The “grossly excessive” speeds of some drivers have been revealed in new figures published by Brake for Road Safety Week.
This year’s campaign (16-22 November) is focused on the theme of ‘No need to speed’, and data from road safety charity shows nearly one in five of all UK drivers (18%), more than a quarter (28%) of male drivers (9% for females) and one in three (33%) of 25-34-year-old drivers have admitted to speeding at more than 100mph on a public road.
Brake, in partnership with police forces, has also revealed police data on the highest speeds over the limits in police force areas, showing that the highest excess speed in 2019 was a driver travelling at 152mph in a 30mph zone, recorded by the Metropolitan Police. The highest speed overall, was 180mph, captured by Nottinghamshire Police in a 70mph zone.
Drivers caught exceeding 100mph on public roads face a driving ban of up to eight weeks, and a fine of 150% of their weekly income.
Brake is also highlighting that stopping distances at 100mph are approximately 182m – the length of nearly two football pitches– making stopping in time to avoid a crash practically impossible.
But in many conditions, such as in the wet or near cyclists and pedestrians, even driving within the speed limit can be too fast.
Brake analysis of Government data has found that, on average, there are 11 deaths or serious injuries every day on UK roads where speed – either exceeding the limit or travelling too fast for conditions – is identified as a contributory factor to the crash by the police.
The charity also says it’s difficult in some crashes for the police to determine whether or not speed was a direct causal fact – it believes that speed is an inevitable factor in nearly all deaths and serious injuries.
Director of campaigns Joshua Harris said: “None of us should be put in danger by the high-risk behaviour of others when we’re getting about on roads, and that’s why, this Road Safety Week, we are asking everyone to join us in our call that there is no need to speed.
“Many drivers drift over limits by mistake but our research shows that a shockingly large number of drivers, particularly men, break speed limits excessively. We want all drivers to remember the daily disasters that are due to speed, think about the victims, slow down, and reduce road danger. It’s important to remember that sometimes driving under the speed limit can still be too fast, particularly on winding roads, roads with poor visibility, and roads where there could be people about on bicycles and on foot. The voices of the bereaved and injured help us all to understand that getting somewhere a few minutes earlier is never worth the risk.”