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This is not how the present system works under ACPO guidelines.
First both police and speed cameras usually give a 10% +2mph leeway partly because of speedometer variations. So 35mph is usually ok but 36mph is not.

John Coles

Common sense, but need it be a national policy?


This is more or less what the Road Safety Bill will be introducing (final stages on the 9th Oct for those interested).

Arguments against are fairly simple - it can be interpreted as saying that some speeding is ok(ish)...


If it's 4 am and no one on the roads, it might be quite reasonable to drive at 50 mph in a 30 mph area - in London for example, this is quite common. A driving ban would be pointless. Otherwise I see some of the logic of what you are saying.

The money aspects are one thing. The banning is quite another. The cost of being banned to some people could be devastating, and to their families. Not everyone has access to rail or bus services. I would think that the number of points at which people are banned couild be raised to 24, as the monetary disincentives are quite bad enough.

People who drive more often pick up more points as a rule. The banning at 12 points is the main problem.


Not until we have road speed reform measures first. More warning signals that flash up the speed of the road if it is lower than the road appears to need, most sensible motorists don't want to break the speeding laws. There are many A roads now that were the national speed limit that have been reduced in the last year or so to 50mph, fine as long as they are well signed from roads entering in the middle of the reduced speed limit. I would like to access the local Council website to see the reasons for the change of speed wouldn't you?

We also need adequate Council systems where drivers, including those from out of the area, can query the lack of speed signs in order to confuse and trap drivers, or question reduced speeds that don't fit the type of road. I'll give you a local example Owen you'll know Etruria Road the A53 which is the road that runs from Newcastle Under Lyme to Hanley and over the A500 'D' road. It is a two lane carriageway with central crash barrier, no housing or schools and yet has recently been reduced to 30mph from 50mph (which had already been reduced from the national speed limit for this type of road), with a newly installed speed camera. This road from Newcastle was made really more dangerous at the roundabout when they reduced the two lanes going across the roundabout to one with the inside lane a turn left onto the A500 only - there are many near misses as the chancers use the turn left lane to undercut the traffic that has patiently queued on the hill, a speed camera won't stop that menace.

Speed discs should also have the mph speed limit.

Don't you feel that majority of the people who drive dangerously and cause most of the serious accidents are those that flout other traffic regulations such as driving without a licence or insurance, driving underage, driving whilst banned, driving whilst taking drugs, many of these people couldn't and wouldn't have to pay the fines due to their personal circumstances - if you can't get them to insure the car what makes you think they'll pay the speeding fine, and if they haven't a licence what use are the extra points.

Mark Wadsworth

YES, although a-tracy's additional comments would have to be taken into account.

Denis Cooper

My fundamental objection to this system, and all "fast track" systems, "summary justice", "on the spot fine fines", "civil penalties" etc etc is that it has started the gradual, stealthy, process of inverting our traditional presumption of innocence.

Eventually that will spread like a disease throughout the criminal justice system.

In line with the EU's "Corpus Juris" based upon the Napoleonic code, of course, which will be imposed upon us by majority voting if Reid relinquishes our veto on "Justice and Home Affairs" at the meeting of EU Justice Ministers next Friday.

Neil Herron has been fighting this for years now: http://neilherron.blogspot.com/


It is said that road speed penalties have saved no net lives. Rates of death have marginally increased. Accidents caused by excess speed have been replaced by accidents caused by drivers breaking when they see cameras and other fine-targeted devices. I would like to see more of the devices that flash your speed to you as a-tracy says. we want people thinking about safety not about their wallets.



Angelo Basu

This isn't terribly inspiring as a proposal and despite being billed as a move away from speeding fines as a revenue source states that revenues are likely to increase!

An increase in the speed limit on motorways should be considered as 70mph is barely a tickover for modern cars and invites people to speed- a more sensible limit of 80mph would be much more likely to be adhered to so that people didn't develop the flexible attitude to how mandatory speed limits are generally.

It would be good to make electronic signs more reliable too- too often they show a speed reduction with no good reason and get ignored so they really are like the boy who cried wolf!


I agree with Angelo Basu above. I sure would like to see some increases in the speed limit, say to 85mph on the motorway, rather than talk about new limits, reductions and fines.

As to this suggestion, I am not sure it is not just change for the sake of change. Since there are lots of different speed limits, it will create a plethora of different punishments which will just cause additional confusion and resentment rather than a sense that things are getting fairer. Pensioners will not thank you for it either.

Also, do pensioners cause less damage than businessmen when speeding? Or do they only go at 34mph because they don't go to meetings? I don't mean to be snippy but I find that particular premise rather illogical and designed to appeal to some false idea that the current system discriminates against pensioners.

Matt Davis

The Labour emphasis on solely policing speed on our roads has been led purely by a determination to extract yet more money from motorists and if possible put people off of driving. It has never been genuinely about road safety as can be seen by the almost complete withdrawal of traffic police units from our roads and the accident statistics. More than speed it is the standards of driving on our roads that need to be addressed and I'm afraid that this policy since it simply messes about with the existing failed approach to road safety has completely missed the point for me.


And when do you think that the Department for Transport will get executive approval from the European Union for this?

On Transport matters, the UK Parliament and the devolved toy councils of North and West Britain are only executive agencies of the EU.

Angelo Basu

Re the pensioner example- are we really saying that we don't think that a pensioner who is not paying attention is driving safely?

Although there is a case for looking at speed limits etc, the bigger issues are, as mentioned above to do with the quality of driving and in particular, the large number of people driving without insurance, licences, road tax and MoTs. The case earlier this week of the blind man being given a 3 year driving ban and being required to take an extended test show how ludicrous the controls on driving standards and the enforcement of the basic safety regulations are.

Any untaxed, uninsured, MoT-less vehicle should be confiscated and crushed (and recycled!) unless a SORN declaration has been given and the vehicle is actually kept of the road. Driving without the appropriate documentation being available at reasonable notice should be much more seriously treated as it poses a threat to the public well beyond those of many other serious criminal activities.

John Peters

I'm not sure about the details, but the general idea seems a good one.

(On the pensioner example, Owen says "not watching the speedometer" which is something very different from not paying attention to the road or his/her driving.)

Dominic de Mariveles

The thrust of this idea is correct; but it is the points system that needs rederessing. Banning people for a few minor speed misdemeanors is damaginf as you are labelling people criminals who are no such thing.

Speeding is an issue that should be dealt with by traffic school and fines. As mentioned above the people who tend to cause real and frequent accidents have a wider case against them than just speeding.

Caroline Hunt

The issue is the speed restrictions themselves. In many residential areas they actually need to be lowered for safety reasons however they need to be raised or abolished all together on the motorways.


Re the pensioner example- are we really saying that we don't think that a pensioner who is not paying attention is driving safely?

Quite. When I read the article at that point I thought it was going to make the point that the businessman going faster but paying attention to what he was doing might have been driving more safely.

Alas, no. More knee-jerk speed-phobia, and more automatic trial-less penalties. More doffing the cap to the road-safety campaigners who so blight this country's political process and have brought us the absurd system where vast sums of money are wasted on test fees and endless driving lessons for no benefit whatsoever.

There's a political party that's really into that sort of stuff, but its not this one.

Owen Meredith

Sorry, I have been away from my desk today. but to pick up on a few points raised.

1. The ban element is as the current system, im not suggesting a ban level.

2. I quite agree that speeding at 4am tends to be less dangerous - but we cant legislate for this.

3. As for the comments regarding the examples I used: They were just examples, not saying OAP's speed safely and businessmen do not!

4. Details I agree need working on, but I'm proposing the idea rather than a final draft policy. Certainly there may need to be different fine rates for different speeds, maybe a percentage level rather than MPH level.

Automated Robot

Seeking a change in the law needs to identify the reason (unfair, unreasonable, unintended consequence, unenforcable, unnecessary etc.) The counter proposal should then address that.

This proposal appears to be based on a perception of unfairness - but confuses this with unintended consequence (if indeed accidents have increased through the introduction of speed cameras) As a result, the counter proposal fails.

In the examples cited, the crime was breaking the speed limit - and an equal fine is applied. "Just" breaking the law is the same as breaking it. The tolerances applied (10% + 2mph) offer acceptable tolerance for errors by driver and machine. The magistrate's judgment can be exercised to do the rest (accepting that there are other more significant problems with sentencing and traffic offences).

In the scenario given, the consequences did not happen, and therefore could not be determined. Why not? Who would react better to a child running out into the road - a businessman at 40mph or a pensioner at 34 mph? What were the prevailing conditions - wet, dry? The law has plenty of provision and scope to deal with these and/or deem it dangerous/reckless driving.

Perphaps there is a debate to be had that fines should increase: a friend's response to reaching 9 points was to buy a detector, not slow down. Penalties and fines have, in her case, failed to produce the required modification in behaviour that will make her participation in society less dangerous to and more considerate of others.

An appeal to the Editor...

If 100policies is to succeed we must avoid the thinking: "because I brush my teeth every day and go to the dentist, I understand teeth".

I may use the road and see others who do so, therefore I have an opinion and this forum allows me to express it. However, I am not an expert. Existing policies are not produced in isolation: their evidence base needs proper critique and new proposals need some appeal to evidence of their own.

Mr Editor - more/better evidence to strengthen these policy proposals please.

(Submitted after voting closed)


This obsession with speed as the "catch-all" factor in determining whether someone is driving safely or not is a mistake. For example, more accidents occur in 20mph zones than in 30mph zones. Speed cameras increase accidents as drivers continually check speedometers rather than the road ahead.

Most bodies that are experts in these matters (and I mean RoSPA and IAM rather than the single-issue pressure groups) tell us that around 95% of accidents are caused by human error. Why then does the Government persist in spending millions on road improvements?

The reason is that they are visible. The public can drive down the road and think that the council has done something about road safety because there is a new bollard or zebra crossing or whatever.

Similarly, the "speed kills" myth is perpetuated because we then believe speed cameras really do something.

We see the media perpetuating this myth: "Britain's 10 most dangerous roads". The road isn't inherently unsafe, if you are a skilled driver.

The real way to improve road safety is to resolve the woefully inadequate driving test system. This teaches you nothing.

I propose a "graded" system of driving test thus: upon passing your first test, you are permitted to drive a vehicle of no larger than 1000cc for two years. After that time, you are eligible to sit a further test which allows you to drive a car of up to 1300cc. And so on.

Random and regular driving tests would be introduced, with the examiner having the power to immediately suspend a driver's licence who fails to meet a given standard. Some "intermediate" drivers would be made to resit the test. Most would pass.

This, in my opinion, is the only way to combat the woeful driving standards on our roads.

STOP this obsession with speed. It may be visible, but it isn't effective.


This proposal does nothing towards "correcting a injustice that is viewed by the public as ... money making system". (As Angelo Basu 10:47 points out: the author suggests even more money will be made.)

The money-making issue is: who receives the money? At present it is the police & courts who supposedly implement justice without an eye to their revenues and budgets.

This proposal also assumes the limit imposed by officials is 'sensible' and therefore exceeding that limit is dangerous and punish-worthy. a-tracy 09:36 gives one example where a new 30mph limit seems irrational.

Alex Scattergood

The UNHEALTHY and unsubstantiated obsession with speed as the single cause of accidents needs to be addressed.

The Landscape is now peppered with speed cameras. Deaths keep rising despite improved medical skills, wider seat belt use, more congestion and improved vehicle safety. So its obvious to most people the indiscriminate use of speed cameras is not the answer.

I would have been more impressed if the Conservatives had suggested the following:

1/ Driver education and testing - as advocated by Millsee above I would suggest regular testing of drivers.

The technology is available to provide photo booth style testing areas using a computer test covering reaction, risk assesment etc. Access could be controlled by photo driving license. These could be required every 1 - 2 years for new drivers, every 5 years for established drivers and every 1 - 2 years for older / more at risk drivers. Nominal fees of £10 - £20 for a certificate would seem fair and a cost of £5 per test seem sensible. Those that take it more often could see reduced insurance costs.

2/ Pedestrians and Bicycle users should also be brought firmly into scope for prevention. "Jay Walking" should become an offence, for the pedestrian to be hit at 40 mph and die they need to actually be in the vehicles path.My experiance is Pedestrians regaularly vault safety railings and run accross dual carraigeways, ignore red men and run across crossings etc.

Children being killed IN the road is a frequently used emotive argument, why are they IN the road in the first place? Where are their Parent / guardians? I frequently see children treating even major roads as their play area, my children know the green cross code because I nag them, many parents don't.

Why does the death rate of pedestrians go up Friday & Saturday night? Possibly drunken pedestrians get in the carraigeway?

Cyclists who feel lights and reflective gear unecessary should have their bikes impounded and fines levied.

3/ Drunken drivers. People in any accident involving injury should be required to submit to drink & drug tests including pedestrians, cyclists etc. Traffic cops should be encouraged and enabled to go drunk / incapacitated driver hunting. Vehicles driven by drunk etc drivers should be impounded & crushed.

4/ Illegal drivers. - 3 Disks, insurance, Driver / operator & Tax should be displayed on the car. The technology to record the last driver number is currently available. Cars not displaying the disks on public roads should be instantly impounded and crushed.

5/ Drivers repeatedly banned should be tagged during ban and imprisoned / severely punished if they break the ban. Again any vehicle they are driving should be impounded & crushed.

6/ Official drivers should be seen to be above reproach, familiarising yourself with a new vehicle should be done on a test track not on public road regardless of your skill as a police driver. Any planned risky behaviour should be approved by a clearly filed prior risk assesment. Popping the blue light on to pick up a takeaway should be punished.

Any protection drivers should follow a protocol prior to / during evasive action, this should include alerting control and filing an incident report if any law is overridden. Recording of the incident should include a full commentary, this should be reviewed whenever speed limits are breached.

7/ All public owned / business owned vehicles could be fitted with an automatic tacho that cannot be interfered with by the driver. Driving hours and speed should be reviewed regularly by the maintainer of the fleet who takes responsibility for abuse. Having in the past seen company car drivers regularly pushed to exceed safe driving hours this can only improve matters.

8/ Silly I know but why not have a few more traffic officers?

9/ Finally lets have speed cameras with instant feedback (i.e. with a large sign saying "L24 PJH" - 38 mph = 3pts that is caught in the evidence picture) so drivers can be sure thay have been caught and other drivers will adjust their speed accordingly.

This may also iron out deceptive & cynical attempts to raise revenue if drivers can see they are being caught by obviously defective or sneaky cameras. There will be the bonus that they will have no difficulty remembering who is the driver as seems to happen to a number of celebrities and public figures.

These should be placed in carefully selected areas approved by both the local police, council and ROSPA and justified by death rate. Not positioned on a similar road within 500 metres, just after an unwarranted speed restriction, hidden behind a hedge so that it increases the revenue take.

air jordan 1

I would like to access the local Council website to see the reasons for the change of speed wouldn't you?

Air Jordans

I’ve never any pity for conceited people, because I think they carry their comfort about with them

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