It's almost as if the police are being deliberately mean.
Getting a ticket for speeding has become so commonplace that it's more of a tax on driving than an actual crime. Even The Grand Tour's James May (a.k.a. Captain Slow) has been caught speeding. Strictly obeying speed limits is already tedious, but Chief Constable of West Mercia Anthony Bangham wants to make it even worse. AutoExpress reports Britain's police force wants to make radical changes to guidelines that would punish motorists who are traveling just 1 mph over the speed limit. We have just one thing to ask: are you out of your mind?
Speaking at the Police Federations roads policing conference, Bangham—roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs' Council—went over his ideas for new policing norms. One of the major changes would be to drop the current 10% "buffer" over marked speed limits. In a 30 mph zone, that's a buffer of 3 mph, which is reasonable. Bangham proposes drivers traveling at 31 mph should be pulled over, which is nuts. Not to be outdone in his preposterous thinking, Bangham also proposed only drivers who are marginally over the speed limit should be allowed to take a speed awareness course and everyone else would be subject to points and a fine.
“Let’s change the message—we are proud to be law enforcers," Bangham said at the conference. "I don’t want the public to be surprised, I want them to be embarrassed when they get caught. They need to understand the law is set at the limit for a reason. They should not come whinging to us about getting caught." Last year, speeding drivers in the UK hit a six-year high with 2.15 million drivers getting pulled over. We admit speeding isn't the safest thing to do on the road, but it is far less dangerous than distracted or impaired driving. Meanwhile, police never seem to care about idiotic driving habits—like going slow in the left lane (or right lane in the UK).
We don't think that fines and points or stricter enforcement is the way to improve road safety. It has to start through better education when drivers first get their license. Bangham's ideas are silly because driving the exact speed limit all of the time is probably more dangerous than being allowed to have a 10% buffer. If drivers have to constantly glare at their speedometers to make sure that they don't go even 1 mph over the speed limit, it means that they aren't paying attention to the road. Sorry UK, but hopefully the other lawmakers in your country realize that Branham's ideas would never work.