Zero-tolerance speed limits could put drivers in greater danger.

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The margin for error for speeding is being tightened up by some police forces so the historical 10%-plus-2mph no longer applies. Is this fair and can it really be enforced?


Most drivers stick within the speed limit, while a small margin for error has historically been allowed by the police for anyone who might unwittingly exceed the limit by a small amount.
Traditionally, this has been set at 10% plus 2mph of the posted speed limit, so in a 50mph zone you are 5mph plus an extra 2mph before the police will issue a speeding fine.
However, some police forces are now set to do away with any discretion and margin for error. The reason for this, they say, are to improve road safety at a time when the number of road deaths and serious injuries has risen for the first time in decades.

Another reason is the far greater accuracy of the equipment the police now uses to measure speed, as well as the increased use of average speed cameras that can offer a much more precise measurement with less likelihood of any mistake.
In Scotland, the police force has announced it is abandoning the previous discretionary allowance and will issue any driver exceeding the speed limit by even 1mph with a warning. If the driver is caught exceeding the limit again by a small margin, they will be fined £100 and have three points put on their driving licence. For anyone exceeding the limit by a larger amount, the fine and points will be automatic.

While the safety benefits of drivers staying within the posted speed limit are obvious, road safety campaigners say this could lead to many drivers spending more time watching their speedometer than the road ahead. This, say the AA, could result in an increase in the number of cars driving into the back of other vehicles as drivers are not paying attention to what is in front of them.
"We need drivers to concentrate on what is on the road in front of them, not always looking at the speedo. If a driver strays over the limit by 2mph, they shouldn’t be [doing so] but it’s better they do that and stay focused on what is going on around them," said AA president Edmund King.




LINK to full article.
 

Driver15

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It's just a way for forces who have had their budget cut to raise some extra funds.... :eek:

It's a odd move by them to say the least... However with all these so called smart motorways systems and the amount of specs now on A roads, it won't be long before all main sections of road are spec'ed camera'ed up resulting auto fines with tighter thresholds ...

When they do this, it won't be long before dvla increase the number of points your allowed before a ban due to more people getting caught out

Anyway.. In answer to your question...yes, seems wrong to me
 

DrFeelgood

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It's just a way for forces who have had their budget cut to raise some extra funds.... :eek:

It's a odd move by them to say the least... However with all these so called smart motorways systems and the amount of specs now on A roads, it won't be long before all main sections of road are spec'ed camera'ed up resulting auto fines with tighter thresholds ...

When they do this, it won't be long before dvla increase the number of points your allowed before a ban due to more people getting caught out

Anyway.. In answer to your question...yes, seems wrong to me
Are you sure that the DVLA set the threshold?
 

geraldrobins

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I agree its draconian. If its needed for road safety then the motorists needs to be helped as well. For instance more speed limit signs. Its so easy to miss a speed limit sign at times with parked vehicles etc, and often not enough reminder signs especially where the limits vary from 30-40-30 with not much difference in conditions.
 

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This would make no allowance for the accuracy of vehicles' speedometers. Appears very draconian!
Speedometers are already allowed to read +10/-0% of actual speed , so if people drive to the indicated speed on their instrument then they should never fall foul ( unless , of course , they have messed around by fitting larger wheels and thrown accuracy out the window , but then that is a separate construction & use offence and MOT failure if noticed ) .

This should just bring about a culture change with people driving a small margin under the limits , just to be on the safe side , rather than right on it , or a little over , as some do .

Whether individual police officers choose to enforce this is another matter , but anyone who speeds in the vicinity of a police car is inattentive at best or just plain stupid .
 

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I agree its draconian. If its needed for road safety then the motorists needs to be helped as well. For instance more speed limit signs. Its so easy to miss a speed limit sign at times with parked vehicles etc, and often not enough reminder signs especially where the limits vary from 30-40-30 with not much difference in conditions.
The biggest issue I have with signage is overgrown foliage obscuring them in places ; otherwise in built up areas , if no reminder discs , then it's 30 .
 

Charles Morgan

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I was on the M40 recently in the outer lane. The car in front was happily doing 70 mph and I was a safe distance behind. With the XC60 I have a good field of view and saw a police patrol car in the inner lane doing about 50mph. The driver of the car in front then spotted the police vehicle too, braked exceptionally hard and when I'd stopped braking hard both of us were doing about 50mph.

I have no issue with the police enforcing speeding conditions, indeed I learned so much on my first speed awareness course, I am about to go on my second, but having had the above experience I'm inclined to believe that a few mph above the limit is a lot safer than motorists blindly panicking about their speed for fear of enforcement - a car with a less safe distance than mine would have been in the back of that car in front.
 

geraldrobins

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The biggest issue I have with signage is overgrown foliage obscuring them in places ; otherwise in built up areas , if no reminder discs , then it's 30 .
Agreed but there are speed limits in areas that are not particularly built up. I suggest more signs would help remind drivers.
 

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It's just a way for forces who have had their budget cut to raise some extra funds.... :eek:

It's a odd move by them to say the least... However with all these so called smart motorways systems and the amount of specs now on A roads, it won't be long before all main sections of road are spec'ed camera'ed up resulting auto fines with tighter thresholds ...

When they do this, it won't be long before dvla increase the number of points your allowed before a ban due to more people getting caught out

Anyway.. In answer to your question...yes, seems wrong to me
Not that old chestnut again. Police forces do not get any income from speeding fines. It goes into the Treasury consolidated fund. They have no financial interest in the matter and in fact it costs them money especially if the fine is contested.

Generally life is not a conspiracy.
 

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Where is the evidence that show this tight adherence to speed limits will cut accidents? Inappropriate speed is far more likely to cause an accident, drive at the 60 limit on some roads and you'll land in someone's garden. Surely better education, encouraging people to slow down in the right places, would have a far greater effect.
 

pipmk

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Where is the evidence that show this tight adherence to speed limits will cut accidents? Inappropriate speed is far more likely to cause an accident, drive at the 60 limit on some roads and you'll land in someone's garden. Surely better education, encouraging people to slow down in the right places, would have a far greater effect.

That's the point,until something is tried there cannot be any evidence. If the motor car was invented today do you think something which caused 5 deaths every day would be allowed?
 
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190

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I must admit I have always taken advantage of the 10% + 2 MPH including through speed cameras but that has been in the knowledge that my old 190E's speedo over read by a similar amount as did most all speedos of that era. The net result being that if I was exceeding the limit at all it wasn't by much. My old BMW motorcycle is the same and over reads by a good 10%. With so many road side radar signs about it's not hard to know the accuracy of your speedo.

The zero tolerance approach might make some sense if speedos all read absolutely spot on and I have been surprised to find for the first time ever that my W204 speedo does just that. But where that's not the case we are going to find ourselves for example following older cars at 25 mph in a 30 limit because the driver is at an indicated 30 and is not bright enough to realise that the cars speedo is inaccurate.

At higher speeds then speeding becomes more dangerous and I am acutely aware as a motorcyclist of the squared law nature of kinetic energy which means that small increases in speed produced disproportionately longer stopping distances. At the limit of tyre adhesion it applies equally to all vehicles.

I love this example of the square law at work and it never fails to sober me up.

If travelling at 60 mph you could come to a complete stop in 150 feet. (Assuming a deceleration rate of 0.8g) and if a deer was 150 feet ahead when braking began you would not collide with that deer.

What if the speed before braking was only 5 mph faster at 65 mph. At what speed would you hit it ?

The answer is not 5 MPH but 25 MPH and that's the squared law of kinetic energy at work which illustrates the dangers of exceeding the the limit at higher speeds.
 

geraldrobins

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Speed limits are not just about reducing accidents its also about minimising the impact of an accident especially where pedestrians are involved.
 

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Where is the evidence that show this tight adherence to speed limits will cut accidents? Inappropriate speed is far more likely to cause an accident, drive at the 60 limit on some roads and you'll land in someone's garden. Surely better education, encouraging people to slow down in the right places, would have a far greater effect.
It would but for the fact that every driver thinks of themselves being good at driving when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. I have never heard any driver admit that they are rubbish at it even when evidence exists to prove otherwise.

I find it bemusing that otherwise intelligent and rational people are unable to grasp the fact that the speed limit is a upper limit which must not be exceeded and will spend time arguing why it is okay to exceed the limit and break the associated law.

There are no degrees to breaking the law; you either do or don't and preventing excess speed is one offence that should be well within the capabilities of a driver. After all, when cruising on the motorway, for example, many manage to maintain a steady speed well above the limit; why can't they then not maintain seventy or less?

To answer my own question, it is because everyone thinks they are good drivers, exceeding the limit is not seen as breaking the law, the breaking of that law carries no social stigma because 'everyone does it' and then the cherry on the cake is the pathetic cry of, there are more serious things for the police to be getting on with surely.
 
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Red C220

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So you can now grow and possess cannabis with impunity but stray 2 mph over a speed limit.....
I keep seeing references to Cannabis in this context on the forum, it's the perspective that governments the world over would like us to keep.

Up until about a year ago I was under the same impression, I associated it with "Pot Heads" and as an entry to harder drugs. I imagine this will always be there to a degree. But the medicinal qualities of this plant are quite astonishing.

My wife has MS and occasionally uses cannabidoil to allow her to sleep and relieve spasticity and spasms. It was life changing for her.

It's now legal for medicinal use in more than half the US states and many parts of Europe are following suit.

There is extensive international research into it's effective use to fight cancer (see Rick Simpson Oil on Google).

Just saying, the context it is used in this thread is no longer relevant. It should be seen for it's 90% of positive uses not the 10% recreational by product.
 

geraldrobins

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I must admit I have always taken advantage of the 10% + 2 MPH including through speed cameras but that has been in the knowledge that my old 190E's speedo over read by a similar amount as did most all speedos of that era. The net result being that if I was exceeding the limit at all it wasn't by much. My old BMW motorcycle is the same and over reads by a good 10%. With so many road side radar signs about it's not hard to know the accuracy of your speedo.

The zero tolerance approach might make some sense if speedos all read absolutely spot on and I have been surprised to find for the first time ever that my W204 speedo does just that. But where that's not the case we are going to find ourselves for example following older cars at 25 mph in a 30 limit because the driver is at an indicated 30 and is not bright enough to realise that the cars speedo is inaccurate.

At higher speeds then speeding becomes more dangerous and I am acutely aware as a motorcyclist of the squared law nature of kinetic energy which means that small increases in speed produced disproportionately longer stopping distances. At the limit of tyre adhesion it applies equally to all vehicles.

I love this example of the square law at work and it never fails to sober me up.

If travelling at 60 mph you could come to a complete stop in 150 feet. (Assuming a deceleration rate of 0.8g) and if a deer was 150 feet ahead when braking began you would not collide with that deer.

What if the speed before braking was only 5 mph faster at 65 mph. At what speed would you hit it ?

The answer is not 5 MPH but 25 MPH and that's the squared law of kinetic energy at work which illustrates the dangers of exceeding the the limit at higher speeds.
Don't most people, pedestrians, get killed at lower speeds so the 30 mph limit is just as important in my opinion. Or am I not being bright!!
 

190

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No you are quite correct, the square law works at 30 MPH just the same so we should observe the 30 limit too but I'm still concerned at the prospect of being forced to trundle around at 25mph when it's safe to do a real 30.
 

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Around schools and the elderly areas there should be firing squads ready to take out speeding cars, but outside of that...

I've driven on dual carriageways that are 40mph which is that ridiculously low for the conditions it's almost natural to speed on them.
 

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