In the UK speeders typically get the book thrown at them hard.
In the UK courts can be pretty harsh on speeders, which makes this recent story of a young man caught doing 154 mph in a 70-mph zone pretty incredible. The Ely Standard is reporting that Louie Howlett, a 21-year-old mechanic, was given a fine of just £365, or $485, and banned from driving for 56 days after exceeding the speed limit on a stretch of the A11 by 84 mph. Howlett was driving a Seat Leon Cupra when he was busted by cops in Icklingham, a village in the English county of Suffolk.
In the past we've seen speeders in the UK get jail time for their exploits, so it's a bit of a shock that this kid was let off with what amounts to a stern warning (at least in England). The police seem to agree with us. Inspector David Giles of the Suffolk & Norfolk roads policing unit told the BBC that, "I don't think it is enough at all. I'm really disappointed frankly." Howlett lives at home with his disabled mother and apparently has been going through "issues," so perhaps the court decided to take leniency on him based on outside factors. Still, in a country known for cracking down hard on speeders this punishment stands out. What also stands out is the fact that Howlett must have been pushing his car to the limit.
Seat, like many other automakers, electronically limits the speed of the Leon Cupra to 155 mph. Inspector Giles told the Ely Standard that he believes the Seat was modified in some way. We're inclined to believe that, especially given the speed the car hit. Now no one is perfect and the reality is that 21-years-old is still very young, even though Howlett has been driving for four years. No one was injured and we think that although the punishment is light all the negative media attention will dissuade him and others from clocking such insane speeds on UK roads.