posted 3 months ago

Punish Drivers for Breaking Speed Limit by 1mph, Police Boss Says

Police chief proposals for zero tolerance speed limit enforcement explained plus the widespread, negative, reaction

Speed limit buffer

Drivers that exceed the speed limit by only 1mph should be penalised and not “whinge” about it”, Britain’s Lead for Roads Policing claimed. As things stand, police can optionally allow motorists a buffer in case (say) their speedometers are inaccurate.

In theory, therefore, there is potentially no penalty unless exceeding the limit by 10% +2mph. 35mph in a 30 zone, for instance.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham called for this buffer to be scrapped and for “soft” treatment to end. He further said serious offenders should not be allowed to take a speed awareness course and – by doing so – avoid any fine and penalty points. He proposed:

  • Drivers that break the limit by up to 10% +2mph must take a course rather than potentially escape punishment (as of now)
  • Drivers that exceed the limit by a greater margin must be fined, get penalty points and lose the option to take a course

Such proposals have been met with widespread condemnation. Conservative Member of Parliament, Sir Greg Knight, claimed: "It will make criminals of motorists who are basically good drivers trying to obey the speed limit.” Solicitor, Nick freeman, said such rigorous enforcement is “hair brained” and “legally unenforceable”.

AA President, Edmund King, added that speeding is dangerous and wrong but said: “The last thing we want is drivers glued to the speedometer 100% of the time. We want drivers to concentrate on road ahead and not be worry about going 1 or 2mph above the limit.” 

Penalty for speeding

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points - but the consequences escalate if the matter goes to court. 

In 2017, The Sentencing Council confirmed motorists can now be fined 150% weekly income by Magistrates' Courts in England and Wales (+50%). However, fines remain capped at £1,000 rising to £2,500 for motorway offences. Perpetrators therefore receive a band A, B or C penalty based on the severity of the offences. See below:

Speed Limit in mph Band A: Vehicle Speed in mph (50% Weekly Income) Band B: Vehicle Speed in mph (100% Weekly Income) Band C: Vehicle Speed in mph (150% Weekly Income)
20 21 - 30 31 - 40 41+
30 31 - 40 41 - 50 51+
40 41 - 55 56 - 65 66+
50 51 - 65 66 - 75 76+
60 61 - 80 81 - 90 91+
70 71 - 90 91 - 100 101+

Each band is also linked to penalty points or a ban. See below:

  • Band A: 3 points
  • Band B: 4 to 6 points (or 7 to 28 day disqualification)
  • Band C: 6 points (or 7 to 56 day disqualification)