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Britain's worst speeders clocked going four times over the limit

As drivers are caught doing up to 146 mph on the road, the Institute of Advanced Motorists calls for a change in people’s attitudes to driving.

Police man holding speeding gun

Ever had a speeding ticket? What were you doing – five, 10 miles over the limit?

How about doing four times the speed limit in a residential zone?

That’s what the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found when they looked at the highest recorded speeds from every constabulary in England and Wales.

The worst offender was clocked doing 128 mph on London Road in East Grinstead, Sussex – a 30 mph zone. 

This is what that road looks like:

Who in their right mind would drive at four times the speed limit on a road like this?

The fastest recorded speed was 146 mph, where two different drivers on the M25 were caught going at more than twice the speed limit.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said:

“At speeds of 140 mph an individual is travelling at nearly two-and-a-half miles a minute.

“At that speed it is simply impossible to react to anything that might happen in front of you.

At that kind of speed, your total stopping distance is increased to 341 metres – about 85 car lengths.

Chart showing stopping distances at 30, 50, 70 and 140 mph
If you need help visualising what 140mph looks like, this video sums it up quite well (it's on a motorbike but you get the idea):

On motorways, speeders were caught driving twice the limit, averaging speeds of around 125 mph.

Even in areas where 40 and 50 mph traffic-calming limits were introduced, the worst offenders were driving at an average of 110 mph.

According to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the general leeway for issuing a speeding penalty is 10% + 2 mph.

So if you’re driving on a motorway, anything past 79 mph is likely to get you fined or worse.

But drivers on Smart motorways such as the M1, M2, M6 and M25 are using cameras to catch drivers who are only going a few miles per hour over the limit.

'Limit, not a target'

In 2013, 3,064 people were either killed or seriously injured in crashes where speed was a factor.

Rule 125 of the Highway Code states that the speed limit is the absolute maximum and should not be considered a target.

Depending on road conditions e.g. ice, even driving at the speed limit can be dangerous.

This still doesn’t stop people from breaking the speed limit and posting the results on social media:

4th gen pull. #camaro #ls1 #speeding #ftp

A photo posted by Franco Chehab (@fbcz28) on


Was #speeding just a bit...on the bright side hello #cali

A photo posted by stacy (@secondstar2theleft) on


Pro tip #1: Don’t drive over the speed limit.

Pro tip #2: If you ignored #1, don’t take pictures of you breaking the law and post them online where everyone can see. The police have Twitter too, you know.

Sarah Sillars said: “In short, all these individuals are playing with their own lives and others – they are all accidents waiting to happen and it requires a major shift in the attitudes of these people to think about safety.”

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Jamie Gibbs

Jamie Gibbs

Jamie Gibbs is a Content Producer at, and is a self-confessed retro geek. If you spot an 80s pop culture reference, chances are he's the one who put it there.

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