The number of drivers in London who have been caught speeding has soared after police reduced the speed limit. 

More than 347,000 people were warned they will be prosecuted for speeding in the capital between January and June 2022, reported the Evening Standard. This is a huge 259 per cent more than the 97,000 in the six months before the speed tolerance was lowered by 1mph. 

According to the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC), drivers should not be penalised unless they go over the speed limit by ten per cent plus 2mph. Therefore, someone driving at 30mph can still travel at 35mph without being prosecuted.

However, this had been lowered by the Metropolitan Police in 2019, before which it was ten per cent plus 3mph, making it okay for someone to drive at 36mph in a 30mph zone. 

Consequently, more people have been stopped for driving too fast, expecting a higher threshold than what is actually in place. 

The police force has reminded drivers they should not be getting caught for exceeding the ‘speed tolerance’ threshold, as they should endeavour to remain below the speed limit at all times. 

“Posted speed limits are the maximum speed that road users should travel at any time irrespective of the speed threshold that police commence enforcement action,” a spokesperson for the Met Office stated. 

Even so, the change has led to a confusion among motorists, resulting in a rise in penalties. 

General secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association Steve McNamara told the news provider there has been “an absolutely massive increase in tax drivers receiving three, six, nine and 12 points in a three or four-week period – some of whom have been driving 35 years as a professional driver, without a single point on their license”.  

Those who do exceed the speed limit can expect to receive penalties ranging from three points on their licence and 50 per cent of their weekly income to six points and 150 per cent of their weekly income. Serious offenders could also be disqualified from driving for up to 56 days.  

Despite this, a recent study by insurtech company Zego revealed Londoners consider themselves to be the best drivers in the UK, getting top marks for more than half the questions about their driving style. 

The insurance company asked 2,000 about their driving technique, and those in the capital believed they drive most safely around schools, drove smoothly around corners, and do not often make a claim on their insurance. 

Sten Saar, chief executive officer of Zego, said: “Brits are proud of their driving habits, and it is great to see so many regions scoring highly when it comes to their perceived road safety.”

According to the poll, more than half of drivers (57 per cent) in the UK have never been caught speeding, in spite the Metropolitan Office lowering the ‘speed tolerance’ threshold.  

Additionally, more than a third (36 per cent) do not have any points on their driving licence. 

While London scored the best in the survey, with a result of 96 out of 100, north-west drivers got the lowest result of 46 per cent. 

Yorkshire and the Humber took second place (79 per cent), followed by the West Midlands (74 per cent) and the East Midlands (71 per cent). 


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