The top ten speeding capitals of the UK revealed

With the roads becoming busier than ever due to people returning to work after the pandemic, there has been a major increase in road accidents in the UK¹. In light of this, we’ve delved into the top ten speeding capitals of the UK according to how many speeding tickets regional police constabularies handed out to reckless drivers in 2021. 

Following a staggering 89% increase in searches for ‘speed awareness course online’ between January 2021 to January 2022², our new study delves into the number of camera and officer issued speeding tickets administered by police constabularies in the UK last year. 

The findings are based on insight obtained by us through Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) sent to 44 UK police constabularies³. The new report breaks down the key findings from the police constabularies FOI responses obtained by our team. Out of the 44 police constabularies contacted, 23 responded. 

According to the insight gathered, the top ten speeding capitals of the UK according to the total number of speeding tickets issued are: 

  1. West Yorkshire - 224,160

  2. Avon and Somerset - 173,428

  3. Thames Valley - 151,501

  4. West Midlands - 95,093

  5. Surrey - 87,270

  6. Bedfordshire - 69,818

  7. South Yorkshire - 67,255

  8. Hampshire - 62,514

  9. Lincolnshire - 59,525 

  10. Hertfordshire - 53,627

West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire, a metropolitan county in the North of England, tops the list for the most speeding tickets (224,160) issued by the regions police constabulary. Out of the 224,160 speeding tickets issued in West Yorkshire, 3,615 of these were captured by police officers and 220,545 by speed cameras within the region. Currently, West Yorkshire has 402 fixed speeding cameras ready to catch out speeding drivers?. 

Avon and Somerset 

Following the insight we obtained, the police constabulary of Avon and Somerset revealed that a total of 173,428 speeding tickets were issued to drivers between January 2021 and January 2022. In Avon and Somerset, there are 36 fixed cameras, 1,033 mobile cameras, and 24 red light cameras active to catch those driving over the speed limit?. 

Thames Valley

Ranking third in the new list, the total number of speeding tickets handed out to drivers by the Thames Valley police constabulary totalled a massive 151,501. The Thames Valley is part of the South East of England, and it includes the counties of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, the Isle of Wight, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent. Out of the 151,501 tickets issued to speedy drivers, 147,411 of these offences were captured by speed cameras and 4,090 by police officers.

West Midlands 

The police constabulary of West Midlands comes in fourth. They issued out 95,093 speeding tickets between the period of January 2021 and January 2022, which includes drivers of cars, HGVs, LCVs, buses and motorcycles. The West Midlands has 78 fixed speeding cameras in place to monitor the MPH of drivers, which is the least amount of speed cameras out of the nine UK regions?.  

Surrey 

Surrey, located in the southeast of England, comes fifth in the list for the most speeding tickets issued in the UK. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, and Berkshire and is divided into 11 boroughs and districts. The Surrey police constabulary issued a total of 87,270 speeding tickets between the period mentioned above, with 2,196 being roadside-detected by a police officer. 

Bedfordshire 

Ranking sixth in the speeding capitals list is Bedfordshire, which issued a massive 69,818 speeding tickets to residents in the region between January 2021 and January 2022. According to Bedfordshire police constabulary, 5,234 of the total number of speeding tickets have been settled by a fine and points. 

South Yorkshire

The South Yorkshire police constabulary come seventh in the list. This county issued 67,255 speeding tickets during the period previously mentioned, with cars, HGVs, LCVs, buses and motorcycles included in the vehicles penalised for exceeding the speed limit. 

Hampshire

The police constabulary of Hampshire captured 62,514 speeding offences between January 2021 and January 2022, including a mixture of officer and speeding camera issued tickets. Police and crime commissioner Donna Jones has approved an investment of £677,000 on cameras for A-roads in Hampshire that have high casualty rates, which should hopefully lower the number of speeding tickets issued in 2022?.

Lincolnshire 

Lincolnshire police constabulary comes ninth on the list. This county issued 59,525 speeding tickets, including a mixture of tickets issued at the roadside (1,673) and tickets issued by speeding cameras (57,852). Out of the people who got caught exceeding the speed limit, 20,173 received a £100 fine and three points on their license, 29,310 attended an education speed awareness course, and 8,639 were summoned to court. 

Hertfordshire

Taking the tenth spot in the new list, Hertfordshire issued out 53,672 speeding tickets between January 2021 and January 2022. Of these speeding tickets, 11,226 have been settled by a fine and points. However, the Hertfordshire police constabulary can confirm that many of the offences for 2021 are still outstanding. 

What needs to change 

It's very worrying to see the increase in searches for speed awareness courses in the UK, and it’s even more shocking to see the number of speeding tickets handed out by police constabularies in the UK in the past year. 

What makes these figures even worse is the knowledge that in 2022 there has already been 59,980 car accidents in the UK, with 4,391 of these caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit?. With more cars returning to the road after the pandemic, and major traffic routes rising above pre-pandemic levels, it’s almost inevitable that a large proportion of these drivers on the road will be acting carelessly. 

With the government encouraging a return to work, and the roads becoming naturally busier, councils would benefit from the funds to implement systems to protect pedestrians and surrounding buildings from road collisions as it would ensure people feel a sense of security when being in the vicinity of a busy road. 

Installing bollards would be the ideal solution for councils to ensure proper pedestrian and building protection and would mean an increase in safety and confidence. With the staggering number of road accidents recorded in the first two months of 2022, councils must be allocated a budget to install the appropriate measures. 

There has been huge groundwork put in across the manufacturing and security industry to develop products that can help improve the safety of the public, and the government, councils and other authorities must consider making use of these. 

We recently launched two new bollards, Synergy and Apex, to address these issues to protect pedestrians and buildings. Both are shallow mount solutions that allow for minimal to no excavation enabling high-security products to be retrofitted into the built environment with ease. 

Sources 

  1. https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/cheap-car-insurance/top-causes-car-accidents-uk#nogo 
  2. Search volume insight for the search term ‘speed awareness course online’ gathered using SEMrush. Correct as of February 2022. 
  3. Data received from 23 UK police constabularies by a Freedom of Information Request on the number of officer and speed camera issued speeding tickets administered to UK drivers between January 2021 and January 2022. 
  4. https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/sites/default/files/foi/2019-05/foi_1012-19_speed_cameras_march_2019.pdf   
  5. https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/request/speed-camera-information/speed-camera-sites/list/
  6. https://blog.aplan.co.uk/which-regions-has-the-highest-number-of-speed-cameras/ 
  7. https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/cheap-car-insurance/top-causes-car-accidents-uk#nogo
  8. https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/transport/almost-ps700000-to-be-spent-on-average-speed-cameras-for-the-a32-and-a272-in-hampshire-3529934

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