To crack down on speeders, radical new changes should be introduced to UK roads policing guidelines
The UK’s roads police chief believes that drivers caught just 1mph over the speed limit should be punished in a radical new crackdown on speeders.
Chief constable Anthony Bangham would like to see motorists caught speeding only 1mph over the legal limit punished for their behaviour, claiming radical new changes need to be introduced to UK roads policing guidelines.
At the Police Federations roads policing conference yesterday, chief constable Bangham said that the unofficial 10% buffer surrounding marked speed limits that many police forces currently offer to offenders should be done away with, rather applying a much stronger stance with speeders.
He also believes that speed awareness courses should be offered more sparingly to offenders and only to those who’ve been caught marginally over the speed limit. The standard fine and points should be handed out to everyone else.
Some forces currently use policing guidelines that allow drivers to speed up to 10% over what the legal limit is before being punished, with many caught only a few mph over the buffer being let off with a driver awareness course rather than being punished with a fine and penalty points on their licence.
According to Chief Constable Bangham, this way is too soft a stance for the police to take and wants to get the message across to drivers that speed limits are set for a reason and should feel embarrassed about getting caught breaking the law.
“If booked at 35 or 34 or 33 [in a 30mph zone], that cannot be unfair because they are breaking the law,” said Chief Constable Bangham.
According to recent figures, the number of drivers caught for speeding in the UK reached a six-year high in 2017 – an alarming 2.15 million drivers were caught by either cameras or the police.
A number of critics claim that introducing a zero-tolerance approach to speeding could create issues regarding road safety, as this could lead to a situation where drivers are concentrating more on their speedometer rather than the road ahead in case they break the speed limit by the tiniest of margin.
“Of course speeding is dangerous and drivers should not speed. But surely it is better to educate motorists rater than just slap a fine on them,” said president of the AA, Edmund King.
Problems could also arise in prosecuting motorist caught breaking the speed limit by a tiny amount if the margins were to be tightened further, as speed cameras, police speed traps and the calibration of car speedometers are already brought into question during a court case which involves a speeding motorist.
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