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GEM points to safety and environmental benefits of slowing down on journeys

posted on 08/03/2023
GEM points to safety and environmental benefits of slowing down on journeys

ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has welcomed the announcement of a 30 per cent reduction in speeding in 2022, compared with 2021.  This, says GEM, is not only a key part of reducing collisions and casualties on our roads, but it’s also an effective way of reducing your environmental footprint as a driver.

DVLA figures1 show the number of speeding convictions in the ‘SP30’ category (the official code for any speeding offence not recorded on a motorway) for 2022 were estimated at 607,231 compared with 841,107 in 2021. The most recent figure was also lower than those for 2020 (731,020) and 2019, when 801,695 motorists received SP30 prosecutions.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: “We welcome these figures, as we know that one of the most effective ways of making our roads safer is to drive within the speed limit at all times on journeys. It’s a vital part of taking personal responsibility for our own safety – and that of others – when we are driving.

“Research categorically shows that reduced speeds mean fewer collisions, and reduced severity of collisions. For example, an overall 1mph reduction in speed results in an average five per cent reduction in collisions2.

“We also know that a car speeding at 80mph uses 10 per cent more fuel than one driven at 70mph. A car driven at 70mph uses 15 per cent more fuel than one at 50mph.”

Driving within speed limits needs to combine with constant alertness, good all-round observation and a commitment to courtesy at all times, according to GEM.

“It’s worth remembering the connection between environmentally-aware driving and defensive driving, which has long been established,” added Neil Worth. “As well as following all the rules of the road, defensive drivers look out for other road users and give them space. They also keep their vehicles in good condition.

“Smooth, progressive and systematic driving is safer. There are few surprises and no last-minute manoeuvres. You’re doing your bit for the environment, you’re keeping your licence clean, you’re hopefully saving money and also reducing the risks you face on the road.”

Top tips for slowing down

Don’t rush on a journey. Leave earlier and ensure you have plenty of time, with no reason to speed.

Keep a close eye out for speed limit signs, and watch for clues that the speed limit may soon be about to change.

Scan the speedometer frequently so you always know your own speed. 

Always ask yourself: is my speed both legal and safe? After all, the speed limit is just that – a limit, not a target, and there will be circumstances when you will feel much safer driving below the limit. 

Higher penalties

A ‘speeding ticket’ will result in three points on your driving licence and a fine of £100. In some circumstances a speed awareness course may be offered.

Changes to the system of fines in 2017 means higher-end speed offenders now face fines of up to 150 per cent of their weekly salary, with six penalty points and/or disqualifications of between seven and 56 days.

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