London Evening Standard)
6 hours ago
Motorists could face fines and possible penalty points for driving at 1mph over the speed limit under new police plans, it was reported today.
An official review is under way into the ‘buffer zone’ policy that protects drivers from punishment if they are caught driving slightly too fast.
The national roads policing chief is said to be in favour of the planned tougher approach, according to the Mail on Sunday.
According to a report seen by the newspaper, he thinks the ‘buffer zone’ rules make people think it is OK to break speed limits.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said in the report: “We need to change our messaging and ensure greater consistency of approach when dealing with those who exceed the speed limit.”
Current rules set out that enforcement of speed limits must be “proportionate” and take into account how clear the signs are, and what the road “feels like”.
Drivers are allowed to go over the speed limit by ten per cent plus 2 mph before action will be taken.
For the many 20mph roads in London, drivers would be given a fixed penalty notice or be told to go on a speed awareness course for anything over 24mph. 35 mph or above would see drivers summoned to court.
People going marginally outside the buffer zone will first be offered a training course, and after that a fine of £100 and three points.
Latest Home Office figures show that there were 2.1m speeding offences dealt with by fines or in courts in England and Wales in 2016. This number would be expected to rise significantly if the new stricter rules were brought in.
Road safety charity Brake said it would support Mr Bangham’s approach, saying travelling above the speed limit is not acceptable.
An AA spokesman told the Standard that their view was that the current rules are sufficient but that no-one should break the speed limit under any circumstances.
“Police have rights to enforce the 10 per cent plus two guidelines which remove the grey area during prosecutions. Anyone doing over that deserves to be punished,” the spokesman said.
A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman denied the report that drivers would be fined for going 1mph over the limit but confirmed the current guidelines are being re-examined.
“Officers have a range of options available to them when drivers are speeding and respond in a proportionate way based on the circumstances in each case,” he said.
“Current speed enforcement guidelines for police set in 2011 are being reviewed looking at available evidence.
“The findings of the review will be considered by all chief constables before any action is taken.
“There is no proposal for drivers to be prosecuted for driving one mile per hour over the speed limit – that would be neither proportionate or achievable.“