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JUST 1 MPH TOO FAST AND YOU'RE NICKED: NEW ZERO TOLERANCE APPROACH TO SPEEDING


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DRIVERS face being fined and even prosecuted for creeping over the speed limit by as little as 1mph under plans being drawn up by police in some parts of the country. The proposal would result in tens of thousands more speeding tickets being issued and force drivers to keep a far closer eye on their speedometers.


 


Under the current system, contained in police guidelines, drivers are allowed a margin of error of 10% plus 2mph. That means, for example, that police won’t usually prosecute motorists travelling at up to 35mph in a 30mph zone. By the same calculation drivers travelling at up to 79mph on motorways are unlikely to be prosecuted.


The guidelines were introduced in 2000 to take account of the possibility of inaccuracy in speed cameras. They were also intended to reassure drivers that the system was fair, rather than simply a money-raising racket.


Now police in Scotland have announced that they are axeing the thresholds. From this autumn Scottish drivers going fractionally over the limit will receive formal warning letters. If they are stopped a second time, they will receive a £100 penalty notice and three penalty points or be reported for prosecution.


The new procedures, approved by the Scottish government, will be tested in a six-month pilot project. Scottish police — unlike those in England and Wales — have never disclosed the margin of error they use, although it is thought to be similar to that of the rest of the country. If the pilot is successful in reducing accidents, as police hope, it may be adopted by other forces in the UK.


The College of Policing, which issues codes of practice to forces in England and Wales, is due to review the speeding enforcement guidelines this year, including the 10% plus 2mph threshold.


Today, official police guidance states that police speed cameras are approved to work with a maximum tolerance of 2mph at speeds of up to 66mph and 3% thereafter


According to Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing in Scotland, the change is being driven by safety considerations. “We are talking about people who might be law-abiding in every other respect but fail to realise the risk they pose by driving on autopilot or failing to pay enough attention to what is going on around them,” he told the Scottish daily The Herald last week.


“The use of formal warning will enable us to challenge this behaviour, provide real-time education and monitor how behaviour changes by looking at re-offending rates.”


Murray would not be interviewed by The Sunday Times but a spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed that repeat offenders would be penalised. “If you were just fractionally over the first time, you would be given a warning, but if you were to again just be fractionally over, you would be given a fixed penalty or it would be reported to the [procurator] fiscal,” he said.


The spokesman said the details of the pilot study — including how speeding would be detected — were still being worked out.


Another reason for the change could be recent advances in speed camera technology. The 10% plus 2mph was introduced 15 years ago when the rise in the number of speed cameras required a formalised threshold above which drivers would be penalised and that could be standardised across the country. Before that, prosecution was left to officers’ discretion.


Today, official police guidance states that police speed cameras are approved to work with a maximum tolerance of 2mph at speeds of up to 66mph and 3% thereafter, which would mean that drivers travelling at 63mph or more on a 60mph road could be prosecuted.


Average speed cameras are even more accurate because they monitor cars over a longer distance, says Geoff Collins from Vysionics, the Surrey-based firm that makes the Specs cameras used to enforce speed limits through motorway roadworks. “The 10% plus 2mph [threshold] isn’t really necessary in order to make allowances for camera inaccuracy,” Collins said. He pointed out that the cameras measure a car’s speed over a long distance, so any inaccuracies in their placing would typically result in an error of less than 0.1%. “Technically it is possible to enforce slight breaches in the limit.”


The law states that a car’s speedometer must not display a speed slower than that at which it is moving, though a large margin of error is allowed in the other direction.


Motoring groups sounded a warning against the changes, saying they could unintentionally result in motorists paying less attention to the road ahead. “Of course, the speed limit is the limit and people should abide by it,” said Edmund King, president of the AA.


“However, you do need a degree of flexibility. You do not want people concentrating 100% on the speedo. You want people concentrating on the road ahead, the potential hazards ahead, and that can mean you might be 2mph-3mph over the limit. You shouldn’t be, but doing that and concentrating on what is going on around you is far safer than continually looking down at your speedo.”


“You do not want people concentrating 100% on the speedo. You want people concentrating on the road ahead and that can mean you might be 2mph-3mph over the limit.” Edmund King, president of the AA.


Police forces are under pressure to cut injuries on the road after government figures published last month showed that road casualties in Britain had risen by 6% last year, returning to 2012 levels.


Scrapping the margin for error is the latest in a number of initiatives aimed at reducing speeding. Speed enforcement is already on the increase, especially on sections of “smart” motorways, where variable limits are used to regulate traffic flow and speed cameras ensure that drivers are complying with the rules.


A new generation of camera, known as Hadecs 3, is being installed on motorways, including the M25, M1, M4 and M6 this year. It is used to enforce the 70mph limit when the variable speed limits are switched off.


Towns and cities are also seeing stricter speed limits. Research by The Sunday Times found that three-quarters of councils had introduced 20mph speed limits in the past two years, slowing cars on more than 20,000 roads. Police forces have now begun enforcing this in some areas.


However, enforcing small breaches of the speed limit may require more effort than reprogramming speed cameras, say experts. Nick Freeman, the lawyer nicknamed “Mr Loophole”, who writes for The Sunday Times, warns that any new fines would be open to challenge.


“The first thing is the legal principle called de minimis, which means it’s so slight that it’s not really infringing the law,” he said. “At 51mph, 52mph [on a 50mph road], you are certainly de minimis. It would be an enormous waste of taxpayers’ money to pursue this type of very trivial prosecution.”


 

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Direct speed related incidents are very small in number, normally human error that is made worse by added speed. I can't see this being workable tbh speedo's arn't even accurate enough to do 1 or 2 mph.

 

But its well known that speeding is an easy target for getting results for police forces

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We have a few of those signs that tell you how fast you are going. With my old Kia, I could be doing 4 mph more on the speedo than the warning sign near me, but with the XV, the reading is the same. So, the XV speedo is spot on, and I will have to keep to it, rather than my usual "leeway"!

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I'll admit I'm a strong believer in it's not speed that kills people it's human error like Tidgy pointed out. I've been driving long enough to make my own mistakes and see others. All must be down to miss judgment.

 

I'll take the German Autobahn has the least accidents in europe yet you can do what you like flatout if you want. I bet any crash on it is someone crawling in the middle lane. Now I appreciate tyre failure at high speed is a factor that can cause death or mechanical for that fact. I also think any high speed racing should be done on track. But what I hate is how easy it is to go over a speed limit and maybe the speedo not up to what the Police camera read's. Oh and the whole it saves lives B$ come on the Treasury earns billions a year from speeding tickets keep that cash cow rolling.   :angry:

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^ +1 on that

What I would like to see is tighter control on vehicle tyre, brake & suspension in term of police fines & mot inspection.

Should have a fixed age for shock replacement as most 15+ year old shocks are far from best.

Better road surfaces, better signs & more consistent road layouts would also reduce accidents & lives far more than fines but that costs money rather than making money :-/

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If you have a fixed age for shock absorber replacement it would lead to lax attitudes on maintaining and checking them, the same as the current mot does now. Many people see an mot as a certificate of roadworthy-ness however in reality it is a minimum acceptable safety standard.

Vehicle defects are probably the lowest primary cause of accidents, by far the vast majority are caused by human error. Unfortunately being human that will always be the greatest risk. Realistically roads are probably safer (serious accidents per user) than they have ever been given the huge amount of users these days, it's scaremongering that blows statistics out of proportion.

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I was referring to the failure at high speed causing the accident. About 15 20 years ago guy I knew was doing about 130mph in his Escort RS when his tyre let go flinging him into the lampposts killing him instantly. I've also had a tyre let go not as high speed but it happens. I think mine was due to the potholes bubbling the inside tyre on the low profiles. But fully agree that every crash I have been in or witnesses was almost down to human error. And not speed related.   

And my MOT tester openly admits it's only as good as it was when tested something could fail as you drive out the place  that would fail it but at the point its done for 12month, one of the reasons he doesn't pull me up about the cats. 

My biggest gripe is there is lot's of factors that can make speedometers wrong or their speed guns, also the fact they sit hidden or on parts of roads that I generally see as over taking spot's long straights on A roads places I've never seen a death or accidents ever then say it's to save lives yet statistics show that to be wrong. I know not long ago can't remember where it was now was in the UK they removed all speed cameras and had slightly fewer crashes than when they was there.  

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Even if nobody speeds they would just invent new safety concerns to rack up revenue anyway....pisses me off really as we pay enough road tax anyway! And the roads around here are worse than that of a cliff

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Most of my near misses and most of the ones on the dash cam vids I've seen ,have been caused by people who don't indicate or seem to be completely unaware of their surroundings when changing lanes or pulling out of junctions as they're either too busy looking at the speedo or driving a audi

if it is all about safety they should consider putting more video cameras up to catch the irratic drivers rather than cash cow speed cameras

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There has to be a margin of variance due to different car setups tyres wheel size age of the car if its a cable speedo they stretch and become less acurate.

 

I used to be 10%!!!!!!!

 

I any case I tell you what gets on my T*TS is when you come up to a varible speed section and you slow too the speed and everyone else zooms past how does that work !!!!

 

Also when your in the zone they still come past and your doing the limit !!!

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I often run round the M25, with all the variable limits, and the locals (mainly airport cargo and taxis) always exceed the posted limit. I can only assume they have calculated the leeway, and drive just fast enough to still be legal - usually 10mph faster than me, it seems!. Perhaps they will have to slow down, if the new rules are applied to the M25.

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It's the easiest revenue the government can get ,hmmm, maybe because they not upped fuel tax ,like they wanted to ,there trying other ways, I heard aswell there changing the way they tax cars etc aswell soon , I'll take a wild guess it will be more expensive , I'm confused why are the government trying there hardest to make it impossible for people to drive , surely they should make it as cheap as possible then it would help in people getting jobs etc , no wonder why unemployment is so high etc , I swear the government are thick as ****, oh and as for the environment I don't see greenpeace doin free buses or feeding my kids

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it's an easy way to raise money from easy targets

 

drugs cause crime and deaths, all they get is a warning and free drugs. do speeders get free track days to satisfy their fix?

 

near my house there have been 3 big crashes in a couple of years. in one the driver was only 16, he killed 4 people. in another 2 cars were racing and overtook on a blind bend, 4 died. another one speeding late at night killed 5. none were killed by just doing 10mph above the posted limit.

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I went on the autobahn a few years ago in a friends 700bhp evo and we must of topped 180 I think and we didn't crash....like a few have said...it's chavs in saxos with their pregnant 13yo girlfriend in the passenger seat trying to show off with his 1.1 then crashing into careful drivers like the rest of us....and I've said for years now a speed camera can't catch you doing 29 in a 30 swerving outside a school

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It's the easiest revenue the government can get ,hmmm, maybe because they not upped fuel tax ,like they wanted to ,there trying other ways, I heard aswell there changing the way they tax cars etc aswell soon , I'll take a wild guess it will be more expensive , I'm confused why are the government trying there hardest to make it impossible for people to drive , surely they should make it as cheap as possible then it would help in people getting jobs etc , no wonder why unemployment is so high etc , I swear the government are thick as ****, oh and as for the environment I don't see greenpeace doin free buses or feeding my kids

^ain't that the truth!

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Instead of speed cameras all over, there should be ANPR cameras and a copper with a car crusher near it. every car that gets caught without insurance/tax or MOT should be crushed and the driver should have to pay for the service too.

 

or ANPR cameras on EVERY major road junction, all main roads, all supermarket/shopping center car parks. Let's make it as difficult as possible for the illegal motorists to get around

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Instead of speed cameras all over, there should be ANPR cameras and a copper with a car crusher near it. every car that gets caught without insurance/tax or MOT should be crushed and the driver should have to pay for the service too.

or ANPR cameras on EVERY major road junction, all main roads, all supermarket/shopping center car parks. Let's make it as difficult as possible for the illegal motorists to get around

Probably reduce insurance premiums about 40% aswell

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If you could get hold of the manufacturers tolerance for a speedometer which in an analogue gauge would be measured as a percentage of full scale deflection I'd like to see 1mph over the speed limit stand up in court. The number of people I see texting or dicking about with their phone while driving is far worse than someone driving over the speed limit but concentrating on the road.

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As a sports bike rider (gixer 1000) and a cyclist I have had loads of coffin dodgers pull out in front of me and nearly wipe me out. And like previously said morons texting and taking selfies while driving is far more dangerous than a few mph over the limit. I get frowned upon because of what I now drive and ride and looked at as if I'm some kind of hooligan nutter that drives/rides flat out everywhere. It's drives lack of attention that causes accidents. So until cars are fitted with heads up displays keeping your eyes on the road and surroundings is far safer way to drive than burying your head to the speedo to keep to/below a speed limit. As usual speed is used in the name of safety when in reality it's the revenue generated by speed cameras that's the important factor by those profiting from their use.

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I get the same riding my gixxer people (especially coppers) assume you're a hooligan. If I ride my Ducati the same way I don't get any where near as negative treatment. Snobby gits :)

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being sensible and paying attention with speeding isn't the big killer that the police want people to think.

speeding and not paying attention or speeding in inappropriate locations can cause accidents.

 

The wife's uncle (John) was involved in an accident with the emmerdale actor stan richards son (Irvin) in 2001. Irvin died at the scene.

John had been driving his camper van on the M62 in the early hours on his way home from mainland Europe. John had been driving along at 60mph and there was very little traffic. He occasionally passed a lorry, but saw little other traffic. He caught a lorry up, checked his mirrors (didn't see anything) and moved into the middle lane, he then heard a screech and a car came past him and smash. It hit a bridge support and went into the field. Irvin died at the scene.

 

The Fiesta RS turbo that Irvin was driving had been speeding, he had been doing 140mph in the left hand lane, when John moved to the middle lane Irvin had to go into the right hand lane to pass them both. He lost control and he was doing 92mph when he hit the bridge support.

 

The only thing John did wrong was (by his own admission) fail to indicate (he had checked his mirror and didn't see anything so didn't bother). Seth Armstrong's family wanted John to be done for death by dangerous driving. It went to court and John got a big fine and points (as well as all the trauma from the accident and trial), blamed for someone else's high speed crash because he didn't indicate

 

If Irvin had been speeding with a bit of sense he would have been in the right hand lane all the time and John failing to indicate would have been irrelevant. http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/what-s-on/arts-entertainment/emmerdale-star-s-son-dies-in-car-crash-1-323921

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