25 September 2022, 22:09
Hundreds of thousands of road users are set to be fined after the Metropolitan Police changed a speeding rule without directly announcing it.
The Met lowered its ‘speeding tolerance’ threshold by 1mph – the amount by which drivers can go over the speed limit without officers prosecuting them.
That means that 347,000 drivers have been told they face fines after breaking the rules between January and June this year – up from 97,000 in the six months before the rules changed, which is an increase of some 259%.
The threshold was previously ‘10% + 3mph’ – meaning if a driver hit 36mph in a 30mph zone, they were unlikely to be fined. Now the threshold has come down to ‘10% + 2mph’, meaning a driver would only get away with 35mph on the same street.
The Met said drivers should stick to the actual speed limits, regardless of the ‘speeding tolerance’ threshold. The lowered threshold only applies to London, while Lancashire Police have also brought in similar rules. Other forces have kept the ‘10% + 3mph’ formula.
Police bosses said they did not make an announcement because “posted speed limits are the maximum speed that road users should travel at any time, subject of course to conditions irrespective of the speed threshold that police commence enforcement action.”
The head of a black cab association said that his members had seen a huge rise in fines following the changes.
Steve McNamara told the Sunday Times of “an absolutely massive increase in taxi drivers receiving three, six, nine and 12 points in a three- or four-week period – some of whom have been driving for 35 years as a professional driver without a single point on their licence”.