Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Number of drivers caught speeding over 100mph in Northern Ireland last year

Road safety charity Brake has called for drivers caught speeding at more than 100mph to be automatically banned (Danny Lawson/PA)
Road safety charity Brake has called for drivers caught speeding at more than 100mph to be automatically banned (Danny Lawson/PA)
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

More than 100 motorists were caught driving at over 100mph on Northern Ireland's roads last year, new figures reveal.

A total of 109 drivers were caught by police driving over 100mph in 2018, representing a 26% increase on the previous year (86).

The highest speed recorded by the PSNI was on the M2 in Belfast, were a 35-year-old man was caught speeding at 140mph.

The second highest was again on the M2 near Rathbeg, were a 24-year-old man was caught doing 132mph.

While the third highest was caught on the Frosses Road in Ballymena, where a 40-year-old man was clocked driving at 128mph.

Elsewhere two drivers were caught doing 127mph, a 24-year-old man on the M2 near Antrim and a 28-year-old man on the M1 near Dungannon.

Road safety charity Brake, which published the figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request, said 9,596 motorists were caught by police speeding at more than 100mph across the UK. That was up by 52% in 2017, when 6,311 were caught.

The highest speed recorded was 162mph on both the M1 Southbound in South Yorkshire and the M4 Eastbound in Avon and Somerset- more than twice the national speed limit.

Brake called for an automatic driving ban for those caught travelling at over 100mph and greater resources provided to the police to help improve speeding enforcement.

Drivers caught speeding at more than 100mph are referred to court, where magistrates have the discretion to issue a driving ban or six penalty points on a driver's licence. The maximum fine for serious speeding offences is £1,000, rising to £2,500 if caught on a motorway.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:“There is absolutely no justification for any driver to be travelling at such excessive speeds – more than twice the national speed limit in some cases – putting themselves and others in grave danger.

"The number of drivers caught speeding at over 100mph highlights some deeply concerning issues with speeding across the country and makes clear the need for action. Anyone caught travelling at such speed should always face a ban – we have to make sure these dangerous, selfish drivers are taken off our roads.

“The Government must invest in national roads policing as a priority to provide the police with the resources they need to get out on the roads and act as a true deterrent to dangerous driving. The law must also be used to its fullest extent in penalising such dangerous behaviour, making it clear that speeding will not be tolerated.”

Four forces recorded more than 1,000 motorists exceeding 100mph last year. West Yorkshire police recorded the most with 2,252; followed by Kent Police with 1,323; then West Mercia Police with 1,114; and Surrey police with 1,016.

Inspector Rosemary Leech: “The position of the Police Service of Northern Ireland on speeding is absolutely clear.

“Excessive speed for the conditions is consistently one of the principal causes of the most serious road traffic collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured on roads across Northern Ireland. 

“Drivers have to take responsibility for their own actions and by speeding they are causing a danger to fellow road users.

“Every time you hear about a fatal or serious collision on the news, there is a family, a circle of friends, a community plunged into mourning.  There are many other people across the country how are having to learn how to cope with life changing injuries after being involved in serious collisions.

“This is why it is critically important to remind all drivers that there are consequences to breaking the speed limit and driving in a manner that does not consider the safety of all road users. Police will continue to enforce the law and are determined to make Northern Ireland's roads safer.

“In 2018, the number of speeding detections rose by 18.8% from the previous year, consequently the number of offenders who are caught travelling at higher speeds is also likely to increase.

“Removing excess speed from the road safety equation should be the easiest thing that every road user can do. If we all stop speeding, more people live. If we all stop speeding, fewer people have to contend with life changing injuries.

“If everyone slowed down, did not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wore a seatbelt and drove with greater care and attention then together we can save lives on our roads.”

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