Road Safety News

IAM ‘shocked’ by speeding data

Friday 13th February 2015


The IAM has published what it describes as “the worst examples of excessive speeding” caught on speed cameras across England and Wales in 2014.

The highest recorded speed was 146mph by two different drivers on the M25. There were three other instances of speeds of 140mph or more being recorded: 145mph on the M6 toll road, 141mph on the A1 and 140mph on the A5.

However, the IAM says the “most astounding figure” was 128mph recorded on a 30mph road in East Grinstead in Sussex.

The statistics come from a FOI request made by the IAM to police forces in England and Wales.

The IAM believes that “an improvement in driving skills and attitude” is the key to reducing the numbers of people killed and injured on UK roads. It advocates advanced driving and riding tuition and continuous development in skills to help achieve this.

The IAM also supports the use of speed camera systems at collision hot spots, on roads with a speed related crash record, and at areas of proven risk such as motorway road works.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “It is disheartening to say the least that some road users are showing such disregard for the safety of all other road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other drivers.

“At speeds of 140mph an individual is travelling at nearly two-and-a-half miles a minute. At that speed it is simply impossible to react to anything that might happen in front of you. It is also impossible to handle corners, gradients, street furniture and junctions with any effectiveness.

“In short, all these individuals are playing with their own lives and others – they are all accidents waiting to happen and it requires a major shift in the attitudes of these people to think about safety.”



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I know that Sarah hasn't been in office for long but her words "that some road users are showing such disregard form the safety of all other road users" struck a nerve in me.

It was only at the recent Motorcycle Seminar when we were told that the AIM would no longer tolerate the overtaking manoeuvre that would require the follower, the assessor, the need to break the speed limit and overtake to catch up. Until this time and since the dawn of time it would appear that they may possibly have disregarded safety and the law when overtaking, allowing the odd infringement of that law, the national speed limit but on the other hand they were absolute in that when approaching a 30 mph speed limit one has to be doing that speed on entry to the limit and not to slow down after it.

I think a little history and an admitted change in attitude can be a good thing for all. Well done the AIM doing something constructive. At least they got that one right.
Bob Craven lancs ....Space is Safe Campaigner

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

I think that we all know where the IAM are coming from. I suppose thats why there are two new and different initiatives being promoted this year. The No Surprise No Accident and my own Space is Safe.

I suppose whilst both have an element of speed involved both require our target audience to think and participate quite differently than before. Both are based on principles more in the line of defensive techniques. Aimed at a greater understanding of the various dangers one may come across and how best to negate them, from a distance to much closer up. Something perhaps the IAM can take on board and come up with support for both of the new initiatives.

We continuously hear about speed, speed, speed and to my mind the public are sick to death with this approach. Furthermore incidents involving over the speed limit are quite rare compared to other factors of causation.

I suppose that's why there has been the introduction of No Surprise.
..Bob Craven Lancs....Space is safe Campaigner

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I see once again that "The IAM also supports the use of speed cameras".

My analysis showing beyond any doubt whatever that cameras do not reduce accidents will include data, graphs and methods on my web site. There will also be a page entitled "Apologies" on which the first will be from me, for taking far longer that I should have done to realise that definitive analysis was not only possible but easy.

Space will also be reserved for the IAM and others who have been so demonstrably wrong about cameras for so many years.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (3) | Disagree (4)

If they are all 'accidents waiting to happen' what exactly are they waiting for?
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (7) | Disagree (3)

Paul's comments that they were all legally insured is the hub of the matter. It's been reported recently in a local paper that a 75 year old woman priest had her insurance invalidated because she had stickers on her old car and as a result they invalidated her insurance and said that they would not have insured her had they known that there were such stickers on her car. And yet insurers will not invalidate when idiots do stupid and dangerous and unlawful things like this or rather the fact that they are doing it and apparently getting away with insignificant fines and endorsement puts out the wrong message and may encourage rather than discourage others to follow suit.

What I would like to see is insurance supporting road safety and in all of the above circumstances, not just of road racing but of time trials or speed testing invalidate the insurance and then see who is willing to do it without such cover.

It would to my mind be a lesson to some motorcyclists to know that they cannot speed without there being a consequence. Once the insurance is lost it's not a ban but their name can be placed on a register and no company could or would insure them for a certain period of time, say 2 or 3 years, or ban them from say a motorcycle but allow them to drive a car if driving is their occupation only, and they would get no discounts. It would serve them right.
Bob Craven Lancs Space is Safe Campaigner

Agree (5) | Disagree (5)

This IAM press release is hardly an endorsement for the effectiveness of speed cameras, is it?

In fact it is clear evidence they were not effective in the only role they have, which is to discourage drivers from exceeding the prevailing limit.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Researcher, St Albans

Agree (6) | Disagree (9)

Is this 'speeding' or 'dangerous driving'? Some of the examples given, particularly in 30mph limits, are dangerous. I'm sure most of these drivers received bans and large fines. It's worth noting that none of these incidents actually resulted in a crash.

The often empty M6 Toll is well known for plus 100mph speeds - back in 2004 several drivers were caught on the M6 Toll including a certain off - duty Mr Thomas of Manchester Traffic Police, doing 104mph. Magistrates decided not to ban them - they got 6 points each and a largish fine - I knew one of the 3 magistrates - he told me that the decision was based on the fact that they were all legally insured etc, with a good driving record, and the circumstances at the time presented no danger.

My experience (not personal experience!) is that the police are lenient when they pull over a driver on the motorway doing a little over 100mph - they usually record the speed as 99 or less to avoid the driver getting more serious punishment, if the prevailing circumstances aren't deemed to be dangerous.
Paul Biggs, Staffodshire

Agree (8) | Disagree (2)

As recently as May 2014, the IAM did exactly the same exercise which was covered on this forum and which generated over 50 comments from readers - the editor might as well republish those comments to save time.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

This is only the sensationalist part of the story. It would be better if we were told what subsequently happened to the offenders.i.e. were they prosecuted, what was the punishment and more importantly, are they now off the road?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (17) | Disagree (0)

I suspect most of us believe "an improvement in driving skills and attitude is the key to reducing the numbers of people killed and injured on UK roads" but this press release reads like the IAM are trying to drum up business.

I suspect that in many cases the highest speeds recorded involve police cars. We are not told if any of these examples were police vehicles.

And do the IAM really believe that a driver who does 128mph in a 30 limit needs to be educated that that is wrong, or will respond to a lecture on speeding? Or were they being chased by the police at the time? I don't feel we have the full story here.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Researcher, St Albans

Agree (11) | Disagree (7)