The Yorkshire Post says: Speeding must be stigmatised in same way as drink-driving

Anyone who drives on a regular basis will be able to testify how depressingly common it is to see speeding motorists on the region's roads. That perception is backed up by new statistics revealed today by The Yorkshire Post that show 120,000 drivers were caught speeding in West Yorkshire alone in 2016, with some caught going at speeds of over 110mph.

The figures were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act.

Such offending appears to be on the increase, with the number of people caught in West Yorkshire more than 30 per cent higher than the year before. The true extent of the problem is likely to be far greater given data published in November which revealed only about half of fixed speed cameras in the UK are actually switched on and catching offenders. In North Yorkshire, there are no fixed speed cameras in operation at all.

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Speed is a critical factor in many road crashes, affecting as it is does the stopping distance of a vehicle and the impact it causes when it collides with either another car or a pedestrian. With almost 1,800 deaths on British roads in 2016, it is clear that more needs to be done to make people aware that speeding is both needless and dangerous. This is particularly the case in the winter months, when fog and ice make road conditions more hazardous.

The way in which it has become increasingly socially unacceptable to drink-drive shows it is possible for attitudes to be changed. But it is clear there is a great distance to go when it comes to making speeding a real stigma.

Part of the problem is down to an enforcement regime which currently means drivers who speed often make the calculation it is relatively unlikely they will be caught and punished rather than expecting it to happen should they go over the limit. Ensuring all speed cameras are operating properly can help put the brakes on the growing numbers of speeding motorists.