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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 17:09 
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http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/s ... ng/1025952

Greater punishment for speeding

Last Modified: 09 Nov 2007
By: Channel 4 News

The Government is considering plans to bring in tougher penalties for drivers caught well over the speed limit.

The proposal could mean some motorists are banned for just two offences.

Under proposals being considered by the Department of Transport, drivers caught doing 45 mph in a 30 mph zone could receive six penalty points and a £100 pound fine.

Motorists who tot up 12 penalty points in a 3-year period should get an automatic driving ban for six months.

The higher penalty system would also apply to drivers caught speeding at over 70 mph in a 50 mph zone and over 94 mph in a 70 mph area.

A survey in March found that 4.5 million drivers currently had points on their licence for speeding and 21 per cent were just one conviction away from a ban.

A Department of Transport spokesman said: "We are going to consult on a graduated speed penalty system."

He said the options had not yet been set and the consultation process would begin before the end of the year.

Reports claim the government is also dropping plans to introduce a lower penalty for drivers caught at just over the speed limit.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "It would be counter-productive and against everything we are saying to tell someone 'you were doing 35 mph so you should only get two points'.

"The big message we are putting out is that it's 30 for a reason."

Paul Smith, founder of safespeed.org.uk, an organisation campaigning for cameras to be scrapped, said graduated penalties would not encourage safe driving.

"The Department for Transport has forgotten that the speed limit is nothing more than a weak proxy for the desired behaviour.

"Drivers will rightly be concerned that they will be faced with losing their licences for six months after two perfectly routine cases of driving safely. We all know that exceeding the speed limit isn't automatically dangerous."

Meanwhile, more than half of drivers have admitted speeding but only 16 per cent have been convicted of the offence in the last five years according to a report from the RAC.

It showed as many 20 per cent of motorists believe they will never get caught exceeding the speed limit.

Around one in seven drivers say the benefits of breaking minor driving laws far outweigh the risks of getting caught.

But 23 per cent said they would bend driving laws less frequently if there was more chance of the law catching up with them.

Despite so many motorists admitting to speeding, 62 per cent accept that it is a serious offence, with about the same number supporting the idea of more traffic police and speed cameras that photograph the driver.

Nearly half would welcome a 20mph speed limit in built-up areas, with 60 per cent wanting to see the limit reduced to 10mph near schools and parks.

Also, 25 per cent would like driving licences to be immediately confiscated from those caught driving more than 15mph over the limit, while 25 per cent think a one-year driving ban should be imposed on speeders.

The figures came from an RAC report on motoring which was based on the views of 2,029 British motorists.

The report also showed that 14 per cent admitted to driving when tired and going through a red light, while 18 per cent had succumbed to road rage and 16 per cent had tailgated.

RAC road safety consultant Robin Cummins said: "There's been great progress over the last 20 years in highlighting the problems of drink driving but more needs to be done to tackle motorists driving too fast. "Speeding needs to become socially unacceptable if drivers are to change their attitudes to this potentially lethal habit.

"Too many drivers take a blase approach to speeding, seeing 30mph signs as targets, not limits. Many motorists are suspicious of speed-limiting measures, especially cameras, viewing them as revenue generators rather than a means of improving road safety. We believe the Government needs to educate motorists that such measures are in place to protect, not inconvenience them.

"But it's not just about changing mindsets. If drivers don't think they will get caught, they will continue to bend the rules. There's an obvious need for more policing and measures like speed cameras that measure average speeds if drivers are to be encouraged to drive responsibly.

"Other initiatives, such as reducing speed limits in bad weather, would help to lower the 7,000 road accidents on our roads each year caused by excessive speed, many of which are fatal."

RAC spokesman Jon Day said: "Research for our 2007 motoring report shows that, while 51 per cent of motorists admit to regularly speeding, only 16 per cent of motorists have been convicted of a speeding offence. "This is despite the fact that speeding contributes to three times as many accidents as drink-driving.

"This highlights a worrying disconnection between the problem of habitual speeding and the chances of being caught and punished.

"RAC urges the Government to take measures to tackle the issue, and would welcome initiatives such as widespread introduction of average speed cameras, and education of drivers regarding the dangers associated with speeding."

Neil Greig, director of the IAM Trust (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists), said: "Excessive speeding is selfish, dangerous and harms the environment.

"The new Government consultation is welcome and we look forward to seeing the resulting benefits translated into safer and less stressful motoring."

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 14:01 
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Quote:
Despite so many motorists admitting to speeding, 62 per cent accept that it is a serious offence, with about the same number supporting the idea of more traffic police and speed cameras that photograph the driver.

Nearly half would welcome a 20mph speed limit in built-up areas, with 60 per cent wanting to see the limit reduced to 10mph near schools and parks.

Also, 25 per cent would like driving licences to be immediately confiscated from those caught driving more than 15mph over the limit, while 25 per cent think a one-year driving ban should be imposed on speeders.


Is it just me or does this seem like utter nonsense... a case of very very loaded questions.

I don't think I could find even 5 ordinary people who were stupid enough to think 10mph limits would be sensible. Maybe they questionned mothers/fathers outside of school...

Half would welcome 20mph limits? Again, who on earth were the morons answering this questionnaire?

62% accept it is a serious offence?!?!? "
Question "Do you think speeding is a more serious offence than littering? a. Yes, it is a serious offence. b. No, littering is more serious"

Same number supporting front facing speed cameras? Utter nonsense again.

Argh, I hate it when awful 'stats' like these come out to fool the morons out there and give the anti car gang more ideas


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 15:15 
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mmltonge wrote:
Quote:
Despite so many motorists admitting to speeding, 62 per cent accept that it is a serious offence, with about the same number supporting the idea of more traffic police and speed cameras that photograph the driver.

Nearly half would welcome a 20mph speed limit in built-up areas, with 60 per cent wanting to see the limit reduced to 10mph near schools and parks.

Also, 25 per cent would like driving licences to be immediately confiscated from those caught driving more than 15mph over the limit, while 25 per cent think a one-year driving ban should be imposed on speeders.


Is it just me or does this seem like utter nonsense... a case of very very loaded questions.

I don't think I could find even 5 ordinary people who were stupid enough to think 10mph limits would be sensible. Maybe they questionned mothers/fathers outside of school...

Half would welcome 20mph limits? Again, who on earth were the morons answering this questionnaire?

62% accept it is a serious offence?!?!? "
Question "Do you think speeding is a more serious offence than littering? a. Yes, it is a serious offence. b. No, littering is more serious"

Same number supporting front facing speed cameras? Utter nonsense again.

Argh, I hate it when awful 'stats' like these come out to fool the morons out there and give the anti car gang more ideas


I agree with you. It's tragic that this sort of nonsense gets so much publicity and apparently sways so many people.

Robin Cummins and Neil Greig are talking like idiots. I don't think they have a clue. When will they get it into their fat heads that 'speeding' is not the major problem here? All the time they spend waffling on about speed is time wasted in getting to the root of our road safety problems.

I'm sorry to be rude to you two gentlemen, in case you read this, but you really need to look at what's happening on our roads.

Best wishes all,
Dave.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 15:28 
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RAC spokesman Jon Day wrote:
This is despite the fact that speeding contributes to three times as many accidents as drink-driving.


This is disingenuous claptrap, certainly not what we'd expect from a representative of a motoring organisation!

This suggests that drink-driving is only responsible for 1.7% of KSIs, and that's not to mention the fact that many 'speeding' accidents are in fact 'drink-drive' accidents as well!

Consider my RAC membership cancelled!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 16:25 
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What happened to the RAC? They seemed to have been getting more sensible, and now they're spouting this rubbish? Have they had a change of staff?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 16:29 
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I'm afraid that we have entire road safety industry which is basically talking complete bollocks. These people, sadly, are no exception.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 16:49 
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The odd thing is the contradiction from the RAC Foundation, with this article in the Guardian seeming much more sensible:


Penalties to fit the crime
Edmund King, RAC Foundation
November 9, 2007

In terms of justice it makes sense to have harsher penalties depending on the severity of the crime. So does it make sense to double the penalty points of drivers who exceed the speed limits by a larger margin?

To some extent this is already done within the current system. If a driver is caught on the M1 at 100mph they will not just get the standard £60 fine and three penalty points, they are likely to get a much higher fine and a ban.

However, the government appears to want to introduce a new system which would automatically give six penalty points to drivers, for example, exceeding 45mph in a 30mph zone. This is acceptable in theory but the fact that two such offences would lead to a driving ban means we must be sure that we have the right speed limits in the right places. It is also vital that the speed limit is clearly signed. Speed limits vary from place to place. In some areas 70mph on dual carriageways is the norm but on other dual carriageways the limit may be 30mph.

The RAC Foundation believes that education is key as an alternative to prosecution. We are keen to see an extension of the current provisions for offering speed awareness and other driver improvement courses as an alternative to fines and points. We also stress that automatic enforcement by camera is no substitute for traffic police and call on the government to address the reduction in officers as a matter of urgency.

The original government consultation on graduated fixed penalties for speeding, talked of extending the range of penalty points from 3-6 to 2-6. A higher level of points would be awarded to those exceeding the speed limit by a wide margin so as to increase the likelihood of losing their licence through totting up. The two points and a smaller fine would be awarded to those motorists who may only be a few miles over the limit. The idea of two points now seems to have been dropped.

We believe that the level of the punishment needs to fit the crime, and that having a range of penalty points may actually discourage people from excessive speeding. The greatest reduction in road casualties would come from reducing the speeds of faster drivers. There is no evidence to suggest that this would encourage motorists to drive just above the limit, as two penalty points is still a strong deterrent to speeding.

With a perception by many motorists that cameras are purely revenue raisers, the variable points system may prove to be seen as a fairer scheme to many motorists, as it punishes the worst offenders more severely. Despite this we still believe that education is key as an alternative to prosecution, being more likely to secure lasting changes in driver behaviour.

Inappropriate speed is a problem that needs to be addressed by a package of measures including driver education, a review of speed limits to ensure realistic limits, and better signing of speed limits including interactive warning signs. However if changes are made to the points system these should be clearly linked to the introduction of more widespread speed awareness courses. The Foundation believes that much greater emphasis should be put on driver re-education as an alternative to prosecution. We also stress that automatic enforcement by camera is no substitute for traffic police.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 19:58 
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A lot of this extract is pretty OK but...
Quote:
The greatest reduction in road casualties would come from reducing the speeds of faster drivers.

... seems obviously incorrect as only a small percentage of accidents have excessive speed as the primary cause and thus the greatest reduction in casualties would lie elsewhere.

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The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 22:45 
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Depends how you read it -- I read it as meaning that the greatest benefit of speed enforcement would be if it reduced the speed of the fastest drivers (ie. those who are above the 85th percentile and more likely to crash). But it's rather ambiguous.


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