Road Safety News

ABD challenges Ken Clarke's proposals

Monday 6th February 2012

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has challenged Ken Clarke, justice secretary, to provide evidence that 'minor speed limit infringements' are causing casualties, before increasing speeding fines.

Fines for speeding could increase from £60 to £100, under a range of plans recently proposed by Mr Clarke. The proposals outline changes to victims' services and compensation which would result in an extra £50 million being raised via tougher penalties for motoring offences.

Brian Gregory, ABD chairman, says: “The vast majority of speeding fines are for low level infringements by sober, otherwise legal drivers. Despite previous challenges from the ABD, the Government seems totally unable to provide any evidence that such drivers are causing or even involved in more than a handful of accidents.

“Of course, a number of casualties do involve drivers travelling above speed limits (around 5-6%), however nobody in Government seems to know, and even more concerningly, is at all interested in finding out how many of these 'speeding' drivers are sober, licensed drivers, travelling within a few MPH of the limit and how many are drunk, drugged, unlicensed, in stolen cars or travelling at reckless speeds well above the limit.  For all we know most 'above speed limit' casualties could fall into the latter category.

“The simple question to Mr Clarke is: 'how many people are killed or seriously injured annually by sober licensed drivers travelling above but within 20% of a speed limit?'.   Until you collate this information you have no evidence to justify continued and increased hounding of such drivers. There is no excuse as estimated speed, alcohol, licence details etc are recorded after each and every fatal or serious accident.”

For more information contact ABD Press Enquiries on 0870 4442535.


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Mr Gregory,

Would you be happy for your 11 year old daughter to cycle along the road to school whilst surrounded by cars and lorries going at 45 miles per hour?

Most collisions are caused by distractions and drivers simply not paying enough attention to the road. Speed simply makes these instances worse.

The simple answer is that drivers do not have to pay any speeding fines if they don't want to. Simply don't speed. It's personal choice.
Stephen, Merseyside

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So, Mr super star driver from the ABD, you are speeding legally with me speeding legally towards you, wrestling with my Ginster's pasty, hot coffee between my knees, adjusting my sat nav. You still happy that we are closing in on each other at 168mph?
Mr P W Lawson

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The ABD do ask a very good question.

Drink driving generally results in a very serious penalty (a ban) and this attracts public support probably because the evidence clearly demonstrates d/d to be dangerous.

But the evidence suggests that speeding, though illegal, is not in itself dangerous: eg, the vast majority of collisions, even fatal collisions, do not involve any vehicle exceeding any speed limit.

Do we think the ABD will get a meaningful response?
Dave Finney - Slough

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