New Government figures show that there were more than 2.1m prosecutions for speed limit offences in 2016, the highest number since 2011.
Published by the DfT on 23 November, the 2,153,000 speeding prosecutions in 2016 represents a year-on-year increase of 1.3% and is more than 30% higher than in 2011 – when there were 1.6m prosecutions for speed limit offences.
IAM RoadSmart says the figures show that speeding is ‘still far from being socially unacceptable’, while Brake describes them as ‘highly concerning’.
The total number of prosecutions for motor vehicle offences also rose slightly in 2016 – up 0.3% to 3,059,000. This means that speeding was responsible for 70% of the total prosecutions.
However, the number prosecutions for ‘dangerous, careless or drunken driving’ fell by 6% to 179,000.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Unfortunately these figures show that we still have a long way to go to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving.
“Resources are still needed for education and publicity campaigns to drive home the message that road safety is as much about taking personal responsibility as it is about new methods of enforcement.”
Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, said: "These figures are highly concerning and show that exceeding the speed limit remains a major safety issue.
"Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead, such as a child stepping out from between parked cars, it’s a driver’s speed that determines whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t, how hard they will hit.”
Prosecution figures from the years before 2011 cannot be directly compared to the figures since.
Figures from 2011 onwards have been revised due to fixed penalty notices now including where the offender attended a driver retraining course or was summoned to face court action.
Previous published tables included fixed penalty notices which only resulted in a financial penalty and/ or points on a license.