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Thousands more drivers caught speeding in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 13:52 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:04 01 April 2019

Police in Norfolk and Suffolk caught a combined total of almost 93,000 speeders in 2017/18 - the seventh highest detection rate in England and Wales last year. Picture: Ian Burt

Police in Norfolk and Suffolk caught a combined total of almost 93,000 speeders in 2017/18 - the seventh highest detection rate in England and Wales last year. Picture: Ian Burt

Thousands more drivers were caught speeding in Norfolk and Suffolk last year as figures reveal a postcode lottery for detection rates across the UK.

Police in Norfolk and Suffolk caught a combined total of almost 93,000 speeders in 2017/18 - the seventh highest detection rate in England and Wales last year. Picture: Ian BurtPolice in Norfolk and Suffolk caught a combined total of almost 93,000 speeders in 2017/18 - the seventh highest detection rate in England and Wales last year. Picture: Ian Burt

A study commissioned by the RAC Foundation shows the number of speeding drivers caught in England and Wales is up to 167 times higher in some areas than others.

Police in Norfolk and Suffolk caught a combined total of almost 93,000 speeders in 2017/18 - the seventh highest detection rate in England and Wales last year.

In 2016/17 the figure stood at 88,500.

The study, based on Home Office data, revealed a large variation in speeding detection across the country.

Last year, Avon and Somerset police caught almost 200,000 speeding motorists on its roads, compared to 1,191 in Wiltshire over the same period.

The figures also show that motorists in some areas were more likely to be offered a speed awareness course instead of a fine or driving ban.

Of the 92,750 speeders caught in Norfolk and Suffolk last year, 52pc were dealt with by way of a speed awareness course.

Four percent (4,124) were taken to court and 28,638 were given fixed penalty notices. Just under 12,000 had their offences cancelled.

Inspector Jon Chapman, of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Armed Policing Team, said: “We are committed to reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on Norfolk and Suffolk’s roads; this is done through enforcement campaigns, education or the use of fixed and mobile cameras.

“Speed is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences making you more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision, along with drink and drug driving, driving without a seatbelt and driving whilst using a mobile phone.

“We continuously review our pro-active patrols based on collision and incident data which means we can target the most vulnerable locations.

“The faster you are travelling, the less time you will have to react to unforeseen hazards. Speed limits are in place for a reason; to reduce casualties and keep the roads safe for everyone. It is worth mentioning that the speed limit is not a target and motorists should always consider other factors such as road conditions when travelling.”

In North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, South Wales and Wiltshire speed awareness courses were not used at all by their respective police forces last year.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “There will be many varied and obvious reasons to explain some of the differences between forces such as geographical area, road type and traffic volume. But a lot of it will come down to the local policing priorities.

“It is the job of police and crime commissioners, and chief constables, to target resources appropriately, recognising the issues of greatest local concern.

“Changes and variations in the numbers of offences detected will reflect not just driver behaviour but also the extent of enforcement activity in any one year.

“Drivers tempted to flout the law should recognise that any targeted crackdown on speeding to curtail risky behaviour could swiftly be repeated if those reckless attitudes start to re-emerge.”

The study, carried out by Adam Snow, a lecturer in criminal law at Liverpool John Moores University, states all notices for Norfolk and Suffolk are reported under Norfolk after their central ticket offices merged in July 2015.

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