More than 1,000 drivers caught doing 100mph-plus by West Mercia Police
More than 1,000 drivers were caught at speeds of 100mph-plus in West Mercia over the last two years – with the fastest hitting 160mph.
The road safety charity Brake has called on the Government to increase funding for road policing, and wants to see drivers automatically banned if they are caught travelling at 100mph or more.
Figures obtained by the charity through a Freedom of Information request to West Mercia Police show that 1,114 drivers were recorded at speeds of 100mph or more last year , and 131 in 2017.
Last year, the fastest speed the force recorded was 160mph, on the M5.
Drivers caught speeding at over 100mph are referred to courts, where magistrates have the discretion to issue a driving ban, a fine or six penalty points on a driver’s licence.
The maximum fine for serious speeding offences is £1,000, rising to £2,500 if the offence occurred on a motorway.
The five highest speeds recorded in West Mercia in 2018 were: 160mph on the M5; 139mph on the M5; 137mph on the M5 (male driver, 20 years old); 135mph on the M5 (male driver, 31 years old); 134mph on the M5 (male driver, 42 years old).
Brake received responses from 40 of the country's 45 police forces. They showed that more than 9,500 motorists were recorded at speeds of more than 100mph last year – a 52 per cent increase on the number in 2017.
Nationally, the highest speeds recorded by police were in South Yorkshire and Avon and Somerset – 162mph in each case.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “There is absolutely no justification for any driver to be travelling at such excessive speeds – more than twice the national speed limit in some cases – putting themselves and others in grave danger.
"The number of drivers caught speeding at over 100mph makes clear the need for action.
"Anyone caught travelling at such speed should always face a ban – we have to make sure these dangerous, selfish drivers are taken off our roads.
“The Government must invest in national roads policing as a priority to provide the police with the resources they need to get out on the roads and act as a true deterrent to dangerous driving. The law must also be used to its fullest extent in penalising such dangerous behaviour, making it clear that speeding will not be tolerated.”
Highways England and the Department for Transport recently announced that they would be launching a joint review of road policing, looking to plug existing gaps in provision.
A DfT spokesperson said: “Speeding is completely unacceptable, which is why there are tough penalties and rigorous enforcement in place for those who do this.
“Roads policing is a key deterrent in stopping drivers breaking the law and risking their and other people’s lives.
“Just this week, we announced a first-of-its-kind joint review into roads policing and traffic enforcement, to highlight the good work of police forces and others and show what more can be done to improve road safety.”