Road Safety News

TISPOL detects 500,000+ speeders in pan-European operation

Tuesday 29th September 2015

More than half a million drivers were detected breaking speed limits in a pan-European speed control operation, co-ordinated by TISPOL, during August 2015.

Police officers in 27 countries took part in the operation, which ran between 17-23 August. Of the total of 549,237 detections, 192,654 were made directly by police officers and 356,583 came from “automatic technical means”.

TISPOL was established by traffic police forces across Europe in order to improve road safety and law enforcement on the roads of Europe. Its stated aim is to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Europe's roads by working in unison.

TISPOL acts as a platform for learning and exchange of good practice between the traffic police forces of Europe. The organisation says its activities are guided by “research, intelligence, information and experience, and producing measurable results”.

Ruth Purdie, TISPOL general secretary, said: “Speeding puts the lives of other road users and pedestrians at risk, and is believed to be the cause of around one third of all fatal crashes on Europe’s roads. We know that excessive or inappropriate speed continues to hamper our efforts to reduce fatality and serious injury rates.”

Stopping drivers for speeding offences also provides police officers with the opportunity to make other appropriate safety and security checks.

TISPOL also revealed that during the week of this speed operation, officers also detected and dealt with offences connected with irregular immigration and human trafficking (225), drug-related crimes (484), firearms (25), property crimes (55) and other crimes (1,804).



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Thanks Idris. We welcome feedback from our customers.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

Hugh's point that accident prevention is merely a bonus on top of other benefits arising from speed reduction is interesting in that it is not the first time I sense a partial retreat from the official position that they are intended to reduce accidents.

If the head of Tispol, and indeed David believe that "speeding" causes 1/3 of fatal crashes it can only be because she is referring to inappropriate speeds above and below limits rather than above limits only. As cameras and other enforcement methods can do nothing about speeds within limits this is rather an important difference.

I agree wholeheartedly with Bob about tailgating, the bane of my driving life these days. Three times in the last week I have had to pull in to laybys or divert at a junction simply to get rid of a tailgater, when the only other (damage-free) option available was to break the speed limit to get away.

No Hugh, again no. Much of the worst tailgating I experience, in terms of spacing and intimidation, occurs below speed limits when the vehicle in front is driving below the limit, resulting in a queue behind him, until sooner or later someone joins the end of the queue apparently believing that those ahead of him patiently waiting their turn to overtake, should make way for him.

I welcome the Transcom enquiry, but not because of the "stagnation of KSI figures" which are in part due to returning to a more normal trend after the unprecedented falls since 2008, and partly due to the economic recovery.

I assume that the David's 7% of us who have criminal records excludes the very much higher proportion who have criminal records only for speeding. And that huge difference means that Hugh's claim that those who speed are also likely to break the law in many other ways is simply untrue.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (7) | Disagree (5)

In many circumstances of incidents involving motor vehicle the question of speed arises and seems to be inexorably linked to cause.

Never is the question of distance considered. From you saying 'I'm sure', what you say is that you are making presumptions and coming to conclusions that the driver had sufficient space. Unfortunately we don't know that as a fact and it's not likely that any distances were taken by the police. Or that distance was considered at all.

Yes there are many circumstances relative to incidents, say ice on the road as one, so distance doesn't or may not be considered in the equation but as I have always said Safe Space is not the placebo it is just one other aspect of road safety. One that has for generations been ignored. It's not just about tailgating either, it relates to all or rather most matters concerning road space and the use of it by drivers.

Again an opinion, my opinion , is that if more education was given to the proper use of Safe Space eventually some drivers would change their driving patterns and behaviour. Being more aware of what is happening around them as an example will be a good thing and no longer pushing ahead appreciate danger more.
Bob Craven Lancs...Space is Safer Campaigner

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

It's interesting Bob, that you think speed or excessive speed is not a major cause of road deaths. Unfortunately we have had a number of fatal crashes locally, where there was plenty of space between vehicles, but that still didn't prevent the driver or rider from hitting a tree or piece of roadside furniture.

Many of the drivers, I'm sure, could have stopped in the distance they could see, but they still managed to leave the road.
Martin, Suffolk

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

Thanks needed emphasising. This was covered very well in a book published many years ago called, I think, 'The Criminal on the Road' based on studies showing how transgressors on the road were also prone to be transgressors in other aspects of their life. Sadly, I've discovered it to be true first hand many times. Motorists do not chose one law to disregard and religiously comply with all the others - it's often across the board. These are the individuals that need to be targeted as much as possible to have any impact on collision reduction.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

Sorry Hugh once again I cannot agree and I think that we should agree to differ. A tailgater is not necessarily a speeder being held up but a normal person who knows no different and that is why we don't take them seriously. Many would say or agree that a tailgater is someone who is so close up to the vehicle in front that it intimidates that driver and is so close they may as well be towed. However in many circumstances that is far from the case. They could be 100ft behind the vehicle in front...... but at 70 mph on a motorway although they would not appear to be tailgating they are still far too close to avoid an incident should the vehicle in front come to a sudden stop (HC S.126. refers). Some drivers are totally ignorant of the law that they are disobeying and even more so of the danger that they are putting themselves or other road users into.
Bob Craven Lancs.., Space is Safer Campaigner

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

Hugh is quite correct in thinking that people who break traffic laws do not usually break just the one law, they often break many traffic laws, and go on to ignore laws in other areas of their lives. There is a significant correlation between having a criminal record and being involved in a fatal crash.

About 7% of the population as a whole has a criminal record, yet 20+% of car drivers involved in fatal crashes have them, 30+% of van drivers, and 40+% of LGV drivers likewise. I am not aware of any studies that have examined links between less serious crashes and criminal records, but I have no doubt that such links would be found.

If one has a somewhat flexible attitude to laws regarding theft, assaults, possession of illegal drugs, etc., it usually follows that one has a similar approach to speeding, driving with the proper care, vehicle maintenance, etc.

Police will happily confirm that a stop for something as simple as not wearing a seat belt often leads to much more serious offences being revealed.
David, Suffolk

Agree (9) | Disagree (2)

I notice that evidence is now being sought for a Parliamentry enquiry into the effectiveness of road traffic law enforcement. With the stagnation in the KSI figures such an enquiry is to be welcomed.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (8) | Disagree (0)

I agree with the space and distance factors obviously Bob, but they and speed are inexorably linked. A tailgater is invariably a speeder with a vehicle in their way preventing them from speeding! I did say previously that those who regularly speed are also prone to other failings - tailgating being one of them. If enforcement leads to getting a speeder off the road, then that's probably a tailgater off the road as well!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

Sorry not to agree with you Hugh but I would argue that the single greatest cause of accidents is not speeding, Its not even the use of excessive speed. That speed not necessarily being over the speed limit. It's a failure to give sufficient Safe Space between vehicles traveling at relevant speeds. ie TAILGATING.

It's not giving enough space to stop should the need arise, or the giving of enough space to be able to stop within the distance seen to be clear and on ones side of the road.

If more drivers understood what is actually said in S. 126 of the Highway Code and pulled back that safe distance, ie the FULL STOPPING DISTANCE, then there would be far fewer accidents, incidents and collisions. Traffic would be less congested when it doesn't need to be and drivers would become more aware of what is happening up the road and around them rather than being fixated on the rear of the vehicle in front. Not only would everyone see more but be seen more easily and other more vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists would benefit from more space being made available.

I know that in stats 19 the code for following too close is 308 and it's probably rarely recognised as a cause but if only the police and others would recognise the facts then and only then action can be taken and it can it be remedied.
Bob Craven, Lancs. Space is Safer Campaigner

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

Opponents of speed enforcement like to refer to the 'otherwise law-abiding motorist' being 'persecuted'. It would seem that a fair proportion are not so 'otherwise law-abiding' after all. In my experience, it is inconceivable that a persistent speeder does not also, when it suits them, also bend a few other rules of the road - it seems to be in their nature. I suspect the police know this as well. Traffic offences are actionable per se, so evidence of the prevention of any potential danger or harm is not a pre-requisite of these campaigns.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (10) | Disagree (8)

When a fatal collision is investigated and reconstructed the results obtained tend to be a mixture of facts and opinion based on those facts. Courts allow expert witnesses (and no other person) to express an opinion and we tend to put a lot of weight behind such opinions. Nevertheless, opinions are still opinions, which is why the article states that speeding is 'believed' to be the cause of one third of fatal crashes.
David, Suffolk

Agree (7) | Disagree (5)

Forget the scientific trials. Speeding is an offence (still the most common on our roads), is intimidating, anti-social, blights communities and as you can see, it led to the detection of other offences as well - and is therefore always worth doing spending resources on. The prevention of collisions as well, you could say, is a bonus.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (14) | Disagree (11)

Interesting the change of emphasis in that speeding is now only 'believed' to be the cause of around one third of all fatal crashes. Of course without evidence there can only be belief so it's not surprising that the term is now being used.
Duncan Mackillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (8) | Disagree (9)

With 549,237 citizens detected, that's almost 1 every single second, day and night, throughout the 7 days. TISPOL claim their operation is "producing measurable results" but is it resulting in more deaths and serious injuries, or fewer? TISPOLs operations were not performed within scientific trials therefore measuring the results requires that other effects, and specifically the effects of site-selection (or RTM), are fully excluded from the results. While independent reports have managed to achieve this, no official report has.

Road safety interventions consume huge resources and we need to start using an evidence-led approach. If scientific trials proved that TISPOL's speeding operations really did result in fewer deaths and serious injuries, then we could provide the proof that we have a duty to provide, and stop the claims that this is a "cash-cow" or a "war on the motorist".
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (11) | Disagree (10)