|release date: 20th May 2004||number: PR123|
|Speeding is still normal
News. For immediate release
Department for Transport Figures, released today, show that speeding is still normal behaviour for drivers. After a full decade of speed camera enforcement of speed limits, and despite an estimated 3 million speeding tickets issued last year, driver behaviour remains unchanged.
One of the stated objectives of the speed camera system is to change drivers' speed behaviour. Clearly this is not happening.
Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road
safety campaign, described the news as "a blessed relief" and explained:
"Our road safety systems absolutely depend on the vast majority of drivers
selecting a safe and
Paul continues: "A number of the spot figures contained in the new report show that three quarters of our drivers are exceeding some of our speed limits. It is frankly absurd to suggest that this behaviour may be dangerous. Our roads are still the safest in the world. The competent and careful actions of a large majority of responsible people should obviously be considered legal."
Paul continues: "Speed enforcement has completely lost touch with reality. Clearly the camera partnerships are not making the roads safer, yet, meanwhile, millions of drivers are being penalised for doing exactly what we need them to do, and that's drive safely according to the conditions."
Paul continues: "Speed limit laws are good - we need them - but we certainly don't need digital enforcement with absolutely no regard for the circumstances of the offence. Speed cameras and digital enforcement didn't even exist when we earned ourselves the safest roads in the World. We didn't need speed cameras then, and we don't need them now. That's because you can't measure safe driving in miles per hour.
87% of HGVs were exceeding their 50mph
dual carriageway speed limit.
Yet we only have one roads fatality per 140 million kilometres driven - and only one fatality associated with speeding in every 3.7 billion vehicle kilometres driven. Clearly when speeding is so very commonplace it is unreasonable to suggest "normal speeding" distinguishes such rare events.
Notes for editors:
DfT Report: Vehicle Speeds in Great Britain 2003, released today:
Six earlier annual copies of "VSGB" no longer available from the DfT:
Road fatality rate based on official figures. See: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/5500.xls
"Associated with speeding" proportion based on an estimate derived from DfT figures and Avon and Somerset figures. See:
About Safe Speed:
Since setting up Safe Speed in 2001, Paul
Smith, 48, an advanced motorist and road safety enthusiast, and a professional
engineer of 25 years UK experience, has carried out about 5,000 hours of
research into the
The inescapable conclusion is that we should urgently return to the excellent road safety policies that gave us in the UK the safest roads in the World in the first place.
Safe Speed does not campaign against speed limits or appropriate enforcement of motoring laws, but argues vigorously that automated speed enforcement is neither safe nor appropriate.
Contact Safe Speed:
We are available for press and media interviews.
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Created 22/06/2004. Last update 22/06/2004