Don’t Get Caught By Speeding Myth

Sat 29th Jan 2022

Motorists are being warned that a long-held view that drivers are allowed a certain buffer zone above the speed limit may actually be untrue.

While the national speed limits on major roads are enforced to ensure safer driving for all, it is widely accepted that speed cameras and traffic police won’t actually come after you if you only slightly encroach over the limit. Many believe that there is a 10 per cent buffer for the speed limit, meaning that on a 70mph road, you could get away with driving at 77mph.

Recent research from Auto Express appears to confirm this, with the tolerance varying between 10% plus 2mph and 10% plus 3mph, which could technically mean that driving at 80mph on the motorway might keep you from getting a speeding ticket.

It is thought that these buffers are allowed so that motorists don’t constantly look at their speedometer, which in itself can create dangerous drivers. However, many police forces refuse to reveal what these tolerances might be, as they are concerned that it will lead to more speeding.

Technically, going just 1mph over the speed limit is breaking the law, and speaking in The Sun newspaper, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said it is safer to remain under the speed limit.

He said: “The so-called speeding ‘buffer zone’ is guidance, not the law. Officers have discretion to act based on the circumstances.

“There may well be occasions where someone is speeding a couple of miles over the speed limit, for example outside a school, and an officer could reasonably decide it is proportionate to stop them.

“Speed limits are limits, not targets, and we encourage all motorists to respect and adhere to them. The best advice is to not speed, full stop.”