Shropshire Star comment: No pride to be had in speed statistics – more must be done to stop the speeders
Local drivers don’t appear to be as indifferent to the law as those in West Yorkshire.
But it is still a cause for concern that West Mercia places third on a new league table of speeding motorists, just a whisker behind second-placed Surrey.
New Freedom of Information figures have revealed which regions of the country are hotspots for speeders – or at least the number of speeding tickets issued.
West Yorkshire has twice as many as elsewhere – as well as the dubious distinction of having the year’s biggest speeding ticket at 160mph – while West Mercia, which comprises Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, is third on the list.
Of course, it could be because West Yorkshire – and West Mercia for that matter – have more effective enforcement of speed limits than other parts of the country.
There will no doubt be some disgruntled motorists who say they shouldn’t have had a ticket and police are picking on the wrong people. But officers should not be criticised for clamping down on speeding motorists. In Shropshire there are simply too many of them.
As a county, we have a number of A-roads where offences are routinely committed, not forgetting an even greater number of winding, lesser roads where fast cars and fast weekend motorcycles cause danger.
And yet these figures would suggest the message to motorists still hasn’t hit home. The chances of survival for those involved in accidents where speeds are higher are substantially lower than those in which speed is not a factor.
Punitive measures are part of the solution. But education and an unwillingness by locals to tolerate such action is also important.
Drivers should spend more time learning about the ill effects of speed. Speed awareness courses do a good job at hammering home the message and have a proven record in reducing re-offending.
Residents can also play a part. By sticking to the speed limits, they can form rolling road blocks where those who might otherwise put their foot down are deterred. Driving carefully in an area like Shropshire is particularly important. There are too many serious and fatal injury accidents in our area.
The statistics, however, show that more must be done. Being third in a national league table is not a distinction in which Shropshire will take any pride.