The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

News: Speeding costs drivers at least £90m a year in penalties – but still they keep doing it

UK drivers paid around £49m in speeding fines and an extra £41m in insurance premiums in the past 12 months, thanks to their speeding habit.


Gatso Speed Camera, Oxfordshire, UK

UK DRIVERS paid around £49m in speeding fines and an extra £41m in insurance premiums in the past 12 months, thanks to their speeding habits.

According to figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), 818,768 drivers were given points or disqualified from driving last year, the equivalent of 2,243 every day. With a normal fixed penalty amounting to £60, their speeding benefited the Treasury to the tune of around £49m.

In addition, with the average motor insurance premium in the period being £380 and a speeding penalty raising that by around 13%, the same drivers paid an additional £41m to insure their cars.

Together, the figures mean UK drivers paid around £90m in fines and increased insurance premiums in 2013.

The figure doesn’t appear to have blunted UK drivers’ appetite for speeding, however. According to new research by More Than, an insurer, the prospect of points and a fine was little deterrent with 28% of drivers confessing they would much rather take the points and a fine than, assuming they qualified, attend a speed awareness course.

Even speed cameras weren’t enough to deter the most hardened speeders with these drivers admitting to resuming driving over the limit less than a car’s length (3.76 metres) after passing a Gatso.

Gary Rae of Brake, a road safety charity, said, “These are worrying findings. Speed limits are just that ‒ a limit ‒ not a target to exceed. Brake sees daily the carnage that speeding can cause through our help for people seriously injured and bereaved.”

 

What the road signs say, and what drivers do…

 

Sign says: 30mph

Drivers do: One in three drivers admits to always exceeding a 30mph speed limit and doing, on average, 38mph

 

Sign says: 40mph

Drivers do: Almost 1 in 3 drivers always ignores a 40mph limit, driving at, on average, 47mph

 

Sign says: 70mph

Drivers do: Almost half of drivers exceed the 70mph speed limit, driving at, on average 81mph