Nearly 3.06 million vehicle offences were recorded in 2016; speeding offences have climbed steadily for a number of years
Jimi Beckwith
24 November 2017

Vehicle offences hit a nine-year peak in 2016, with almost 3.06 million being recorded across the year - the highest since 3.33m were noted in 2007.

The peak was driven by a bumper year for speeding offences, with 2.15m recorded - 28,000 more than in 2015. Licence, insurance and record-keeping offences were also at their highest since 2011, increasing by 31,000 over 2015. 

Despite the higher figures, several areas of vehicular crime fell. Accident offences have fallen steadily since the early 2000s, while dangerous, careless and drunken driving offences have fallen by more than a quarter since 2009, with around 80,000 fewer offences recorded.

Thefts and unauthorised taking of vehicle offences are also at a new low, following plateauing results in 2013, 2014 and 2015. These offences are at around half of what they were in 2005. 

IAM Roadsmart's director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Unfortunately, these figures show that we still have a long way to go to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving. 

“While some of the increase in the volume of speeding offences has been caused by a change in reporting methods, with those attending driver awareness courses – which have been shown to reduce reoffending – now included, there is no doubt that speeding remains a major safety concern.

"Resources are still needed for education and publicity campaigns to drive home the message that road safety is as much about taking personal responsibility as it is about new methods of enforcement.”

Critics have been quick to point out that with police numbers a topic of hot debate, these falling numbers may simply reflect a decrease in the number of offenders caught rather than a true fall in crimes being committed.

“The decreasing figures are strong indicators of a lack of police on the beat, that’s why we’re disappointed to see those go down. We know that it’s not the case that people are driving more considerately. There are fewer traffic police out there and the main indicator of that is the reduction in the number of people  being charged with more serious offences.” Greig said.

Prosecutions and convictions for those caught speeding are at their highest in a decade, however, according to the Ministry of Justice, with 183,000 people prosecuted and 168,000 convicted. Greig attributed the higher speeding prosecutions to more speed cameras, although explained that they're not always the best solution: “The interesting thing about average cameras is that compliance is high. We’ll see more average speed cameras in the future, but the problem is they’re more expensive than traditional speed cameras. To tackle the problem of speeding, however, we think there’s still scope for people and companies to take more responsibility with driver training. Far too many companies just don’t train their drivers or enforce their driving policies.”

Read more: 

Poor tyre maintenance is main cause for car accidents in UK

Larger cars blamed for rise in parking accidents

Speeding fines increase: April rules come into force

The waiting game is over: I've been caught speeding

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Comments
15

24 November 2017

"Unfortunately, these figures show that we still have a long way to go to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving" and you always will.

It's like we've a long way to go before we make shop lifting as unacceptable as murder.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

24 November 2017

Would it be fair to say all the areas that have increased are policed by cameras, and all those areas that have fallen are policed by people? With all the extra miles of (mis)mangaed Motorways we now have, its hardly a surprise if speeding offences have increased. 

24 November 2017

Police are more worried about the pension than policing.

 

Motorists are an easy target.   Better to go after them than hardened criminals.   Often for doing no worse than they themselves do.

24 November 2017

Surely speeding offences are bound to have risen as speed limits have been continuously  lowered for several years now. North Wales has brought in huge changes in the number of short stretches of road with speed limit changes seemingly every few yards in places. Yet according to government statistics speeding is a major factor in only a very small percentage of crashes.

24 November 2017

After 49 years of driving, with no history whatsoever of accidents or convictions, I was recently caught exceeding the speed limit on an out-of-town dual carriageway. I was detected by a lone Police Officer using a handheld device, standing close to a hedge some distance ahead. I make no excuses and fully accept that I broke the law. I was offered attendance at a speed awareness course,which I completed just over a week ago.

Seeing the significant rise in UK convictions for speeding, I’m not in the least bit surprised. Of course excessive speed is illegal and potentially dangerous, but I am concerned that the Police may be diverting too many of their limited resources to mobile detectors and picking off the easiest targets with the potential for income generation (£35 apparently goes to the Police for each attendee on a speeding course). I was told that the average age for those on the courses is 50, and having sat next to an 84 and 77 year old on my course I can well believe it.

Traffic patrol cars are now a rare sight, and my experience of modern driving is that I see more examples of outrageous, aggressive and discourteous behaviour than ever before. And the occurrence of reckless speed along my quiet residential street has now become endemic and unpoliced. I understand Police tactics, but I’m saddened that the outcomes may prove disappointing for the reduction of deaths and injuries on our roads.

24 November 2017

When you vote for cuts you get severely restricted resources so bodies like the Police target their finite resources for financial gain wherever they can. I don't agree with it but I completely understand and sympathise with it. But at least I'll have a blue passport soon...

We need a massive increase in Roads Policing to halt the slide in driving standards with bullying and aggresive behavious the order of the day. It goes unpunished because there are hardly ever the police around to catch them. Same goes for untaxed and uninsured vehicles, if they're unlucky they get pinged by an RPU with an ANPR camera. When they are caught the penalties and sentences are weak.

 


24 November 2017

And everyone going out to commit more speeding offences isn't one of them.

1. The police and local authorities now have more technology than ever at there disposal to catch unsuspecting offenders.

2. The population and therefore number of cars on the road is rising all the time, meaning there's a bigger pool to catch from.

3. Modern vehicles are more refined and tend to mask the actual speed.

4. Local authorities are getting a little over zealous in the number of roads it feels the need to reduce limits on. People tend to drive to the conditions, not the number banded to the lamppost. It's is these sort of roads where you'll find the jobsworth sat in a van pointing a laser at you.

5. The increased use of smart motorways means there's an increased number of occasions when the variable speed limit drops, seemingly pointlessly, to 50 when the road ahead is clear. Flash - Flash. 

24 November 2017
Cobnapint wrote:

5. The increased use of smart motorways means there's an increased number of occasions when the variable speed limit drops, seemingly pointlessly, to 50 when the road ahead is clear. Flash - Flash. 

The other day on the M42, 60 -60 -60 --40 --60 - 60 -60, the amount of people stamping on the brakes, amazed there wasn't some shunts. There is no excuse, its blatant entrapment. There wasn't even much traffic.

24 November 2017
The Apprentice wrote:

Cobnapint wrote:

5. The increased use of smart motorways means there's an increased number of occasions when the variable speed limit drops, seemingly pointlessly, to 50 when the road ahead is clear. Flash - Flash. 

The other day on the M42, 60 -60 -60 --40 --60 - 60 -60, the amount of people stamping on the brakes, amazed there wasn't some shunts. There is no excuse, its blatant entrapment. There wasn't even much traffic.

When the indicated speed on the overhead gantry reduces, you have 1 minute to comply to the new limit before the camera(s) in that section become active.

I've witnessed the furious braking on the M42 myself and it's downright dangerous. Dangerous because it's not common knowledge - you can't blame motorists for wanting to save their licenses when they see the variables flick from 60 to 40 right in front of them. The authorities need to come clean on this one, it might help reduce the number of incidents.

24 November 2017
As usual, the focus on vehicle speed over simplifies the reality that speed in of itself doesn't kill: Driving too fast for the traffic or conditions and the inceased chance of conflict with other vehicles, pedestrians etc is what kills people and it just follows that in those circumstances, the higher the speed the worse the outcome.

If we were limited to 30 or 40mph everywhere there would still be accidents due to poor driving standards and drivers making poor decisions.

After nearly half a million miles of driving I'm rarely surprised by anything but these days I see more selfish drivers speeding in towns & cities, driving through red lights (when they could've stopped) with no thought for their life or anyone elses, talking or txting on their mobiles, even parking in situations that endanger others.

Socially, the driver that breaks the law doing 80+mph on a deserted motorway at 4am shouldn't be compared to another who regularly does 35+mph in town at 3pm - both are breaking the law but IMHO the latter is the more reprehensible.

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