New government figures from the Department for Transport show that almost a million motorists were caught speeding last year, a five-year high! Speeding offences have risen by more than 130,000 in the last year, with many drivers facing penalty points or speed awareness courses.
Unless eligible for a course, any driver caught speeding is at risk of at least three penalty points on their licence and a fine. Reach twelve points in three years and you are at risk of a Magistrates’ Court ban of at least six months under totting up, unless you can show that it would cause exceptional hardship.
The rise in speeding offences may well reflect an increase in the number of digital speed cameras used to monitor variable speed limits on stretches of “smart” motorways, including parts of the M1, M4, M6 and M25. Other sections are under construction, for example on part of the M60 motorway in Greater Manchester.
By contrast, the number of other motoring offences recorded, such as careless and dangerous driving, and drink driving, all dropped. significantly. Edmund King, of the AA, has suggested that cameras are being used to replace traffic police, pointing out that cameras do not catch drink drivers, middle-lane hoggers and tailgaters. The AA has also warned that limits are often cut to 50 or 60mph for no obvious reason, landing large numbers of motorists with penalty points and fines.
Agree or disagree, one thing seems certain – digital speed cameras are here to stay.
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