Soaring speeding convictions

Published: 22/06/2015

Official figures released from the Ministry of Justice show soaring speeding convictions. The statistics, covering England and Wales show that prosecutions for speed limit offences rose from 127,000 in 2013 to 159,000 in 2014 – a staggering 26% rise. The trend in many other motoring offences is actually one of decline. Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith reflects on this and the implications for road traffic accidents.

“The rise of 26% in speed limit offences bucks the trend of all motoring prosecutions where the numbers recorded in England and Wales between 2013 and 2014 increased by only 4.5%. Whilst vehicle insurance offences also rose (an increase of 8% between 2013 and 2014) the figures for most other offences decreased. Declines were recorded in vehicle registration and excise licence offences, drink-driving, careless driving, using a mobile phone whilst driving and driving licence offences.

“It’s hard to fully account for this dramatic rise in speeding convictions, particularly when other offences are decreasing. I read recently that the president of the AA put this increase down to the increase in new hi-tech digital cameras being installed on motorways which are working more consistently and effectively than the previous cameras, which often didn’t work. Undoubtedly that is playing a significant part in the increase in convictions. Improvements in vehicle performance are probably also playing their part.

“What would be very interesting to review is a detailed analysis which shows exactly where the speeding convictions are taking place as the statistics also show that prosecutions for causing serious injury by dangerous driving more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. Car accidents due to speeding on motorways would, in many cases, lead to a serious injury and would tend to corroborate the AA’s conclusions.

“If the president of the AA is correct and the new speed cameras being used on motorways are catching more speeding drivers then, over time, maybe the numbers of convictions for causing serious injuries by dangerous driving will start to reduce if the number of road accidents reduces. Certainly if improved speeding cameras can prevent even one person being injured in a road accident then this would be a positive. For some people who’ve been injured in a car accident sustain life changing injuries and these can change the course of their lives for ever.“

Content correct at time of publication

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