Motorist on M25 caught driving at 149mph, study reveals

Speed camera and car Image copyright PA
Image caption Police authorities were asked the location and speed of the fastest motorists caught in the past year

A motorist was caught driving at 149mph (240km/h) by a speed camera on the M25 in Swanley, Kent, it has been revealed.

The figure was released after a Freedom of Information request by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) to police authorities in England and Wales.

Police were asked for the location and speed of the fastest motorists caught by speed cameras in the past year.

Another driver in Gateshead was recorded doing 96mph (154km/h) in a 30mph (48km/h) zone.

Thirty-three of 39 police authorities in England and Wales asked by the IAM responded to the request.

Thames Valley Police revealed that a motorist was caught doing 127mph (204km/h) on the A413 Wendover By-Pass in Wendover, a road with a 60mph (97km/h) speed limit.

'Grave danger'

The highest speed on a 50mph (80km/h) road was a driver recorded doing 119mph (192km/h) on the A414 Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire Constabulary said.

Lincolnshire Police revealed a driver was caught doing 113mph (182km/h) in a 40mph (64km/h) zone on the A17 Station Road, Swineshead Bridge.

Another motorist was caught on camera doing 117mph (188km/h) on the A580 East Lancashire Road, although Merseyside Police did not say whether this was in a 40mph or 50mph zone.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said doing 149mph equated to travelling nearly two-and-a-half miles in a minute.

He said: "If anything goes wrong at that speed, you're unlikely to walk away and you are a grave danger to the innocent road users around you."

Mr Best added: "Speed limits are a limit. They are not a target to beat.

"Unfortunately, this message has not got through to many motorists and it's clear that efforts to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drink-driving continue to fail.

"The current guidelines on sentencing for excessive speeding offences are out of sync with modern roads, modern vehicles and society's view of the value of lives lost in crashes."

The driver in Kent, a man in his 20s, appeared at West Kent Magistrates' Court in March and was disqualified from driving for six months. He was also fined £600 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £65.

Responding to a separate Freedom of Information request by BBC Radio Kent, Kent Police said 66,357 people had been handed speeding notices in 2013, compared to 34,438 in 2010.

Highest speeds recorded by speed cameras in England and Wales
Speed limit (mph) Highest speed recorded (mph) Difference (mph) Location
70 149 79 M25 Swanley
60 127 67 A413 Wendover By-Pass, Wendover
50 119 69 A414 Stanstead Abbotts
40 113 73 A17 Station Rd, Swineshead Bridge
30 96 66 B1288, on Leam Lane, Gateshead

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