Road Safety News

2,000+ motorists caught speeding at more than 100mph

Thursday 25th February 2016

 More than 2,000 motorists in the UK were caught by police speeding at more than 100mph in the 12-month period ending April 2015 (BBC News).

The figures are in response to a Freedom of Information request from BBC Radio 5 live and come from 42 of the UK's 45 police forces.

The highest speed recorded was 156mph on the A1(M) in Cambridgeshire - more than twice the national limit. The driver, a professional footballer, was fined £1,400 and given a six-month ban after being stopped in his BMW M4 Coupe.

The other highest speeds clocked were a Mercedes C200 doing 155mph on the M1 in Hertfordshire, and a Jaguar at 144mph on the M4 in Gloucestershire.

Police were asked to supply details for the 2014-15 financial year on the number of offences they recorded where a motorist was found to be exceeding 100mph - either by a speed camera or from an officer's speed radar. The FOI responses showed at least 2,169 such reports were filed by UK police forces.

Chief constable Suzette Davenport, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Roads Policing, told the BBC: “Speed is a significant factor in fatal road accidents and extreme speed causes an even greater risk to road users.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said road safety was the number one priority for the industry. In a statement, it said: “The industry… does not condone excessive speed and complies with strict advertising rules covering speed.”

The BBC would like to speak with anyone affected by excess speed. If you can help contact Catherine Bolsover on 0161 335 6503, or email


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Of course that does not mean that the 96% were not capable of being avoided had the speed of vehicles been lower.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (5) | Disagree (2)

Government statistics have shown for years that drivers exceeding the speed limit is only a very minor cause of RTCs - 4%! So 96% of RTCs have other primary causes. Motorways are the safest roads, proving that speed is not a major issue. See Gov stats:
Wandering Dutchman UK

Agree (5) | Disagree (5)

I think Damon Hill got it right when he said a few years ago (and reported on this news feed) about 'most motorists not being safe to drive over 55mph' - so with speeds over a 100mph, very, very, few people have the skills to do this on the highway - unfortunately the ones without these skills are the very ones that think they do have the skills and naively buy the cars they think will help them prove it!

Ralph Nader's famous book of the '60s: "Unsafe at any speed" actually refered to the unsafe features of cars themselves and whilst over the years this has been addressed to the point where we have relatively safe cars, we still have far too many drivers who could be described as 'unsafe at any speed'.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (7)

Paul is right to recommend track days for those who want to drive at these very high speeds. None of our public roads are designed, engineered or surfaced for this level of speed, whether there is a lot of traffic or none. Night time is also when deer, badgers and other animals are often encountered on our roads, partly because there is less traffic to deter them.
Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB

Agree (12) | Disagree (6)

144mph or 155mph crosses the border into dangerous driving rather than speeding by some considerable margin. Whilst a racing driver with a racing licence might be trained for such speeds, the rest of us aren't. I have known a number of people stopped by the motorway police for doing a little over 100mph - the police tend to be lenient and mark it down as less than 100mph in order to avoid handing out a driving ban if the traffic was light at the time of the offence, but they rightly won't do that if the offending speed is well in excess of 100mph.
Paul Biggs, Staffordshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

Whilst not defending the actions of those drivers, and they deserve to be caught, I ask the question when were these offences committed? It may be a presumption that it was whilst the motorways were busy ie plenty of traffic and therefore a consideration for lives put in danger, but it may also be at a time when the roads were empty and therefore far less likely to be a danger to anyone else. We do not know and we make presumptions.

I think whilst agreeing that it is a moving traffic offence it would be far worse if it were on a busy motorway and at a busy time as opposed to say 6 am in the morning with nothing but a free of traffic runway ahead.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (12) | Disagree (10)

With the amount of speed cameras on the roads and the number of journeys made this figure of 2000 out of millions of drivers and probably 100's of millions of journeys doesn't seem that high at all.

On another note Vehicles are tested to Euro NCAP standards and are only tested at just under 40mph.

Taking a safety first at all costs approach, any speed over 40mph could be deemed excessive as it is out of the test limits and yet people do drive at near double this speed legally on British roads without many problems. The laws of diminishing returns definitely applies in general to road enforcement especially on motorways where it seems to be having a detrimental effect on both behaviour and journey times.
Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.

Agree (14) | Disagree (9)

With regard to the penultimate para..correction..the number one priority for an industry based around manufacturing and selling vehicles is - manufacturing and selling vehicles.
Road safety only becomes their 'number one priority' when asked for a press statement triggered by reports of their customers doing stupid and dangerous speeds in the vehicles which they have manufactured and sold to them.

Perhaps instead, a statement from Fire and Rescue and perhaps a local hospital's A & E dept - i.e. those who have to deal with the consequences - may have been more pertinent and probably more sincere.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (7)

So that's why I was asked to do BBC Radio Stoke this morning to talk about speed cameras? I suggest a trip to Germany and driving on unrestricted autobahns if you want to drive that fast. Alternatively there are Track Days at race circuits. I own a 30 year old 140mph Jaguar myself, but 70 is as fast as it goes in my hands.
Paul Biggs, Staffordshire

Agree (15) | Disagree (0)