Police issued over 800k speeding tickets in 2015, but a greater number managed to avoid a fine altogether
Seeing the flash of a speed camera or – perhaps worse – being pulled over by a police officer for speeding isn’t a great feeling.
And many drivers can sympathise, as more than a third say they’ve been caught driving faster than they should.
But a number of wily Brits seem to be on lady luck’s good side - almost 1.3 million drivers managed to get themselves out of paying a speeding fine when pulled over by a police officer.
This is according to new research from Confused.com that looks at the reasons why drivers are getting away without a penalty.
Thames Valley rife with speed demons
It seems that the lion’s share of offenders are in the Thames Valley, where police issued over 160,000 speeding tickets.
Here are police constabularies that have given out the most speeding tickets in 2015, accounting for almost half of all speeding fines issued across the UK:
||Speeding fines issued in 2015
Despite the efforts of police officers and the network of speed cameras that cover our roads, many are still wiggling their way out of paying. Why is this?
One in three opt for speed awareness courses
If caught speeding by a fixed or mobile camera, 63% drivers said they would accept the fine and take their points without much complaint. When pulled over by a police officer, however, only 55% would do this.
Given that 28% of those caught by an officer were only let off with a warning, it’s understandable that Brits would prefer to argue their case with a person rather than a camera.
Lies and ignorance top fine-dodging methods
For speed offences that aren’t too serious, motorists are given the option to go to a speed awareness course instead of taking the points.
Surprisingly, only a third of those hit with a speeding fine chose to do so.
The rest either straight-up paid the fine, or tried to weasel out of it in a number of ways:
lied and said they were speeding in an emergency – 11%
claimed to have been out of the country when the offence was recorded – 11%
claimed they no longer owned the car – 10%
ignored the fine and hoped the whole thing would simply go away – 10%
lied about who was driving the car – 8%
Motoring expert Matt Lloyd says:
“While motorists might see speed cameras as annoying, they’ve become a necessity across Britain to keep speed down and the roads safe for motorists and pedestrians alike.
“With more than a third of motorists saying they’ve been caught speeding, it’s no surprise that many try their hand at avoiding the punishment.”
Insurers kept in the dark
Even though most drivers caught speeding would accept their punishment and take the points on their licence, only a quarter tell their insurer about it.
Having a motoring conviction is likely to result in your car insurance prices going up. Because of this, some may decide not to tell their insurer as a means of keeping their costs down.
Whether this is simple forgetfulness or a deliberate omission is up for debate, but the implications of hiding points on your licence could be serious.
Matt Lloyd says:
“If drivers are caught speeding, they need to let their insurer know of the conviction ahead of renewal.
“If they don’t, and their insurer finds out at a later date, their policy could be deemed invalid or any claims could be voided.”