The policy of giving leeway to speeders in 'buffer zones' is under an official review and could be scrapped, according to a report by the road policing head of the National Police Chief Council.
The current stance, which allows the police to not prosecute those who are only a few miles an hour over when enforcing the speed limit, was previously criticised by the NPCC's lead on road policing Anthony Bangham.
The review, seen by the Mail on Sunday, claims that a change in message is needed "to ensure greater consistency of approach when dealing with those who exceed the speed limit". Currently a '10% plus 2mph rule' exists, meaning that those travelling less than 35mph in a 30 zone, or less than 79mph on the motorway, will not face any action.
Speaking in January at the Police Federation road policing conference, Bangham said that "the law is set at the limit for a reason".
“They should not come whingeing to us about getting caught. If booked at 35, 34 or 33 in a 30mph zone, that cannot be unfair because they are breaking the law,” he said, according to The Guardian.
Bangham suggested that the move would improve road safety.
“On average, 5 people are killed on our roads every day. Our role is to help make our roads safer, and we will seek compliance with the law to help prevent the tragedies that happen too often,” he said.
The NPCC alleged that transport minister Jesse Norman agrees that reform to road policing is needed, although didn’t clarify if the minister agreed with Bangham’s proposed policy change. A Department for Transport spokesman told The Guardian that speed limit enforcement is a police matter.
Bangham’s proposal has drawn harsh criticism from various groups, including the AA and MPs.
IAM Roadsmart’s head of policy, Neil Greig, said: “Drivers want more enforcement, particularly of drink and drug driving, careless driving and mobile phone use, and to see more traffic police out there doing it.
"The limit is the limit but a lack of consistency on speeding has allowed urban myths about thresholds and revenue-raising to take hold in the minds of far too many drivers.
"Simply adjusting the electronic setting on a few cameras is unlikely to eradicate road deaths caused by human error, fatigue or impairment caused by drink, drugs or distraction.
"IAM Roadsmart also supports speed awareness courses, because the evidence to date suggests that most people who take them are less likely to reoffend.”