Speeding offences hit an 11-year high in 2016, as the number of drivers caught speeding grew for the fifth year running.
Figures from the Department for Transport revealed that 2016 saw 2.1 million prosecutions for speed limit offences after a year-on-year decline between 2005 and 2010.
Since the start of the decade though, they have been steadily rising and road safety groups have called for action.
The fact that this week marks Road Safety Week, which this year focuses on the dangers of speeding, lends the timing of these figures’ publication a somewhat ironic twist.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, said that speeding should be as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.
“While some of the increase in the volume of speeding offences has been caused by a change in reporting methods – with those attending driver awareness courses which have been shown to reduce reoffending now included – there is no doubt that speeding remains a major safety concern,” he commented.
Mr Greig called for more resources for education and publicity campaigns in a bid to drive home the message that people should take personal responsibility for their road safety, rather than force new methods of enforcement.
Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said the new figures were “highly concerning”.
He added: “[They] show that exceeding the speed limit remains a major safety issue.
"Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead, such as a child stepping out from between parked cars, it's a driver’s speed that determines whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t, how hard they will hit.”
Excess speed contributed to almost one in four fatal crashes in 2016, Mr Wakefield went on to point out.
Brake is calling for increased police enforcement and a default 20mph limit in all built-up areas, as well as technology that helps drivers stay within the limit to be fitted as standard to all new vehicles.
Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “These figures prove that something must be down to get a grip on the rising number of needless deaths and serious injuries on UK roads.”
Posted on 24th November 2017
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