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'More speed cameras': Police commissioner's pledge to put the brakes on speeders

More speed cameras and traffic officers ‘working around the clock’ are needed to made roads safer, the region’s police commissioner said.

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There were fewer motorists convicted of speeding offences in West Midlands and Staffordshire last year, new figures show – in contrast to a record national high.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show 2,966 motorists caught by West Midlands Police were convicted in the courts for speeding offences in 2022, down 17 per cent from 3,565 convictions the year before.

Meanwhile in Staffordshire, 4,913 motorists caught by Staffordshire Police were convicted in courts for speeding offences in 2022, which was up 7 per cent from 4,594 convictions the year before.

Overall, 64 per cent of the motorists in Staffordshire who had court proceedings for speeding ended up being convicted of the offence.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “Tackling speeding has been one of my top priorities since being elected in 2021, because it can cause death and serious injury and it is anti-social behaviour.

"We need a range of action to tackle speeding. That is why I am supporting new speed cameras, so speeding drivers put the brakes on and drive sensibly.

"We also need West Midlands road traffic officers working around the clock, to ensure motorists are keeping to the speed limit.

“I am pleased to see the approach is working.”

Most people caught speeding are handed a £100 fine and either penalty points or an invitation to an awareness course.

But cases involving serious incidents or motorists denying exceeding the limit often end up in court, where fines can reach a maximum of £2,500 for speeding on a motorway.

RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said: "The fact the number of court convictions has risen in just a year seems to imply an increase in the proportion of serious cases having to be dealt with in legal proceedings."

"While it is clearly wrong to be just a few miles an hour over the limit, arguably it is prolific excessive speeders who are putting people’s lives in danger. An increase in these drivers will have frightening consequences for the safety of our roads," he said.

He added that while it is positive to see drivers are being caught for breaking speed limits, it would be better if they just stuck to them.

Across England and Wales, 236,480 motorists were convicted in court for exceeding the speed limit in 2022, which was a 16 per cent rise from 203,545 the year prior and was the highest since at least 2014.

Yet in the West Midlands, 2017 marked the highest number of speeding convictions in the past eight years when 6,551 successful proceedings were made against motorists.

Whilst in Staffordshire, 2015 marked the highest number of speeding convictions in the past eight years when 7,454 successful proceedings were made against motorists.

Nicholas Mantel, head of Churchill Motor Insurance, said: "Speeding is one of the main causes of road accidents and our research suggests that the problem is getting worse.

"Many drivers accidentally creep above the limit rather than speeding deliberately.

"While most people receive a fixed penalty notice for speeding, more serious or contested cases end up in court. This data shows that drivers who appear in court for speeding are usually convicted, and the fines are deservedly steep."