Road Safety News

‘Speed Marathon’ detects more than 120,000 offenders

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

More than 122,500 offences were detected as part of TISPOL’s 24-hour ‘Speed Marathon’ which took place across Europe on 21-22 April.

The day-long initiative formed part of TISPOL’s week-long speed enforcement operation and involved 12,900 officers from 22 countries.

As part of the marathon, 2,463,622 vehicles had their speed checked, 5% of which were over their respective limits. Or, as TISPOL says, ‘put another way, the results show that 19 out of every 20 drivers checked were within legal limits’.

Prior to the event, Aidan Reid, TISPOL president, said: “Our forthcoming speed enforcement activity is all about prevention. We want drivers to think about the speeds they choose; speeds which are both legal and appropriate for the conditions.

“Illegal and/or inappropriate speed is the single biggest factor in fatal road collisions. That’s why police officers take action against drivers who fail to comply with speed limits.”

Official figures from the UK Government showed that in 2014, ‘exceeding speed limit’ was a contributory factor in 5,381 collisions (3%).

Ruth Purdie, TISPOL general secretary, said: “Driver behaviour remains the most important barrier to progress as we approach 2020 and its reduction targets. There are still too many drivers who putting other road users at risk by exceeding speed limits.

"We can’t impose responsible behaviour; we need to show all road users the value of a driving culture based on respect for the rules, and thus towards other road users. I believe this is central to a coordinated plan that will help us regain vital momentum in casualty reduction."



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Speeding isn't just about collisions. Speeding has an impact on quality of life for those that live on roads blighted by speeding drivers. Further, it deters those that would like to cycle and is a main factor in determining whether a parent feels it is safe to let their children walk to school. Speeding has been named as the number 1 Anti Social Behaviour in survey after survey.

I accept that I live on a busy 30mph residential road. What I will not accept is the 66% of drivers that feel it is up to them to determine the speed they want to go at.

After taking a driving test and the many public education messages about speeding, many drivers just don't seem to get the multi dimensional aspect of speeding on the community they are imposing their speeding on.

The primary strategy by Government & Councils is to 'educate' drivers to win their 'heart and minds' and is evidently not working. Enforcement should be prioritised and used as the primary education tool.

Either stay within the limits or lose your right to drive.
Kris, Birmingham

Agree (0) | Disagree (1)

Does anybody agree that there are multiple causes of collisions and so speeding is only one of those?

I would consider that it is safer for a car driver to be speeding and looking where they are going with full concentration than to be at or below the speed limit whilst not concentrating or looking appropriately. (I do not recommend that behaviour though.)

What is also affected by the speed of vehicles is the desire and ability of other road users to be in the same environment as faster vehicles.

From personal and pedestrian I sometimes have conflicting impressions of what an appropriate maximum speed for vehicles should be at a particular location dependent upon which particular mode of transport I am using.

I do tend to lean towards lower speeds in locations with residential, shopping, school, parks characteristics. This may lead to others feeling able to walk and cycle or access public transport facilities which may in turn lead to less collisions, pollution community severance and other, what I would consider to be desirable benefits.

There is a need for speed enforcement as long as humans are in complete control of the movements of motor vehicles. The benefits of lower speeds are not exclusively safer roads and fewer collisions but are in my opinion worth striving for.

We need to keep in mind the multi-factor hence mufti-solution aspect of road safety and be open to new and different ideas.
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

It was your first comment Andrew, re the speeding percentages which I was referring to, which I knew to be incorrect. I spent years measuring them! First-hand experience can count.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (5)

Interesting per Hugh... since my figures comes from line-by-line analysis of Stats 19 figures (2013) and government traffic data I am afraid they are correct.
Andrew Mather, Kent

Agree (6) | Disagree (2)

It is also worth noting that the article seeks to justify further targeting of ordinary motorists exceeding the speed limit. Consider that of the 'speeding' fatalities in online articles, 60% involve drink-fuelled boy-racers, 30% impaired drivers, figures backed up in stats 19, and you have a residual of 1.5% involvement in fatalities by those ordinary experienced motorists targeted, while 98.5% (non-speeding, young, drink-fuelled boy racers) and pedestrians are ignored.
Andrew Mather, Kent

Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

Apologies Charles if I gave the impression that I beleived you thought speeding was safer than not speeding. Clearly it isn't, as I'm sure you would agree, but the fact that you had to ask did make me wonder whether you were seriously questioning speed limit enforcement, as some on this forum have done in the past, or were just being flippant.

In terms of depth of knowledge and understanding based on experience and acquired expertise, I think it is fair to say that professionals - in any field - probably 'know better' when compared with the 'non-professional' if you like. I only used the phrase to hint that I knew from my own knowledge that Andrew Mather's figures were not actually correct.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (5)

Unrecognised factors are that injury accidents are 99.1% correlated with traffic density, anti-correlated with speeding. Non-speeding accounts for 95% of accidents, 86% of fatalities, 98.6% of pedestrian injury. Driver error or behaviour is involved in 76% of fatalities, driver or pedestrian error in 92.4% of pedestrian fatalities.
Andrew Mather, Kent

Agree (7) | Disagree (3)

You are right, Charles. The data suggests that people are perhaps around twice* as likely to be involved in a fatal or serious collision when they are not speeding (compared to when they are speeding). Clearly, people are not safer because they are speeding so it is probable that the factors that lead to collisions are also the same factors that, when absent, lead to people speeding. (* speeding is a factor in around 7% of KSI collisions and speeding occurs in perhaps around 15% of miles driven).

Speeding may well be an actual risk factor, though, when combined with other factors, such as drink driving, tailgating, aggressive driving, criminal activities etc.

If TISPOL only prosecuted speeding drivers where other aggravating factors were also involved, then their operation may have contributed to safer roads. Although the information presented suggests this may not have been the case, and in the absence of good quality evidence, we must hope that TISPOLs operation was a worthwhile use of taxpayers resources.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (5) | Disagree (4)

Although house rules would appear to prohibit the misrepresentation of another contributor's posts, a post doing just that with respect to my contributions seems to have slipped through the moderation net. I totally refute Hugh's insinuation that I think that tolerating speeding makes us safer.

I would also like to ask Hugh, given the abject failure of speed limits to make our community streets significantly safer, to provide evidence of his so far unfounded statement that: "Sometimes the professionals know better chaps."
Charles, England

Agree (5) | Disagree (3)

Far from it being a misleading or inaccurate article, Ruth Purdie's belief that "There are still too many drivers who putting other road users at risk by exceeding speed limits" has actually been reinforced by Andrew Mather's own figures, so we clearly need to step up the level of enforcement - although if we listen to Charles, the more speeding we tolerate, the safer we'll all be apparently. Sometimes the professionals know better chaps.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (7)

Various claims in this article are misleading and inaccurate. Traffic monitors show that up to 70% of drivers speed at 5am in 30mph limits, nearly half are speeding throughout the day in free flow traffic on motorways, with similar figures for 30mph and 40mph limits.
Andrew Mather, Kent

Agree (8) | Disagree (4)

I'd be interested to see the TISPOL operation speeding figures for just GB, because on the face of it - based on the data in this article (I assume it is European speeding results vs GB collision factors) - it appears that you are actually less likely to be involved in a collision if you are speeding. Could that possibly be true?
Charles, England

Agree (6) | Disagree (6)