Speeding: The facts

Speeding was a major contributary factor in the 22,144 serious injuries and 1,730 deaths that occurred on Britain’s roads in 2015. Speed limits are set for a reason; the risk of causing death or serious injury is significantly increased when driving even a few miles per hour over the limit.

The law states you must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. The speed limit is the absolute maximum and it doesn’t mean it's safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.

Driving too fast for the conditions causes, or contributes to, one third of road crashes. Excessive speed contributes to 12% of all injury collisions, 18% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 28% of all collisions that result in a fatality

Drivers travelling at higher speeds will have less time to identify hazards and react to what is happening around them. It takes longer for the vehicle to stop and as a result the crash will be more severe, causing greater injury to the occupants and any pedestrian or rider hit by the vehicle.

Approximately two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less. At 35 mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30 mph.

Following the tips below will help you ensure you stick to the speed limit, and hopefully reduce your chances of being involved in a collision.

  • Plan your time and journey; one of the primary causes of speeding is someone being late
  • Be aware of how music affects you, certain people are sensitive to the influence of certain types of music and this can affect the speed at which they drive
  • In 30mph zones keep in 3rd gear
  • Be aware of your surroundings, the more aware you are of the speed limit the less likely you are to inadvertently speed
  • Learn the typical stopping distances for a vehicle travelling at different speeds; if you know how long it will take you to stop at certain speeds you are more likely to understand the danger that speeding poses



Speeding Penalties

New increased penalties were introduced in April 2017 for speeding offences. Fines will now be based on the earnings of the offender, and the degree to which they were speeding. There are also a range of aggravating factors that can increase these fines to a maximum of £2500 on motorways and £1000 on other roads.

Statutory aggravating factors:

  • Previous convictions, having regard to a) the nature of the offence to which the conviction relates and its relevance to the current offence; and b) the time that has elapsed since the conviction
  • Offence committed whilst on bail

Other aggravating factors:

  • Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision
  • Poor road or weather conditions
  • Driving LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
  • Towing caravan/trailer
  • Carrying passengers or heavy load
  • Driving for hire or reward
  • Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving over and above speed
  • Location e.g. near school
  • High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity



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