For as long as we can remember road users of Britain have had the opportunity to drive in excess of the stated speed limit thanks to a small margin for error. However, this is all set to change as Police chiefs in a number of constabularies across the UK look to abolish this buffer.
As a driver on a British highway you can drive an additional 10% +2mph above the speed limit and avoid a penalty. The proposed changes would mean that should you go even 1mph above the speed limit you will at first be warned but the second time you will face a fine of £100 and 3 points on your license. Any speeds recorded beyond the margin of error will result in the automatic issuing of the fine and points.
The proposal has been made to reflect recent significant developments of in-car technology that have almost eliminated inaccuracies that were much more prevalent in older vehicles. It must also be considered that police speed checking equipment has made noticeable strides and is more accurate than ever. A final factor that has increased focus upon abolishing the margin for error is to improve road safety. For the first time in decades we have seen a rise in the number of road deaths and serious injuries.
In-spite of advances in technology which support the planned abolishment of speed margin for error many road safety campaigners and road users (us included) have reservations against this. Whilst the benefits of remaining within the speed limit are clear spending time looking at your speedo instead of your surroundings can lead to more incidents of drivers crashing into the back of other vehicles. Almost all of us have experienced driving through an average speed camera section of highway and the amount of attention that is paid to your speedo. In many cases you’ll find you are paying more attention to the dash area of your car than what is taking place around you outside of the vehicle.
The final issue for contention with abolishing margin for error is the influx of fines (and paperwork) that the courts will have to handle. Issuing tickets for speeds just 1mph in excess of the limit could ultimately cost the UK’s court system more than it would generate in fines.
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