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Avon and Somerset issue more speeding tickets than any other UK police force

Speed cameras above a motorway. Credit: PA

The number of drivers caught speeding is more than 160 times higher in some parts of England and Wales than others, a study has found.

Research commissioned by the RAC Foundation revealed the police force to detect the most speeding offences in 2017/18 was Avon and Somerset – with nearly 200,000.

This is in sharp contrast to neighbouring Wiltshire Police, which recorded the fewest at just 1,191.

Other forces in the top five for catching drivers breaking the speed limit are West Yorkshire, Metropolitan Police, Thames Valley and Greater Manchester.

A breakdown of the speeding tickets issued by UK police forces in 2017/18. Credit: PA

The ranking was based on analysis of Home Office data by Dr Adam Snow, a lecturer in criminal law at Liverpool John Moores University.

He found that 2,292,536 speeding offences were detected across England and Wales in 2017/18, up 4 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.

199,337
speeding offences recorded by Avon and Somerset Police in 2017/18.
546
speeding offences recorded by Avon and Somerset Police per day in 2017/18.
22
speeding offences recorded by Avon and Somerset Police an hour in 2017/18.
1
speeding offence recorded by Avon and Somerset Police per minute in 2017/18.

That works out at an average of four drivers being caught every minute.

In 44 per cent of cases, the offender was sent on a speed awareness course, while 34 per cent attracted fixed penalty notices.

Some 11 per cent of offences were cancelled and 10 per cent resulted in court action.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said factors such as geographical area, road type and traffic volume explain some of the difference figures recorded by forces, 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.

– Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director

Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that 220 people were killed and a further 1,493 were seriously injured in crashes on Britain’s roads in 2017 in which a vehicle exceeding the speed limit was a contributory factor.

Motorists driving on the M4 near Bristol. Credit: PA

It emerged last week that new cars sold in the UK from 2022 are set to have devices fitted which stop them breaking the speed limit.

The DfT said new EU rules that have been provisionally agreed would apply to the UK despite Brexit.

Here are the five police constabularies with the most speeding offences detected in 2017/18:

  • 1. Avon and Somerset: 199,337
  • 2. West Yorkshire: 174,796
  • 3. Metropolitan Police (including City of London): 139,318
  • 4. Thames Valley: 131,401
  • 5. Greater Manchester: 101,421

Here are the five police constabularies with the fewest speeding offences detected in 2017/18:

  • 1. Wiltshire: 1,191
  • 2. Durham: 8,802
  • 3. Derbyshire: 10,480
  • 4. Cleveland: 11,308
  • 5. Kent: 18,878