Survey respondents back call to increase fines for speeding motorists

10.57 | 4 January 2019 | | 14 comments

An ‘overwhelming number’ of those who took part in a survey have backed a call for increased fines for speeding motorists – and for a proportion of fines to be used for road safety measures.

Currently those receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaking the speed limit face three penalty points and a fine of £100, with the cash going straight to the Government.

But Alison Hernandez – the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall and road safety lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners – wants fines to be increased and a proportion of that money given to police forces and reinvested in road safety measures.

A total of 2,680 people took part in the online survey, with the results showing ‘overwhelming support’ for more stringent enforcement of road traffic laws (85% in favour), stiffer penalties for those caught speeding (80% in favour) – and for a proportion of the money from fines to come locally for road safety initiatives and enforcement (88% in favour).

Alison Hernandez said: “Far too many lives are being risked or ruined due to inconsiderate, dangerous drivers who have a blatant disregard for their own safety and that of others when they ignore the law.

“The results of this survey send a clear message that road safety is important to our communities and they want to see more rigorous enforcement of our traffic laws.

“All of the money generated by fixed penalty fines and other motoring offences goes to HM Treasury – not to the police, councils or highways authorities whose job it is to keep our roads safe. I don’t think this is fair.

“Also, the level of fixed penalty notice fines for some offences is out of kilter with the harm caused.

“The penalty for those caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving doubled to a £200 fine and six points last year, and the maximum fine for those admitting littering from a car rose to £150 – yet the fixed penalty charge for speeding remains at £100 and three points.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am calling for the fixed penalty fines for some traffic offences to be increased to act as a greater deterrent and, importantly, that this additional revenue is passed directly onto local road safety measures, with a priority given to enforcement.”

This survey was undertaken following another piece of work where Alison Hernandez and her team spoke to more than 5,000 people at events in her area over the summer, where speeding ranked as a primary road safety concern.

A breakdown of the results from this survey can be found online here.


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    75% of collisions on Motorways and main arterial roads under the umbrella of Highways England. Over 7000 killed or injured. Scenario…. Road speed of all traffic in general that of a 50 mph limit at road works. Unfortunately most drivers are only giving about 30 or 40 ft in terms of rear distance.. Should anything untoward happen there would be insufficient space in which to stop and a multiple pile up occurs. Is that due to speed or to the giving of insufficient space. If the speed was too high just what speed would actually be safe. At 50 mph one is travelling at 75 ft per second and so adopting the 2 second rule then 150 ft or more would be safer distance to give. At the giving of a mere 30 ft then the speed of 50 mph should be reduced down to a speed of about 10 mph. to be on the safe side.

    Speed or space? Too often when attending police officers or highways patrol officers will put it down to speed as that seems to be the easier option when one is not knowledgeable enough to determine that space was the main consideration under these circumstances.

    If traffic had been giving at least 150 ft [approx] safe following on distance then no pile up would have occurred.

    Don’t get me started on traffic in urban queues. They won’t print it.

    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    Examples of the ‘many collisions’ Bob?

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    On the contrary there are many collision caused by a lack of safe space where speed is not a determining or material factor.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Speed, space and time when driving are inexorably linked anyway, with one’s speed determining the space and time to react, stop and avoid an incident.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

    Looking at my submission below, if I were to amend it I would remove the last sentence and add in,
    ‘For a better safety option which would you choose, speed or space?’ Notice, I did not say that speed was not important, merely which would you rate above the other for maximizing your safety on the roads. Answers on a postcard, please. And the prize is: Those with the right answer get a longer life-span

    Nigel ALBRIGHT
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    Yes, by all means have speed cameras but for goodness sake, set the target speed at something sensible! Prosecuting motorists for travelling at just 32mph in a 30 limit is just ridiculous. There used to be a 10% error to compensate for speedometer errors. What happened to that?

    Jeff Davies, Llanelli
    Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

    The problem with the typical speeder is a bit like a parachutist who jumps out of a plane, freefalls for a bit, gets carried away in the thrill of the moment but then realises that he/she have left it too late to deploy the parachute.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (2)

    Speed, speed, and still more speed! Sometimes seems to be all that some people think about when talking about safety on the roads. Well, let’s look at some basic facts. In my experience if you are doing 30 in a 30 zone you are almost certain to be slowest kid on the block. In the majority of cases, vehicles will close on you from behind. Then you observe their following distance. Most drivers do not understand what a safe following distance is. To which the logical question is, ‘What actually is a safe following distance?’ The answer to that is probably best approached from the opposite direction. Let’s put it this way. If a driver has to do an emergency stop and the vehicle behind hits that vehicle, then it could not be stopped in time and therefore, principally, did not have enough distance in which to pull up without crashing. By definition, it was not driven with a safe following distance – let alone the fact that the driver probably did not have brain fully engaged – most don’t, unfortunately. Now, it’s widely accepted that around 30% of crashes are front to rear end shunts but also that a driver needs to be a minimum of 2 secs away from the vehicle in front to stand any chance of pulling up in time. The average driver travels a less than two seconds and many around one second or even less and consider they are safe, when in fact they are highly vulnerable. In turn this leads to the logical conclusion that the average driver, and almost certainly if they have done nothing more than the standard driving test, is like the next crash waiting to happen. In my book if a driver does not understand about safe following distance, then nothing much else that they know about driving really matters until that one is sorted out.
    Alison Hernandez did this research with some 2,680 people. We can assume that most of those might have been drivers, and we can further and reasonably assume that most of those would probably have been average drivers. So, how do you expect the average driver to make a sound assessment on what contributes to safety, or lack of it, on the roads when most are like the next crash waiting to happen?
    This pre-occupation with speed reminds me of a conversation I once had with a Road Safety Officer. She said that not infrequently those caught in speed traps in villages were very often amongst those who had wanted the speed limit there in the first place.
    The other assumption is that because a driver is keeping to the law that he or she is automatically safe (or safer). Take, once again, a 30 mph zone as an example. What a lot don’t realise is that that is actually a maximum, not a target. Doing 30mph in a 30zone could be dangerous if 10mph was an appropriate speed for the conditions. And on motorways there are so many cases of drivers following seriously close to the vehicle in front that they would stand absolutely no chance if things suddenly went pear shaped, even if they were travelling at the legal maximum, or less.
    Speed is potentially dangerous, as is a gun, a car, a kitchen knife or, whatever. And the art is certainly knowing when to go slowly. But if one really wants to talk about safety on the roads then one needs to talk about space and spacing and the critical awareness of their significance at any moment in time. In terms of safety space and time are your friend. Without those factors you are in the no hope zone. Not for me thank you. Space and time really are the key elements and very often far more important than mere speed itself. Take your choice if you will

    Nigel ALBRIGHT, Taunton
    Agree (8) | Disagree (5)

    The unfortunate thing about all this and something that many tend to forget is that catching speeding in excess of the speed limit does not actually do much for reducing incidents and collisions as they represent only 6% of cause. It’s those drivers that use unnecessary or inappropriate speeds that are within the speed limits that need to be sorted out as they represent far more than that 6 %. Inappropriate and/or unnecessary speed count for the vast majority of incidents and collusions and therefore casualties in the UK.

    As a note, at the time of the first GATSO cameras they were initially paid for by central government and the revenue initially went to the Local authorities, at least for the first 3 or 4 years., Then by agreement the monies would go to central government with a proportion going back to L.A.s, That’s when GATSOs went into disrepair and were eventually shut off in many areas.

    Agree (5) | Disagree (3)

    Speeders volunteering to pay for more speed cameras seems fairest. We just need to remove the limiting pre-conditions. Physical means of discouraging speeding tend to have unfortunate side effects – accelerate- brake- accelerate etc is a good way to increase pollution.

    Paul Luton, Teddington
    Agree (4) | Disagree (8)

    Interesting that the fines from the camera enforcement of speeding originally came back into the local authority ring-fenced for road safety. And anyone who has an issue with higher fines can take the obvious evasive measure – stop speeding!

    Atha Murphy, Yeovil
    Agree (14) | Disagree (6)

    Speeders volunteering to pay for speed cushions and other speed reduction measures to slow them down seems fair to me.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (7) | Disagree (7)

    I had typed out a missive about how speed by itself is not dangerous (but the regulars know my views on this already, so I won’t blather on) but something stuck out:

    > “As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am calling for the fixed penalty fines for some traffic offences to be increased to act as a greater deterrent and, importantly, that this additional revenue is passed directly onto local road safety measures, with a priority given to enforcement.”


    I don’t care about how much any FPNs may be increased by, but what I am particularly worried about is any potential for drivers to be seen as effectively assets that need to be realised in order to install some speed cushions.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (12) | Disagree (15)

    If the aim is to remove the risk from the roads, then more points per offence leading to a ban sooner, would be more of a deterrent I would have thought, rather than an increased fine on its own.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (14) | Disagree (7)

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