More than 9,000 motorists were caught doing speeds of over 100mph on UK roads last year.
According to data obtained by the road safety charity Brake, the highest speed recorded was 162mph jointly on the M1 Southbound in South Yorkshire and the M4 Eastbound in Avon and Somerset – more than twice the national limit on motorways.
The road safety charity obtained figures from 40 of the 45 police forces across the UK, following a Freedom of Information request. Each force was asked to supply the total number of offences recorded by a speed camera or from an officer's speed radar where a motorist was found to be going over 100mph, for 2018. They were also asked to provide the top five speeds recorded in their area, including what the speed limit was, the location, the driver’s age and gender.
From the responses, a total of 9,596 motorists were clocked doing over 100mph. The top five speeds recorded nationwide were: 162mph on the M1 in South Yorkshire, 162mph on M4 in Avon and Somerset, 160mph on the M5 in West Mercia, 157mph on the M62 in West Yorkshire, and 157mph on the M25 in Kent.
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.
Drivers caught speeding at over 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 £1000, rising to £2500 if caught on a motorway.
Stopping distances at speeds over 100mph are more than 182m, the equivalent of about 45 car lengths, or nearly two football pitches.
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.”