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Motoring Groups Welcome Speeding Crackdown

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Drivers who are caught speeding face tougher penalties in a move which has been praised by motoring campaign groups.

New government guidelines issued to magistrates in England and Wales state that the fine for motorists caught travelling at 51mph in a 30mph zone - or 101mph on a motorway - will start at 150 per cent of their weekly income, an increase from the previous level of 100 per cent. The Sentencing Council, which issued the guidelines, said it wanted to ensure that there was a "clear increase in fine level as the seriousness of offending increases".

AA president Edmund King was among those to welcome the announcement, commenting that the harsher fines would be "an effective way to penalise offenders" and that the majority of motorists would wholeheartedly support the clampdown on excessive speeding.

"Responsible drivers will welcome the changes coming into force," he said. "The majority of drivers who keep to the correct speed, as well as driving to the conditions, won't be affected. It is only those who deliberately drive dangerously who will end up in court."

Despite this, the maximum fines permitted by law will remain unchanged so that penalties will be limited to a maximum of £1,000 for offences on ordinary roads and £2,500 for those which take place on a motorway.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, also pointed out that cutbacks to policing may make it difficult for forces to effectively implement the harder punishments in relation to speeding. In England and Wales (excluding London), the number of police officers dedicated to policing roads fell by more than a quarter - 27 per cent - between 2010 and 2015.

Mr Gooding said that while the RAC Foundation was supportive of the principle of linking speeding fines with offenders' income, this link was "effectively broken" for those on high incomes due to the relatively low limit on penalties. He added that speeding fines "have to be severe enough to hurt".

Road safety charity Brake added its voice to the chorus of support for the new measures. Gary Rae, its campaigns director, called on magistrates to "ensure the new sentences are consistently applied".

The capacities of fleet tracking technology can also help fleet managers in their attempt to curb speeding, by providing over-speed reports derived from vehicle telematics data. One such solution is Teletrac Navman's road speed monitoring capability, which enables fleet managers to monitor driver speed and react rapidly to any violation of speed limits, captured by vehicle data.


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