the same time my Sat-Nav (more accurately, I assume) indicates 63mph.
So many people are driving along with their knuckles clenched until they turn white, assuming that they are doing 70 and everyone else is reckless, when they are only passing someone doing 66 or 67..!! (The difference is Walking Pace)
Speed Cameras are triggered by exceeding the Speed Limit + 10% + 2, so the speeds up to and including 70, and 71 to 78, make allowance for the need to be travelling at the appropriate speeds to stay safe, keep at a sensible distance, and to get out of potential trouble.
The problem with speed limits they are not thought out correctley.With modern cars yhe speed limit on moterways is very slow.Speed limits throughout the country need looking at as they are still in the 1940″s not in the 2000″s.It is my opinion that a lot of the speed limits have been put there to make money not to improve road saftey.I do about 70000 miles a year and it appears to be the case all over the place.It is time that the limits are controled by drivers and local people not by buracrats.
What will a blanket speed limit of 20 in built areas do? Another piece of thinking designed to restrict the many unnecessarily for the few who will take no notice of it as they take no notice of 30 mph now. A case of more of the same when it does not work already.
What would deter me from speeding? The biggest thing would be a cruise control that can be set to any speed and applies the brakes when I am going too fast as well as the accelerator when I slow down. One touch on the brake or clutch will turn it off. Then I do not have to watch the speedo incessantly rather than the road. In future this can be linked in with satnavs so that any infringement will have a voice telling us so. This will cost the revenue raisers a lot of money but will save the motorist being penalised by a genuine error. Train drivers have similar safeguards, why not drivers.
If a council considers that an out of town road needs 50 mph speed limit then it is an admission that the road is inadequate for the purpose and should be re-engineered within 2 years at the expense of the council concerned. Painting lines and putting speed limits for no apparent purpose is clearly a revenue exercise as it does not clearly add to road safety. It also suggests that the road is safe at 50 mph when the national speed limit makes not such assumption.
Many local country roads around me have had their speed limit reduced from the national speed limit to 40 mph for no apparent reason. I asked the local council if the roads had become more dangerous or was it for some other reason and asked them to have the courtesy to reply but, three weeks on, they have not bothered to reply.
and they won’t so don’t hold your breath. It’s happening all over Europe, health and safety! Here in France the government decreed that EVERY town and village in France must create a 20mph zone, so millions and millions of Euros were spent on putting elevated stretches, some only 10 metres long and the corresponding signage in place..
Generally in France drivers obey the 50kpm limit in every town and village, simply because a Gendarme with a radar gun is likely to be hiding behind a wheelie bin or bush somewhere, but they speed up immediately afterwards. The difference in the UK is drivers drive everywhere at 43mph irrespective of the limit
So I personally think part of the driving test should include a high speed test, If you can’t handle a car at speed you should be failed, maybe then you wouldn’t have the driver who drives everywhere too slowly, thereby frustrating other more competent drivers and making them overtake which is a manoeuvre where a danger exists.
Fines are not the answer. First offence: Speed awareness course. Second and subsequent offences, add points to the licence. This also avoids the accusation, which may or may not be true, that speeding fines are a good source of revenue.
I think everybody should abide by the law or been fined.
In the small village where I live there is a school and it’s supposed to be 30 mph but you get speeding cars 24 / 7 nobody cares
Most of the village pets have been killed by the speeding traffic
And with more houses being build even more cars
Driving at 37mph in a 30 limit you get caught fined, 2nd time bigger fine, maybe 3rd time even bigger time next time your car impounded and scrapped like they do to those caught without road tax, 40/50mph or more in 30mph limit car impounded, 10 year driving ban. Hit them where it hurts.
There is only one solution to speeding and that is to employ technology and fit ALL vehicles new and retrofitted on older models, with speed limiters which detect the speed limit for a particular area by radio signal, and over ride the driver input, preventing the vehicle breaking that limit. The limits should be set at 20mph in ALL inner city areas. Anyone taking a few moments to obvserve vehiclez on any random stretch of road in the UK will soon recognise the human behind the wheel has an inability to stay within speed limits.
This will increase the number of head on accidents, as it will make overtaking much more difficult, particularly if the car being overtaken accelerates.
many drivers are completely ignorant about everything they should know a bout driving and it is getting worse day by day some should be stopped from driving
Moronic idea. Speed and accidents shouldn’t be conflated, they’re two different things.
The massive increase is mainly the result of the general public’s ignorance of smart motorways. Guess 90% of the UK drivers have no idea what HADECS 3 cameras are. Day after day you see cars going past these cameras well over 70mph. Also the operation of some smart motorways such as M42 (Birmingham) and M1 Bedfordshire were speed limits vary from gantry to gantry (60/50/40) for no other reason than to generate revenue.
#SmartMotorways North London driver fined and banned this week after HADECS 3 cameras on the M1 Derbyshire recorded his speed at 128mph
My biggest concern, is the speeds of most drivers on countryside B roads, most people seem oblivious to the dangers of driving at high speeds around country winding roads putting the careful driver at risk. Anybody reading this please ” SLOW DOWN “
This is not a reflection of more speeding – I would suggest that if the accident rate has not also gone up by 25% then the claim that speed contributes to 25% of accidents needs to be recalculated – this evidence is not shown in this article.
This is more a reflection of more cameras and easier prosecutions than changes in driving style – and is a reflection that speed limits on some roads are inappropriate to modern vehicles (why is 70mph in a Morris Minor safe – and on the same road, same conditions, the same speed assessed as as safe for a modern VW or Ford (or any other modern make).
This is garbage reporting and selective use of statistics
Of course cars that are too efficient too fast and too easy to drive quickly with no real physical sensation of speed might just be a contributing factor
On the other hand motorway smart limits changing every set of lights can catch an angel napping!
Root and branch not Elastoplast is needed and as usual we have no joined up thinking just vested interests competing
I totally agree. I can be on the speed limit on the motorway see the drop in speed sign 400m ahead, take my foot off the pedal and still be over the speed limit at the next sign. I never like to brake for fear of being hit in the back but that’s the only way of loosing the speed.
There are lies, dammed lies and statistics. Statistics can be manipulated and skewed to convey and ‘prove’ your position.
There seem to be two schools of thought amongs the commentators – those that want speed limits to be inviolate and agree with current rules and those that have a modern common sense approach.
Perhaps a holistic approach may be of value.
Speed limits in the 21st century are totally disproportionate. The current ‘one size fits all’ situation is inappropriate. I posit that speed indicators on roads should all be advisory and not compulsory (except in very special places such as schools, and where minimum speed is required). Together with the majority of traffic lights being part-time, these should reduce the problems encountered on roads.
(Another issue is the poor standard of driving schools and dummed down driving tests.)
Under these circumstances people who do cause accidents should then be penalised heavily and be made to take a retest at advanced level.
Unfortunately this would decrease revenue for LAs & Government and ‘speed awareness’ training companies – who really are a joke.
I presume that when driverless cars are the norm all our discussions and perspectives on speeding will become redundant.
It looks as though there is only one way to cut the number of speeding motorists, and that is to raise the speed limit.
One of the reasons that contribute is the 20 mph outside schools, most of them are a year round limit so you drive through slowly then speed up afterwards to make up time lost. Why are they not like a few only 20 mph in school time and flash when the limit is lowered not at night or summer holiday time. Stupid .
One of the things I learnt from a speed awareness course is that the main cause of accidents is driver distraction. I also think that there is a world of difference between excess and excessive speed. Excessive speed is negligence whereas excess speed is just that you are paying attention to the road ahead and not your speedo (see point 1 above). More cameras just creates a nation of speedo gazers who become obsessed with keeping to the limit (i am now guilty of this). Speeding is one of the oldest “crimes” in the book the only way to stop it is to fit all cars with electronic speed reduction devices. However, just think at the loss of revenue to the government in lost speeding fines and what else they would then have to penalise people for to make up the shortfall.
With the modern technology available today motor manufacturers should be able to restrict the speed of a vehicle with an on board recognition device. Our current new car can recognise the speed limit when passing signs and will flash this up on the display whilst also still showing it at the top of the display. With this they should be able to automatically restrict the vehicle from exceeding the speed limit. If extra speed is required in an emergency then kicking down the accelerator can over ride the current set speed to assist and then revert back to normal. It is not rocket science, the technology is out there and it just needs to be developed quickly. Setting speed by a speed limiter is a pain as most towns have 50 then 40 then 30 speed limits, which means drivers could be taking their eyes off the road too much to activate constantly.
Most road signs are now so dirty and turned green through lack of maintenance by the councils, that you cannot see them anyway?
There are a lot of drivers that ignore the speed limits anyway, due to the standard of driving dropping. I use all types of roads on a daily basis, and see some very close calls to a serious accident, because drivers don’t think about what could happen if something went wrong when overtaking, or cutting a corner, or driving too fast on a country road.
A temporary digital speed indicator was recently attached to a lamppost near me in a 30mph zone. I regularly saw speeds in excess of 40mph being indicated and the highest was 55mph. The device has now been removed. It was clearly ineffective and nothing has been done to catch or penalise these irresposible drivers, so what was the point of the exercise?
When travelling through France where an accident had occurred we would see BLACK CUT OUT FIGURES. Some were of families others a single man or woman, all depending on who had been injured. If they had died red paint was added.
These figures stood out and made you think about the road and your driving speed, much more than a notice with statistics.
The Belief that “drivers are speeding up by a third” is nonsense and the article gives the reason why.
The increase in convictions began when they turned on the variable limit cameras on motorways – suddenley offences increased nearly 50% – NOT because more drivers are driving faster – because those who were not committing an offence, or were not caught now are.
That’s the danger of statistics!!!
And the increase in the amount they are over the limit? Well in the past people usually knew the limit and were a few mph over, but some may get it wrong and be 10 and a bit over.
Now the new 50% who are accounted for by the variable speed motorway cameras are 10mph or more over. Because people are looking at the traffic in front, mirrors, signs and if the limit changes they might not notice until the second gantry – which is why so many are caught at the first gantry and the vast majority have slowed down by the second one of a given limit, or the second since the limit dropped.
That is the danger os simply taking the headline stats.
After all , why would drivers suddenly start to drive much faster, and more of them. Cars have been developing over many years, so any increase in the speed people drive at should be constant, roads are similar etc.
The simple way to analyse it – what has changed significantly?
1/ The introduction of variable limit cameras over the moroways (and the uncertainty over whether they are on or not when the limit is not reduced)
2/ The number of convictions and the amount they are over the limit
The strongest logical likelyhood is that the is a connection between the two.
So less of the panic and more attention to how we help drivers adapt to the new variable limits, instaed of the old adage – “increase the penalties”
It’s revenue gathering – pure and simple
The comments section of this article is far more sensible than the article which is disappointingly parrying to Speed campaigners. Set sensible speed limits everywhere (not politically correct limits) and ‘speeding’ will amazingly be nothing to write about.
Why is it OK to have an impact speed of 120mph (head on collision) on a single carriage way, but only allowed to do 70mph on a Motorway which was designed for faster speed and where a 70mph impact is very unlikely?
Car safety has improved significantly, but pedestrians and cyclists are just as bad if not worst than in the past, therefore the 30mph limits are essential in suburban areas, but they are not allowed on motorways, and therefore the limits on motorways should be increased to reflect improved safety standards and braking.
Speed limits are set before hazards but are kept the same on both sides of the road. Therefore once you have passed the hazard the speed limit is not lifted. A classic example is A13 by M25 junction. 3 miles of 50mph.
If Traffic is bad you can’t get anywhere near 50, if it is clear the limit is not necessary,
Speed limits also apply 24 hours a day when they are only needed for the worse case such as rush hour or school hours.
Like so many offences people will continue to commit them if there is a good chance of not getting caught. With so much traffic on out overloaded roads, less police and of course camera warning technology the number who get caught must be less than the number who do speed. I had to take a course after speeding and have been far more aware since and am amazed at the number of drivers who end up catching me up in 30 limits ( yes I do drive at 30 according to my sat’ nav’ which reads higher that my speedo) then fall back on leaving the limit. I must admit that this frustrates me and frustration leads to poor judgement.
There is a really really simple solution to this problem as most vehicles are now fitted with GPS Satellite Navigation simply link the vehicle management system via the speedometer to the local speed limit which the vehicle will then not exceed for that area and bobs your uncle nobody gets a prosecution and the roads are immediately safer, job done, the only downside is no revenue from dangerous speeding drivers for the treasury.
There really is an easy solution to this speeding problem, as most vehicles are now fitted with GPS Satellite Navigation simply link the vehicle speed management system to the local speed limit that the vehicle is travelling through it then means that no matter how the vehicle is driven it will not exceed the local speed limit and acceleration could be moderated as well. I know that a lot of people would object to this but think of the benefits of no unexpected speeding prosecutions, lower insurance cost through fewer points on driving licenses, control over joyriding, direct control of traffic on SMART Motorways, safer roads outside schools and urban streets and roads and the big one these days is an improved control over air pollution (my opinion is that it should be done for this reason alone), the big downside of course is no prosecution fines for Government coffers.
The speed limit should be realistic. I often drive in London during weekends. Many roads have 20MPH limit. When you are driving at 11pm at night, is that not unrealistic when there is nobody on the road and the road conditions are good to drive safely at 30mph?During day time you can not drive more than 10mph because of traffic!!