10% or not 10%, What is this Speeding Tolerance Now?

Zero tolerance speeding policy may be coming to a motorway near you!

Zero tolerance speeding policy on M1, know the law on what the speeding tolerance is.

Bedfordshire Police have recently indicated that they would like to introduce a zero tolerance speeding policy on the M1 Motorway as outlined in this recent article in the Independent. This leads to the question what is the speeding tolerance now?

The official stance is that if you exceed the speed limit, then you are liable to prosecution. The authorities however recognise that drivers need to concentrate on the road and others around them as well as watching their speed. Having a zero speeding policy would encourage drivers to pay more attention to the speedometer than the road. It is also accepted that speedometers may not be 100% accurate.

The National Police Chiefs Counsel suggests that Police Officers allow a margin of 10 percent of the speed limit which accounts for driver error / concentration and a further 2 mph for speedo variations. This means that most police forces will not prosecute for a person driving under 79 mph in a 70 mph zone.

The police detect speeding using the following checks: laser device, fixed camera and average speed check zones. The use of the average speed checks work generally with the same tolerance as the other methods.

The SPECS (Speed Checks Services Ltd) device is the preferred device and utilises state of the art video system with Automatic Number Plate Reading (ANPR) digital technology. Cameras are equipped with infra red illuminators fitted on gantries above the road, so they can work day or night and are located in multiple (at least 2 at a minimum of 200 metres apart) locations along a single stretch of road for monitoring your average speed along that particular road.

Unlike other speed cameras which capture your speed at a certain point in the road, SPECS average speed camera work and track your speed over a set distance, which may be several miles.

SPECS speed camera systems commonly enforce speed limits on dual carriageways and motorways; can monitor up to four lanes and are located at the side of the road or at central reservations. Cameras are located at regular intervals to operate a managed speed control zone.

Each SPECS speed camera records a date and time stamp. Then, by ANPR, the computer can then work out your average speed between the cameras with photographic evidence that you were speeding between the SPECS cameras. SPECS speed cameras also record your number plate and issue you a speeding ticket if you were speeding along the average speed controlled stretch of road.

If you receive a notice regarding speeding, Hunt and Coombs have Specialist Traffic Lawyers who can advise you and help you deal with the problem. In the first instance please contact Andy Cave on 01733 882800, or email  andy.cave@hcsolicitors.co.uk

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.