If you have ever been to a speed awareness course you will have been told that the often quoted 10% leeway on speeding is in fact no more than an urban myth.
This means that whilst a degree of discretion may be exercised, the police are under no obligation to be lenient. In other words, exceeding the speed limit by just one mile per hour is still breaking the law and as a result you can be penalised accordingly.
In fact, it seems this is exactly what is now starting to happen. And if you have driven on certain sections of the M1 recently, you will have noticed that there has been a significant drop in drivers taking any chances with their speed.
Of course, not everyone is in favour of this new approach. Edmund King, president of the AA, has said that whilst speeding is dangerous and wrong there is also a risk that people become fixated on the speedometer, for fear of inching over the limit, and therefore become less alert to what is going on around them.
Others, including the MP, Sir Greg Knight, have also warned that we risk criminalising good drivers who momentarily go 1 or 2 miles over the limit. And with minimum fines of £100 and 3 penalty points, which then stay on you license for four years (although they are only valid for three), he does have a point.
Speeding is an ongoing problem on today’s roads and, whilst it is clearly wrong to turn a blind eye to dangerous driving, many would argue that the punishment needs to be reasonable and sensibly enforced.
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