a margin of tolerance within which motorists can exceed speed limits and yet
expect to avoid prosecution?
How are motorists misled?
The Sunday Times, 25.9.22, reported that,
‘The Met reduced its speed tolerances from a formula of 10 per cent plus 3mph (25mph in a 20 zone) to 10 per cent plus 2mph on May 14, 2019, but did not announce it, saying: “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.” ’
The newspaper states that ‘’… 347,000 drivers have been warned they will be prosecuted for speeding between January and June this year, compared with 97,000 in the six months before the change.’’ This is clearly a dramatic increase in the number of prosecutions.
Bearing in mind that once a motorist has 12 or more penalty points endorsed on his or her licence, for offences committed within 3 years of each other, that he/she is likely to be disqualified for a minimum of 6 months (a penalty points disqualification which can only be avoided by proving that ‘exceptional hardship’ would result). Thus the increase in prosecutions has very serious consequences for motorists (as loss of licence is often accompanied by loss of job, for example).