Speeding accounts for more than four out of five detected motoring offences, analysis has revealed.

Some 2.39 million drivers were caught speeding in England and Wales in 2018/19, the study commissioned by the RAC Foundation found.

This was a 4% increase on the previous 12 months, and a 37% rise compared with 2011/12.

A total of 2.84 million motoring offences were recorded in 2018/19, meaning speeding accounted for 84%.

Nearly all (97%) of the speeding incidents involved drivers being caught by a camera.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “The simple rule for drivers who don’t want to risk ending up with a speeding ticket is not to break the limit in the first place.

“Where limits are properly signposted and clearly feel right for the road in question, motorists have no excuse for going faster.

“But that means highway authorities also have a responsibility to make sure the limits they set are appropriate and to avoid instances where the limit repeatedly bounces up and down along a single stretch.”

Speeding offences were dealt with in the following ways in 2018/19:

  • 44% resulted in the offender being sent on a speed awareness course.
  • 34% attracted fixed penalty notices,
  • 12% were later cancelled.
  • 10% resulted in court action.

The analysis of Home Office data by Adam Snow of Liverpool John Moores University and Doreen Lam of the RAC Foundation found that the number of drivers caught speeding was 225 times higher in some parts of England and Wales than others.

The police force that detected the most speeding offences in 2018/19 was West Yorkshire with 182,000.

This was followed by Avon and Somerset (159,000) and Metropolitan Police and City of London combined (157,000).

At the other end of the scale, Wiltshire Police caught fewer than 1,000 people speeding, with Cleveland and Derbyshire each identifying 12,000.

Researchers suggested variations across forces are partly due to geographical area, road type, traffic volume and local policing priorities.

In Wiltshire, all speed cameras were turned off in 2010.

Department for Transport figures show 186 people were killed and 1,505 seriously injured in crashes on Britain’s roads in 2018 in which a vehicle exceeding the speed limit was a contributory factor.

The number of speeding offences detected by police forces in England and Wales in 2018/19:

  1. West Yorkshire 181,867
  2. Avon and Somerset 159,210
  3. Metropolitan Police (including City of London) 157,494
  4. Thames Valley 145,447
  5. Greater Manchester 106,839
  6. Norfolk and Suffolk 98,729
  7. West Mercia 92,335
  8. Essex 91,849
  9. Surrey 89,079
  10. Bedfordshire 76,573
  11. Lancashire 74,286
  12. Hampshire 73,036
  13. Northumbria 67,857
  14. West Midlands 57,154
  15. South Yorkshire 55,461
  16. Sussex 54,139
  17. Humberside 53,679
  18. Merseyside 53,112
  19. Hertfordshire 52,794
  20. Warwickshire 52,774
  21. Cheshire 52,770
  22. Northamptonshire 49,448
  23. Staffordshire 48,583
  24. Devon and Cornwall 47,272
  25. Lincolnshire 45,712
  26. North Yorkshire 41,934
  27. Leicestershire 41,909
  28. Cumbria 40,104
  29. Wales outside North Wales 35,005
  30. Cambridgeshire 34,672
  31. Nottinghamshire 24,566
  32. Gloucestershire 24,121
  33. Dorset 22,716
  34. Kent 20,366
  35. North Wales 19,493
  36. Durham 19,395
  37. Derbyshire 12,256
  38. Cleveland 11,937
  39. Wiltshire 807

The research used combined figures for the following forces: Metropolitan Police and City of London; Suffolk and Norfolk; forces in Wales outside North Wales.

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