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149 mph tops list of England and Wales' speeders

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A motorist on the M25 was caught travelling at 149mph, highest speed clocked by a speed camera in England and Wales between April 2013 and May 2014, a study has revealed.

The 149 mph figure was revealed following freedom of information requests to 39 police authorities by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).   Eighty-five per cent of police authorities responded.

Other findings include:

  • The highest speed recorded on 30mph road was 96mph on the B1288, on Leam Lane, Gateshead
  • The highest speed recorded on a 50mph road was on the A414 Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire where a motorist clocked 119 mph
  • The highest speed recorded on a 60mph road was 127mph on the A413 Wendover By-Pass, Wendover

The guidelines to magistrates on sentencing for speeding include:

  • 70 mph road: For driving between 101 and 110 mph. Fine plus 6 points or disqualified for 7-56 days.
  • 50 mph road: For driving between 76 and 85 mph. Fine plus 6 points or disqualified for 7-56 days.
  • 30 mph road: For driving between 51 and 60mph. Fine plus 6 points or disqualified for 7-56 days.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "149 miles per hour equates to nearly two and a half miles in a minute.  If anything goes wrong at that speed, you're unlikely to walk away and you are a grave danger to the innocent road users around you."

"Speed limits are a limit.  They are not a target to beat. Unfortunately this message has not got through to many motorists and it's clear that efforts to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drink driving continue to fail.  That's why we need sustained campaigning by the government, motor industry and charities to keep ramming home the message that excessive speed kills.  Catching speeders at two or even three times the limit also shows the importance of keeping speed cameras at well-known black spots."

 "The current guidelines on sentencing for excessive speeding offences are out of sync with modern roads, modern vehicles and society's view of the value of lives lost in crashes.  We all share the roads with these speeding drivers and the government must crack down on them with more consistent penalties and tougher measures to break their addiction for speed."

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  • Topboss - 28/05/2014 11:20

    Perhaps there are a couple of things that the industry could contemplate when manufacturing....first would be to electronically limit the vehicle to a more sensible speed without altering the performance terms of BHP etc but will help reduce the ability to travel at this unthinkable speed being done, secondly they could design a spray flap that is a little less unsightly and fit them as standard, it could even be integrated into the rear bumper with a central drain in the middle, this would help with the distribution of water on the carriage way and ultimately reduce the amount of spray.....

  • Sam - 28/05/2014 11:50

    Motorways have been showing signs that it will take 25 minutes to get from Junction A to Junction B. Human nature is to test theories and this is one that will be done so people can bragg that they got there in 19 mins. Stop putting silly ideas in to drivers of killing machines and give us constructive information. Lorries come with limiters on maybe this should be on cars but to a safe accelaration point as sometimes you need to increase speed slightly to overtake in a safe area. Do we know if those excessive speeds were during daylight or later when the roads were quiet, it would be interesting to know as there are several people out there who think they are on the set of "Need for Speed" or like "Nigel Mansell or Lewis Hamilton".

  • chizzy - 28/05/2014 12:20

    Nobody can justify excessive speed, and specifically where the conditions make it wholly inappropriate. Let's get this myth debunked - SPEED itself does NOT kill. Excessive and inappropriate speed does that. The Victorians used to believe that we would not be able to breathe if we travelled at more than 30mph. The authorities should stop from treating everyone as fools. I evidence this by the flexible speed limits used on sections of certain roads now, notably the M25, M6, M42. If the traffic authorities know when the conditions dictate that the speed limit should be reduced, then surely they should also know when it can be safely increased. Is there ANY reason why on a bright, dry, lightly used M69 in the middle of the afternoon why the limit can't be safely increased to 80mph between, say, a mile distance of each junction? No, there isn't. Could cameras not also be used for identifying those who clog up the roads in the centre lane (and also lanes two and three of four lane highways)? Especially those texting and driving which happens all too frequently. These people are responsible for the frustration among many other motorists, and no doubt has a direct impact on the speed that those others may then try and travel at? The main focus for speeding should be on urban and residential roads - the '149mph on a motorway' stat is of less consequence than the multitude of distracted parents on the school run who speed to and from the school - but who will of course also be the most vocal when a child gets hurt. I'm a biker as well as a driver, and I'll freely admit that on the open road I will sometimes use a little more throttle than many of you would approve of ... but many of those who castigate me for that admission will also be those who frequently bunch up behind me in a 30 and 40 mph limit area. That really makes me dumbfounded sometimes after overtaking someone on an open road whose driver shows his disapproval by flashing their headlights at me (probably because they didn't notice me and I took them by surprise) ... and then a minute later will catch me up in a village while I am religiously sticking to the limit. Ironic or what? Let's get this in proportion - the stats quoted in this article are the exception, not the norm. They are the equivalent of a Red Top headline - designed to get a reaction.

  • Dragon - 28/05/2014 12:43

    Speed should be appropriate to the conditions. To be honest if somebody drives at high speed on a dry empty motorway, I don't really have a problem, it works perfectly well in Germany. Bad driving is far more dangerous than fast driving. Speeding in built up areas in an altogether different situation and is not acceptable, although the proliferation of 20mph limits is getting out of control and, I believe, causing people to lose even more respect for these limits. To agree with Chizzy in their comment, it is incredible how many drivers out there still travel everywhere at between 38 and 44 mph irrespective of the speed limit (or conditions) and get annoyed when you overtake them in a 60 mph section only to then tailgate you when you get to the next 30 limit. In the article the IAM state that sentencing is out of sync with modern roads, modern vehicles and society's views. Surely the exact same comment can be made about current speed limits (I'm talking national limits here, not residential). 80 to 90 mph is perfectly safe on a clear quiet motorway as proved by the huge number of people who drive at that speed already, so let's pit the variable speed limit technology to better use and increase limits when it's safe. A practical approach is far likely to encourage drivers to respect all limits much more than the current situation which appears to be designed solely to appease Brake.

    • chizzy - 28/05/2014 13:12

      @Dragon - I couldn't agree more with you if I tried. A lack of respect towards drivers is matched by a lack of respect by the drivers. As for the incessant drum banging by the overly biased and sensitive BRAKE! Their approach alienates a lot of people.

  • Mark - 28/05/2014 13:29

    149 mph on the M25? Sure it wasn't 14.9 mph

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