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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 17:51 
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Plans for tougher speeding penalties considered
Fri Nov 9, 2007 8:28am GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - The government said on Friday it is considering plans to bring in tougher penalties for drivers caught well over the speed limit, meaning motorists could be 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, the Times newspaper said.

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

The Times said 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 percent were just one conviction away from a ban.

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

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

The Times said the government was also dropping plans to introduce a lower penalty for drivers caught at just over the speed limit.

"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'," Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick told the Times.

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

Paul Smith, founder of, 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," he said.

"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."

Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety

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