Road Safety News

FOI confirms ‘long term trend towards increased levels of speeding’: RAC

Wednesday 23rd August 2017

Image: © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

More than 2.25 million speeding tickets were issued by UK police during 2016, according to  a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to UK police forces (RAC news).

The FOI request shows a total of 2,293,228 speed-related offences - an average of 65,000 speeding offences per force. Fines from the top 10 forces totalled more than £17m.

The highest number of tickets was handed out by police in Avon and Somerset, although the RAC points out this could be a result of enforcement of the national speed limit on smart motorways in the region.

Constabularies in Thames Valley – which features large portions of the M25, M40 and M4 – and Greater Manchester, recorded the second and third highest number of speeding offences respectively.

Police in West Mercia and Suffolk recorded a top speed of 154mph, closely followed by 151mph in Nottinghamshire and 148mph in Avon and Somerset – all of which are more than double the national speed limit.

Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said: “Reported road casualty statistics for 2015 show that 222 people lost their lives in accidents in which exceeding the speed limit was a contributory factor, equating to 15% of all road fatalities.

“While motorists understand that speed presents a massive danger our research among motorists shows there is a clear long-term trend towards increased levels of speeding both on 50mph/60mph country roads and in urban 20mph zones.

“Some forces like Avon and Somerset are also enforcing the national 70mph limit on smart motorways which may explain why they top the speeding offences table. As this is a relatively new course of action for police forces many motorists are no doubt being caught out by it.”

Category: Speed, Enforcement.



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Firstly there is no disparity between average (dominated by peak hour congestion) speed dropping and speeding (a feature of off peak) increasing.

However, an increase in prosecutions is a measure of enforcement activity - not proof of an increase in speeding.

There are at least two companies, who through data collection from their customers, one a Sat Nav, the other a Mobile Search and mapping, who probably (for a fee) could probably give an answer to both figures.
Mark, Caerphilly

Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

As the FOI request only included the results for a single year, then how can this confirm any "long term trend"?
Rod King, Warrington, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (10) | Disagree (5)

David: How do you know this and which are the 'most' roads you referred to? 'Most' roads never actually have their traffic speeds measured.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (4)

Yet, the recorded average speed on most roads are decreasing.
David Weston, Corby

Agree (7) | Disagree (1)