Guest article from Motoring Lawyer, Alison Ashworth
Figures released following a freedom of information request by BBC Radio 5 Live have identified shocking statistics about the excessive speeds at which the nation’s motorists are regularly caught driving.
Not all forces responded to the freedom of information request, however between the ones that did, 2,169 reports identifying speeding over 100mph taking place were filed between 2014- 2015.
That’s more than five motorists per day, with 152 of the reports identifying speeds above 120mph. The highest reported speed was 156mph.
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, told the BBC: "Speed is a significant factor in fatal road accidents and extreme speed causes an even greater risk to road users."
Legal consequences of excessive speeding
Legally, being caught travelling at a speed exceeding 100mph in a 70 zone will result in the driver being brought before the Court, with the starting point for sentence being a ban of between 7 – 56 days.
If however the speed is manifestly excessive, the Crown Prosecution Service could consider laying an additional charge of dangerous driving where the sentencing options are far more severe.
A conviction for dangerous driving would lead to a minimum 12 month disqualification from driving, an extended re-test and a possible prison sentence.
There is a common misconception that to be charged with dangerous driving, a person must have performed some type of risky manoeuvre such as overtaking multiple cars on a blind bend or driving on the wrong side of the road.
It is a further misconception that there must be some form of consequence from the dangerous driving, such as an accident. This is simply not the case. I have acted on a number of previous cases where the only factor which made the person’s driving dangerous was the person’s speed.
This is not difficult to understand when the test for dangerous driving is explored:
The test for dangerous driving is simply: whether the person’s standard of driving fell far below the standard expected of a competent driver, and whether it would be obvious to a competent driver that the person’s manner of driving would be dangerous.
Whilst it’s unclear how many of the motorists identified in the BBC’s Freedom of Information Request actually faced an additional charge of dangerous driving, it’s always worth remembering this potential sentencing option when you’re in a hurry to get from A to B.
Article written by Specialist Motoring Law Solicitor Alison Ashworth; Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law Ltd.
If you would like more information or to contact Ashworth Motoring Law Ltd for advice regarding any motoring offence, call 0330 33 22 770, email email@example.com or visit the website.