More than 2000 motorists were caught driving at more than 100mph in 2014/15, according to statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The figures reveal that a total of 2169 motorists were caught driving at more than 100mph, with the fastest offender having been caught at 156mph in Cambridgeshire.
The figures were obtained by BBC Radio 5 Live, who contacted 45 police forces with FOI requests. Of the 45 contacted, 41 responded with information.
Guidelines set out by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) state that where the speed limit is 70mph, a summons will be issued if the driver is caught doing more than 96mph. Punishment is at the discretion of the police and courts, but instant driving disqualification is the most used penalty in these circumstances.
Paul Watters, Head of Roads and Transport Policy at the AA, told Autocar: “Any extra speed makes a crash worse, with the risk of death increasing as speed increases. This number is too high, but it’s obvious that there’s an irresponsible minority who spoil things for other motorists, by putting lives at risk.”
He added: “Other than managed motorways, there’s not a huge amount of speed enforcement on motorways. The important thing is that these people suffer the consequences, with income-linked fines and driving bans, but ultimately we need more enforcement, with the recent decline in traffic police numbers.”
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, agreed: “This is a small minority, but the number is too high and driving at these speeds on public roads is highly irresponsible.”
Addressing the common excuse that the drivers of the cars didn’t realise the speed they were travelling at, Greig said: “Even the most modern, quiet car is not an excuse to be driving at these speeds. The good news is that these people are being caught, but the number is still too high.”
“This isn’t a crime that’s restricted to high-end cars; as cars get more advanced they get safer and brakes are more effective, so high-end car drivers can’t be blamed over any other drivers – it’s down to the choices made by the driver.”
“An area which could be improved is the speed awareness course – this new information suggests that there is a need for excessive speeding awareness courses, as fines often aren’t deterrent enough.”