Number of serious violations increases by 10%

Police Officer

The number of court summons issued for speeding offences increased by nearly 10% last year.

Police data released as part of a freedom of information (FOI) request from LV= revealed that the number of speeders summoned to court increased to 48,000 in 2012 from 44,000 in 2011. This is despite a 6% decrease in the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

Court summons are reserved for the more serious speeding violations, where the speed is much higher than the legal limit (see table one).

According to the Freedom of Information (FOI) data received by LV=, in addition to the court summons, police forces handed out nearly half a million FPNs in 2012, resulting in British drivers being fined £30m for speeding last year.

The police force that handed out the most court summons in 2012 was Lancashire, with more than 10,600 being issued (see table two). West Mercia police force issued more than 84,000 FPNs, more than any other force that responded to the FOI request.

LV= managing director of car insurance John O’Roarke said: “While overall speeding convictions are down, it appears that the police are rightly taking a hard line on the most serious speeding offences. However, if a driver is caught exceeding the limit by even just a few mph, they can still be fined and given penalty points. Drivers should take care to know their limits to avoid a fine, penalty points or worse.”

Research by ICM Research commissioned by LV= revealed that 16% of drivers who had been caught speeding exceeded the speed limit by more than 25 mph, a speed that is often above the threshold for a court summons.

The research also discovered that almost one in seven drivers avoided being caught speeding by memorising police patrol routes and almost one in six used technology such as satellite navigation to alert them of fixed speed cameras.

With many motorists apparently getting away with driving too fast, speeding motorists are often a factor in road traffic accidents. More than 360,000 drivers said they had been involved in an accident as a result of speeding in the past five years. This is 1% of the total number of drivers on UK roads.